Preparing For a Motorcycle Road Trip Part Two

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Last week we talked about preparing for a motorcycle road trip, but wanted to get down to the finer details. If you don’t follow the Travels with Harley blog, just scroll to the bottom of the page and subscribe  and you will know how important it is to be ready for just about anything when it comes to preparing for a motorcycle road trip.

Getting your Harley Davidson ready for the journey is imperative if you want to make sure that your bike is up for it.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Knowing the Limits

Jim knows the Road King much better than I do and knows just how far to push it. If you aren’t sure what your motorcycles limits are, check out the VIN plate and the owner’s manual for the GVWR or Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. This will tell you just how much weight your motorcycle can carry.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

The Suspension

If you are preparing for a motorcycle road trip try stiffening the suspension, as it will counterbalance the racks, luggage and other items that could affect the performance of your motorcycle.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Your Tires

The tire pressure that you keep when you are riding around town may not be sufficient for a long distance trek. Check the instructions in your owner’s manual and adjust the tire pressure as needed.

Check your Headlamp

Make sure that you check your headlamp when your bike is fully loaded. If you don’t, you may have gear or something else that you are bringing along blocking your view.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Inspection

Check your bikes spark plugs and don’t forget to check the chain or belt for any weak spots. Make sure that you inspect the fluid levels in every battery cell and don’t forget to give the battery a charge, especially if you have not been on a ride for a while. Travels with Harley also recommends that you clean or replace air filters and fill up on your low-level fluids. Lubricate your clutch cables and brakes and make sure that all of your lights, including your brake lights, are working properly.

Preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Test it Out

One of the most important things to remember when you are preparing for a motorcycle road trip is the test drive. It really is the best way to know what you should expect when your bike is fully loaded.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Map it

Although you have probably planned your trip route, it is important to check the map route the night before. Check one of the real time mapping systems such as MapQuest for road closures or any other travel issues that may have occurred.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Documents

Make sure that you include a copy of your registration and your insurance. If you are going over the border, you will want to bring along a passport and proof of identification. Also, bring along some converted cash for the country that you are visiting.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Plan your Stops

Before you head out you will want to check out online reviews for the places that you are visiting when you are preparing for a motorcycle road trip. Check out where the gas stations and restaurants will be and don’t forget to plan ahead, especially if you are staying in a hotel.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Preparing for a motorcycle road trip can be fun, as long as you remember to enjoy the ride!

Preparing for a Motorcycle Road Trip

planning a motorcycle road trip

Preparing for a motorcycle trip can be difficult, and frankly, Jim and I have had a few road trips where we were not prepared; however, now that we know more about preparing for a motorcycle trip, we are not so worried about forgetting something.

Below are a few tips that you may want to consider if you are preparing for a motorcycle road trip.

planning a motorcycle road trip

Weather Appropriate Clothing

Depending on when you are traveling, you will want to your gear to be able to deal with the elements. For warmer months, pack sunscreen, sunglasses and a cool neck wrap, and gloves, a heated vest liner, and waterproof outerwear during the fall and winter.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Maintenance

The last thing that you want is to breakdown and not have the appropriate tools. Make sure that you have motor oil, a bike cover, a tool kit, a tire inflation kit and jumper cables. If you are handy with a wrench, include fuses, spare spark plugs, and maybe a clutch cable.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

All the comforts of home

If you are like Jim and I you know that preparing for a motorcycle road trip is all about traveling light. However, there are some things that I like to take along including earplugs, lip balm, and toiletries.

In case of an emergency

Make sure that you pack a list of contacts and a first-aid kit. Don’t forget your medications, waterproof matches, a flashlight, phone charger, energy bars, and an emergency blanket. Always have water on hand as well as a few snacks that are easy to pack.

preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Roll it up

When you roll your clothes, like Jim and I do when we are preparing for a motorcycle road trip, you can fit more than you would if you folded them.

Synthetics over cotton

Synthetic clothes dry much faster than cotton, and if you have just been rained on or washed your clothes and want to get back out on the road, pack the synthetics.

preparing for a motorcycle road tripCompare your list

If you are riding with a group, make sure that your riding buddies and your partner are not duplicating items. Share what you can to save room for more important things.

Keep your gear towards the front

Because the front is your motorcycles center of gravity, it is important to disperse your personal items evenly as it will make for a smoother ride, even with the additional weight.

Preparing for a motorcycle road trip

Group it

If you are preparing for a motorcycle road trip try and group your similar items in zip lock baggies as you can arrange your things neatly making them much easier to access.

Next week Jim and I will talk about the finer details of preparing for a motorcycle road trip.