Why would cyclists choose to travel long distances – thousands of miles, putting themselves through harsh conditions such as dust and rain? After all, it is much faster and safer, taking a train or flying all the way. The truth is, only a few that own those bikes understand the feeling.
There is, usually, a temptation for motorcycle riders to go over past the horizon. It is for the thrill in most cases. If this road trip bug smites you, you have to ensure that due diligence is followed to make your journey fun and memorable. There is a significant spike in the number of long-distance motorcycle riders, riding all over the globe.
To be on the safe side, it is paramount to have all the right gear, at all times. We have compiled for you a comprehensive guide of all the equipment and accessories you should have with you, to ride the countryside like a pro.
Have the Right Safety Riding Gear
Being safe does not stop at the racetrack. For ultimate safety during long-distance rides, it is recommended that you get the best safety riding gear. Here are a few of them;
- The right boots
- Riding pants and jackets
- Reflective clothing for night riding, etc.
Plan out Your Route in Advance
Know what your exact destination is going to be. Know which specific route you will be taking and plan it well in advance. Understand the total time you will take on the road, the total distance to be covered, the pit stops, etc. There may be different routes you can choose from, but then you should still pick the one that is best for you.
Do you want to take the long route there – see the beautiful scenery along the way, pass by some fine eateries, etc. or you wish to take the shortest route there? All these can be planned well when you have a functional GPS navigation system or an old-school well-marked paper map.
Are you likely to experience any harsh weather on your way? What season is it? If it is summer, you’d better check out for the best summer riding gear, which mostly consists of meshed products. If it is going to be cold, you better brace yourself and get the right gear. There is nothing worse than getting rained on, and you do not have any rain protective gear on board.
Have the Right Storage
- Tank bags
These are fastened using straps or magnets to the top of the fuel tank. Tank bags come in handy when storing things that you might be requiring more often, such as; rain suit and identification documents. There can also be a clear pouch where a map can be placed, for you to have sneak previews as you ride along.
Saddlebags provide extra storage space, and they can also be fastened on either side of the rear wheel with straps or a rigid mounting structure.
- Tail bags
Tail or trunk bags as they are commonly referred to as, replace the rear seat or have specific structures to hold the compartments over the rear wheel. Such bags can carry more luggage, including tucking your small pets inside.
You are already set with the seasonal outfit and gear. But did you know you can have a whole new excellent experience with extra specialized gear?
- Heated grips
Best for riders who hit the road early in the morning or late in the evenings. They provide extra heat to your hands, especially when the atmosphere is chilly.
- Padded grips
Gripping your bike for hours might bring forth discomfort and pain at the end of the day. This will not happen when you have padded grips. They help in providing extra cushion to your hands. Your wrists will not suffer the negative consequences of gripping the bike for hours.
A little comforting support at some point will be necessary, hence the importance of a backrest for you and your passenger.
You never know when emergency cases arise. You might not always be lucky to get help at such times. It is crucial that you pack well and be ready for the worst-case scenarios to happen. If going far, ensure that you have the following products;
- First aid kit
- Flat tire repair kit
- Fuel siphon
- Medical insurance
- Evacuation insurance
- Tool kit
Always be hydrated and do not ride when tired and hungry. Wear a hydration pack or have some small water bottles stored with you at all times. Eat well, but remember to eat light. Before setting out with your trip, it is recommended that you plan out your accommodation well in advance. A healthy body needs to relax.
TIP: If you plan to eat along the way on restaurants, you might want to choose off hours. Many people stop for food at regular hours during the day, meaning you will experience long queues.