Motorcycle Travel Comfort & Convenience (the Cool Stuff & the Little Things)
Do you dream of life on the road, just you and two wheels (or three)? We all have places we’ve been daydreaming about. Pick one from your ‘bucket list’ and make it happen! Here are some tips to help!
Picking a Route
The beauty of traveling on a motorcycle is that no one just “takes the freeway.” For some the point/goal is to pick roads they’ve never ridden on. Others look for scenic drives, roads with lots of curves (hooah!) or quaint towns they can explore along the way.
Google the words “scenic routes” and all kinds of things come up. Or, get out your “old-fashioned” map and peruse your route to see what towns and sights are near it.
If you’ve always wanted to see a landmark (say, Mount Rushmore or Niagara Falls) or tourist attraction (Disneyland?!), plan your route to take you through it (or by it).
Experience Cool Stuff
The roads are not the only reason for the trip. Make sure to plan fun and interesting destinations along your route.
Look for out-of-the-way “local” places to eat (they often have the best food and atmosphere).
Think about where you want to stay. Do you prefer a big hotel chain or something smaller? I love a good B&B (see http://www.bnbfinder.com/ or https://www.bedandbreakfast.com/); they’re often quaint or quirky, and the food is usually fantastic. Plus they have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening locally and are a great source for things to do in the area.
Every state (and many municipalities) has dedicated tourism websites that can be helpful in identifying destinations and lodging.
Try to plan your day’s travel so you end up at a location where lodging is available. (In peak times of the year you may want to make reservations in advance.)
TIP: Don’t get lost
You’ll enjoy your trip more if you’re not stressed about finding a place to sleep, or wondering how far you can go on a tank of gas. Get a GPS or a navigation app on your smart phone (See our blog post about GPS vs. Phone) and plug in your route. That way you can simply follow along and not have to worry about getting lost. Of course, you want to make sure your phone or GPS is securely mounted (hint: use a Leader mount!).
The Little Things: Comfort & Convenience
Packing: Packing is super important on a bike because you have such limited space. You don't want to look like this guy! Think about the weather where you’re traveling and realize the temperature may swing from high to low in the span of a day. Layer clothing whenever possible, and make sure you have the essentials. Another must: rain gear and good-quality leather chaps.
Helmet Laws: Know the helmet laws in the states in which you’re traveling. Don’t get caught without one in a helmet-law state! (No fun to get a ticket on your dream trip.) Check out this site for a map of the states where helmets are required.
Don’t Try to do Too Much
If you’re not used to riding long distances, don’t force yourself to stay in the saddle for hundreds of miles. Plan stops along the way: for hydration, a bathroom break, or just to walk around and get the blood flowing (and give your rear a break). Plan the total number of hours or miles to be comfortable for you and you’ll have a much more enjoyable trip.
Invest in a set of Desert Dawgs for rain and wind protection; a butt cushion (or custom seat if your budget allows); or some music… anything for comfort and convenience.
One last thing to think about
Have you taken your bike for a “wellness” check? You and your motorcycle are going to spend a lot of time together on this trip, so make sure your bike is “healthy”! Make sure someone knows where you’re going and all your contact information and insurance information is up-to-date and stored in a safe place.
You are prepared, packed, organized, and it’s time to hit the road. You can do it knowing you are going to make memories that will last a lifetime! Enjoy!
TIP: Saving Memories
Now that you’re finally taking your dream trip, there’s nothing cooler than recording it in both picture and video. The scenery and shots can be amazing!
Today’s action cams are light and powerful. Naturally, we have what you need to mount the camera: the Swivel-CAM is perfect for shooting video.
Think of all the fun you’ll have going back to watch this video in the dead of winter!
- Tracey Cramer