If you’re planning a cross-country bike trip the most essential component is naturally your motorcycle. Therefore, finding a bike that meets your needs is a must. Finding the right fit for you may be challenging, however, you can avail yourself the unlimited resources on the internet for extensive research. To aid you in this quest, here a few things to keep in mind:
Choose Your Bike Wisely
- Always choose functionality over a form that means soft seats, suitable handlebars, comfortable seating position
- Ensure comfort-ability is the right size, weight, etc. for you (if it is your bike you can always make modifications to fit your needs)
- Good Mileage
- Low maintenance
After making a list of the requirements, you can begin looking for the motorcycle that will warrant an efficacious trip.
Prepare Your Bike For The Long Journey
Your bike needs to be comfortable and sturdy, built for on and off-road purposes to have an enjoyable trip as you need to be prepared for all sorts of difficult terrain.
- Setting up your bike includes cleaning it all together, and getting its service done by a professional.
- Make sure to fix any issues in the bike and ensure all things are in check such as the clutch, gear, mileage, or loose brakes.
- Install dual-sport tires; designed for both on or off-road purposes.
- It is suggested to look for professional assistance in case of any significant issue with the bike whereas try to fix minor issues yourself.
Getting Your Bike in Shape For A Trip
You should enumerate and examine your bike attempting to fix most of its issues yourself to develop a better understanding so that in the case a problem occurs during the trip, you will be experienced enough to fix it without the need for professional assistance.
- Tires must be designed to face all possible road conditions and display no problems.
- Ensure that both front and back brakes, suspension, batteries, pedals, chain, gear, clutch, bike stand, and fluids are in premium condition.
- All lights inducing indicating lights should be functional.
- Keep changing the oil and fill it properly. Also, change oil and air filters to keep the engine healthy.
Pack small and precisely for your trip. Avoid taking unnecessary things such as excessive clothing instead, stick to essential items you will surely be needed for the trip.
When you are to spend most of your time riding a bike, it is crucial to dress accordingly in a fitting way trying to stay as comfortable as possible. The signature biker look can be achieved by wearing loose shirts, riding jeans, boots, and a classic biker jacket keeping your comfort in mind. Staying safe is also essential hence you must include a full-face helmet, knee and elbow pads. Wearing loose clothes can be risky since they cause unwanted anxiety and agitation hence it is recommended to wear fitted clothing.
Riding a motorcycle for hours on end without a break can cause a sprained neck, saddle sores, and back pain. Hence take breaks during regular intervals (i.e. 15 mins every hour) and listen to your body for when it’s asking for one.
Refrain yourself from over-doing it as it will only prove to slow you down and make your trip taxing. Make stops and take your time to stretch, snack, hydrate, and relax. Take in the scenery and let your muscles unwind. This will ensure an enjoyable trip throughout.
Whether you want to use Google Maps, Maps Me, or Butler Maps the choice is yours, but be sure to go over your route. In case of any technical issues make sure to keep a printout just in case.
Follow Traffic Rules
You must research the traffic rules before setting them out for your journey as they vary from place to place accordingly. Abiding by these rules is essential as they are for your safety. Remaining oblivious of these laws is not a legitimate reason if in case you do something wrong unwillingly.
Abiding by traffic rule is particularly essential in hilly, mountainous areas where a single turn can have a disastrous effect.
Stick to the speed limit consistently while on the road and always have essential documents with you for you never know when you might need them.
Ensure the proper maintenance of your bike before heading out for your trip. Make any necessary repairs or change any worn-out parts as you don’t want to get stranded in an unfamiliar area with a broken-down bike.
Finding a suitable riding position is vital. You need to make sure your position provides you adequate support as well as efficient reaction ability. Look for a neutral sitting position – where your muscles are loose and agile. To avoid premature fatigue try to keep your hands at the right angle preferably between your shoulders and stomach, making sure to not put too much strain on them.
Take Practice Rides
If you’re an inexperienced rider, a 5-hour drive can seem like an arduous and daunting task. Hence, go on practice rides to acclimatize yourself for the long journey ahead. Moreover, you can identify and modify any necessary changes needed to your bike, which you would not have the luxury of once on the road.
Invest in a Good Windshield
Who doesn’t like the feel of the breeze against their body, whilst riding on the open road? This after a few hours however can become fatiguing hence the added barrier from the wind can help you save your energy.
Tip: Carry eyedrops in case of irritability in the eyes caused by dirt and wind.
Additional Safety Tips
- Have a filling and nutritious breakfast full of fiber and protein to keep you going for the day and drink plenty of water and have snacks throughout.
- To avoid traffic, start your day early.
- Allow for flexibility in your itinerary – there will be detours, unexpected traffic, weather conditions, and/or issues, so be prepared for anything and don’t be alarmed if some things don’t go according to plan.
- Keep your toolkit with you while traveling
- Protect your:
- Ears by wearing earplugs
- Eyes by wearing goggle or sunglasses
- Hands by wearing a pair of waterproof gloves
- Feet by keeping proper riding boots, plus rain gaiters in case of bad weather.
- Neck from scorching heat by wearing a cooling neck wrap
- Body from chills by wearing a heated suit
1. Head Lamp
Keep LED headlamps in your kit as they are useful for fixing things in the dark or camping or locating something in your saddlebag.
2. Bluetooth Headset
Accessorizing your helmet with a Bluetooth headset is affordable and easy to do and their benefits are numerous. Whether it is listening to turn-by-turn directions from your GPS or communicating with your companions, it is made easier with this tiny contraption.
- Battery Pack
Phones and other battery-powered gadgets need to be changed so it is preferable to keep a battery pack to charge them in case of an emergency.
4. Tire Plug Kit
It is perfect for tire repair however keep a patch kit and/or spare tubes as well.
As the warmer season of Spring and Summer is in our sites, road trips and vacations are currently being planned. We hope these motorcycle road trip tips will help you as you prepare and plan for your next road adventure!
Article written by BornTough.com