Preparation is everything. Unfortunately, it can take time and many rides to know how to fully prepare for a long-distance motorcycle trip.
While you’ll eventually get a feel for these trips over time (until it becomes second nature), here are some helpful tips for your next long-distance motorcycle trip.
Prepare and check your bike before every ride
This might sound obvious, but it’s essential to inspect your bike thoroughly whenever you’re about to ride it. After all, if it breaks down or needs to be fixed, your trip could be stalled or end early.
Before a big trip, you’ll want to receive routine maintenance. This includes steps like changing the oil and filter, checking the air and fuel filters as well as all fluid levels, checking tire pressure and the tread, etc. Depending on how experienced you are, you can do a lot of the routine maintenance yourself, but there’s no shame in taking your motorcycle to the shop to have an expert work on it.
Of course, your tires need their own full inspection. It’s best to purchase some new Bridgestone motorcycle tires as opposed to trying to get the most amount of mileage out of worn out tires during a big trip.
Pack weather-appropriate gear
No matter what the weather is like, you have to plan for everything. It’s recommended that you check the weather for every town, city, and state you’ll be traveling through. If it rains or gets cold, then gloves and waterproof outerwear can help, as can sunglasses and sunscreen during the summer.
Sign up for road assistance
Accidents happen, whether it’s a flat tire, a motorcycle accident, or your bike breaking down. That’s why it’s important to sign up for road assistance and to follow proper protocol if an accident occurs.
If you’re involved in an accident, then you should receive medical attention immediately, as injuries may not show up until a day or so after the crash. Not to mention, motorcycle accidents can be very dangerous since the driver is out in the open. If necessary, you might need to contact a personal injury lawyer to receive proper compensation (or to see your options) if you’re involved in a serious accident.
Research and plan stopping points
To ensure you and your bike are getting breaks, and so you don’t run out of gas, you should plan out stopping points ahead of time. This allows you to plan out how far you’re going to travel each day.
It will also allow you to map out places to eat at and hotels to sleep in. Thanks to technology and GPS, this step is now easier than ever.
Know your limits (and your bike’s)
You may be excited, but if you haven’t been on a long-distance trip before, then you might consider making extra stops to give your mind and body some rest. On top of a sharper brain, sleep can give you more energy and have you feeling refreshed and focused for every ride.
You might be ready to take on the open road and even feel like you can skip planned stopping points, but you have to know your motorcycle’s limits as well. Your bike, just like you, needs breaks and rest, especially in extreme weather conditions.
Lastly, always bring water. You never know when you’re going to be sidelined on the road. While you have your stopping points mapped out, a million different things could go wrong on a long-distance trip, which is why packing water is absolutely essential.