Ahhh… the joys of being able to travel cross country… there’s nothing like it, especially when you’re traveling by motorcycle. Seeing the country on your own is quite the experience, and will create a lot of memories for years to come. However, before you hit the road, you must remember to be safe. Driving long distances on your motorcycle will certainly put you and your bike to the test. It will test your skills and abilities as well as your endurance. Therefore, to be on the safe side of things you want to be as prepared as possible. Review the tips below to help your trip run smoothly:
Get Insurance and Review Your Policy
If you have a motorcycle insurance policy already, be sure that you review your policy fully so that you understand your responsibilities as a driver. If you don’t have insurance yet, remember that driving a motorcycle is certainly high risk, and when you couple that with traveling on roads you’re not familiar with, being cautious is key.
Start by shopping online for a motorcycle insurance provider licensed in your state. As you begin looking for the best insurance policy, be sure to review certain factors:
- The cost of insurance
- Your deductible
- Coverage areas
Also, be sure to do a bit of background checking on the insurance company to ensure that they provide quality services. Check consumer review sites as well as the Better Business Bureau for any outstanding complaints.
Get Your Bike Checked
There is nothing worse than finding out halfway through your trip that your tires are worn down. Your best bet is to have your entire bike inspected by a certified mechanic to ensure that everything is in working order. This will prevent you from being stranded which of course would derail your trip. Have your mechanic do the following right before your trip:
- Change the oil and filters
- Check all filters
- Check fluid levels
- Adjust cables (throttle and brakes)
- Check tire pressure and tread
- Check for physical damage or worn parts
It also isn’t a bad idea to go ahead and invest in a small tool kit just in case you need to make repairs while on the road.
Make sure that the weight on your bike is distributed evenly. You can start by putting the heavier items in as they can help to maintain a low center of gravity. Also, make sure that your things are securely attached to the bike to prevent an accident. Make a checklist to ensure that you’ve packed the bare necessities including your cell phone and charger.
Prepare for All Types of Weather
It is important to dress appropriately. You never know how the weather might change as you cross state lines and therefore you want to be prepared. You can always invest in an electric vest for warmth. If you don’t have the funds, dressing in layers is another way to protect yourself.
Know Your Limits
If you’ve never driven across country on your bike, it’s best to take your time. Pace yourself and know when your body has had enough. Stop often and take breaks. Sometimes stretching can really do wonders for your muscles and bones. Stay hydrated and of course eat right to keep your energy up while you’re on the open road.
Fuel Up Often
You never know how far the next gas station or rest stop is when traveling. So it’s a good idea to fuel up as often as possible. A great rule of thumb is to never let the gas gauge get past the half tank mark. That way if there’s a good distance before your next scheduled stop, you won’t have to worry about being stranded on the side of the road.
Once you’ve completed all the safety checks and preparations, you’re ready to begin planning out your route. If your bike doesn’t have a GPS on it, using maps is still a great way to get where you’re going. Make sure that you use maps from a reliable source and check it often to ensure you’re on the right path. Other than that, have fun, explore, and create memories.