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What to Know Before Embarking on a Cross-Country Motorcycle Adventure

A cross-country motorcycle adventure can be a very thrilling vacation. Some riders may take a tent and sleeping bags and camp most of the way, while others may stay in motels along the way. You don’t have a destination; it’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants sort of adventure. Still, you should know a few things about planning for such an adventure before embarking across the country on the back of a motorcycle.


A Safe Ride Every Time

Every time you get on the motorcycle, you want to be sure that your ride that day will be a safe one. Motorcyclists experience more significant injuries and greater numbers of fatalities each year. Safety gear for riders is key to your adventure lasting as long as you intend.

Safety gear you should bring with you on this long-distance ride includes:

  • Helmet to protect your head and neck
  • Goggles to protect your eyes from bugs and flying debris in the road
  • Protective jacket to keep you warm and prevent extensive sunburn
  • Pants to protect your legs from metal burns and road rash
  • Boots for a firm footing on your bike
  • Gloves to protect your hands in case of fall

There may be a few other things you want to pack in addition to the above, but it depends on the weather in the direction you are riding. A waterproof jacket or raincoat made for motorcyclists might help too. These and other safety essentials can be found at and the websites of similarly reputable brands.


Bring Snacks

Sometimes it’s a long stretch between towns when you are riding cross-country. You need to refuel and drink plenty of fluids. Have roadworthy snacks and water or electrolyte drinks on hand. Anything that will not spoil in a motorcycle saddlebag is a good idea. Stop for additional drinks and snacks when you run low.


Bring a Map or GPS

Newer motorcycles have GPS if you add it at the time of purchase. If not, you will need maps and need to remember what roads you are looking for as you travel. Getting lost on a motorcycle may be fun, especially in a motorbike-friendly country like Italy, but it will still cost you a lot in gas and time to get back on the right road when you travel.


Have Money and Emergency Credit Cards

A motorcycle can break down, just like a car. Something could happen to your health, and you may need to see a doctor. Emergencies would require access to cash and credit cards. Be sure you have both an ample amount of available credit on cards and traveling cash with you (or traveler’s checks, if you don’t want to carry that much money on your person or in your bike bags). Additionally, you will need to stop for gas often on such a lengthy trip. It helps to have what you need to pay for the gas for your bike.


Accept Varying Amounts of Distance Crossed Per Day

This ride is impromptu, which means that anything can happen and probably will. If you accept that you will travel farther some days than others, it will be quite enjoyable. If you can’t flex with the weird things that can happen when people travel, you might find it less enjoyable. Keep an open mind and accept what comes on the open road (within reason).

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