Whether you’re a veteran motorcyclist or a complete newbie, you’ve undoubtedly dreamed about traveling with nothing but a small piece of luggage and your bike. Feeling the wind whip through your hair as you drive along miles of coastline or through winding mountains doesn’t just have to be a fantasy. With a little bit of research and the following safety precautions, you can make that road trip you’ve always dreamed about a reality.
Make sure your bike is up to snuff
Motorcyclists are known for treating their bikes like gold, so chances are yours is in pretty good shape. However, you don’t want to take any chances and wind up contributing to the number of motorcycle deaths per year.
Before going on your trip, you’ll want to get an inspection done. If anything on your bike needs sprucing up or replacing, now is the time to do it. You don’t want to end up stranded someplace where no one is around to help out.
Bring a repair kit
Even after getting your motorcycle inspected and serviced, things can go wrong. When it comes down to it, being safe is about being prepared for all possibilities.
Depending on your route, you may find yourself without cell phone service or many other people on some parts of the trip. If your motorcycle needs a repair and there isn’t anyone around to help, you’ll have to rely on yourself.
Invest in a repair kit that (at a minimum) includes supplies to repair and inflate a punctured tire. Since you’ll be covering so many miles each day, getting a flat tire isn’t all that unlikely.
Take frequent breaks
When planning your trip, leave lots of time between destinations to get to your next hotel or camping spot. Traffic and adverse weather conditions can significantly defer your expected time of arrival, and you don’t want to end up pushing yourself on to your destination when you’re already exhausted.
To prevent driving when tired, make sure you stop frequently for breaks. Get up and stretch, take a break to eat, and if you’re just not feeling like you have enough energy for it, book a room somewhere closer for the night.
Pack for all weather conditions
The biggest difference between road tripping in a car compared to a motorcycle is arguably the protection from the elements. Driving in the rain in a car isn’t fun, but it’s even worse on a motorcycle.
Make sure you pack motorcyclist clothing and accessories for rain, wind, snow, and sun. Failing to protect yourself from the elements isn’t just uncomfortable; it can also be dangerous. If you don’t have the right clothing, you’ll have to wait out the weather before you can get back on the road.
Trust your gut and be prepared to make changes
No matter how much you plan and prepare, there will always be something unexpected that happens. Go into your trip knowing this will be the case and be prepared to adjust accordingly.
Always trust your gut and take extra precautions to stay safe in unknown camping locations and hotels. If something doesn’t feel right, get back on your bike and try a different place.