Top 5 Motorcycle Safety Tips for a Long Trip

Sep 9, 2021

Tags:tipsrentersmotorcycle safety

Motorcycle riders touring across the country.

Roaming the scenic stretches of road in a beautiful country is the biggest draw of a motorcycle trip. These long hauls bring extra challenges that you may not be aware of. Preparation is key to a trouble-free journey.

Motorcyclists tend to overlook a few things that can turn a dream ride into a drag. With the following tips, we hope to help prepare you to set out on a comfortable and rewarding adventure. Need more help? Read the How to Rent a Motorcycle Safely and How to Rent a Motorcycle in California articles.

1. Prepare Your Motorcycle for the Trip and Inspect Often Along the Way

It is a good idea to thoroughly inspect your motorcycle before beginning a big trip. Extra time spent up front can save precious hours you might waste on repairs. It also reduces the chance of disastrous breakdowns. Consider the following:

  • When was the last time you changed your oil and filter? 

  • Will your trip extend into your next maintenance? If it does, it would make sense to change the oil and filter beforehand?

  • How old is the battery? Batteries typically last three or four years, and depending on how they’re stored and how often they are used. Consider replacing the battery if it’s been a while since the last replacement.

  • When was the last time the fuel and air filters were replaced? 

  • Check to make sure your brake pads still have some life, and consider replacing your brake fluid. Brake fluid should be changed every two years.

  • Check the lights, horn, gauges.

  • Visually inspect the bike for any damage.

Make sure to regularly check the bike along the way. Inspect tires for punctures, nails, protruding cords, etc. Inspect for leaking antifreeze (if liquid-cooled) and oil on casings or underneath. Check whenever you get a chance: while filling up, taking a break, or stopping for the day. Also, pack a lightweight bike cover to shield your bike overnight.

Be Prepared for Changing Weather

At some point, chances are you’ll either end up hot, cold, or wet. This happens especially when you travel cross-country through varied terrain.

You can be burning hot one moment, drenched due to a sudden downpour, and shivering in the wind until it dries. To avoid this, wear vented jackets, gloves, and pants, with ankle-length boots to keep your feet cool and protected. If your riding gear isn’t waterproof, be sure to keep a waterproof shell, top and bottom, that you can throw on as soon as you see those rain clouds gathering.

Make sure you are healthy and your mind is clear. Getting sick or being distracted is a sure fire way to ruin a road trip. Take care of your health and try to take a water break during each fuel stop.

Adjust Your Posture Regularly

Good posture is critical for comfort. A firm seat remains comfortable as you don’t sink into it. When you spend hours on the seat, you itch to move back and forth, which is easy to do on a firm seat. You might also want to change your regular seat for one with a backrest. It will help you relax and ride comfortably for hours at a time. 

Use Wireless Equipment and Maps 

Many people fidget with a GPS and don’t pay attention to what is ahead. Being cautious at all times is very important for any trip, and it doesn’t matter if you’re riding a two-wheeler or driving a car.

Try using Bluetooth-equipped helmet headsets. Not only can it play your favorite music, it also lets you hear GPS instructions. Touchscreen-friendly gloves permit easy smartphone use. BNe mindful, however, not to try to use your smartphone while riding. Having one hand off of the handlebar, as well as your attention on your phone is a recipe for disaster.

Use cruise control if you are comfortable and your motorcycle is equipped with it. This feature helps maintain a steady pace and reduces fatigue. This is especially useful for areas with fast-moving traffic, as maintaining constant speed is safer for everyone on the road.

It is always a good idea to let someone know your whereabouts, especially in breakdowns or other emergencies. Share your location with friends or family members to keep them updated.

Toolkit

Last but not least, carry a specialized toolkit specific to your bike. This makes it easy to make sudden repairs or mechanical adjustments. Locking pliers, a crescent wrench, a multi-tool with screwdrivers, a tire repair kit with an air pump and gauge, and other tools that you may find useful. Carry a few common fasteners for your bike, just in case you are stuck on the side of the road or the local hardware store doesn’t have what you need. 

Despite all the preparations that you have to do, going on a long journey is worth it. You get to see a lot of different places and things that you would not be able to see if traveling by other means. 

You can also upgrade your bike to a touring model, which is more comfortable and allows for luggage and greater passenger accommodation.