Preparing for a Long Distance Motorcycle Ride: What you Need to Know
As any biker can vouch for, heading out on a ride – whether solo or with your friends – is an exhilarating experience. Your motorcycle also gives you the freedom to go out and explore and discover new places, stopping where and whenever you see fit. As such, they’re perfect for heading out on long distance journeys or even as an extended road trip holiday.
There is a big difference here though from just going for a casual ride. A long distance journey requires a lot of planning and there are lots of steps you need to take to ensure you are safe and your trip is risk-free.
So what do you need to do? Well, here we’ve detailed everything you need to have in place to avoid any potential disasters when you’re hitting the road. Read on to find out more!
Give your Bike a Tune-up
To start with the obvious, you need to make sure your motorcycle is in perfect working order. Follow the same checks you’d do for any road trip and make sure:
- Your fluid levels are correct
- Your tyres are in top condition
- They’re at the right pressure
- There’s no corrosion to any parts of the bike
- Your suspension and steering are responsive
- Your lights are all working
You should also keep looking over these during your ride.
Plan your Route
Next comes the actual route you wish to take. Take the time to plan how far you want to travel each day and where you intend to stop. Head online to biker forums to get some insider views on decent rest stops that are bike-friendly.
Work out your Fuel vs Distance
On top of this you should look on a map at where and when those all-important fuel stops are. You should know how far your bike can take you on a tank, so plan accordingly and give yourself a good few miles leeway, just to be completely safe.
Book your Stops
With the right stops in the pipeline – if travelling for several days – get these booked now to avoid disappointment and print off all your booking info to have as hard copies.
Get your Gear
Before you set off you then need to ensure you have the right gear for your trip. Obviously quality leathers and a helmet are a must, but purchase specialist kit bags to match the make and model of your bike. Invest in the decent ones that can stand-up to the demands of different weather conditions and consistent riding – the last thing you want is your gear to become wet or ruined en route.
Check the Weather Regularly
Another top tip when out on the roads is to keep checking the weather. Conditions can change quite dramatically, so it’s worth looking at the forecast during each of your stops.
Read up on International Traffic Laws (if applicable)
If you’re going to be crossing country borders it’s also worth reading up online on any international traffic laws in these respective nations, so you don’t get caught out. Also remember to have your travel documentation (passports, licences etc.) as well as different foreign currencies.
Have a Backup Plan
Last but certainly not least, you need a backup plan. Let family or friends know where you or your group are planning on going and when so they know when they can expect you back. Equally, it’s worth getting added protection and cover to prepare for any unexpected eventuality.
By following this straightforward list of things to do and have in place, you’ll be all set for a safe and secure long distance journey. Be careful though as once you’ve been bitten by the extended road trip bug, you’ll find it hard to resist planning more into your calendar!
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