Going on a motorcycle road trip sounds like an amazing and exciting adventure, but without proper preparation and organisation, it can turn into a true disaster. It’s not only about enjoying the scenery and having a blast with your companions, it’s also about coming home safe and sound.
If you’re sprucing up your bike and packing your bags to get going, here are some insider tips and tricks on how to have the best road trip ever.
Be aware of mileage
The first step towards a successful road trip is to be realistic regarding how much distance you can cover in one day. In beautiful, scenic areas you’ll be able to do about 150 miles, but on back roads, you simply can’t expect to achieve freeway mileage.
Moreover, in theory, six or seven hours may not sound so terrible, but for beginners, it will feel like a never-ending story! So if you’re not used to riding longer than a couple of hours, don’t rush into it. Consider taking a few practice rides just to get accustomed to being on the bike longer. You can’t compare yourself to experienced riders, but the more prepared you are, the better you will feel when you actually set off.
Check your bike regularly
It goes without saying that your motorcycle needs to be in the best condition possible to avoid potential road disasters. Surely, there are no absolute guarantees that there will be zero problems, but you can make sure you cover all you can before you go.
Once on the road, make it a habit to check your bike regularly. It’s the simple things like checking the air pressure, oil, fasteners and similar. It won’t take much of your time, but it can save you a lot of trouble later down the road.
Pack on quality clothes
There’s an old joke among bikers that, at some point of the trip, you’ll end up cold, hot and wet. Weather is unreliable and even on a perfect day, 150 miles down the road, you may enter a true rainstorm. While it’s amazing to ride between the extremes, you need to be physically and mentally ready to be uncomfortable on the open road.
What you need to pack is well-ventilated, waterproof equipment such as high-quality Alpinestars boots, jackets and pants, to get you through all kinds of weather. Good quality clothes and footwear will keep you protected, no matter your size or age.
It’s an absolute necessity to find time to take in enough fluids, eat properly, rest and stretch your legs. Hours on end on the bike will not only wear you down physically, but it will also diminish your concentration and that is the last thing you need while riding at 80 miles per hour. It’s imperative you stay wide awake, alert and focused on the road and traffic. Reckless and irresponsible riding endangers everyone, so road safety is one of your top priorities.
There are several accessories you can pack for the ride that will make it much easier and more comfortable. First of all, most beginner riders aren’t aware of just how noisy it is on the highway, so wearing earplugs is something that will make it more bearable and prevent potential hearing loss in the long run.
If you’re going to be doing long distances regularly, having some technology on your side would probably make those rides even better. For instance, a helmet equipped with Bluetooth can be linked to your phone so you can listen to music and take phone calls, as well as communicate with other riders and follow GPS directions.
Meals are important
There’s no point in going on a road trip and enjoying the scenery without equally enjoying a bite of great food along the way. A cup of coffee and a hot meal will make any rider feel at home, relaxed and rested. However, roads are nasty and dirty and by the time you hit your destinations at the end of the day, all that dirt will end up on you as well. So, if you’re planning to stop and grab a nice dinner, think twice before you enter a place looking wild and filthy.
You can either pick a place that is less polished and fancy, and popular with local bike riders, or make time to have a shower before you eat. The latter comes in highly recommendable, as that first shower you take after a 10-hour ride will be a truly heavenly experience.
By following tips outlined here, every motorcycle road trip you take will be an unforgettable adventure!