Every motorcyclist has to deal with a motorcycle breakdown every once in a while. However, a breakdown can be bad news if you are miles away from home, a city, or a mechanic, and stranded on the highway. If you are riding a motorcycle rental, then road assistance is only one call and a few hours away. But when you are riding your personal motorcycle, you may only have your own skills to rely on if you cannot get assistance.
Sometimes, your motorcycle may suffer a severe breakdown, forcing you to turn back towards home if it is closer to your destination. The last thing you want is to break your motorcycle’s engine or other parts. This article will help teach you how to deal with minor motorcycle breakdowns.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Tips to Deal with Motorcycle Breakdown on a Road Trip
- 1.1 Ride a Well-Maintained Bike
- 1.2 Ride with Another Rider
- 1.3 Plan Your Route
- 1.4 Share Your Location with Family & Friends
- 1.5 Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
- 1.6 Create a Motorcycle Tour Tool Kit
- 1.7 Carry Extra Cash to Pay Repair Services
- 1.8 Move to a Safe Place
- 1.9 Stay Visible
- 1.10 Have a Positive Attitude
- 2. Takeaway
1. Tips to Deal with Motorcycle Breakdown on a Road Trip
The following tips cover all that you can do before, during, and after a breakdown on a motorcycle tour.
1.1 Ride a Well-Maintained Bike
Touring on a brand-new bike will reduce the risk of a breakdown since it is still in good condition. But it is nearly impossible to always have a new bike each time you explore the world due to being highly expensive. But you can tune your current motorcycle so it operates like a new one if you get it serviced by a skilled mechanic. A well-maintained bike is less likely to break down. Mechanics can also point out possible weak points and potential mechanical issues that may arise. If you know what your bike is and isn’t capable of, you will be able to ride with care. Also, you will be better prepared to handle sudden situations. For example, if your bike’s engine is weak and becomes easily strained if you ride uphill, then you will know to avoid such routes.
1.2 Ride with Another Rider
Solo trips are great, but having another motorcyclist travel with you can provide much-needed support. If your motorcycle suffers a major breakdown, having another biker with you will make it easier to transport your broken motorcycle to the nearest gas station or repair shop.
1.3 Plan Your Route
Planning your entire route will help you figure out which new places you want to explore and possible rest stops along the way. Doing so will also help you figure out more easily where to get help in case of a breakdown. Every 50-100 miles, you should come across a town or a village with a gas station, diner, hotel, etc. If your bike breaks down at night, you should be in a position to drag it to a rest stop, rest, and work on your bike the next day.
1.4 Share Your Location with Family & Friends
Before embarking on a trip, make sure to tell your family or friends where you are going and share your phone’s location. If your family members know where to find you, they might be able to come to your rescue. Try not to go off-the grid completely. When out on the road, networking becomes even more important.
1.5 Motorcycle Insurance Coverage
Invest in motorcycle insurance coverage. If you borrow a motorcycle rental, rental services may extend the roadside assistance service. You will be charged for the service but it is a worthwhile investment. If you don’t want to rent a bike and prefer to ride your own motorcycle, then look for quality and affordable motorcycle insurance coverage.
When looking for motorcycle insurance coverage, look for companies that have extended networks of tow trucks, roadside assistance, repair shops, mechanics, hotels, cabs, and gas stations. These services will locate you in a timely manner, tow your bike to the garage, and arrange for a hotel and a cab for you to wait at while your bike gets repaired.
1.6 Create a Motorcycle Tour Tool Kit
When planning a motorcycle tour, you will need a complete tool kit to make repairs to your bike just in case. Though the tools may differ slightly between each model, all motorbikes need tools to change the oil or air filter, check the brakes, adjust the chain, adjust the cable, cover any punctures in the wheels, and inspect the spark plug.
Your motorcycle tour tool kit should include the following:
- Torque & Hex Keys
- Chain Lube
- Tire Repair Kit
- CO2 Canisters
- 12-Volt Compressor
- Small Hand Pump
- Tire Spoons
- Extra Tube (If Motorcycle Has Tube Tires)
- Hose (6-ft thick, ¼-inch thick)
You cannot predict every scenario that might happen, but you can prepare for the most common ones. Just make sure that your tool kit is versatile and has everything you may need. Do not carry a ton of weight with you as it can weigh down your motorbike and affect handling.
1.7 Carry Extra Cash to Pay Repair Services
Motorcyclists tend to pay for most services with credit cards. However, in case your motorcycle suffers a breakdown on the road, you might want to carry cash. Make sure you set aside an emergency budget to pay for unexpected expenses.
1.8 Move to a Safe Place
If you find yourself stranded on the side of the road, you may be at risk of theft, collision, and exposure to bad weather. Before you call for help, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic as soon as possible. If you can find farmland or a house nearby, and try to ask for help from the locals. Some riders also carry tents and hammocks to wait at nearby BLM lands or campsites until roadside assistance arrives.
1.9 Stay Visible
Move your motorcycle to a safe place but do not be out of view of the highway. Stay visible to other riders in case they choose to stop and help you. If your motorcycle’s lights are still working, turn on the hazard lights. You can also use the turn signals or a flashlight to signal for help if it is legal to do so.
1.10 Have a Positive Attitude
Each time your motorcycle breaks down on a tour, you will learn something new about how to handle unexpected situations on the road. Think of these as opportunities to learn how to fix mechanical issues. Every time you fix a breakdown or any mechanical issues, you will be able to fix the damage quicker and better the next time. Viewing breakdowns as frustrating problems can demoralize and stress you out.
Dealing with a motorcycle breakdown is never easy. No matter how much you try to avoid a breakdown, it may still happen. If you prepare for breakdowns beforehand, you can make the situation bearable. Don’t let your bike hinder you from returning home. Small issues can be fixed quickly, but major breakdowns may take a day or two to fix. Road assistance companies can offer you the choice of having your bike towed to a garage or having it transported back to your home. Meanwhile, you can fly back, rent a different bike to continue, or wait for your bike to be fixed before resuming your journey.
Also Read: How to Make Motorcycle Trips More Enjoyable?