Motorcycle road trips offer you an extension of what you already love about riding your motorcycle: you get to breathe in the fresh air, enjoy winding roads and incredible scenery, and feel as though you’re totally free and completely relaxed. But how can you plan for an exciting and safe motorcycle road trip? Keep reading for a few tips to get started.
Planning ahead is important before you head out on a motorcycle road trip that you’ll never forget. Remember that even though it might be fun to be spontaneous, it could actually be more costly and more dangerous, so planning ahead can prevent things like storage issues, exhaustion, and problematic weather that could make your trip unbearable.
Ask yourself the following questions to plan before you head off:
Where do you expect to ride, and how long do you plan on being away from home?
Do you plan on staying at a hotel or will you be sleeping in the outdoors?
Have you checked the weather forecast? Is it safe, or do you at least have the right gear to protect you from the elements?
Where will you be able to stop for gas along the way?
In the same way that you’d inspect your car before heading off on a vacation, you need to thoroughly inspect your motorcycle prior to going on your road trip. A good way to make sure you cover all of your bases is by using the T-CLOCS method:
Tires: Check that both of your tires are inflated, and use an air pressure monitor that you can also bring along on your trip. If you think that a tire won’t last through the entire journey, replace it before you go.
Controls: Check the cables for your brakes and clutch, along with all of your controls to make sure everything is working and intact.
Lights: Check that the headlights, brake lights, and turn signals work.
Oils and fluids: Look over all of the oils and fluids in your motorcycle, such as the coolant, brake fluid, and engine oil.
Chassis: Check the motorcycle’s suspension, frame, fasteners, and chain to make sure everything is intact and secure.
Stands: Check that the side stand and/or center stand isn’t bent or cracked, and ensure that the springs are also in good condition.
Finally, make sure that you pack all of the gear you may need while on the road. Check out www.motochanic.com for anything that you might need to purchase for the first time or replace. Be sure to pack your cell phone and its charger, a GPS and maps, a repair kit, the bike’s owner’s manual, a first aid kit, snacks and water, an emergency flare, and waterproof riding gear.
With proper planning and preparation, you can be certain that you will have a fantastic road trip on your motorcycle, and that it will be one that you’ll never forget.