Are you thinking about hitting the road and taking advantage of your motorcycle to add new curves (and straights) far from the usual routes? Preparing the motorcycle for travel is essential. We suggests some advice that you shouldn’t miss.

First things first: inspect the bike

Check and carry out regular motorcycle repairs and maintenance before the most important day: departure. No one wants to have a breakdown in the middle of nowhere, without mechanical support nearby and be stuck, unable to continue the long-awaited trip, even if they already have the best help a motorcyclist has on the road.

Always check the main thing:

  • Always have the aforementioned repairs and maintenance up to date!
  • Tires: are they already at the end of their life or can they still safely survive a good number of kilometers? Is the pressure correct? Is the depth of the tracks sufficient? If it is necessary to replace your tires, remember to use them with caution for the first few kilometers, to remove the “gum”.
  • Brakes: discs, pads, cables and fluid. Everything in order?
  • Shaft or belt: Inspect and check for leaks, cuts or signs of wear.
  • Accelerator: check cables.
  • Fluids: any motorcycle fluid, and especially engine oil, must be clean and topped up. Check if the level is correct and if the oil filter needs changing and do the same with the air filter.
  • Lights, on-board instruments and horn: everything working perfectly?
  • Resting the motorcycle: is it in good condition and prepared to support more weight when the motorcycle is parked?
  • Taking a second motorcycle key: it seems impossible, but have you ever thought about what happens if you lose your motorcycle key? Take a spare key and store it in a safe place, easily accessible and away from “other people’s friends”.
  • Know the motorcycle’s fuel range: not all villages have a gas station. Plan in advance the kilometers to be covered and the tank capacity. With this data (especially if the motorcycle does not include an on-board computer) you will be able to calculate the average distance/capacity and always be on guard, wherever you are.

Start in the best company: equipped and prepared for rain or shine

First of all, you need a good helmet . With the visor in good condition, and preferably closed, to guarantee maximum safety against insects, stones or the worst: falls. Furthermore, a closed helmet is quieter (essential on long trips), protects against sunburn and defends against constant wind.

Other suggestions: sunglasses, a replacement visor to adapt to changes in light intensity or, ideally, a photosensitive visor ).

Throughout the trip, the weather may change. Depending on the region, you may experience hot or cold temperatures, wind or rain, fog or snow, sun or cloudy skies. And if you drive at night, conditions can worsen. Therefore, it is essential to include equipment in your luggage. in your luggage that gives you maximum versatility. You will need to bring clothing that protects you from the cold (it gradually increases with speed) and rain. Rain boots and waterproof equipment may also prove to be very useful.

Special equipment

A longer trip requires more luggage. There are several solutions that help you create more space and take (and bring) more than usual. Examples:

  • Storage bags or suitcases

They are attached to the top of the fuel tank with ribbons or magnetic mounts. They are ideal for frequently used objects (rain gear, documentation, mobile devices, etc.). They can include a transparent pouch for quick access to a map.

  • Side bags

They can be attached to the motorcycle using straps or a rigid support for larger bags. They can be placed on both sides of the motorcycle, next to the rear wheel, and offer greater luggage capacity, and are generally made from different materials: plastic, fabric or leather.

  • Rear bag and/or “Top Case”

Sometimes they occupy the rear seat (for journeys without “hanging”). In other cases, they have a structure located behind the rear seat and provide enough space for 1 or 2 helmets and other objects.

Share the journey

If you use a paper map, make a copy and mark the route with the dates you expect to arrive at each location/region/point of interest. It’s much safer knowing that someone knows when and where you are.

If you prefer a GPS application, it’s even easier to share and publicize your fantastic trip. This is also a very useful option on group trips, because everyone knows where each member is located, in case one of them is late or deviates from the route.

Additional safety tips

  • Get enough rest

Don’t insist on doing a few more kilometers if your body asks for rest. And don’t use tricks like caffeine to stay awake. If you are tired, simply stop.

  • Stay healthy

Eat balanced meals before and after each trip. Drink lots of water (necessary to avoid dehydration) and learn  how to avoid possible allergies.

  • Don’t speed up

The trip you have prepared is much more than getting there as quickly as possible. It’s about appreciating and calmly enjoying the landscapes, the culture, the people and the entire experience of discovering new lands (and curves!). Wasting another hour is irrelevant and avoids being stopped by the authorities or receiving an unnecessary and expensive surprise later.

  • Start the day early

Facing traffic is unpleasant and stressful. Start your journey early and you will find that you can avoid traffic and heat more easily. If it’s really morning, “get up with the chickens” and watch the sunrise!

  • Take frequent breaks

Make several stops and relax, eat, drink and enjoy the scenery. Do light exercise. Gain new energy for another series of curves!

  • Be flexible and patient

Imponderables and surprises always happen on a trip: traffic, unforeseen detours, changing weather conditions, road works, a puncture… Plan in advance, check your GPS and always stay calm.

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