It’s estimated there were 8.6 million registered on-road motorcycles in the U.S. in 2021.
If you’re a licensed motorcycle driver and own or have access to a bike, what about a road trip this summer? It’ll be a unique experience compared to road-tripping in a car, truck, or van.
Getting on your bike and hitting the open road toward a fun destination can be exciting.
But you’ll want to follow the six tips below to increase your odds of having a great trip.
1. Choose a Good Destination
When choosing a road trip destination, you have to be realistic. It’s one thing to want to travel someplace, but you need to see if that makes sense for you. If you’ve never gone on a road trip via motorcycle, a cross-country destination on your first trip probably isn’t a good idea.
You’ll want to consider things like the following before selecting a road trip destination:
- Total mileage
- Types of terrain
- Road conditions
- Time of year
- Number of days the trip will take
- Amount of things you can carry
- Motorcycle driving experience
Once you consider things like the above, you’ll be better prepared to choose a trip destination.
2. Plan Out Your Route
Another essential consideration is planning out your route, which is crucial when traveling via motorcycle. Traveling a long distance by motorcycle is more physically and mentally taxing than going by car — so you need to optimize your route. Traveling in a straight line for most of your trip will be mind-numbing. When planning how you’ll get to the destination, try incorporating different types of roads to keep you alert.
You can mix in straight-away stretches of highways with curvy sections and various terrains. And don’t underestimate the importance of adding scenic elements to your trip since doing so will keep you more alert on your long journey. It might mean an extended trip – but it’ll be a better one.
3. Choose Fill-Up Locations
Consider the number of miles your motorcycle can do between fill-ups, and then select your fill-up locations to and from your destination. Those stops will also allow you to get off the bike, walk around, stretch, get something to eat, or even use the bathroom. Taking breaks is essential.
Few things will ruin your road trip more than running out of gas in the middle of nowhere. But if you plan your fill-up locations, that’s unlikely to happen to you.
4. Pack Your Stuff
After you book the hotel you’ll be staying at, start packing your stuff. Of course, you won’t have nearly the space you would if traveling in a car with a trunk. That means you must be more strategic with what you pack for the trip.
Start by figuring out what you have to take with you since you can’t take all your usual comforts. If you’re staying at a hotel that offers laundromat facilities, you can get away with taking much less clothing than might otherwise be the case.
Make room for some emergency items like a tire repair kit, rain gear, and even some basic tools.
5. Get Your Bike Ready
Ensuring your bike is in good enough shape to make the trip makes sense. A tune-up is in order, and check the fluids, the tires, and other motorcycle components. If you can do the maintenance and repairs yourself, great. Otherwise, bring it to a mechanic.
6. Practice Defensive Driving
You need to practice defensive driving when going on a road trip via motorcycle. All drivers should do so, but getting in an accident on a motorcycle is more dangerous than doing so in a car. Watch your speed, observe the road conditions, and drive with the right mindset.
If you practice defensive driving skills and still get in an accident, notify a motorcycle accident lawyer to find out what to do. You don’t want your road trip to be ruined by an accident, but knowing what to do if there are problems is essential. You’ll have peace of mind.
Do you want to go on a motorcycle road trip this spring or summer? The recommendations above will help you do so correctly. A road trip is supposed to be fun — so enjoy it!