Is there anything more thrilling for a motorcyclist than getting out on the open road?
Harley Davidson motorcycles have for many years been the first choice for experienced riders wanting to go on a riding tour. They provide quality and comfort, perfect for long days on the road.
A road trip is a dream come true for most motorcyclists, but in order to enjoy the perfect ride, there are a few things you need to do before and during the trip.
Get your bike checked
Before embarking on a lengthy riding trip, make sure your motorcycle is in top condition. You don’t want to get started on your ride, only to discover something needs to be repaired or replaced halfway through.
You should also do a daily check of your bike every morning before you ride, just to make sure everything is as it should be and nothing has been damaged during your trip.
Some things that you can examine yourself include: looking over the wheel and shape of the rim, inspecting the tyres and making sure they’re not too worn down, lubing the chain and seeing if it needs to be replaced, and testing the front and rear brakes. If you’re adding extra weight to your bike, you may also need to adjust your suspension.
Make sure to use your motorcycle for a few days before your trip to see if you can feel or hear any problems, and get it inspected before your trip to ensure it’s ready for a long ride.
Take regular breaks
It’s important to give yourself a rest and not push too hard when riding long distances. You want the journey to be enjoyable, so make sure to take regular breaks throughout the day and allow your body to stretch.
Regular breaks can prevent you from getting fatigued, helping you have a safer riding experience. Don’t hesitate to stop any time you feel you need it, even if you’re in a hurry to get to your destination. Pace yourself, as becoming fatigued will result in you not being as alert on the road.
If your riding trip is longer than a week, you should also factor in a full 12-24 hours of rest every few days. This gives your body a chance to recover from numerous days of riding for hours.
Plan your stops
While you should take regular breaks when you need them, you should also plan for your main stops. This can help you work out how far you will be riding each day, and determine good stopping points to take in the sights and enjoy the scenery.
You may want your trip to be spontaneous, but planning your stops ahead of time is a good idea to make sure you’ll have access to what you need. Identify accommodation sites, tourist attractions, petrol stations, as well as any potential roadblocks to avoid.
If you’re riding through urban areas, you may also want to plan ahead so you’re not riding through at peak hour times. Nothing ruins a riding trip like getting stuck in traffic. And you need to make sure you know where you can get fuel so you don’t get caught short.
It can be easy to forget to drink water while on a long ride, but it’s important to stay hydrated.
Especially if you’re riding in sunny weather, you’ll end up sweating a lot which can cause you to become dehydrated without noticing. If you become dehydrated, this can impact you physically and mentally and you may become fatigued and less alert. It can also lead to heatstroke which can put a serious dent in your riding trip.
Every time you stop to rest, make sure to drink water. It may be worthwhile to have a hydration pack handy so you have access to water at any time.
Do a test pack
Ensure everything fits onto your bike by doing a test pack before your riding trip. You don’t want to get ready to head off on your adventure only to discover you’ve packed too much or you’ve forgotten something essential.
Check the weight to make sure your bike can handle it, you don’t want to overload the bike and carry around unnecessary weight. Only pack what you need.
Doing this the night before also means that in the morning you’re ready to get going straight away.
Pack a toolkit
You never know when you could get stranded with a flat tyre while out on the road. Having a toolkit on hand will give you added security, and ensure you’re able to make any quick fixes until you can get to a repair shop.
Some things to include in your toolkit are: bungee cords, duct tape, multi-tool/knife, kickstand puck, torch, and a power charger. You should also pack a first aid kit to have just in case.
Pack protective gear
When riding for long stretches, your body needs proper protection from the elements and in case of contact with the road.
For a long road trip, a full face helmet is recommended. They will keep you warm, minimise road noise, protect your face from the elements and offer maximum protection in the case of an accident.
Your arms and legs should be fully covered and protected from the elements. You don’t want your body to be exposed to the sun and harmful UV rays as this can result in you getting dehydrated quickly and you may get sunburned/heat stroke.
You may also want to wear armour for added protection or choose clothing with built-in armour.
Take a GPS
You may not have every aspect of your trip planned, and perhaps you want to allow for spontaneity and flexibility during your trip, but having a reliable GPS is crucial for any motorcycle trip.
Some remote areas are not likely to have signs, so a GPS will help make sure you’re still headed in the right direction.
A GPS will ensure you don’t miss out on any amazing sightseeing opportunities that are nearby. You can also pack a map as a backup just in case.
You never know when you might get stuck in a downpour, especially out on the open road where there’s no cover, so you should always pack waterproof gear.
Use waterproof bags, so all your luggage is protected and your clothing remains fresh and dry.
Weather can change in an instant but packing a quality set of rain gear ensures you can enjoy your ride regardless of rain, hail or shine.
Ride with friends
Something that can make a motorcycle trip even better is having friends come along for the ride.
Whether that means having a passenger on your bike or someone riding alongside you on their own motorcycle, having a riding crew ensures you will have an amazing adventure.
For the perfect riding tour, you need to be well prepared. Come check out our range of Harley Davidson motorcycles 2021 to find the perfect motorcycle for your next road trip.
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