Getting your motorcycle out there and going the distance is something most bikers dream about and love doing. It’s part of having a motorcycle—taking trips with it. While doing a long distance road trip can be amazing and fun, you have to be properly prepared. Without this, you’re likely to suffer from aches and pains, ringing ears, and just feel pretty crappy overall.
So this is what you need to know before going long distance on your motorcycle.
Gear Is Essential…
The right gear is so essential for your long distance trip. This is because, depending on where you’re traveling to, the weather can change at any time, and you won’t have the protection of a car when it happens. Getting a rain suit, having the right gear with proper cushioning, and being comfortable are all huge deals when you’re going the distance on your bike.
It’s just as important to be comfortable as it is to be safe. This is why you should invest in some quality boots that protect your ankles, a good jacket and pants that will help protect your skin in the event of an accident but will also protect you from the elements, and wear a full face helmet. If you don’t have a windshield, having a full face helmet is essential for comfort and for protecting your skin during the long ride.
But Pack Light
Take only the essentials with you on your trip. Not necessarily because your bike doesn’t have trunk space, but because you won’t really need everything that you pack. Anyone who’s gone on a trip knows that you don’t use half the stuff you take with you. So on a motorcycle, take even less.
Packing light means leaving everything at home that you don’t absolutely need. Sunblock as well as lip protection are important to protect your skin from the wind and sun if you choose to not wear a full face helmet. Taking extra layers in case the weather changes is essential. Keep in mind that it’ll just be you and your bike, so what else do you really need?
Get a Luggage Rack
Investing in some sort of luggage system for your motorcycle can be very helpful. Backpacks honestly won’t cut it. You can get a great luggage rack for your bike for less than $100. This ensures you’ll have enough storage for the things you do need to bring and you won’t actually have to carry anything on your body (which can get annoying and tiresome after so many miles).
Having extra storage space on your motorcycle could involve a luggage rack, saddlebags, or sidecases. Sidecases are hard storage boxes that provide waterproof storage for your luggage and can be a great addition for your long distance trip.
Practice Good Posture
This will be pretty hard to do if you’re riding something like a Kawasaki Ninja, but practicing good posture before, during, and after your long distance motorcycle journey is important. Who am I kidding, practicing good posture is important all the time!
Listen, the last thing you want to do after riding hundreds of miles is do your first relaxing activity such as a warm meal with a severe backache. Keep your spine upright and don’t hold your head forward—every inch you do so puts another ten pounds of unnecessary weight on your back. Ouch!
Layers and Weather Changes
You can’t predict the weather, especially across a journey as vast as the one you’re about to embark on. So pack layers in addition to your proper gear and your rain or weather protection. Hats, gloves, t-shirts, sweatshirts, you name it, you should have it on. You can always strip layers off and store them in your luggage compartment or saddlebags.
It’s important to have the proper skills to ride in inclement weather as well. If you haven’t ridden in the rain or snow before, a journey that’s bound to come across these inclement weather situations might not be ideal for you until you get some more experience.
One Last Thing…
Earplugs. Yes, earplugs. When you’re travelling on the highway at high speeds, the surrounding traffic not to mention the wind and the sound of your bike can be deafening. Wear ear plugs or at least take some with you to ensure that your ears will be protected. Trust me when I tell you you’ll want to protect your hearing as you age.
It’s super exciting to be taking your bike on a long distance journey. By being properly prepared, you can ensure you’ll have a great time on your motorcycle. Remember to always look ahead for the forecast, wear proper gear, and pack light. But things like luggage racks and earplugs help.
Enjoy your journey!
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