After traveling on the road in your Western Star truck for a living, you’re sure to have seen some pretty cool towns and scenery, so why not plan your next motorcycle ride around your experiences? In the US, the historic Route 66 will get you from the Chicago to LA on a scenic route. In Australia, the popular Great Ocean Road in Victoria will take you from Anglesea to Port Campbell. Wherever you live, there’s bound to be a “must see” bike route that’s surely in your near future.
Whether you have a restored vintage bike from decades ago or a legendary Harley Davidson, there’s not a single bike owner out there that’s not dying to get out on the open road. Now if you could go anywhere you want, would it be down that old country road on your day off? Or would it be a planned trip with a group of buddies riding down the highway? If you’re looking to jump on your bike and ride a great distance, follow these simple steps to ensure you’re prepared for an unforgettable time.
Long Distance Motorcycle Ride Essentials
1) When you’re planning your long distance ride, whether it’s cross-country or just a few hundred miles, there are several tools you can use to get to your final destination. One is the Harley Davidson Ride Planner. If you have a start and end location in mind, just plug it into the website and you’ll have your map ready to go – you can even add rides, dealers, hotels, events, and points of interest to your route. Talk to your buddies and ask them about their favorite ride. You never know, word-of-mouth just might get you to the place you would have never found online. Also, since you’re constantly on the road in your big rig, you can probably come up with your own preferred scenic route.
2) Once your destination is set, you need to determine if it matters where you get your shut-eye. You can plan your stops ahead of time and book accommodations, or just ride until you feel like stopping. Either way, get an idea early so you can budget your nightly stays.
3) Once your route is set, find your luggage rack and start packing. You may want to include the following items:
- Personal care items: Razor, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunblock.
- Clothing: Riding jacket and pants, gloves and sunglasses, rain gear, shirts, jeans, boots, socks and whatever else you need to be prepared for the weather.
- Spare Parts: Repair kit, air pressure gauge, tool set, and clutch and throttle cables. Know how your bike runs so you can bring any parts that often fail.
- Emergency items: First aid kit, matches or lighter, flashlight, a rope or bungee cords for a Truckers Hitch knot (just in case something comes loose and needs to be tied down), allergy and pain relief medicine, compass or electronic GPS, and a cell phone charging case to keep your phone alive much longer than the average cell phone charger.
- Camping supplies: Small tent, blanket, bug spray, toilet paper, cooking pot or pan, and a spoon or a fork (or a Spork!). You may decide to wait until you get close to the camp site to buy everything if you don’t want to travel with it.
- Documentation: If you plan on crossing any borders, make sure you bring your passport and any other relevant documents for yourself and your bike. You may even need a registration or a title if you plan on going off-roading. It’s best to be prepared!
4) Before you start your journey, don’t forget the regular bike check-ups and tune-ups. There’s nothing worse than a break-down on a long-distance trip once you’ve hit the road.
After you’ve gotten everything prepared, just enjoy your trip! You’ve been planning like crazy, now it’s time to soak it all in. And remember to take lots of pictures of your bike and of your stops so you can show your friends, family, and buddies at the truck stop.
For more motorcycle travel information, check out the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Resource page.