It’s hard to beat a good motorcycle road trip with friends, especially if you plan on covering some ground that might last a few days or more.
However, a substantial journey does require a bit of planning. It is no good jumping on your motorcycle without doing some preliminary checks first.
And that’s what we will look into today. What should you be considering before and during your motorcycle journey in order to have the best time once you are on the road.
Let’s take a look.
1. Check the condition of your motorbike
The most obvious first step is to ensure that your motorcycle is up to the job in hand.
Is everything on your bike in 100% working order? Any known issues should really be looked at and rectified either by yourself if you have the knowledge of qualified mechanic.
Beyond any faults and flaws, a good service is always recommended. This is especially important on longer journeys or where you bike hasn’t been seen to for a number of months.
Have the fluids changed, check the valves for calibration, maybe even invest in a fuel management system in order to have your bike running at optimum levels.
Having the bike cleaned, the bulbs changed and the tires checked is another thing to tick off before you leave.
2. Pack the proper protective clothing
No matter the regulations where you ride, ensure that you have a suitable safety helmet.
Protective gloves, trousers and riding boots are a must for the serious rider.
If possible it can be a good idea to pack extras of these items in case your main pair is ripped or lost on the road.
Overboots or rain gaiters are another essential item if you are riding in potential bad and/or wet weather.
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3. Purchase a tire plug kit
If you’re traveling in a group the last thing you want to do is hold everyone up if you get a puncture.
Do help you get to the day’s final location, carry a tire-plug kit with a CO2 tire-inflation system. You can then sort repairs once the ride has finished.
Likewise, with any solo riding. If help isn’t close at hand, a tire inflation system can be a real benefit.
4. Invest in a good windshield
For long distance road trips a good windshield will make an exponential difference to your riding comfort.
The feel of the wind on your body over short trips can be wonderful.
Have the same sensation for several hours or more and it will take its toll.
Not only is it tiring, the lack of windshield will mean all manner of dust, bugs and other nastiness hits you head on. Not to mention the impact it has on your eyes and the discomfort of having them dry out.
Fitting a windshield before you leave will put a stop to all that.
5. Pack some earplugs
A simple tip this, but a comfortable set of custom earplugs will help against the aforementioned wind noise and protect your ears overall.
6. Invest in good luggage
A good tank bag will not only hold a number of your belongings in a convenient easy to reach spot, you can also use the top window pocket to store your map or GPS device. There’s little chance of you getting lost with the directions there in front of you.
Likewise sturdy luggage and saddle bags will help keep all your belongings safe, dry and secure. An essential requirement for any roadtrip.
7. Don’t forget the bungee cords
Bungee cords are very handy on a long road trip and there’s all manner of times where you could use them.
From holding a loose component in place, to ensuring your luggage stays exactly where its meant to be, the versatility of these little cords should not be underestimated.
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8. Keep your luggage dry
Ensure you have everything you need to keep your luggage dry. That could be by investing in waterproof backpacks, saddle bags etc, or simply remembering to pack covers for them.
Whatever your method, you will want dry belongings at the end of the day’s ride.
9. Bring essential bike tools
If you are able to do your own repairs on the fly, a good set of essential tools is definitely worth packing.
And even if you are not mechanically minded, it could be that the help you seek while on the road after a malfunction is in a position to tinker.
Having the right tools ready will make things a lot easier.
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10. Remember your travel documents
All vital documents, (ID, insurance papers details of any roadside assistance membership) need to be safely stored and kept dry from the elements.
It’s also good to have them conveniently placed so you do not have to empty half your luggage on the roadside just to get to them
11. Watch your fatigue
Rider fatigue happens to everyone during a long ride.
Ensure that the amount of miles you plan to cover on any given day are realistic. Take appropriate stops to in order to have a rest, and don’t be over reliant on coffee or energy drinks to see you through.
If that’s what’s required, you are clearly trying to cover too long a distance.
Be sensible and do not underestimate the dangers of riding while excessively tired.
12. Bring water
Staying properly hydrated while riding your motorcycle is another important prerequisite to good road safety.
Yes, you may need to stop more often for toilet breaks, but there is no denying how thirsty you end up getting during a long day’s drive.
At least 2 gallons of water attached to your sack will help keep you in good riding condition.
13. Pack a first aid kit
A good first aid kit is another essential item for a long motorcycle journey. Minor scrapes and scuffs can easily be treated with one of these.
Non drowsy drugs such as ibuprofen are also helpful if a dreaded headache hits you or one of your riding party.