How to plan a motorcycle road trip

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The sun is shining, well, hopefully, and you can hear your motorcycle calling to you, shouting that it is time you took it on a trip. With the open road calling to you it is time to plan a road trip.

Some things need to be addressed first, before you can set off on that trip however. For a start it is important that you make sure your bike is serviceable. If you are intending to take a long trip a service may be in order including an oil change. Make sure your tyres are in good order and are properly inflated. Have a look at other fluid levels such as brake fluid and coolant if applicable. There is no point setting off on a trip if you have no chance in reaching your destination due to mechanical failure.

If you haven’t ridden for a while it is a good idea to make sure your clothing is still serviceable, and make sure your helmet is in good order too. A good rider always considers their own safety on the road. A short trip locally may also be beneficial if you haven’t ridden for a while, just to refresh riding habits and muscle memory.

Now, where are you going to go? The best road trips are those that have a planned destination. It gives the ride a purpose and seems to make it more interesting. Once you know your destination you can move on to planning your route. If a long ride is planned, pit stops along the way are important and you might want to plan those into your route as well. Sometimes a stop can include somewhere of interest as well as being a comfort break.

You may want to consider what navigation aids you are going to use. Maps are fine as long as they are held in a transparent cover on a tank bag or similar, but a GPS system is much better, particularly if you have it connected to a headset so you can hear voice commands. Using a GPS system such as TomTom means you can build all your stops into your route and of course be warned of traffic speed cameras too.

If your destination is a long way away, you may want to investigate overnight accomodation before you leave as this will save you having to search around once you get there. This is much better as when tired from a trip the last thing you want to do is search around for a motel or similar.

Make sure you pack all you need. Some spare bulbs for the lights on your bike, some sugary snacks and a drink are essential on a long trip. You may want to include a first aid kit as well if room allows for it. Some waterproof clothing is also important as it always rains when you don’t want it to, this nearly always happens to bikers.

If you have roadside assistance make sure your membership is up to date and also check all your other bike documents are in order including insurance certificates.

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