Every successful motorcycle road trip starts during the planning period. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration to ensure your trip goes as smooth as possible. The following is a motorcycle road trip planning checklist for your next open-road journey.
Routine bike maintenance
While there are some maintenance tasks you can do yourself such as changing the oil, if you’re getting ready to embark on a long journey, it’s never a bad idea to take your bike to the shop to have everything looked at by an expert. You need to make sure your bike is, quite literally, running on all cylinders before your trip.
Tire plug kit
Flat tires happen. However, you can counter them by packing a tire plug kit and a small pump. Of course, you should check your tires before and during your trip to ensure nothing is wrong.
It is also encouraged that riders to get roadside assistance in case you get stranded or need help fixing your bike. You might even consider bringing other bike tools.
Life out on the open road is beautiful, but it can also be loud. Earplugs will help to minimize wind noise and protect your hearing. Especially if you’ll be driving on highways or at fast speeds, earplugs become a must.
Gone are the days of bringing a map with you on your journey — unless you want to bring a physical map, that is. Thanks to technology, you can (and should) bring a GPS with you on your trip so you know where you’re going and can also spot possible detours ahead.
Bringing the right gear is a must. So is anticipating the weather. Your road trip might take place in the summer, but the desert can get cold at night and rain can occur. The following are just some of the clothing items you have with you on your trip:
- Two pairs of motorcycle gloves, in case you happen to lose your first sometime during your trip
- Waterproof outerwear/rain gear in case it rains
- Sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes and help with visibility
- Sunscreen or lotion to protect you from the sun
- A helmet (a must-have on any ride and also the law in many states)
- Riding boots (overboots as well if there’s going to be bad weather)
- Cooling neck wrap to beat the heat
Even if you have roadside assistance, you never know when you’re going to need water or how long you might be stuck on the side of the road if your bike happens to break down. In addition to water, you might want to bring some lightweight, healthy snacks, such as trail mix or some protein bars.
First aid kit
Once again, it’s best to plan ahead for any occasion, and a first aid kit is important for any long journey.
Map out your stops and destinations
Whether you’re planning on visiting 60 sights in 60 minutes in Corinth, Mississippi or looking to only make stops at hotels and places to eat, mapping out your destinations and stops is a must.
You need to ensure you have enough gas, food, and rest. It’s fun to wing it and live in the moment, but this is the part of the journey that needs to be mapped out.
Make sure you’re ready for the trip
It’s important to be well-rested for your journey and that you’re also healthy enough to take your trip. This could even mean having your annual eye exam to ensure your prescription is updated and your vision is healthy. Your eyes are going to be doing a lot of work, after all.
Every road trip is different, which means every road trip planning checklist could be different as well. By going through this checklist, you should be able to cover the basics to help you prepare for the road ahead.