Do you want to travel the world? Better yet, do you want to do it in style? If so, here are 7 tips on how to organize the motorcycle trip of a lifetime.
Every bike owner dreams about long trips through gorgeous valleys or on picturesque country roads, but there’s more to it than simply getting on your bike and heading off. You need to be sure that you’re well prepared, stocked up and ready for any eventuality.
So what’s stopping you? Here’s everything you need to know about organizing the motorcycle trip of your life.
You can’t set off on a motorcycle road trip without checking the most essential part of your kit – your motorcycle!
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends you use the T-CLOCKS method for checking your bike before any long trips.
It stands for Tires, Controls, Lights, Oil (and also other fluids), Chassis, and Stands. They’re the essential elements of your bike and reflect the areas you need to check before you depart to ensure you have no damages, leak or fluids you need to change.
Use this T-CLOCS checklist from the MSF themselves to make sure you check everything vital.
If your bike isn’t up for a long distance motorcycle journey, it might be time to consider finance for a replacement. Here’s everything you need to know about the process of financing a vehicle, whether it’s a car or a motorcycle. Keep in mind that if you’re planning to sell your motorcycle you may be able to use it as a trade-in for an upgrade, lowering the amount you need to borrow.
You need to pack well for your trip, taking into account the conditions you’ll be driving in.
Overpack, and you’ll be carrying too much weight and wasting fuel. Underpack, and you’ll forget essentials.
Check any upcoming weather forecasts for the area you plan on visiting, as well as areas you’re driving through. It’s sensible to invest in a good tour suit and wear clothing that allows you to sweat well, so nylon or polyester clothing could be good options.
You’ll also need to pack extra clothes for your journey using a saddlebag, as well as sleeping gear if needed. Don’t forget to have a plentiful supply of water and energy bars to keep yourself fueled while you’re out and about, too.
Not sure what else to pack for? Here’s a list of 20 of the most essential things you need to pack when you’re planning on motorcycle touring.
You might be tempted to just ‘hit the road’ and see where you end up. Unfortunately, the reality of that choice might end up getting you lost, or ending up somewhere far away from any reasonable places to stay.
It’s best, therefore, to plan a sensible route for your travel that gives you the benefit of a good journey without risking yourself in the process.
After all, you want to be on roads that are suitable for your bike. Poor road conditions will only make your journey unenjoyable.
Consider using a GPS system for your bike, too. This will help you keep on track and get you where you need to be. You should also plan your journeys during daylight hours and make sure to take plenty of breaks.
You’re heading out, but you need to ensure that if you’re going long distance, you’ve got somewhere to rest to break up your journey.
To make life easier for you, make reservations for layovers at hotels or campsites on your travel route. This will make probably end up saving you money than if you turn up to book a room unannounced.
It’ll also mean you’re better prepared overall. You won’t have to worry or stress about where you might have to stay if you have reservations already ready after a long day of riding.
A good way to approach this is to use your hotel reservation as your ‘endpoint’ on your daily journey. Once you reach the hotel, you can relax and rest for the next day.
Accidents or problems aren’t inevitable, but you can’t always avoid them. If something happens, you’ll want to use your emergency contact details quickly. That’s why it makes sense to keep a list of emergency contact details close to hand.
If you’re traveling abroad, it should have emergency numbers for your consulate or embassy. You should also have numbers for emergency services, local taxi or garage services, your hotel, as well as your family and friends.
Make this list handy for others, too. If you’re injured and need somebody to phone a friend or next of kin, you should make your details easy to find.
It’s not easy to think about, but preparation like this can be useful in a crisis situation.
Talking of crisis situations, you shouldn’t forget to pack emergency supplies for your journey.
Get yourself an emergency communicator kit to send out SOS messages if you find yourself offroad and injured. You should also pack the essentials, like food and water supplies, as well as a wind-up flashlight.
Don’t forget your bike, either. Emergency maintenance kits should include puncture repair and air pumps, as well as a supply of tools like spanners and screwdrivers for quick DIY repairs.
Learn more about what you need from your motorcycle from a bike leisure store like this one.
Our final bit of advice for you as you plan your trip of a lifetime is to look after yourself.
That means you should never ride your motorcycle without wearing a helmet that protects you from injury, as well as gives you protection from the elements in poor weather.
It means taking regular breaks to rest, recover, eat and drink. It can be easy to carry on ‘just a few more miles’ and neglect yourself in the process. That’s when poor decision making can creep in.
You should also make sure you have adequate insurance to ride your vehicle, as well as health insurance to help you out if you get injured on the road.
If you crash, don’t panic. Stay calm and follow these tips on what you should be doing after you have a motorcycle accident.
A motorcycle trip can be an experience of a lifetime, but you shouldn’t set off without being prepared.
Check that your bike is in perfect working order, and head on a test ride before you head anywhere long distance. Make sure you pack well and prepare your route with stopovers already planned and prepared for.
Don’t forget to keep supplies ready for emergencies, too. If you break down or you’re injured, you don’t want to be left stuck on the side of the road!
Got your own tips for motorcycle travel to share? Don’t hesitate – leave a comment below! While you’re at it, take a look at some of our other lifestyle articles for more ideas on what to do during your downtime.