Motorcycle Sport-Touring Essentials

Don’t leave home without them

Longer distances, more frequent sightseeing stops and the occasional overnight stay are the main things that distinguish sport-touring from sport riding, thus the former entails an entirely different bag of gear. This month’s Gear items are aimed at the long-haul rider who’s constantly on the hunt for twisty stretches of pavement. Let one of these products spur your next extended joyride.

Pelican Micro Cases
We knew something was up when we noticed all the professional photographers we hire transport their $15,000 cameras in large Pelican cases. Evidently the containers are quite durable and do a fine job of sealing out dirt and water. Pelican micro cases start at $16 and are perfect for consolidating valuables on your bike. They come in seven sizes small enough to carry in your luggage, or bolt one inside your bike's fairing to create a crushproof, waterproof and dustproof stash box.

Contour HD GPS Camera
Contour has taken the ride video to a whole new level. While today's compact onboard video cameras are capable of capturing your ride in high definition, it's still difficult to get a feel for elevation changes and rate of speed. Enter the Contour HD GPS, which has a built-in GPS receiver that tracks your location, speed and elevation. Contour's computer software lets you combine video and GPS info to relive your ride down Highway 1, the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Tail of the Dragon in all its glory. Pick one up before your next adventure for $349.99.

Sidi Laguna Gore Tex Boots
The Laguna boots from Sidi retail for $300 and incorporate full Gore Tex linings for the ultimate in water protection. Gore Tex fabric contains billions of microscopic pores that are smaller than a drop of water but bigger than a molecule of moisture vapor, so while rain can't get in, sweat vapor can get out. That means your feet stay dry and comfortable no matter the distance or intensity of the deluge. The Laguna's classic style and comfortable footbeds make them perfect for commuting or touring.

Firstgear Expedition Suit
Be ready for anything in the new Expedition suit from Firstgear. This one-piece ensemble has an MSRP of $499.99 and features a 600-denier shell peppered with thoughtfully designed pockets, vents and adjustment straps and snaps. The Expedition is generously sized so you can wear it over your street clothes, and has CE-approved poly- urethane armor covering major pivot points. Extended zippers in the legs make going from civilian to pilot and back again as uncomplicated as possible. Storm cuffs, an integrated rain hood, sealed zippers, overlapping flaps and rain gutters keep you dry when the weather turns soggy.

Originally designed for busy professionals on the go, the Skyroll has been modified to allow motorcyclists to easily carry suits and other garments without wrinkling. The Skyroll consists of a central cylinder around which a garment bag is rolled, eliminating folds and the creases they leave. The inner cylinder will hold a pair of shoes and some clothes, while the outer bag is big enough for two suits. The special $199 motorcycle version is made of heavy nylon and comes with tie-down straps, reflective piping, a toiletry kit and a rain cover.

Aerostich Information Pouch
Yes, your wallet contains your ID, insurance card and maybe an emergency contact, but all that info is mixed in with cash, credit cards and other detritus. Would an EMT be able to locate everything ASAP? Aerostich's Emergency Medical Information Pouch contains a waterproof form with lines for all your vital information, and is made to affix to the left sleeve of all Aerostich suits. It can also be fastened to non-Aerostich gear or your helmet with the included heavy-duty loop strips. Available in red or hi-viz yellow for $25.

Brakeaway Cruise Control
There are dozens of ways to mechanically manage throttle return-spring tension, but none of them are as advanced as the Brakeaway cruise control. Each model-specific device offers pushbutton engagement, easy throttle adjustment and instant disengagement via the front brake lever or a thumb tab, making it safer and easier to use than anything else on the market. All components are machined from quality materials like aircraft-grade aluminum, stainless steel and acetyl plastic. Quality and convenience come at a price: $199.99 for metric bikes (including sport-tourers and some standards) and $219.99 for Harleys.

Mad Maps
Take the guesswork out of planning your next road trip with pre-mapped routes from Motor Adventure Destinations (MAD) Maps. Each water- and tear-resistant booklet lists about 25 scenic and exciting rides with turn-by-turn directions and a comprehensive list of suggested stops and roadside attractions. MAD Maps offer local, regional and national map series, and also offers GPS downloads and an iPhone app. Paper maps start at $10.95 and, for a limited time, Motorcyclist readers will receive a 25 percent discount by typing "MOTORCYCLIST2011" in the promotional code box when checking out.

**Roadgear Coconut Socks **
Coconut isn't just a cute name for Roadgear's riding socks; they're made from fibers and activated charcoal derived from coconut husks. Comfortable, long-lasting, moisture-wicking and anti-microbial, these socks are designed specifically for long-haul motorcyclists. The yarn is infused with activated charcoal, which has a high porosity and huge surface area that allows it to capture odor molecules and aid in moisture transfer and dissipation. Now in their third generation, these socks use a higher percentage of coconut yarn for increased coziness and durability. Pick up a pair for $12.99.

Motocentric Luggage
Turn your sportbike into a sport-tourer for under $300. Motocentric's tailbag ($67.99) is easy to mount and has integrated clips for connecting to the Motocentric saddlebags ($199.99), offering a combined 81 liters of cargo space. Both bags are constructed of semi-rigid Maxtura fabric and use rubberized panels, heat shields and built-in bungee cords to protect your bike's finish and keep everything firmly in place. All Motocentric luggage comes with rain covers and a lifetime warranty.