After almost 30 years of riding motorcycles, I’m all about comfort and convenience! And sometimes it’s the ‘little things’ that make your motorcycle trip so much more enjoyable. Here are some of my top tips for motorcycle comfort!
Packing is super important on a bike because you (obviously) have limited space. You don’t want to look like this guy!
Think about the weather where you’re planning to travel, and realize the temperature may swing from high to low in the span of a day (especially if you’re riding in mountainous areas). Layer clothing whenever possible and make sure you have the essentials: jeans, underwear, extra socks, long-sleeve shirt and your favorite T-shirts. Another must: rain gear and good-quality leather chaps.
Know the helmet laws in the states in which you’re traveling. Don’t get caught without one in a helmet-law state. (It’s no fun geting 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
This is probably the one I have to remind myself about. 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 to protect your legs and feet from rain and updrafts; a butt cushion (or custom seat if your budget allows); or some music… anything for comfort and convenience.
Many wonderful memories are going to be made during this trip. Have you thought about how you’re going to save them? Your own brain, you say? Well, if you’re like me things don’t stick in the old noggin like they used to.
What’s the solution? Make a video!
Check out our blog post for tips on using a video camera. Then get yourself a high-quality and easy-to-use motorcycle camera mount – such as the cool-looking SwivelCAM or Tank Mounts – and get out there and do it. Think of all the fun you’ll have going back to watch this video in the dead of winter!
Have you taken your bike for a “wellness” check? The two of you are going to be spending a lot of time together on this trip!
Make sure your motorcycle is roadworthy and reliable before setting out. Ensure all equipment is working and can withstand the rigors of the road. The tires should have plenty of rubber and be properly inflated, the oil and other fluids should be clean and topped off, and all lighting should be working.
If your bike has a chain drive, the chain should be properly tensioned and lubricated, and if belt driven, the belt should be inspected for wear and properly tensioned. Make sure all nuts and fastening hardware are tight.
And make sure someone knows where you are going and all of your contact information and insurance information is up-to-date.
It’s time to hit the road. You can do it knowing you’re prepared and are going to make memories that will last a life time! Enjoy!
Tracey Cramer-Kelly, published author (see biker fiction at TraceyCramerKelly.com) and Leader Motorcycle Accessories co-owner, has been riding motorcycles for almost 30 years. Leader’s Gadgets division specializes in mounting GPS, phones, cameras and other devices. The company’s Cold-Weather division manufactures the Desert Dawgs Rain Guards/Wind Deflectors to keep riders warm and dry. We’re proud of our commitment to manufacturing in the USA! www.LeaderMotorcycle.com