As anyone with a motorcycle can tell you, there’s nothing quite like hitting the open road. Taking your bike on a long trip is a great way to relieve stress, see some of the countries and enjoy some time off.
However, before you just hop on your bike and go, it’s a good idea to do some planning. There are a few simple things you can do that will help you to make the most of your motorcycle road trip and turn it into an event that you remember forever. Here’s what you need to know:
Play Out a Route Before You Go
While the idea of getting on your bike and just going wherever the road takes, you may sound exciting, it’s often better to have a planned route in mind. By planning out the route before you go, you can learn about interesting spots along the way, find some good places to stay overnight, and learn about any areas that might have heavy traffic.
Having an idea as to where you are going will help you to find more fun things to do and help keep you from getting lost. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from going off the planned route and then getting back on, depending on how things are going.
How you plan out your route depends on the type of traveler you are. Everyone is different. Some travelers prefer to have a set schedule, while others like more open-ended freedom.
To fully reap the benefits of traveling on a motorcycle road trip, trying combining the routed route trip plan with Overlanding.
Overlanding is a type of adventure travel that emphasizes the journey rather than the destination. By doing this, you can fully embody the spirit of exploration and travel.
Give Your Bike a Checkup
Another thing to do before you go gives your bike a checkup. You don’t want to be thousands of miles from home when you realize your tires are worn down and need immediate replacements. Bring your bike to a trusted mechanic and have them do a full inspection. They’ll look at things like your fluid levels, the condition of your brakes, and the condition of your lights.
If you plan on offroading on your motorcycle, for example, you’ll need a specific set of tires as well—and your suspension, cockpit, and handlebar dimension will all need to be tailored to this type of travel. A mechanic will also be able to spot any signs of trouble so that you can get them taken care of before you hit the road. Some simple motorcycle maintenance like this can be the difference between a successful trip and one where you end up stranded on the side of the road.
Prepare for the Worst
Perhaps the best way to ensure everything going smoothly on your trip is by preparing for the worst. This is especially true if you want to survive on the road alone, as you won’t have anyone there to assist you. Assume that you may get into an accident or that your bike could break down and prepare for what you might do. Some things you can do to prepare to include:
- Storing emergency numbers, like roadside assistance, in your phone
- Having your own emergency contact information kept safe inside your wallet
- Know what to do in the case of an accident
- Plan out alternate routes if yours is closed down
- Have alternate plans if weather conditions do not allow you to drive
Go through each stage of your trip and think about what issues you could face. For instance, if you’re offroading or Overlanding, you’ll need to be prepared for being in situations where you don’t receive a strong wifi signal.
In this case, having a signal booster and offline maps downloaded or stowed away will help you if you get lost. Extra food, flashlights, and plenty of water are all also must-haves. Then make some plans for what you would do in each of those scenarios. If you’re lucky, none of them will come to pass. But if they do, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.
Lastly, be sure to share your general route with someone—especially if you’re traveling in rural areas or off trails where you won’t see many people. This way, in an unfortunate event, a friend or family member will be able to trace your steps to help a park ranger or other authority figure locate you. Don’t let these preparation tips discourage you—part of taking any trip is keeping your loved ones informed and staying as safe as possible from start to finish.
Don’t Take Any Chances
Motorcycles are dangerous enough as it is without you taking unnecessary risks. In fact, according to The Barnes Firm, a large Los Angeles motorcycle accident law firm, “Given bikers’ lack of visibility, stability, and protection compared to the other vehicles on the roads, getting into a motorcycle accident is much more likely.
In addition to this, motorcycle crashes are often far more serious than other road accidents, resulting in paralyzing injuries and sometimes death.
While on the road, play it safe. Follow all the speed limit signs, don’t weave through traffic, and only drive when conditions are safe. It may take you a little longer to get to your destination, but that’s a much better alternative than ending up in the hospital.
Stop for Pictures
Finally, try to find some time along the way to stop for pictures. You’ll likely come across some scenic opportunities along your ride. Rather than just blowing by them, pull off to a safe spot along the road and snap a few quick pictures.
Once your road trip is made, you’ll be glad you had these snapshots to look back on and remember the trip by. Part of the fun of a road trip is the trip itself – it’s not all about the destination. So, stop and smell the roses occasionally, and enjoy the journey.
Hopefully, this guide can help you prepare for your next motorcycle road trip, and you’ll be able to make the most of it. A little planning and preparation can go a long way towards giving you a fun trip you’ll remember forever.