Nothing beats the open road, just you and your motorcycle. It makes for a fantastic vacation, but one thing to be aware of is that a long-distance motorcycle trip does require a bit more planning than the average vacation. So if you fancy exploring somewhere new on two wheels, here are a few tips to make sure you return from your trip of a lifetime with wonderful memories rather than a collection of horror stories.
Plan a Route
In theory, you can travel pretty much anywhere on a motorcycle, but in reality, any route you select will be governed by your riding experience and how much riding you want to do as opposed to sitting around relaxing.
In most cases it is better to be fluid about your route. Choose a starting point and decide where you want to end up (unless you have a circular route in mind) and then be flexible about the rest. You may find that your priorities change as the days pass, or you decide to make a side trip to see something special. So, try not to fix your route too tightly and thus leave yourself with no wiggle room.
Unless you are planning to camp along the way, it is sensible to pre-book accommodation along your chosen route. Try not to pre-pay rooms or you will lose the money if you get stuck along the way or change the route, but having a safety net is useful, especially in busy tourist areas.
Pack the Right Kit
The thing with motorcycle vacations is that you can’t pack too much gear. There is a limit to how much bike panniers will hold, no matter how good you are at packing. Try and be sensible and don’t pack more than you need. Make a list and divide items into two columns: essential and desirable. Pack everything on the essential list (i.e. first aid kit, medication, clean underwear and a toothbrush, etc.) and then see how much room is left for other items.
Take the Right Clothing
Protective clothing is essential on a long motorcycle trip. You will be spending many hours in the saddle, so you need to be prepared for every type of weather. Inspect your existing gear and if it looks a bit worn around the edges, invest in some new gear from motochanic.com.
It would be foolhardy to set off on a long trip with a non-roadworthy motorcycle, so give your bike a thorough check over a few weeks in advance of your vacation. Look at brakes, oil, tire tread, etc. and if necessary, have your machine serviced.
Plan for the Unexpected
Be prepared for an emergency. Keep your mobile handset charged at all times and call a loved one or check in on social media at least once a day to let them know you are OK.
Motorcycle vacations are great fun, but only if you plan them correctly. So if your trip goes a bit wrong, learn from your mistakes and look forward to planning another one next year.