So, you are planning the tour of your life on your motorcycle. I don’t blame you, because there is such a sense of freedom to be on a bike, viewing the countryside, or out on the open road.
If you have never planned one, then you might be interested in a few tips on making it your best trip ever. Whether you are traveling with a pack, or on your own, these tips will apply to all.
1. Determine How Long Will You be Gone
First thing you want to do is decide how long you will be gone. If you only have one week vacation, your plans might be entirely different from someone who is retired, with no deadline in sight.
Once you know how much time you have, then you can map out your trip, know what to pack, and how much money to take along.
2. Have the Right Gear
Make sure you have the right gear for the trip, from a jacket, to a helmet. There are so many types of motorcycle leather clothes to choose from, including chaps, jackets, vests, and gloves.
Saddle bags are great for packing your clothing and other items. Most luggage pieces have rollers on them now, but you might get a few stares if you tried to pull on behind you.
It’s also best to know the laws of the areas you will be riding in. For example, if you prefer to ride without a helmet, you will still need to wear one in a state that requires it.
3. Tips for Packing
When you are packing for a long tour, it’s difficult to pack everything you would want to have with you. If you were traveling in a car, larger items are easier to pack. However, the packing options are more limited on a bike.
You need to know what the climate will be for the areas you will be in during your ride. There might be 3 different sets of temperature changes, and packing for that will be a challenge.
Think layers. Layering is the easiest way to go from one temperature range to the next. If you have some thin layers within an easy reach, it will be easy to throw another one on. In return, taking a layer off is much easier and quicker than having to go into an establishment to change your clothing. It’s also more comfortable to be in thin layers, than it is to be in heavier, bulkier pieces.
Having small snacks and water readily available is a good idea just in case you need something to bridge your hunger and thirst to the next stop.
Place heavier items on the bottom and sides of your saddle bags, to centralize the weight. All your lighter items can fill in the gaps, or lay on top.
If you don’t have saddle bags, consider using bungee cords to secure items to your bike. However, make sure they are very secure. Any loose item can cause a problem of balance, or fly off causing an accident behind you.
4. Bike Inspection
Have an inspection on your bike anytime you are going to be traveling. Items to check are:
- Oil and fluids
Of course this is not a guarantee that you won’t have any problems. However, it can eliminate any existing problems you might not be aware of before leaving on your trip.
5. Plan Ahead
It’s best to have a plan, but a flexible one. When on a bike tour, a well laid out plan can be interrupted with bad weather. However, if you have an idea that it’s going to be raining, or cold, have the right equipment with you to be comfortable.
Rain gear is very easy to pack, and should be, because it can rain on short notice. Colder weather is something you should have an idea about ahead of time. If you are traveling to colder climates, invest in a good heated motorcycle jacket. These jackets can be worn throughout the colder months, whether you are riding or not.
6. Let Someone Know Where You Are
My final bit of advice is to let someone know where you are, or what your general route is going to be, especially if you are traveling alone. Loved ones will rest easy, when they can keep an eye on the weather, and know that you are just fine.
There is beautiful land to be seen, and nothing is more freeing than riding along this land on a motorcycle. I hope I have been able to give you some good advice on planning your tour, so it’s the best possible trip you can have.
About the Author:
Mick Ellero lives in Peterborough, UK with his beautiful wife Val and their son Matthew. His favorite hobby is restoring old motorcycles, which is what got him started on his website. Mick’s goal is to highlight what things to watch for, particularly with respect to safety, when purchasing motorcycle leather clothes and motorcycle luggage. You will also find advice on choosing between leather and textile motorcycle clothing, and how to keep your leathers in tip-top condition.