b-3

So why 9?  Because everyone does 10 and 11 is too much work.

First of all this list is not for one of those around the globe motorcycle adventure trips.  I will not be mentioning things like lion repellant, spare tires or satellite phones.  These tips are more for that multi-day to couple week trips via normal roads/interstates motorcycle trips.

These tips are primarily based on our own experiences and may or may not be fully applicable to you.  However, Debbie and I are not any different then you guys so I hope that the tips get you to at least think about a particular item.

9.  Carry a few tools.  Yes, this is dependent on the type of motorcycle you ride.  A sport bike is not going to carry as much as a touring bike.  At a minimum get a multi-tool that is appropriate to your bike.  By that I mean, if your multi-tool has a hex tool but your bike has Torx screws, it is not going to be of much use.   Here is what I carry on the Harley Davidson Ultra Limited:

Multi-tool that came with the motorcycle, which turns out is quite limited based on our summer 2015 trip.

Mini screwdriver and ratchet sets with Torx, hex and standard bits in the sizes I need for my motorcycle.

Stop n Go tire Repair kit.

8. The weather is going to change, be prepared.  No matter what you think is going to happen, plan on getting wet or cold or both.  Again what you can carry is dependent on the motorcycle you ride.  At a minimum you should carry rain gear.  You need to stop and put on the rain gear as soon as you know that it is not a tiny little shower, especially if you are in the mountains.  It sucks to put on your rain gear after you are soaking and then the temp drops.b1

7. ATGATT  All The Gear All The Time – Every time I see or hear this I can’t help but think of the green Martians from the cult classic movie “Mars Attacks” (ack ack).  But what it should mean is good boots, motorcycle pants and jackets that are armored and abrasion resistant and a full face helmet.  I know that I do not do this all the time myself, it is something that we all know we should do!

6. Start Early End Early – This one is more from personal experiences with longer motorcycle trips.  After so many years in the army I still wake up early.  Because of that I get on the road early and, depending on where you are riding, that can get us out before traffic gets heavy.  It also allows you to beat the heat in the summer months, for a while anyway.  By ending early you have time to get your motorcycle unloaded and prepared for the next day, give you time for a shower and a bit of rest before dinner.  I like to be kickstand up no later than 7AM and stopped for the evening no later than 5PM.  This also helps with any bickering or sniping with your passenger because you are both tired or hot or cold.

5. Get in a Routine – Load and unload your motorcycle the same way in the same order.  Do your post ride checks in the same way at the same time (after diner). A routine of this nature will help ensure you do not forget anything while loading and unloading.  It will help to ensure that you perform your ride checks and preparation.b4

4. Inspect your bike at night – As part of your routine, do your T-CLOCS before you close down for the evening.  Wipe down the grime on your windshield/faring and if you have room to carry one, cover your bike.  Performing these activities on your motorcycle each night, I like to do mine after dinner, will allow you to be on the road little quicker in each morning. Do it in the evening or in the morning, but on all long motorcycle trips you need to do it every day.  Things become loose or need attention, better to find out when you are parked.

3. Snack Smart – Eating a big turkey leg at noon and then riding on the interstate might cause you get a bit sleepy.  Snack smart is just a tip to make sure that you can operate your motorcycle in the best manner possible.  Drinking soda or coffee might not be the best option over water or a sports drink on those days where heat might be a concern.  If you are on one of those rides where you only stop for gas consider adding a cup holder or hydration pack to your ride kit. Additionally, consider what you eat, would a banana be better for your riding or do you really, really want that turkey leg!!!

2. Tweak don’t Twerk –  Move around on the seat to stay comfortable and avoid saddle sores on a long motorcycle trip.  This is easy on a touring bike, with larger seats, highway pegs and large footboards the touring motorcyclist has it easy over the sport bike riders.  But, either way, you have to remain a comfortable as possible.  If you plan on lots of long distance riding, look into getting a seat that really fits your seat.

1. Stop and smell the roses! – Yes we all know we need frequent breaks but, if your breaks are only gas stations you are likely missing out.  If you see something that peaks your interest check it out!  Even if you have to turn around and go back to get the picture with the giant roller skate do it.  You might never know what you are missing…. maybe dinosaurs! b-2

Comments
  1. Good stuff Warren.
    May I add a 9a?
    Enjoy yourself at all times!

  2. Some great pointers right there.

    9b stop and talk to the locals

  3. I’m glad that you talked about starting early and ending early, especially to beat the heat in the summer months. Not only that, but it helps you stay safe at the night. After all, after a long day of driving, stopping early could really help you recharge and rest for the next day while also not pushing yourself.

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