Authored by Laura Knight
Motorbike travel has always been the most sought-after way to get around in my country. It’s the ultimate thrill; the feeling of total freedom, of immersing yourself in the scenery around you, and the cool breeze rushing through your hair. Motorbike travel is one of the best ways to explore, and the buzz it offers is indescribable in words.
That said, a motorcycle trip requires extensive pre-trip planning and research, and there are many factors to keep in mind while planning the trip. After 10 years of motorcycle travel, the following are my top five tips; everything you need to know before you jump on a bike and take a trip.
5 Things You Should Know About Motorcycle Travel
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Get The Right Accessories
It’s important that you arm yourself with the right accessories so that you stay safe throughout your journey. While sporting a biker’s jacket and gloves will help you fight the heat and avoid dehydration, always ensure you wear a good-quality helmet as this might be the difference between life and death.
Make sure you wear motorcycle boots to ensure a good grip on the brakes. Other important accessories include biker boots, biker gloves and traveling backpack.
The proper bike gear is essential to ensure a safe and adventurous journey. So, accessorize yourself with the right type of accessories.
Choose The Right Bike
Choosing the perfect bike is one of the most important aspects of traveling by motorcycle. And your bike needs to be in accordance with the demands of your trip.
Your checklist for choosing the right bike should focus on aspects like mileage, low maintenance and most importantly, a comfortable seating position so that you don’t strain your neck and/or back over the course of a long journey.
Make a checklist of your requirements and chose a bike which fulfills it. Do thorough research on choosing the right type of bike for your expedition before setting out. Pictured below, the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500.
Prepare Your Bike For The Long Journey
Preparing your bike involves cleaning it thoroughly, and getting it serviced when required. You need to weed out any issues you notice like loose brakes, clutch, or the gear as soon as they come to light.
Ensure that your bike has dual sport tires so that you have no problem tackling both smooth surfaces and unpaved roads. And that you have the bike thoroughly serviced from a reputable garage to ensure it’s in top condition before you hit the road.
While you can fix minor issues yourself during the trip, don’t try to fix any major issues by yourself. Always seek professional help.
Follow Traffic Rules
The golden tip! Ensure that you adhere to all traffic restrictions while you’re on the road. It’s particularly important that you research traffic rules before you leave, as these can often change as you drive into a new country or state. And ignorance of the law is not a valid defense.
Understand that these rules are meant for your safety. Traffic rules hold prominence especially in hilly areas where one wrong step, one wrong turn can have a catastrophic end. So ensure that you are following the traffic rules.
This might range from wearing a helmet, to carrying all the necessary documents with you on the journey, to adhering to the speed limits of the road. Don’t exceed the speed limit. Speed thrills, but ultimately kills.
Ensure Proper Rest In Between
Riding a bike for long periods of time has the potential to cause a sprained neck and a severe back pain. So ensure that you make pit stops in between your journey at regular intervals of time.
Taking a pit stop for 10 minutes after every hour of riding is recommended. During this time make sure you stretch and re-hydrate. Long journeys in hot weather can result in your body becoming dehydrated, so you need to make sure you drink water, and properly rest over the course of your journey.
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Nice article! As a motorcycle rider myself I can attest to finding the right bike for your travel plans. The differences between motorcycles and how they ride is pretty significant.
Glad you enjoyed it Jim :) Yes, absolutely – without having ridden before, it’s easy to think that all motorbikes are equal – totally not the case!
Happy holidays – hope you have some amazing rides planned for 2017 :)
I’ve always wanted to try this, but I’m a bit of a chicken and I know I would fall off the bike within the first 5 minutes :-D
Maybe learning to ride can be a resolution for 2017 :) Like anything, it takes practice to perfect a new skill. But really is so exhilarating once you’re on the bike!
I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motorbike for a long time now. Possibly this could be my goal for next year. Roadtrips using motorbikes are fun but true, you provide good tips.
Happy 2017! Great goal to have for the New Year :)
I would imagine exploring a new destination by motorbike would offer a totally different perspective than if touring by car or train. Thanks for the insight tips, Laura!
Absolutely – a new way of experiencing and exploring :) Hope you have the chance to give it a go soon! Happy travels Alex :)
I personally can vouch for the importance of proper riding gear! I was in an accident a few years back that left me with miraculously minor injuries, but the face shield was pretty beat up. I’m happy it wasn’t my face that got dragged! That being said, I like to think I would still go for a motorcycle trip like this…even just a short one to face my fears and get back to enjoying the road! :)
So sorry to hear that you were involved in an accident Beth :( Though I’m obviously extremely glad that you were ok!! It’s one of those things where we don’t realize the importance of proper gear until you’re looking at that face shield and thanking God that it wasn’t your face!
I hope you have the chance to jump on a bike again in 2017 and get back to enjoying the road. Wishing you all the best, and safe travels in the new year XXX
I think rest is one of the most important things! It’s good to have a proper nights sleep but also take short breaks throughout the day too. Thanks for all of these! Happy travels :)
Absolutely Carmen – it can be so dangerous to jump on a bike otherwise. Rest is absolutely essential to a safe trip.
Glad you enjoyed the post! Happy holidays :)
Yes, I sometimes have some motorcycle trips. I think that your information is useful for me. Thanks!
Glad we could help Vicky. Happy & safe travels in 2017! :)
I’m with you on the importance of taking a pit stop when riding.
Though sometimes it can be really tough, especially when I get in my cruising zone.
Glad you enjoyed the post :) Is definitely easy to forget the importance of pit stops if you’re in a zone … can really make a difference on long journeys though :)
“Safety first”, should be the motto for every motorcycle rider as riding a motorcycle is inherently dangerous. People often shy away from safety gear as they feel it is bulky and restrictive, or does not look cool but what they do not realize is that this safety gear can save them from a lot of pain and suffering. What’s more is that the motorcycle apparel industry has kept abreast of consumer wants. Hence, you can purchase effective gear that not only provides safety but actually looks cool.
Motorcycle clothing equipment by virtue makes riding a more safe and comfortable experience that cannot be achieved without the proper gear. What riders have to understand is that their safety is entirely in their hands as motorcycles do not have safety measures like air bags in cars. This is exactly why it is imperative that every biker equips themselves with essential motorcycle apparel and reduces the risk of injury.
5 Essential Motorcycle Apparel Every Biker Should Own
The apparel listed below are the most important gear that every biker should consider wearing in order to reduce the amount of risk involving in motorcycle riding:
1. Gloves: People often underestimate the true potential gloves have for bike riders. Not only do they reduce the risk of damaging ones hands in an accident but actually improve a bikers grip in moist conditions. Similarly, during warm weather gloves protect the hands from sunlight and sun burns.
2. Boots: One of the most prone areas that can be injured in a bike accident is the rider’s feet and ankles. Without proper equipment such as sturdy boots, there is almost nothing a biker can do to save his or her feet. There are many innovative boots out there that are designed to protect the biker’s feet in case of an accident. These boots also help in comfortable gear shifting and breaking.
3. Jacket: This is one piece of motorcycle clothing that almost every rider owns. Let’s face it there’s nothing cooler than a leather motorcycle jacket. What they don’t know is that this jacket can actually save them from a world of pain in an accident. These jackets are designed to absorb impact and will also protect against sliding on the rough surface of a road i.e. “Road Rash”.
4. Suit: These one-piece suits are not only aerodynamic but are also designed to absorb impact and provide protection when sliding on the road’s surface. These suits can be purchased in both leather and Kevlar, with each having there are unique in their own perspective.
5. Helmet: Last but not least, the most important gear that every biker should own is a helmet. A helmet protects the most important part of the human body, and without it, even a minor accident can turn into a life threatening situation. Also, depending on State Law, every rider is required by the State to wear a helmet while driving a motorcycle for their own safety. If you’re planning a long distance trip, it is good advice to check the helmet laws for the States that you will be riding through.
In the end, the above mentioned motorcycle clothing and gear will help reduce the risk of motorcycle riding by a huge margin. And as a motorcyclist, you should own them too. – Cheapencorner.com
Absolutely John, safety should always be a first priority. Thanks for expanding on the most important safety gear. I agree with you that people often underestimate the true potential of gloves.
And you’re right that there’s no excuse anymore not to have the correct gear, since companies have been developing items which meet both safety requirements and fashion trends.
Safe riding :)
Good advice! A 6th thing to add: An Italian espresso stove, for quality roadside beverages anywhere, anytime ;)
Love it! Thats a great tip, thanks Knapp! Happy riding :)
Would love to do this someday. I’m thinking in SE Asia to start where bike rentals are cheap.
SEA is a great place for a motorcycle adventure, just make sure you’re cautious on the roads … they’re likely a bit more hectic than you’re used to!
I’ve been training for the craziness in Colombia, but I’m pretty sure they’re way worse in SE Asia!
I haven’t hit much of SE Asia yet myself, but yes I’ve heard some pretty crazy stories on the traffic there!
Have you ever been on Indian roads? ?
I haven’t personally. I’ve heard stories though!
Whenever you plan for India…your most welcome in Himalay!
Thankyou very much :)
Having the proper bike gear is the single most important thing to know about motorcycle travel. Proper motorcycle gear can be the difference between life or death if you ever happened to go down! Thankful that you can find lots of stuff these days that’s lightweight, ventilated, and that still offers all the protection you need when you’re out on a motorcycle trip. Otherwise, just hop on your bike and get going!
Absolutely Alex, it’s so important to take safety seriously and that includes investing in high quality gear, that could, as you said, end up saving your life in an accident :)
Great article Meg Jerrard,
I’ve been riding for nearly 5 years right now and I have to agree with you on the 4th point – Follow Traffic Rules, Riding a motorcycle is definitely a responsible task! It’s important to research traffic rules before you leave, as these can often change as you drive into a new country or state.
Thanks Jesse, always happy to hear from a fellow rider :) Yes traffic rules are a must – it’s always a totally different ball game when you travel to a different country and have to ride on their roads. Something that really needs proper research before you go, for both safety and also not being pulled over and having to talk your way out of a foreign police station!
Happy travels :)