Some of us choose to rent a car. Some of us choose to fly. But for the lover of the motorcycle, there is no better feeling than flying down a beautiful backroad in search of ourselves.
Or maybe you aren’t searching for anything. Maybe you are just out for a good time.
Either way, bring a map, or an App. And let the highways lead the way. Before you get started, it might be helpful to get informed about where you are going and what you may need when you arrive.
A little planning never hurt anyone.
Here is a checklist of things you should do to prepare:
Make sure you have the correct insurance
- Liability Limits: $15,000 per person and $30,000 per occurrence
- Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence
What you really need:
- Collision coverage which will repair your bike in case of an accident
- Comprehensive coverage which will help you replace a stolen bike
- Towing coverage which will help you out in case you break down and need a tow
- Uninsured Motorist coverage will cover you in case you get into an accident with a motorist who is not covered
Talk to an agent about the pros and cons of each type of insurance. And make sure you take proof of insurance with you on your long journey.
- Do a visual inspection on your bike and make sure everything is in its proper place.
- Check fuel levels and make sure your fuel gauge is working correctly.
- Change the oil.
- Make a chain adjustment. You may have to take it into the shop for this, or maybe you know how to do this on your own. Either way, the chain is an important feature on your motorcycle and should be tended to.
- Make sure your brakes work well and the cables are all connected properly.
- Check your tires tread and air. Tire pressure can affect how your bike handles. You don’t want to get a flat out on your road trip and need roadside assistance.
- Brake lights and turning signals. Also check your plate lights. You don’t want to be stuck with a “fix-it ticket” while cruising on your vacation.
Pack light and efficient
You won’t have a lot of room on your bike for all of the accessories you may have taken if you were in a car. No worries. Here are the top few items you will need.
- Identification, cash, insurance, motorcycle key and your phone and charger. Keep these all together in a zip lock so they cannot get wet.
- Clothing: one extra pair of pants and change underwear daily. But shirts can be worn more than once. Socks can get moist under your boots, so think about wearing cotton, breathable socks.
- If you are riding around in the summer, you may not have use for a rain jacket, however, when riding through the desert and some parts of the United States rain can come tumbling down in the middle of summer. Be prepared with a light rain jacket just incase.
- Bandana and helmet! Your head will most likely get sweaty, so a couple of bandanas are a good idea. And a well-made helmet is a must!
- Mini toiletries. These can be found at Wal-Mart and Target. A small toothbrush, comb, lotion, toothpaste, Kleenex and lip balm should be fine.
- Pain reliever and over-the-counter allergy medication. Pollens are different everywhere you go, so be prepared for some sneezing.
Map it out, but go with the flow
Half of the excitement in taking a road trip on your bike, is feeling relaxed and having the freedom to go where you please. It is however a good idea to have a general idea of where you want to go and what the weather will be like when you get there.
Here are some helpful links to map out your riding vacation:
Top 100 Motorcycle Road Trips -Here are some amazing ideas for riding, no matter where you live in the United States. This list includes “The Three Sisters” in Texas, “Twisty Road” in California, and “The Snake” in Tennessee.
National Geographic Top 10 Rides in the US -National Geographic has motorcycle touring down to a science. Check out some beautiful pictures that accompany these fantastic rides.
Top Ten Places To Ride By Motorcycle.com -Maps are included in this short blog on riding trips.
10 Excellent Motorcycle Trip Planning Websites -From tripit.com, this blog from 2015 showcases some helpful websites for planning your road trip.
Top 100 Motorcycle Blogs For The Motorcycle Rider – This about sums it up. If you are looking for some interesting blogs and useful tips on planning a road trip, look no further. 100 blogs from 100 different perspectives should give you some great insight to the traveling motorist.
A road trip on your bike is guaranteed to be one thing: an adventure. So don’t wait until next year, do it now!
There are so many helpful resources to get you where you need to go. From great motorcycle insurance, to choosing the correct underwear, think ahead, and you will thank me later.