As an extremely competitive species, humans thrive when they face mental and physical challenges. This drive stems from the fact we have a natural urge to do the best that we can in harsh, adrenaline-inducing environments and situations. That is why many people find motorcycles to be the perfect vehicles to help them challenge themselves daily. Accordingly, going on a cross-country journey on your motorbike is bound to push you out of the boundaries of your comfort zone. For this reason, we have noted down advice that will let you know how to prepare for your long-distance motorcycle ride in the most efficient way possible.
A fascinating fact about the motorcycling community is that you have annual rallies organized on every continent in the world. Moreover, if you wanted to, you could even travel the world on the ‘back’ of your trusty motorcycle! Whether you plan on doing so or you are perfectly content with ‘merely’ exploring interstate highways, long-distance motorcycle rides are always a phenomenal experience that every motorcycle aficionado should experience in their lifetime. Naturally, you should take the necessary steps to embark on this journey prepared.
Be sure to opt for the right type of motorcycle
You do not want any unpleasant surprises to ruin your long-distance ride now, do you? No matter how well-prepared you think you are, be sure to, at the very least, double-check if your current motorcycling gear is up for the challenge.
Naturally, some motorcycles are better suited for long-distance rides than others. Hence, the sitting position in which you are while riding, the cargo space, and the windshield area may influence your bike’s overall efficiency. Therefore, take a look at the types of motorcycles we find most suited to long-distance journeys.
Motorcycle type should be the most important consideration before you embark on a journey.
This type of motorcycle is number one on our list because it allows you to sit and drive for hours on end without taking a break. They are specifically designed to support your back by allowing you to ride in a more upright position. In terms of cargo capacity, they are typically equipped with saddlebags, trunk space, and additional smaller pockets for your wallet, mobile phone, keys, and the like. The windshield is large enough to shield you from the air and wind, so you won’t be exposed to the continuous airstream as you ride.
It is not to say that standard and cruiser motorcycles are not comfortable enough for long motorcycle rides – they are characterized by lower seats, which allow you to sit in a relatively relaxed position. In comparison to touring motorcycles, an obvious disadvantage of standard motorcycles is that they do not have windshields and front fairing large enough to protect you from the wind. The amount of stuff they can carry is not negligible as they typically have saddlebags, tank bags, and pouches, but they, unfortunately, do not incorporate a trunk.
These motorcycles are perfect for terrains that switch between asphalt roads and dirt paths. They are relatively comfortable in the sense that they do not put a lot of pressure on your spine and wrists, and the windshield also provides decent protection. If you find that the current storage capacities are insufficient, you can easily add additional storage units.
Sport motorcycles are the least convenient for long journeys due to the forward-leaning stance you are forced to assume while riding. Basically, they are not intended for this type of motorcycling, and extended periods of time in this position are simply not for everyone. However, some motorcyclists manage to cover long distances on these motorcycles, so our advice is to go on a test ride and see if you can ride it for some time.
Proper Maintenance is Essential
Even if you bought your motorcycle is explicitly for a long-distance journey, you should always be ready for the unexpected. Being in a situation to leave your bike or wait for the road assistance service to locate you and pick up your malfunctioning vehicle can unnerve even the most stoic of the motorcyclists in the country. Not to mention that leaving without a proper checkup is outright dangerous for you and others! So, be sure to check your tires, breaks, signaling, the machinery… Your bike will become almost like your new home, and it is crucial to prepare for your long-distance motorcycle ride and make it safe and sound!
Even if your motorbike is brand new, you shouldn’t go on a long-distance motorcycle ride without a proper checkup by a certified professional.
Also, if you are planning to travel to another country (or perhaps even continent), you ought to hire a moving company that is specialized to transfer your vehicle with ease to the given location. You can’t afford to have your motorcycle damaged in transit before the tour even begins.
Specialized motorcycling equipment can help you ride better
Since you are preparing for a demanding journey, both physically and mentally, you should make sure to buy gear that will make the endeavor as comfortable as possible. Let’s take a look at special motorcycling equipment essential for long-distance rides.
Note that all of your gear should be all-weather protective.
Custom-made or specialized motorcycling equipment could significantly improve the feel and smoothness of your riding experience.
Heated and padded grips
Heated grips keep your hands warm and padded ones provide an additional layer of comfort for your wrists and hands. Heated grips are a must if you drive in colder climates (or in winter). In contrast, the padding alleviates wrist pain that may occur from riding your bike for several hours.
Some hand grips come with a throttle lock that enables better control over your gas supply. When used, a throttle lock allows you to ride without having to grip the throttle with your hand continuously.
Having the option to lean your back on the backrest might make all the difference while riding on the express lane. Backrests are easily attached to the seat, and you may even opt for the ‘gel,’ i.e., upholstered option for extra comfort.
Hopefully, this short guide about how to prepare for your long-distance motorcycle ride helped you to assess the current state of your equipment and what you might have to buy additionally. Our final piece of advice is to invest in quality equipment whenever possible. Long-distance motorcycling is demanding in its own right, so you want to make your journey as enjoyable as it can be.
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