March 31 2009 by Jason Fogelson
Motorcycle travel and business travel are not mutually exclusive. I have done my share of both, and on happy occasions, I've been able to combine the two. Traveling by bike has helped me save money and time, and I've had the chance to make a unique impression when I arrive (if I choose to).
In this age of miniaturization, most of the business tools I need for a trip will fit in a briefcase - so with some careful packing, I can get them onto my bike.
Traveling with a computer requires a bit more care on a motorcycle. Look for a dedicated laptop bag that will fit in your saddlebags or top box, like the Marsee Laptop Briefcase ($85). It has a padded slip for your computer, in addition to plenty of organized storage.
I used to have to wear a business suit to meetings, which really complicated my motorcycle travel. A one-piece riding suit would have made my life a lot easier - sized to wear over your clothes, a riding suit provides crash and weather protection, and is easy to step out of when you get to your meeting, and right back into when it's time to leave. The Aerostitch Roadcrafter ($797) is pretty much the prototype for riding suits, and will serve you for decades (if you remain the same size for decades, that is).
I found the perfect solution for packing my clothes for overnight trips on the motorcycle, which I have adapted to all of my business and personal travels. It's the Eagle Creek Pack-It System ($4.99 to $30.00). I pack my business suit, shirt, tie and accessories into these Velcro-sealed folders and cubes, and when I arrive, everything is wrinkle-free and as neat as when I departed.
I always bring a rain suit on my motorcycle trips, and when I travel for business, I add a layer of protection for my stuff with a dry bag, like the ones from Seal Line (from $24). Nothing will ruin a business trip quicker than a soggy proposal.
Next time you have a business trip within range, consider taking your motorcycle instead of the car. Your colleagues will be impressed (and a little jealous). And you'll be the coolest business traveler at the meeting, guaranteed.