Planning and preparing for a long motorcycle road trip isn’t just a day job, as there are no laws regarding the preparation, except a few guides, which will make the long trip easier. For some people, preparing for a long road trip with a motorcycle is about the essentials you take with you and the nonessentials you leave behind.
The fact that more and more people are starting to ride bikes and go on either short or long road trips, either alone, or with a group of friends, is quite exciting. However, most bikers, while well accustomed with the city riding, often know little or nothing about comfortable and safe riding on a long journey.
On the other hand, the beauty about motorcycle riders is that, when they see a like-minded fellow, they always try to learn as much as possible from that person. Well, if this is your first time on a road trip, here are a few tips from those with experience:
Repair & Prepare Your Motorcycle
Before embarking on any journey, you have to make sure your motorcycle is fully equipped and prepared, so you can have a problem-free motorcycle road trip. A full tune-up of the bike is essential, prior to the trip. You can take it to the mechanic, or make the necessary adjustments yourself, just follow the tips below:
- Make sure you check and change both the filter and the oil
- Make sure all the necessary fluids are in their right levels
- See if both fuel and air filters are okay
- Make all the necessary adjustments to brake and throttle cables
- Check if the tread and the tire pressure are still intact
- Make sure all the lights, gauges, and the horn are working properly.
You can always go to the user’s manual for more information, as regards the motorcycle’s maintenance. However, if the whole bike preparation seems overwhelming to you, it is advisable you take it to a technician, prior to the trip.
Test Your Motorcycle & Keep Tool Kit Intact
After you adjust all the necessary assessments on your motorcycle, take it out for a spin, to test and check new repairs and features. Also, don’t forget to pack your toolkit, in case you need to make some repairs or adjustments during the trip.
Motorcycle luggage comes in different variations, from soft textile to metal, and is available in most bike online stores. Saddlebags, which can be placed and strapped in the back seat, as well as tank bags, which magnetically cling to the bike’s tank, also come in different styles and sizes.
When packing, try to take things, which can be easily disposed of. This way, you will easily shed off big weights. When you pack clothes, do not fold it, but roll it instead. It will occupy less space. Remember to bring a first aid kit with essential medicines too.
Map Out Your Route
If you are going on a motorcycle road trip, you should know the way or have a clear idea of the directions. However, if you don’t, it is recommended to map out your route through a printed map or use a mobile phone screenshot map, not to waste much time on the way. If the road or the route is confusing, ask locals for directions.
For some people, going on a long ride with no gadgets to keep the company can be quite boring. Therefore, when planning an extended motorcycle road trip, think about technologies, which you need to take with you, to get yourself entertained on the way. For example, a motorcycle Bluetooth headset, linked to the phone, will help you receive phone calls, provide you with a radio connection to other riders, and offer voice direction via GPS.
And a motorcycle battery charger will help you power up your smartphone on the route. However, be careful, not to get yourself carried away, especially when listening to music through a Bluetooth headset.
Eat Right & Stay Hydrated
Overeating at any point of a long motorcycle road trip is very wrong because the chances are very high, you might suffer from indigestion. Heavy meals use an enormous amount of energy for digestion and cause drowsiness too. It is advisable to eat light food for breakfast, while you can have something heavier for lunch. Also, if you are used to eating a lot, pack some snacks with you. You should also keep in mind, that finding toilets on some roads can be quite difficult.
Most people don’t take the concept of hydration seriously. However, staying hydrated during the motorcycle road trip will help you reduce the problem of stress, caused predominantly by dehydration. Get a bottle of water with a long tube, which can be safely packed in your bag. This way, you won’t have to make a stop or remove your helmet, if you get thirsty.
Every time you make a stop, drink some water, even if you don’t want to. A refillable pack with two liters of water with Glucose-D or an energy drink is usually enough for a twenty-four-hour ride.
Be Prepared for All Weather Conditions
Pack rainwear and some warm clothes, even if the weather promises to be okay. This way, you will be equipped for any discomfort, caused by the adverse weather during your motorcycle road trip. You should also be ready to change your clothes at any point. When packing for a long motorcycle road trip, you can never be too thoughtful. Prepare for the heat, cold, and rain!
Take Time to Rest
Since it is not a competition, you can relax for a while, to prevent bum burner or saddle sore. But you should not take frequent breaks, only important ones, or else the flow experienced on the bike will go away.
It is also crucial to make random checks of all fluid levels and the level of your hydration, whenever you have a break. This way, you can easily plan the next stop, in case any adjustments or reparations are essential.
Remember to Capture Every Moment
Most riders tend to forget about photographs. When packing, take your camera, or, if you don’t have or can’t afford one, your smartphone will do the magic. It will help you capture all the memorable moments of your trip. Pictures, taken during the stops, can serve as documentation and also, be shared with friends and family on social media platforms.
If you follow these tips carefully, your first long motorcycle road trip will be less stressful, and the second will already be a piece of cake.
Ronald Bounds is a founder and editor in chief of Motorcycle Center. They are enthusiastic of speed and travel. The website introduces the best and newest motorcycle accessories for everybody. The website team will help you choose motorcycle accessories, without wasting much time.
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August 31, 2017 10:45 am Leave your thoughts