Top 10 tips for long distance motorcycle ride
Taking a motorcycle for a long ride is a part of freedom and happiness. It is very exciting to see ourselves covering 100’s of km, especially for those who are riding long distance for the first time. Nowadays touring on a motorcycle is increasing a lot everywhere. Engine capacity doesn’t matter. What all matter is “What we should know” and “How we are planning”.
But I see most of the beginners fail to cover a long distance, resulting in painful and tiresome haul instead of a memorable journey. There might be many reasons, even I was failing in this beginning, thinking long rides are not good and it is painful at the end. But later improvised things and now I love touring 1000’s of km.
I have listed 10 tips which help me all the time. These list after from my personal experience. I wish after reading this article you will keep your whole journey joyful.
1. Make sure bike is in proper condition
The motorcycle is very important compared to all. Make sure you have serviced your bike. Or check if your bike is in proper condition. I use my bike mostly for long rides, that doesn’t mean I have to service my bike for every long ride. It will cost a lot. I do service for every 6,000 km and change oil every 3,000 km.
Check with Engine oil, tires condition, the air pressure in tires, brake pads working properly or not, battery condition, chain lubrication and coolant if your bike is liquid cooled. If everything is good then good to go. To make it a happy trip it is important to make your motorcycle trouble free. Or else definitely it will be a nightmare.
I have encountered such incidents many times with fellow riders. One incident from a group ride made many riders to struggle whole night to get the bike fixed. To avoid all these hassles it is better to make your bike trouble free for the whole ride.
2. Fuel up a day before
Fueling up a day before the ride is always better. You can save some time on your ride day. And never go to reserve level during the ride, there might be chances of not finding a fuel station on the way before your fuel ends up. My suggestion is to fuel up once the level is at 25%.
On group rides it is better to inform all the riders to fuel up a day before the ride, or else it will be definitely a massive waste of time.
3. Plan your route
Planning your route makes your ride more confident. Route planning will help in many ways – You can calculate how much fuel you would need, what are the roadblocks, places to visit on the way. My suggestion is to keep a few alternate routes, in case anything happened to your regular route then you can take the alternate one.
It is better to list all the service centers and fuel stations on your route, which will definitely come in handy if anything happens.
Check out my “Bengaluru to Kukke Via Bisle Ghat ride of 700kms in a day“.
4. Start early and end early
Leaving home early morning keeps you more energetic. Starting before the sunrise would be best recommended. Especially who are living in cities like Bangalore it would be great to escape before traffic lights are on, I do this for all my ride. Once you cross the city before sunrise there you have a great day.
End your ride before sunset. Night riding is one of the most dangerous and unsafe. High beams coming from opposite definitely make your eyes blank and tiring. If anything happens to you or your bike it is very difficult to get help at night. So get up early and reach back early.
See how I achieved 1000 km in a day which is my longest ride so far.
5. Wear protective gears and comfortable clothes
Riding gears are one of the best investment for your long rides. Wearing protective gears not only make you feel safe but also more confident to hit the road. No matter what happens on road, but you should be ready with your safety armors. Even a small fall from bike damages your skin if you are not wearing riding gears.
It is recommended to wear full face helmet, Riding Jacket which has protective armors at shoulder, elbows and back, riding gloves, shoes, knee guard and riding pants. Even if you are riding splendor with fully geared up you feel like you are a biker and make difference from others. Yes, you are a Biker!
Full face helmet, riding Jacket, riding gloves and shoes would do a decent job.
Wearing a dry fit or tight fit or a simple t-shirt with jeans would be decent for your long ride and comfortable ride. Riding pants are better in terms of safety.
6. Pack your things smart and light
We are riding long distance so backpack doesn’t work out here. In fact, it will cause you shoulder pain. It is always better to get a saddle bag or tank bag. They are built for tourers like us. If you don’t have a saddle bag or tank bag then don’t worry, you can even take your normal bag and tie it with a bungee cord. Even I don’t have a saddle bag, I too do the same.
What all are very important to carry? Water is compulsory, at least 1ltr. Snacks are also must, it helps to keep your energy level up all the way. I always keep 2 parle-g biscuits every time. Carry a tubeless tire puncture kit and essential toolkit for your bike.
Pack everything neatly, the essentials you need on the way, like water, snacks, towel, keep those in an easily accessible place, so that you can take it out and keep it back easily without removing the bag from the bike.
7. Stay hydrated
Drink lots & lots of water. If you skip drinking water you will be tired and lose confidence in riding. Carry at least 1 ltr of water. There are backpack hydration systems or simply hydration pack available on market, grab one so that you don’t have to stop for just drinking water.
If drinking water is avoided then you can suffer from nausea, muscle pain, and headaches in warm weather. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to have a drink. Keep drinking.
Read the article to know How To Take Care Of Our Body’s Hydration During Long Journeys.
8. Never miss your food but be light
Start your day with just a cup of coffee or tea or any drinks you like. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner as usual. Having light would be better, if not that’s not a problem. After having food stay for a few minutes and start your ride.
During afternoon or night avoid heavy food, it makes you feel sleepy.
9. Take regular break
The long ride is to enjoy and not a race to finish early. Whenever your body needs to break just take it. I usually plan breaks for every 50 to 70km. Sometimes lesser than that. Especially on ghats and forests, I take too many breaks just to enjoy nature and take snaps.
Feel relaxed, try finding some tree or hotel, rest for a few minutes.
10. Be ready to ride on any weather
In my experience, I have faced unexpected rain. So don’t know where what weather would be encountering. It is always suggested to carry a raincoat and waterproof cover for your bag. I always keep one on my bag, Riding gears would protect you from rain for some extents. To protect your electronic items like mobile and camera you need to have waterproof covers.
Well, all these things even you will encounter on your journey. I wish you the safest and joyful ride.
These were the few points I had in my mind to share with you. If you like please share 🙂