Have you been building up your stamina by riding 50-100 miles every day for the past couple of months? Do you feel ready to make a 400-500-mile motorcycle trip? Though most riders are used to daily commutes and long urban rides, they eventually want to move on to long highway trips. But to make these trips enjoyable, you would need to take time and effort to plan every step from start to end.
Long-distance motorcycle trips seem interesting and fun when looking at photographs. However, the reality is that long-distance motorcycle trips can be challenging experiences. You would have to fight sleepiness and fatigue, endure muscular strains, and may have to deal with mechanical breakdowns, closed roads, and traffic jams. If you are up for the challenge, here are some tips to make your motorcycle trip more enjoyable.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Tips to Make Your Motorcycle Trip More Enjoyable
- 1.1 Focus on Pre-Tour Preparation
- 1.2 Plan Your Ride During Pleasant Weather Conditions
- 1.3 Choose the Road Wisely
- 1.4 Try Out a Different Motorcycle
- 1.5 Interact With Locals
- 1.6 Plan Recreational Activities
- 1.7 Stop at Noteworthy Tourist Points
- 1.8 Listen to Music
- 1.9 Share Your Riding Moments with Family & Friends
- 1.10 Have a Positive Mindset
- 2. Takeaway
1. Tips to Make Your Motorcycle Trip More Enjoyable
1.1 Focus on Pre-Tour Preparation
To make a motorcycle trip enjoyable, you need to make preparations before the trip begins.
Develop Endurance & Strengthen - You need to be physically fit to control your motorcycle at a consistent highway speed for hours.
Ride with Luggage - Carry luggage during practice rides. Motorcycle luggage can increase the motorcycle's weight and result in less maneuverability. Test how much weight you can handle when making sharp turns, maneuvering through traffic, and navigating twists and curves.
Start Your Trip Early - On the day you plan to begin your motorcycle trip, try to start early in the morning when it is still dark. This will give you enough time to wake up, get dressed, have breakfast, drink coffee, and exercise. You will also be able to finish checking your bike for any mechanical issues, pack your luggage, collect your documents, and run any last-minute errands before most drivers are awake. Most riders report that they get the most riding done in the early morning, with exhaustion and drowsiness beginning to set in around the afternoon.
Other Pre-Tour Preparation - Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Do not engage in physically or mentally challenging activities before riding. Eat light meals to prevent blood sugar spikes and energy crashes. Keep yourself hydrated by carrying hydration packs, water bottles, or canteens. This will help reduce exhaustion when on the road.
1.2 Plan Your Ride During Pleasant Weather Conditions
Extreme weather conditions can make for a terrible motorcycle riding experience. Try to plan your trip during fall or spring. During these seasons, the landscape is brimming with life, the sceneries are full of vibrant colors, and you are more likely to spot wild animals and exotic birds. Plus, you won’t have to deal with the problems of riding in uncomfortably hot or cold temperatures. The best months for long motorcycle rides are from February to April and from August to October.
1.3 Choose the Road Wisely
Always choose a road fitting your current level of riding skill. If you are a novice or intermediate rider, it is best to avoid highways that are famous for hairpin turns, twisties, difficult terrain, and bad weather conditions.
Below is a chart listing the most popular roads in the United States and their level of difficulty:
|Popular Motorcycle Roads
|Natchez Trace Parkway, Alabama
|State Highway 1, California
|Pig Trail Scenic Byway, Arkansas
|Tunnel of Trees, Michigan
|Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah
|State Route 36, California
|Cherohala Skyway, Tennessee
|Beartooth Highway, Montana
|Northwest Passage Scenic Byway, Idaho
|San Juan Mountain Skyway, Colorado
|Tail of Dragon, Tennessee
|Twisted sisters, Texas
1.4 Try Out a Different Motorcycle
If you are comfortable with the idea of riding a motorcycle rental, you can borrow a comfortable grand-touring motorcycle or cruiser from a rental service.
These motorcycles are built for touring and have advanced features such as:
- Heated grip and seat
- Comfortable suspensions
- Firm and comfortable seat with back support
- Large frame and thick tires for stability
- Wind deflector
- Superior ergonomic design
- Built-in phone apps
- ABS & traction control
1.5 Interact With Locals
Interacting with locals gives you the opportunity to share experiences and make new friendships.
While refueling your motorcycle, buying provisions, taking a rest break, or stopping at a diner, try to start conversations with the people you meet. You will learn more about the culture or history of the place you are visiting and the best lodgings and food establishments nearby.
1.6 Plan Recreational Activities
When on the road, you will find multiple opportunities to engage in recreational activities, such as hiking, nature walks, camping, exploring, and wildlife observation. When planning your road trip and choosing the route you want to ride on, look for recreational opportunities at destinations along the way to your destination.
For example, if you plan a motorcycle ride on the Pacific Coast Highway, you can take part in the following recreational opportunities:
- Boating in the Stow Lake
- Walk on the Devil’s Slide Trail
- Search for th Hidden Beach & Waterfall at Ragged Point
- Visit Cayucos Tide Pools
- Hike at Llama Farm
If you do extensive research, you will discover many hidden highways and byways that could make your motorcycle trip more enjoyable.
1.7 Stop at Noteworthy Tourist Points
If possible, try to visit the nearby cities, towns, or natural parks if they have popular tourist attractions. Taking a detour might mean you will arrive at your final destination later than intended, but you might discover interesting places you would have missed if you had kept on going.
For example, if you are riding on the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway in Colorado, you can visit the following attractions to make your trip more enjoyable:
- Visit Golden Gate Canyon State Park
- Check out Indian Peaks Wilderness Area
- Explore deserted ghost towns of Apex and Hesse
- Stay at the iconic Stanley Hotel
1.8 Listen to Music
Music is the best form of entertainment on the road since it prevents boredom, helps you stay awake and alert, and reduces noise from the exhaust pipes and wind.
When listening to music on a motorcycle, be mindful of the volume, do not get distracted trying to change the song or put it on repeat, and make sure you can still hear your surroundings.
1.9 Share Your Riding Moments with Family & Friends
Riding with the company can be fun if your passenger is knowledgeable and passionate about motorcycles as you are. Similarly, when riding with friends or other riders, it is important to be selective about who you ride with. Trips can become less enjoyable if the other riders constantly argue and complain.
If you feel lonely on long motorcycle rides, but don't want to travel with company, send friends and family members photos of your trip’s highlights.
1.10 Have a Positive Mindset
Many factors determine how your motorcycle trip will go. Even if you are careful with your preparations, some things are out of your control. You might get lost, lose an important document, ride in bad weather, get a flat tire, or become sick.
Having a positive mindset will help make your motorcycle trip more enjoyable. Overcoming challenges will help make you a more experienced and stronger rider, able to better handle unexpected developments.
With careful planning and an open mind, a rider can make any motorcycle trip an interesting and enjoyable experience. By being flexible about your riding schedule and making the most of your time on the road, you can make all motorcycle trips enjoyable.