For many, hopping on their motorcycle and riding off to a destination unknown is a dream trip. But it’s actually something you shouldn’t do without any preparation. While you don’t have to know exactly where you’re heading, there are several things you should take care of before hitting the open road.
Obtain Motorcycle Insurance
It’s important that you obtain a quote for motorcycle insurance and begin your policy before you leave for your trip. This way, if you happen to be involved in an accident or your bike is stolen while you’re on the road, you have the coverage you need for repairs or replacement.
If you have coverage already, it’s a good idea to call your insurance company to review your coverage limits, to make sure you have enough for your trip. Also, you should make sure you have some sort of towing and roadside assistance option with your coverage in case your motorcycle breaks down while you’re away.
Make Sure Your Bike Is In Tip-Top Shape
It’s not fun to deal with mechanical issues when you’re at home, and it’s even worse when you’re traveling. That’s why you should have a licensed mechanic inspect your motorcycle before you leave for your trip.
At the very least, make sure your bike has a tune up and the oil has been changed. It’s also a good idea to check the tires, and purchase new ones if needed. There’s a good chance you’ll have to drive in the rain at least one during your trip, so you need to make sure you have enough tread on your tires.
Pack Your T-Bag Lightly, But Wisely
Even if your bike has a luggage rack or backrest that can hold larger T-bags, you still don’t have a ton of room for your belongings. So it’s really important that you only pack the bare essentials. Ideally, that means packing clothes for between four and five days — just in case you stop somewhere that you don’t have access to a laundromat. To make sure you have enough space for the items you need:
Unlike a traditional road trip, you have to be a little more conservative on a motorcycle. Roll your clothes instead of folding them or shoving them into your bag to save space.
Pack clothes that you can easily mix-and-match to have a variety of options.
Choose one pair of shoes that goes well with all the clothes you’re taking.
Limit the amount of personal hygiene and makeup items you pack.
In addition to clothing, shoes, and personal care items, you should also pack:
Additional pairs of gloves
Extra sunglasses and goggles
Rain gear — a rain jacket, rain pants, overboots, and rain goggles
Cooling neck wrap — if you’re taking a summer trip
Heated riding suit — for winter road trips
Pack Your Valuables Securely
Anything you need to bring with you that’s valuable or important — such as extra cash, credit cards, your identification, and the paperwork for your motorcycle — should be packed in a lockable saddlebag.
If you’re taking a laptop, tablet, or other electronic devices, consider packing them in a Ziploc bag — especially if your T-bag isn’t waterproof.
Prepare For Emergency Situations
Even though space is limited, it’s important that you’re prepared for emergency situations. Some of the things you should take with you include:
First aid kit
Tire plug kit
Swiss army knife
The more prepared you are for your trip, the easier it is to relax while you’re on the road. So take the time to have your bike inspected, get your motorcycle insurance in order, and pack everything you need to have a fun, safe road trip.