Don’t hit the highway until you spend a little time planning. Motorcycle road trips should be free and spontaneous to a point, but limited storage, physical exhaustion, and bad weather can quickly derail your plans if you fail to think ahead.
Get a tune-up.
Before you head out for a road trip, whether it’s a few days or a few weeks, you’ll definitely want to do some maintenance on your motorcycle. Although you can’t totally prevent any mishaps while you’re out on the road, making sure your bike is in the best shape possible will reduce your chances of breaking down on the highway. Do the tune-up yourself or take it to a certified motorcycle mechanic for a complete checkup.
Check the forecast.
Traveling by motorcycle is a far cry from traveling by car when it comes to the weather. Wet roads are hazardous for motorcycle riders, and getting soaked in the rain isn’t usually the experience you want when you set out for a motorcycle road trip. Check the forecast beforehand, and pack appropriate clothing. Always bring rain gear, even if the forecast is dry and sunny.
With limited on-board storage, you’re going to have to leave the kitchen sink behind. Pack only what you need, but don’t leave out essentials like a tire repair kit, waterproof riding gear, a cell phone and charger, map or GPS device, and a first aid kit.
Know your route.
You don’t have to map out every road you’ll take, but having a general idea about where you’ll be and when is important for letting family or friends know where you’ll be, just in case something goes wrong. It’s also helpful to know that you won’t be stuck 50 miles from the nearest motel when you decide to veer off the main highway and take the scenic route.
Cover your bike.
Keep your bike covered—literally and figuratively. Use a travel motorcycle cover to protect your bike from rain, snow, and the elements. A motorcycle cover also gives your bike a low profile to deter theft. Keep your bike covered figuratively by making sure your motorcycle insurance is up to date. Add supplemental travel insurance for extra peace of mind.