Long Distance Motorcycle Ride Preparations
The open road. The wind blowing through your hair. The solace. The sense of adventure. The mystic of the long distance motorcycle trip is what temps many biker’s dreams. Looking to head out for a solo motorcycle trip? Planning on an extended group ride? Before you hit the road and a cruise those miles we have some helpful hints for preparing for a long distance motorcycle ride.
Make sure to pack appropriate toiletries, including things like sunglasses/goggles, sunscreen, lip balm, ear plugs, etc. You need to consider that you are exposed to the elements for an extended period of time. These items will ensure your safety, comfort, and well-being.
Keep a kit filled with basic tools such as a tire inflation kit, tool kit, jumper cables, bike cover, and motor oil. If you are handy, you can also include things such as spark plugs, replacement fuses, or a clutch cable.
Comfort in the saddle is key on a long ride. There is a myriad of products available to make your journey more pleasant and comfortable. Click here to learn more about other comfort accessories or even Bluetooth technology.
This is a must. If you have the room have a small first-aid kit packed. If not make sure you at least have energy bars, water, a flashlight, and phone charger. While they might not avoid a major catastrophe, they will be helpful if you have a ways between pit stops.
Storage is going to be your number one concern, and should be one of the elements in which you invest the most. Space is at a premium, so items such as saddlebags, electronic mounting systems, and organization products will be invaluable. Lastly, make sure to include weather-proofing gear. You can never trust a forecast, and the last thing you want is soggy gear after hours of riding.
It is important to dress in layers of appropriate clothing for the season. Also, depending on the region, you may find the temperatures will drop drastically the lower the sun gets to the horizon. It is smart to invest in rain gear and other items, such as jackets, gloves, long underwear, heated vest liner, waterproof outerwear as needed.
Paper Maps and GPS
While technology has made this a lot less necessary, it is important. While your GPS is valuable having paper map back-up is important if you lose a charge or satellite connection. If you have an old road map, you need a new one. Make sure you have one with the most up-to-date roads.
Before You Go
For safety sake, bring your bike into the shop for an inspection. Our technicians will give your bike a complete check-up to make sure your motorcycle is in perfect working order before you hit the road. Some of the key components that are included in the inspection are:
- Check the belt or chain for weak spots
- Test the spark plugs
- Look at the fluid level in each battery cell (and charge if you haven’t ridden in a while)
- Clean or replace dirty air filters
- Fill up low fluids
- Lubricate the brake and clutch cables
- Ensure all lights are working
And lastly, pack smart! Arrange your gear low and to the front of your motorcycle to balance out the weight. Organize your gear in the order of importance. If you can buy something for immediate use on the road, think twice before packing it. Remember to take frequent breaks and to start early and quit early.
All of us at Chesapeake Cycles love to head out on the road, and we have all done long distance motorcycle ride. Stop in before you hit the road, we would love to swap stories and offer up any advice to make your trip truly memorable.