How To Prepare For Motorcycle Touring

When a motorcycle tour goes well, it can be epic! When it doesn’t – due to any variety of reasons – you can wish that you’d never left the house.

Below are tips for how to prepare your bike (and yourself) for touring, so that you have the best chance for the best experience.

Research And Plan Your Motorcycle Tour
In many ways, the success of your motorcycle tour can depend on decisions that you’ll make before you ever get on the bike. When you’re choosing your route, consider distance, points of interest, and weather, as well as road conditions, fuel stops, and potential breaks.

Decide how many hours you’ll ride each day, and factor in adequate rest stops. Consider taking breaks every 100-150 miles or every 2 hours. Researching and booking places to stay ahead of time (particularly during peak travel seasons) can help eliminate the worry of having to find accommodations on the fly.

Budget for food, accommodations, fuel, and other potential expenses. Carry sufficient cash and debit/credit cards, and research the availability of ATMs along your route.

Get Your Motorcycle Ready For A Tour
Before you set off on your adventure, perform a thorough pre-trip inspection of your motorcycle, or have a mechanic do it. Check the oil, coolant, brakes, lights, tires, chains, and battery.

Get Yourself Ready For A Motorcycle Tour
If you’re new to touring or it’s been a while, consider taking a motorcycle safety course and/or a touring course. You might also want to work on your endurance by taking longer rides (day trips or weekend outings) and getting in shape physically and mentally for an extended period of time on the road.

Increase Your Cargo Space
You also might want to invest in good quality saddlebags, tank bags, and/or rear carriers that will give you enough room to pack everything you’ll need on your tour.

Enhance Your Comfort
Because you’ll likely be travelling greater distances than you normally would, comfort and ergonomics take on out-sized roles. Adjust your seating, handlebars, and foot pegs to ensure that your ride will still feel comfortable after hours on the bike.

Buy Safety Clothing
On your tour, you’ll want to make sure that you have proper safety gear, including a DOT-approved helmet, gloves, riding jacket, riding pants, and sturdy boots. If your clothing and gear is high-visibility (with neon colors or reflective stripes), all the better!

Pack For All Types Of Weather
On any given day on a motorcycle tour, you can encounter a variety of weather conditions (some forecast and many unexpected). Pack for warm and cold weather by layering up. Also, be sure to bring along waterproof gear/rain gear.

Bring An Emergency Motorcycle Kit
When you’re in unfamiliar territory, self-reliance becomes more essential. Prepare for breakdowns or emergencies by packing or purchasing an emergency kit that contains: basic tools, a puncture repair kit and small air compressor or pump, spare fuses, and bulbs.

Add In More Essentials
Be sure to pack other essentials, such as a first-aid kit, sunscreen, water, snacks, and medications. And don’t forget your license, registration, insurance, and passport (if you need it), as well as any required permits or visas. It’s a good idea to also carry a list of emergency contacts, as well as roadside assistance numbers.

Bring along a charged smartphone (with GPS capabilities), and have a way to keep it powered on the road. Also, you might consider investing in a Bluetooth headset so that you can communicate with other riders, listen to directions, and make emergency phone calls.

Plan To Navigate
To easily find your way (and avoid riding into areas that you don’t want to be), use a motorcycle-specific GPS system, offline maps, and navigation apps. Good old-fashioned physical maps can also come in handy as a backup.

Pro-Tips For Group Rides
If you’ll be touring in a group, discuss the route, rest stops, and hand signals with the other riders ahead of time, and plan to ride in a staggered formation that gives each rider have enough space and reaction time!

See Related Topics:
Types Of Motorcycle Touring
Tips For Motorcycle Touring
How To Pack For Motorcycle Touring
What To Pack For Motorcycle Touring
Motorcycle Tour Companies
How To Choose A Motorcycle Tour Company