If your motorcycle is part of your life, chances are you can’t wait to take it for a longer ride to see exactly what it has. Although road trips can be fun, they are also challenging and require plenty of planning to stay comfortable, especially if you want to take that journey alone. Here are some tips that will help you stay safe and enjoy your trip to the fullest.
For a biker, there are few better feelings than cruising down long roads with the wind against your skin. Motorcycles are certainly freeing and can be so much fun to take on long road trips. There is, however, a lot to keep in mind when you’re headed out on a long journey. In order to be as safe and comfortable as possible, it’s important to properly prepare before you hop on the back of your bike. Check these tips, according to Marks & Harrison, that will help keep you safe and allow you to enjoy your trip to the fullest!
Have a destination on your mind
Although it may seem like riding without a destination in mind is romantic and spontaneous, it may not be the best idea when you’re heading out on a long journey—particularly if you’re unfamiliar with the roads and what lies ahead. It’s also a great idea to know exactly where you’re going so that you can bring the proper gear and resources.
Having a GPS unit is always a good idea when you plan to take a long road trip. If you choose not to purchase a GPS, you can simply use a map app on your phone. In many cases, if you pull up the map ahead of time with your destination entered in, you’ll still be able to access the directions even if you lose service along the way. You’ll also want to make sure you have the ability to charge your phone while you’re on the road!
Mapping out your route ahead of time and knowing exactly where you’re headed will also allow you to plan for gas station stops along the way. The last thing you’ll want is to get stuck somewhere with an empty tank and no idea where the next station is.
Give your bike a quick tune-up
Be sure to take care of all your basic bike maintenance before you hit the road. Check your tire pressure as well as the tread. If you think you might need new ones, it’s probably a good time to invest.
You’ll also want to change your oil before heading out.
Checking on your bike every so often is a great idea as well—particularly if you plan to spend multiple days on the road. If you are riding for several days, check out your bike at least every morning, and don’t hesitate to schedule a routine visit to the shop somewhere along your route.
Depending on the time of the year, you are planning your trip, as well as your starting point and your destination, you need to make sure you prepare the right gear and outfit.
Early spring and late fall months are the trickiest because the weather can be deceiving. So, regardless of your destination, you should be prepared for the worst-case scenario, and this includes clothing for bad weather.
Invest in a pair of quality leather boots and a weatherproof jacket to protect your feet and body from direct sunlight exposure, strong winds, rain, snow, and low temperatures.
Jeans or motorcycle pants are mandatory, and they need to be fully insulated to keep your legs away from injuries and bad weather. And, if you’re looking for a good helmet to complete your riding outfit, visit youngchoppers.com for more options. Just ensure that you get a helmet that’s going to keep you safe while also being appropriate for the expected temperatures and weather conditions.
You might even consider wearing a full-face helmet, even if that’s not something you regularly wear. Certain states have different helmet requirements, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Additionally, full-face helmets can help keep you warm, as well as dry if it begins to rain.
Wearing something flashy is a great way to stay noticed by other drivers on the road. Keep in mind that the gear you wear is meant to protect you in some way. Don’t skimp out on equipment that will ultimately help keep you safe—especially for such a long ride.
Begin and end early
If you are traveling on your own, you should always be fully rested and able to ride your bike. And, if you want to stay safe and prevent accidents caused by lack of sleep, make sure to always begin and end riding as early as possible.
Whenever possible, try to be up and going by 8 AM to catch as many daylight hours as you can possible and avoid riding after the sun goes down. However, if you must drive during the night, make sure to drink plenty of coffee before and take regular breaks to keep you focused. Adequate lights are a must, in this case, and so are a pair of night goggles.
Focusing on the road will often make you forget about everything else, and this includes your body’s primary needs. Regardless if you’re in a rush or not, you always need to listen to your body and make sure it gets what it wants, when it wants.
One of the biggest mistakes motorcycle riders make is not drinking enough water to avoid taking too many bathroom breaks. However, this can seriously affect your urinary tract and kidneys in the long term and cause health problems. On top of that, your hands and feet may swell and start to ache.
If you have a long journey ahead, make sure to drink at least 17-20 fluid ounces of water to keep your brain and body in perfect shape. Remember, water is one of the key elements that ensure our health, and on top of that, you don’t want your skin looking awful when you reach your destination.
Staying hydrated will also help keep you energized on the road. If you’re drinking a bunch of coffee, be sure to balance it out with water so you remain hydrated and your energy levels don’t plummet when you’re out of caffeine.
Don’t forget to eat too
You can’t ride on an empty stomach, or better said you could but you shouldn’t, so make sure you have plenty of food before the beginning of your trip and also during every day of the trip.
There are plenty of foods you can easily stock in your pockets that will boost your energy levels and keep you going until you stop for a full lunch.
Peanut butter, nuts, hummus, chocolate, and fruits are all perfect choices if you’re a vegetarian or need to watch your weight. If you don’t have a problem eating meat, stick sausages or meat treats will provide a decent source of proteins and carbs, enough to keep you going for a couple of hours.
This will also prevent you from overeating, and besides, you won’t have to worry about finding a decent place to eat. Instead, you can focus on the road and enjoy your trip.
Eating light snacks along the way like peanut butter, nuts, dark chocolate, trail mix, and fruit is a great way to stay energized on the road. Heavier meals and snacks will likely make you sleepy from the amount of energy needed to digest the foods.
Again, it’s a great idea to plan your breaks for food so you don’t have to search aimlessly for a restaurant when it is time for a full meal. If you’re breaking for lunch or dinner, be sure not to overeat or to eat anything too heavy so that you don’t immediately need a nap. Give your body some time to digest before you get back on your bike.
Make sure you have all the essentials
In order to avoid unpleasant situations or even nightmarish scenarios, you should make sure that you have a power bank to charge your phone in case you’ll need it, some essential tools for fixing stuff on your bike, and a jump starter.
You should also not even think about going without a basic first aid kit at a bare minimum, to be able to tend to at least minor injuries or, in the case of serious ones, to stabilize them until specialized help arrives.
So, as you can see, a long motorcycle ride can be enjoyable, and it can be a fulfilling experience, as long as you prepare yourself. Make a list and check off every item as you pack, just to make sure you won’t leave anything behind, and the most important thing out of all, make sure to have fun!
A final note
A long motorcycle trip can be incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling, as long as you take just a little extra time to properly prepare. Make a list of each thing you’ll need to do and to pack, so nothing goes overlooked.
Remain alert on the road, and don’t be afraid to stop to rest in a safe spot if you need it. In the event that you do get in an accident, reach out for help as soon as you can. An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Most importantly, enjoy the fresh air and have fun!