Going on a road trip is always an awesome experience. It’s even better if you go on a road trip using your motorcycle! Let’s set the scene. It’s a nice summer’s day, and there are a few regional landmarks you want to visit.
It’s also the weekend, and you know there are going to be queues of cars going to popular tourist destinations in your region. You can just weave through the traffic and get to the sights before they do. And you can also choose to come and go as you please, without worrying about traffic jams!
Millions of bikers go on road trip adventures with their motorcycles each year. If that sounds like something you want to do, you’ve come to the right place! Today’s handy guide will show you how to plan and prepare for a memorable road trip adventure. Here is what you need to know.
Have you got the right bike for the job?
Before you start packing it’s important to check that you have the right motorcycle for the job. Road trips often involve overnight stays in places. And you usually have to ride along all kinds of terrain to reach your destinations.
The last thing you want to do is make your road trip memorable for the wrong reasons. So before you set off anywhere, make sure your motorcycle is the right one for your trip. The obvious choice for a road trip is to go with a touring motorcycle. You can relax, enjoy the sights and have plenty of storage space for your belongings.
They are the perfect workhorses for long journeys. Some folks prefer to buy “full dress” tourers. Whereas others go for dual-purpose “adventure tourers.” If you’ve got a standard or sports bike, you might not want to spend money buying another type of motorcycle.
The good news is that you can rent tourers. Rental costs are reasonable, and you don’t have to worry about reliability or motorcycle taxes. The only thing you need to do is pay for the gas you use!
It’s the elephant in the room that no-one wants to talk about, but we know we need to. When you go on a motorcycle road trip, it’s important to check that your insurance is valid and up-to-date.
Riding your motorcycle without valid insurance is illegal. And if you get caught, you could end up paying a large fine or even spending some time in jail! Has it been a while since you went out anywhere on your motorcycle?
If so, get online and spend some time looking at insurance quotes for bikes. There’s bound to be a motorcycle insurer that can offer the best deal for you. For those of you that can’t afford to pay a year’s insurance in one payment, there’s always the option to pay monthly.
Another thing you should consider is adventure travel insurance for yourself. Are you planning to go kayaking, rock climbing or even trekking through the woods? If so, travel insurance can take care of any emergency expenses.
I’m sure you won’t need to claim for such expenses. But it’s always a good idea to have appropriate travel insurance for extra peace of mind.
Where do you want to go?
You might want to go on a domestic road trip across America. Or perhaps you might want to go into a neighboring country like Canada or Mexico. Where you want to go is, of course, your choice.
But before you get on your bike and start riding off into the sunset, it’s important to plan and prepare for your journey beforehand. The first step is to devise an itinerary – a route map of where you want to go.
That way you can plan the approximate times of when you want to reach certain destinations. It would be foolish to set off late in the day only to arrive at a tourist destination in the middle of the night!
Websites like Google Maps can help you plan your routes. You can also use satellite navigation devices to help you get to your destinations too. Some bikers like to use their smartphones because they have built-in GPS facilities. And it means they don’t need to lug any extra gadgets around with them.
Make sure that the routes you go on include places for you to stop and rest every couple of hours or so. As fatigue starts to set in, you can start making some bad errors of judgement as you ride your motorcycle.
Taking regular breaks promotes good health and safety. And it benefits your bike too, because you can check that everything is OK before you set off again. Be sure to go on routes where gas stations are plentiful.
I know that motorcycles offer excellent fuel economy. But I’d hate for you to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere, so to speak!
What should you take with you?
The things you take will depend on where you are going and how long for. Are you are riding with a fully-dressed touring motorcycle? If so, you’ll have plenty of storage compartments on your bike.
Apart from some spare clothes, make sure you pack things to help you in an emergency. Examples include a first aid kit, roadside repair kit and important motorcycle documents. You should also take with you a charger for your cell phone, and a spare battery or two if it uses removable batteries.
An LED torch is great for assisting with roadside repairs in the dark. And a bottle of water will come in handy if you need to wait for help on a hot summer’s day. Some bikers will also take some snacks with them so that they can avoid paying for expensive food from gas stations and rest areas.
Now you know how to plan for your motorcycle road trip adventure, it’s time to go and do it! Good luck – I hope you have an awesome time on your road trip!