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10 essentials you need for that motorcycle road trip from Singapore to West Malaysia

(Updated on 29 May 2024 – Malaysia has mandated all foreign-registered vehicles, including motorcycles, must have and display a valid VEP-RFID tag to enter the country by land from 1 October 2024)

Embarking on a thrilling motorcycle road trip from Singapore to neighbouring countries like West Malaysia, Thailand or beyond is a dream adventure for many riders. But to ensure a safe, comfortable, and memorable journey, you need more than just your trusty two-wheeler. It needs careful planning, preparation and packing essentials.

To help you out, we speak to our specialists at BMW Motorrad on the necessary items that every rider needs before making the long journey – whether as a solo biker or in a group – to explore new horizons. Here are some noteworthy must-haves so that you get the best experience out of your ride.

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1. Quality protective riding gear and raincoat

Safety should always be your top priority. Before you hit the road, invest in quality protective gear to keep you safe and comfortable throughout your journey.

Above everything else, have a well-fitting full-face helmet that is both comfortable and breathable. For optimal protection, put on a riding jacket that has elbow, shoulder, chest and back protectors. Your riding pants should have hip and knee protectors. Don’t forget gloves and sturdy riding boots that provide good support!

You also need clothing that is suitable for the weather conditions along your route. In hot and humid climates, look for riding gear with good ventilation to keep you comfortable during the long hours in the saddle. Have lightweight and moisture-wicking base layers, a raincoat and a pair of rain pants ready, to help you stay dry in case of sudden downpours.

2. Motorcycle basic tool kit

Reliability is important on a long road trip, especially if you are riding solo. Regularly check your motorcycle to make sure it is in tip-top condition before the trip.

If you are on your own, you may not have anyone around to help you if experience a tyre blowout or a dead battery. So always carry a basic tool kit for minor repairs or adjustments on the go.

For those who own a BMW motorcycle, a tool kit can be found under its removable seat. This tool kit is able to help with basic maintenance such as opening panels, adjusting mirrors and opening the oil filler.

You should also have an appropriate tyre repair kit (depending on whether you have tube or tubeless tyres) to fix any punctures along the way, an air compressor, as well as a jump starter in case of a dead battery.

Have spare parts such as extra fuses, bulbs, and brake pads with you as well.

3. First aid kit and personal medication

Long distance riding can sometimes give you a headache from sudden environment changes. Unfortunately, accidents might also happen. Always have your medical information with you, including any drug allergies and your blood type, in case of a medical emergency.

You should be prepared with a first aid kit that includes bandages, antiseptics, pain relievers, and any personal medications. An emergency whistle can also come in useful.

>>READ: Driving to Malaysia? Here’s what you need to be ready
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4. Navigation tools

Getting lost is part of the adventure, but having a reliable navigation system is important to having a stress-free ride. Stay on track with a GPS unit or smartphone with navigation apps when exploring unfamiliar territories. Offline maps can be a lifesaver in areas with limited cellular coverage.

Consider getting a dedicated motorcycle GPS device for more precise route planning. For example, having the BMW Motorrad Navigator greatly enhances the riding experience.

BMW Motorrad Navigator has an Advanced Text-to-Speech (TTS) navigation which uses precise description of the environment, such as traffic lights, road signs and even buildings as points of reference, so you will not lose your way.

Its route planning software allows bikers to customise high detailed routes, or to go with the flow with options such as “Avoid major country roads”, or a “Round Trip” function which enables a route to be created with an identical start and finish and a specified duration, time or stop-off point. At the same time, you can also listen to the music tracks saved on your smartphone with its Bluetooth-enabled music streaming feature.

Check out the latest BMW Navigator VI here.

Other essentials for a motorcycle road trip:

5. Documents and permits

Make sure you have all necessary travel documents like passports, visas, driving licence. You will also need your motorcycle registration, road tax validity, and vehicle insurance papers. Make photocopies or digital copies as a backup in case of loss.

Malaysia has announced that from 1 October 2024, all foreign-registered vehicles – including motorcycles – will be required to have a valid Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and display an activated VEP-RFID (radio frequency identification) tag to be allowed into the country. Those found without will be denied entry. If caught in the country without one, vehicle owners risk a fine of RM2,000 or a jail term for flouting local traffic laws.

>>How to apply for VEP for Malaysia
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6. Travel Insurance

Don’t leave home without it. Proper travel insurance, that is. Ensure your motorcycle insurance covers international travel for peace of mind, in case of medical emergencies, and lost or stolen belongings.

7. Hydration and snacks

Staying hydrated during while travelling is vital, especially in the heat and humidity of Southeast Asia. Riding in hot climates can lead to rapid dehydration. Bring a water bottle so that you always have easy access to water.

Carry energy bars, nuts or dried fruits to keep your energy up during the long rides. These snacks can also come in handy when you can’t find a restaurant or store.

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8. Security and storage accessories

Have sturdy locks and chains to secure your motorbike when it is parked. If you are riding a premium motorcycle, a brake disc lock from BMW Motorrad is the ideal theft-proofing for the road. The brake disc lock comes with an integrated alarm system as well as a cotter pin and housing made of specially hardened steel.

BMW Motorrad brake disc lock

The BMW Motorrad brake disc lock not only provides reliable protection from theft, it also prevents manipulation of the lock. It comes in a handy size so you can easily store it.

You need to protect your motorbike from the weather too. Get a quality motorcycle cover to keep your it safe from the elements in an unsheltered lot.

Other things to look out for are the right storage accessories. Opt for saddlebags or panniers that are waterproof and securely attached to your motorcycle. These should also be durable enough to withstand the rigours of a long road trip.

Oh, and always bring an extra key for your motorbike!

9. Electronics and communication

Most of us will have a smartphone to stay connected during the journey. Bring along a power bank to keep your mobile and electronic devices charged on long stretches when you do not have access to power outlets.

Make a list of emergency contacts which can be easily retrieved when necessary. Not everyone can access your mobile phone in case of an emergency, so it is better to have these contacts on paper.

10. Local currency

Electronic payments may be prevalent in the city, but remote places may not have card payment options. It is essential to have cash in local currencies in case you need to pay for fuel, food, and other expenses.

Safe travels!

Embarking on a motorcycle road trip from Singapore to countries like Malaysia and Thailand is an exciting adventure, but proper preparation is key. Start by regular maintenance of your motorbike so that it is in the right condition for a long ride. Before you hit the open road, ensure that you have the right essentials for safety, comfort, and enjoyment. With the right equipment and a sense of adventure, you can turn your motorcycle road trip into an unforgettable experience. Now, if you are ready, gear up, and enjoy the ride!

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