A trip across America has been on the bucket list of many bikers ever since Easy Rider popularized the idea among motorcycle fans. Travelling the open roads through iconic US landscapes and enjoying the feeling of freedom on a motorcycle make a good match. If you are planning a long-distance motorcycle trip, there are some things you should keep in mind. Here are the best tips for a motorcycle tour preparation.
Before The Trip
A good preparation is the best guarantee for a successful trip. Here is what you should consider:
Check Your Gear
Choose the right protective gear for your plans. There is motorcycle clothing that is specifically tailored to be comfortable in different seasons or offer additional protection for specific demands. Make sure it is made from abrasion resistant materials with armor and padding. It should also have bright colors or reflective panels.
Long Distance Gear
Long distance gear needs to provide protection and comfort for a long time. Make sure any gear you own or buy fits snug but comfortably. Pay attention to your choice of motorcycle boots. If you are traveling for an extended amount of time, you should invest in motorcycle boots with additional bracing. The plastic stabilizes and shields your ankles and prevents wrong posture like hypertension.
Grab the boot by the sole and shaft and twist into opposite directions. The shoe should be too stiff to twist in the ankle area if you want the best protection.
Summer gear is shorter, made from lighter materials and has vents and perforations to help you cool down. Make sure it still offers good protection and covers every necessary body part.
Winter gear is thicker and has more insulation. Alternatively, you can invest into motorcycle clothing with electrical heating elements. They can be connected to the bike’s battery or a separate battery you can detach and charge.
There are some electronic gadgets, like the heating pads, that can make your trip more comfortable and safer:
- Motorcycle earplugs filter the heavy noise to protect our hearing while still letting you hear important traffic cues.
- Airbag vests or jackets have sensors that deploy an airbag when they detect an impact.
- Bluetooth headphones, navigation systems or wireless charging smartphone mounts can help you navigate, listen to music or answer calls.
Most motorcycle gear is proofed or made from rain resisting materials, but it is rarely waterproof. Buy a rain suit for when you get surprised by heavy rain. Store it in an easily accessible area.
Check Your Bike
Before you start your trip, you should spend some time cleaning your bike and doing maintenance. Make sure the motorcycle is in its best condition. Pack a set of tools in case you need to perform some smaller fixes on the road.
Check Your Luggage
A motorcycle does not allow a lot of luggage, so you should think carefully about what to pack. Invest in a heavy-duty cargo net to secure your belongings. Next to the needed clothing and toiletries, consider a camera, charging cables and co., and provisions.
Take sunglasses, a GPS tracking system, a first aid kit, sunscreen, and any kind of equipment you need for your planned activities, like camping. Include a lock and motorcycle cover for securing your bike during breaks.
If you are unsure on whether you need an item or not, consider leaving it at home if it is something you can easily buy on the road, like clothing. If you are using a backpack, buy a reflective backpack cover to increase visibility.
During The Trip
Make sure to take frequent breaks. If you do, take at least 15 minutes and get up from your bike to walk around and stretch. Eat to get your blood sugar up and drink to hydrate yourself. Do not underestimate the power of UV-rays during all seasons. Stay alert, even on long empty road sections. Pack hydration packs to drink during summer trips.
The right motorcycle gear can help you make a long-distance ride more comfortable. The proper clothing and tech can keep you warm, dry, and cold, help you with navigating and offer protection in case of an accident. Make sure your bike is in working condition before the trip and after every break. You should also examine your heath insurance whether they cover motorcycle accidents and to which extent. A motorcycle insurance protects you from financial loss.