Road trips are everyone’s favorite weekend activity. Being on the open road with the wind in your hair is the most magical experience, especially if you’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful country. Most people assume that road trips are best when done in a car. Car trips are fun, and they can be a wonderful experience; there is just nothing as exciting as road tripping on a motorcycle.
If you’ve wanted to try it out for some time and you’re unsure of how to prepare, here are eight tips to help you do that.
- Pack Lightly
As you know, motorcycles don’t offer a ton of storage space which means you will need to be selective in what you choose to take with you. There are luggage carriers available for you to buy, which can increase your packing space considerably. Some of the best options include things like saddlebag; they clip to the side of your motorcycle. Another great option is a tail-bag, these attach to the tail of your bike.
Extra packing space is always welcome, there are a few necessities that you need to take with you on your trip. Some of these things are detailed in the helpful tips below.
- Choose Your Route Carefully
Besides safety concerns, you need to pick a bike-friendly route. All this means is that the distance between towns isn’t too great; this is important if this is your first motorcycle road trip. You don’t have to ride for such long distances on your first attempt.
The next aspect of your route that requires careful planning is to check for bends on the road. Avoid roads that have sharp corners or turns because these can spell disaster in wet weather and cause terrible accidents.
- Ride The Perfect Bike
All motorbikes are fun to ride, from the littlest ones to the most powerful 2-wheeled superbikes. They are also all different, so make sure to choose a bike that is perfect for you and your journey. Cruiser bikes are built for, well…cruising, so think along the lines of the Wild Hogs movie.
The best idea would be to browse motorcycle shops in Salt Lake City, that way you can see what your options are and pick the one that suits you perfectly. Consider things like budget, your height, and weight, as well as reliability.
- Stay Hydrated
When you take a road trip in a car, it’s easy to snack and stay hydrated along the way. Understandably, those things are significantly harder (read: impossible) when you are riding on a motorcycle and your cup-holder keeps blowing hot coffee in your face. I kid, I’m mostly sure motorcycles don’t have cup-holders.
Try to stop for drink and snack breaks during your journey because you don’t want to end up dehydrated when you reach your destination. The best plan is to stop for meals during odd hours; that way the place won’t be peak-time busy and you’ll be able to eat and get back on the road in no time.
- Make Regular Stops
Sitting on a bike for hours on end can take a toll on your body, especially on your muscles and joints. The easiest way around this is to take small breaks often. Learn to listen to your body, it will tell you when it needs a break. Take a walk and stretch your legs, lie down in a field of flowers, whatever strikes your fancy.
You may be tempted to push yourself further, just to get to the next spot – this is a terrible idea and you will regret it. You can use these breaks to just your bike and make sure that everything is still all in order, this will help you avoid unexpected breakdowns.
- Check The Weather Forecast
As much as this is a great idea, you shouldn’t take it as gospel – especially if you’re traveling to a place that you’ve never been to before. You would be surprised by how different the weather can be in neighboring towns, even ones that are only a few miles apart.
Check the weather forecast from the week before your trip, but pay special attention to the forecasts for the day before and the day of your trip. This step is particularly important if you are going to be staying somewhere overnight.
- Wear The Right Gear
Motorbikes often get a bad reputation for being unsafe, which is wholly incorrect and unfair. Motorbikes are one of the best vehicles to be in when attempting to avoid a collision – provided you know what you’re doing. You are indeed more exposed to the road, that part is clear by the total lack of doors…
Keep yourself safe on your trip by wearing the right biking gear. A good quality helmet is non-negotiable, but you can also get riding pants, jackets, and gloves. Some of the best riding gear is reinforced with Kevlar®, while this is not strictly necessary, it does provide extra protection.
Think of your gear as the only thing that will stand in the way between you and the surface of the road – it’s not a great thought but it does make for a pretty good argument for good quality gear. It will be more expensive than regular gear, but it’s worth it.
- Prepare For All Weather Conditions
As much as checking the weather forecast is a must, you do need to be prepared for all possibilities. As a rider, you will be exposed to inclement weather so pack a raincoat and warm gear. If possible, try to book yourself somewhere safe for the night if the weather does happen to take a bad turn. Driving in the rain is bad enough but riding in it is even worse.
Take your time when preparing for your motorcycle road trip. If you are prepared then you should end up having the best time of your life. There is a freedom that comes with riding that you just won’t get from driving.