Going on a motorcycle road trip is one of the best ways to enjoy the open roads and the freedom they offer. Experienced motorcyclists always recommend going on a long road trip, at it is an experience like no other. But the logistics behind such long road trips can seem complicated. From choosing a personal motorcycle to renting one or from planning routes and dealing with essentials, there are a few elements to an exciting road trip.
The right mindset for a road trip
A motorcycle road trip is not necessarily similar to daily commutes or weekend rides. This is why proper planning is required. It all starts with the right motorcycle and the right mindset.
Choosing the right motorcycle
When it comes to choosing the right motorcycle for road trips, every rider has personal preferences. From large touring rides such as the Honda Gold Wing or the Triumph Trophy. However, smaller motorcycles in the range of 650cc might be a good alternative as well. It is not just the size of the motorcycle that matters; it is the riding position as well. A more upright position is always more comfortable for road trips. This is why bikes such as the Suzuki Bandit, Honda Hornet or the Yamaha Fazer can be good options as well.
Saddlebags can be a great addition to your motorcycle. They are practical and easy to install. However, packing light is still preferred. Most bikers can simply use sachets instead of bottles to save storage space. Disposable items are great as well. Avoiding packing too many clothes can be a good idea as well.
Taking sufficient breaks
Taking breaks might not be high on the list of priorities for a planned road trip. But it is essential. It has safety value as it allows riders to relax. But it is also a matter of comfort as aches and pain can be caused by sitting on the saddle for long hours.
A hydration pack can be a good investment. It allows drinking water without stopping. However, hydration is essential on the hot summer days when riding in the sun can impact motorcyclists more than drivers.
Essentials for a successful motorcycle road trip
There are hundreds of small items, tools, and accessories which can be packed for a road trip. However, the following products always seem to be recommended by those who travel a lot. Most motorcyclists can have their own preferences, but a few of the following products are essential.
A printed map
A good map can be of great use on a road trip. While gadgets fail all the time, you can rely on a map in emergency situations. Apart from orientation in these situations, a good map can also offer a better overview of the roads ahead. You can also choose secondary roads or other less travelled roads to reach their destination.
A motorcycle GPS device might not be needed by those who already have various navigation apps on their smartphones. However, it may be a good investment for a road trip. You can enjoy larger displays and touchscreen technology which can be made to work with the gloves on. A few good choices include products from Garmin, TomTom or Koolertron.
A travel toolkit
A multi-tool or a travel toolkit is highly recommended on a road trip. The tools can prove life-saving in some situations. However, the tools might not only be used in emergencies. For example, you might even want to consider tightening the chain while on the road. So what does a toolkit offer? Many specialised toolkits can come with an Allen key set, a Torx multi-tool, spanners, screwdrivers, and a multi-tool. Leatherman, Victorynox, and CRKT make quality multi-tools. Gtech discounts for accessories are an excellent alternative to save money for a motorcycle road trip.
A tyre repair kit
Tyres need their own special care kit while on the road. A tyre repair kit is mandatory to fix flat tires in isolated locations. Running on tubeless tyres means that a flat can be fixed quickly with the help of the repair kit. Many of these kits are not permanent solutions. But they should allow you to continue your journey until a professional can adequately deal with the flat tyre.
Modern smartphones have batteries which mostly last about a day. This is not enough for long road trips. Power banks are a great choice to ensure power for the smartphone in case of an emergency. There are various capacity power banks to consider, and they all come in different sizes.
Long cable lock
A long cable lock of up to 36” can be a great addition to the road trip essentials kit. It can be used to lock the helmet and the riding jacket. The way it works is by sliding it through the sleeve of the jacket and securing it to the motorcycle. It is one method to avoid carrying the jacket or the helmet when taking breaks. Masterlock and OnGuard make quality cable locks.
Road trips are notorious for extra bugs on the helmet visor. Sanitary wipes can prove lifesaving in this case. They can also be used for clean hands, and the antimicrobial wipes can also be a solution before having any meal.
There are not many products as useful as an accessory. During the night, there’s nothing much to be done in case of an emergency. There are various types of flashlights to consider. From the small headlamp to the powerful LED flashlight, the options are endless. They prove to be a superior choice to the battery-draining flashlight of the smartphone.
There are other essentials to consider for a motorcycle road trip. The owner’s manual for the motorcycle can be handy when there’s maintenance work to do. A few snacks can also come with a much-needed boost of energy while on the road. Protein bars are a good snack example as they will last for days. When travelling abroad, it is also a good idea to keep the documents in a plastic Ziploc bag. Most importantly, having a general idea about what to expect on the road trip can be an excellent place to start proper planning.