11 Things to Keep in Mind before your first Motorcycle Road Trip


It’s exciting to see more & more people starting to ride motorcycles and going on roadtrips either on their own or with buddies. Mostly when people start riding, they may know very little about how to start riding comfortably on slightly longer roadtrips apart from just the city riding. As they continue riding, they make more & more likeminded riders & learn a lot from them & their riding style. This little compilation is aimed to help those who are just starting out & is from a personal learnings & perspective of a relatively new long distance motorcyclist so should be helpful.

1. Choose a comfortable bike

motorcycle riding road trip

Whatever kind of bike you choose, you must always be comfortable with it. In case you zero in on a bike that needs certain modifications to ensure it’s comfortable for you to handle, get it done immediately. Some common changes that riders make is getting a different handlebar, a more comfortable seat, guards, better headlights if they are going to do lots of evening riding, a new exhaust, etc. Remember, it’s not just about looking cool on the bike, but also riding it well.

2. Dress to ride
motor biking outfit road trip

For long distance riding, always try & wear riding pants, ankle boots (safety shoes can be a substitute), riding jacket & of course a full face helmet. Or there is the option of knee & elbow guards or body armor. Motorcycling gear can easily be bought online or in moto stores. Try to get as close a size as possible, lose & baggy gear or clothing will only be a disturbance & cause discomfort. When completely geared up, you might feel heavy & awkward at first, but once you get on the bike, knowing that you are riding safer will make your riding more fun & give you greater confidence. Plus you get more of the biker feel on a lighter note.

Wearing a riding jacket, canvas trousers & knee guards instead of riding pants temperatures

3. Don’t over pack, pack light
motorcycle road trip

There’s a brilliant range of motorcycle luggage available in the Indian market to choose from- starting from metal to soft textile luggage. There are saddle bags that you can harness on the back seat of your bike, tank bags which magnetically hug your tank & can carry lighter stuff, tailbags that can be bungeed to the back seat, etc. These too are available online or in moto stores & come in different sizes & styles to suit your bike kind. When packing, make sure to carry as much disposable stuff you can which can be used & discarded. This will help you cut down on a lot of weight as you travel. Eg – instead of shampoo bottles, carry sachets; carry small soap bars, disposable toothbrushes which you can do away with on your ride back. Don’t unnecessarily carry a lot of changes of clothes, instead try & wash & reuse your clothes. My favorite motorcycle luggage comes from Dirtsack in India. Give the DSLR a miss & carry a digicam if you have one, which can be put in your pocket instead of packing it up in the luggage & taking it out every time you want to take some photos. Don’t fold your clothes – roll them, they take up less space that way. Essential medicines are a must.

4. Stay hydrated

A lot of people do not pay attention to the water factor on a motorcycle roadtrip. Invest in a hydration pack which is basically a water bottle in a bag with a tube which you can sling over your shoulder & drink water from without needing to take off the helmet or even stopping. Keeping yourself well hydrated throughout your ride will save on all the exertion due to dehydration. You can even add some glucon-d or Gatorade to your water if you want. A 2 liter pack is enough for a day’s ride & can be refilled if need be. Make it a point to drink some every time you stop (even if you don’t feel thirsty).

5. Know Your route
motorcycle road trip

Not all of us are genius with directions & remembering roads, but having a fair sense of which direction you are headed in & what route you are taking helps to avoid wasting time getting lost. Try & carry a screenshot of the map on your mobile or a printout of the same in case you want to. Don’t feel shy of asking locals on the way for directions & incase you see other riders on the way, you can also consult them, for all you know, you might just get to know of a more interesting route. Enjoy the ride and try & view other motorcyclists’ itineraries before you start.

6. Take breaks
motorcycle road trip

It’s not a marathon unless you’re applying for the saddle sore or bum burner! Know when your bike & body need a break & stop & rest for a few minutes every few kms or every few hours depending on the terrain. Try not to take too many breaks but only essential, otherwise, it just breaks the riding flow. When on a break, check if you have enough water for drinking & enough fuel in the tank, so that you can plan your next break accordingly. 

7. Start on a light stomach
motorcycle riding

Eat light breakfast, try an early lunch & don’t overeat. Big meals take a lot of energy to digest and will make you drowsy. Besides, toilets on Indian roads are not very reliable & hard to come by. Carry some snacks & energy bars if you are the hunger pangs kinds. 

8. Hair hurdle
Hair tied up riding motorcycles

When you have long hair, then a problem you are likely to face is those tiny strands always slipping out from under the helmet and slapping you in the face. Women motorcyclists are the worst lot with this problem. The best way is buy a bandana/ buff that you can push all your hair into before putting on the helmet. This will not only keep your hair out of the wind & your face but also help keep your helmet clean. These are not very expensive & there are a variety of prints available in the Rs.150-250 range.

Wearing a buff under my helmet helps keep my hair in place.

9. Be prepared for any kind of weather

A lesson I have learnt on long motorcycle trips is that you should be prepared for rain at any point of time. Carrying raincoats & pants that will fit over your riding gear & raincoats for luggage are a must. Try & test your gear on a rainy day at home

10. Stay motivated

The beauty about riding a motorcycle is that once you start enjoying it, there’s no stopping. Always stay motivated & excited, even if you fall, skid or have a flat. Getting panicky & scared isn’t really useful, from what I’ve realized on my rides. Everyone makes mistakes on a motorcycle & learns from these mistakes.

11. Carry essential tools & spares

Go to a mechanic & ask him what all essential spares would you need to take on your trip for the bike. Every bike has different requirements. A general list might include spare tube, spark plugs, break & accelerator cables, engine oil, etc.

 
 

This post was published by Samiksha Bali

Share this post on social media
Google +

Related Articles

Adventure

A 24 Year Old Who Chose To Travel Around The World With Her Dog

Beaches & Islands

Ultimate Road Tips: All You Need To Know About Riding From Bangalore To Goa

Adventure

12 Highest Motorable Roads In India

Experiences

An Inspiring Tale of Boniface Prabhu, a Quadriplegic and His Longest Car Expedition Journey

Adventure

Taking the High Way- Covering 3 Countries and 15 States On A Motorbike

Adventure

Pedal to Peace - Ankit Arora Covers 2,100 Kilometres On A Bicycle

Road Trips

9 Road trips from Delhi: The Motorcycle Diaries

Road Trips

Karl Bushby & The Goliath Expedition

Road Trips

Christoph Rehage - Living The Dream Of Walking From China To Germany

Road Trips

Roshini Sharma, The Indian Girl Who Took A Solo Bike Trip From Kanyakumari To Ladakh

Adventure

Leh Manali Highway - An Unforgettable Journey

Adventure

Come Along Our Unplanned Trip To Chail

Religious

Kedarnath Massage Centres To Enhance Pilgrim Experience From 2020

Road Trips

India to Bhutan by Road

Road Trips

Make Space For These Road Trips In Your 2020 Calendar!

Road Trips

20 Most Romantic Road Trips in India

Road Trips

Two Women Bikers Undertake A Record Breaking Trip From One End of the Country To Another

Adventure

Dangerous Roads in India For That Memorable Road Trip

Road Trips

Renting a Bike in Bali - Insights for a Comfortable Vacation

Backpacking

Beach Hopping in Gokarna - A College Vacation to India's Mini Goa

Experiences

These 3 Super Cool Moms Ventured On a Delhi to London ROAD TRIP in 95 Days!

Adventure

Strike Off That Thailand Road Trip From India With This Guide

Road Trips

A Story About How Himanshu Goel Cycled From Ranchi to Singapore

Adventure

The Ultimate Roadtrip Across India: 20 Cities In 30 Days!

Adventure

Hit This Beautiful Hill Station In Maharashtra For the Views, Weather & Waterfalls

Beaches & Islands

This Island In Mumbai Is The Perfect Secret Getaway

Road Trips

3-Day Trips From Bangalore: 15 Places For Your Next Long Weekend

Religious

Places To Visit Near Vadodara for One Day Picnic

Road Trips

Travel Warning - Flash Floods In Himachal After Cloudburst

Road Trips

Cloudburst in Himachal, Roads to Kinnaur Blocked

Road Trips

Renting a Car in Phuket - Ease Out Your Commute On The Go

Road Trips

Renting a Bike in Bangkok - Ride Through Your Vacation

Adventure

Cycling in Thailand - The Inclusive Go To Guide

Road Trips

Everything You Need to Know about Renting a Car in Thailand

Road Trips

Your Wholesome Guide For Renting a Car in Bangkok

Road Trips

24 Road Trips From Bangalore: Essential Bike and Car Trips

Road Trips

A Quick Guide on Renting a Car in Muscat

Road Trips

Ultimate Road Tips: All You Need To Know About Riding From Bangalore To Coorg

Experiences

A Hydrophobic's First Beach Memory - A Tale of How I Screamed at Water

Road Trips

A Memorable Bike Trip to Yercaud

Road Trips

International Driving License in Singapore - Your Handy Tourist Guide

Road Trips

Highway Movie - Beautiful Shooting Locations That Will Get You Moving

Adventure

Sikkim to West Bengal in Just Two Hours With the New Sivok-Rangpo Railway

Road Trips

Tarkarli Beach: My travel diaries

Road Trips

Renting a Car in Abu Dhabi – The Go To Tourist Guide

Adventure

7 Amazing Places to Hike in Chiang Mai

Road Trips

Mumbai to Goa Road trip > Distance, Directions and Everything You Need To Know

Road Trips

Renting a Car in Bali - An Insightful Guide For The Perfect Vacation

Adventure

Manali-Leh Highway Blocked - Massive Landslide Brings Traffic to Standstill

Adventure

10 Travel Gadgets For The Adventurer in You

Road Trips

Taxi Strike In Goa - Here's All You Need To Know

Road Trips

Renting a car in Vietnam - The Complete Tourist Guide

Road Trips

How SunPedal is Triggering the Idea of Solar Mobility Around the Country

Adventure

Bike on Rent in Pondicherry - All You Need To Know

Adventure

Road Trip Across India In A Rust Bucket - Your Guide To The 'Rickshaw Run'

Comments on this post