Going out on a motorcycle, whether long or short, is an experience for any biker, no matter if you have been riding a motorcycle for 30 years or if it is your first outing. That feeling is priceless. Like best drum rug. Today we share with you some tips so that nothing can cloud it.
If you are one of those who thinks that good plans are those that “come up” and you like to go “on the fly”, with no intention of pricking your free-spirited balloon: it is very likely that your motorcycle routes will end up being quite disappointing. Of course you have to leave room for improvisation, to try a different place to eat, to take a different detour just for the sake of enjoying the adventure… but a good biking route has to be prepared. And you have to prepare it well.
Here are a few essential tips to make your motorcycle route a success and not an endless accumulation of “I wish we had thought of it before we left home”.
Advice before getting on the bike:
1-Plan the route.
It is important to plan as much as possible the route you are going to do, establish a departure time and adequate stops. If you like gastronomy and taste local delicacies, it is not a bad idea to check out the restaurants in the area. If you (or any of the travellers) have special needs when it comes to eating (allergies, intolerances or are vegetarian or vegan) it is almost essential to investigate whether you are going to find a restaurant that offers the alternatives you need or if, on the contrary, you should prepare some sandwiches or tuppers and make a stop at the coolest picnic spot in the area.
For the refuelling, it is very interesting to have a tool such as a service station locator, depending on the kilometres we are going to do and the autonomy of our motorbike, it can be very useful for us.
Nor should we leave aside the stops to rest, which we can do at the same time as refuelling or at any other time, it is a question of enjoying, not arriving earlier or later at your destination. If the trip you are planning is long, leaving early is one of the best options to avoid the stifling heat in summer and a bit of traffic at any time of year. Try to finish not too late, that way you will get all the rest you need to start the next day. Rest is a fundamental aspect to avoid accidents. Exhaustion reduces our reflexes and, apart from leaving us with an unpleasant experience of our motorbike route (which, let’s remember, we have left to have a good time), we can put our own integrity on the road at risk, as well as that of other drivers. If we need to stop and rest, we stop.
2-Check your bike
Before the day of departure, check the pressure of the tyres, that they are in good condition and free of dirt, clean the bike and check that there is no leakage of liquids, and of course start with a full tank of fuel. Nothing will destroy your bike route more than a breakdown or, worse still, an accident. Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to riding the road.
3- Lightweight luggage
Whether it’s a long or short outing you should carry as light luggage as possible, and if necessary get hold of some accessory such as saddlebags or luggage racks to ride safely and comfortably. Try to take the essentials, without forgetting documentation, a mobile phone with a charged battery and some cash, plastic is more practical, but you never know… There are many people who tend to pack their bags just in case, well: to do a route on a motorcycle you have to change your mindset to the most minimalist possible. It’s quite unlikely that halfway through you’ll be invited to a black tie party, so take your shirt out of your saddlebags and go.
4-Square up properly
Of course a helmet, jacket and gloves are the basics, but don’t forget that the better equipped you are, the less risk you run in case of an accident. It is very interesting when driving on the road to wear a reflective vest if your jacket does not have visibility elements, it never hurts to look good. The money you spend on your safety is an investment, even more so if you are a biker: we are the most unprotected travellers on the roads, so don’t skimp on something that is fundamental.
5-Carrying some basic tools on the bike
A wrench, multi-purpose screwdriver, duct tape and a puncture repair kit can save the day. If you get a puncture, you can always go to the nearest workshop to get it repaired and it’s all just a story. Otherwise, any minor setback, such as a loose mirror, can ruin your ride.
6-Eat a light breakfast and look well hydrated
If not, fatigue appears earlier and reflexes are diminished. Stopping to rest at the slightest sign of discomfort is ideal, just a few minutes to stretch your legs can restore your sensations.
Tips on the bike
There’s no need to do a fast lap or prove anything to anyone, we’re enjoying the ride. If you go in a group remember not to go in a single line on the straights, always in a zig-zag formation, to have visibility beyond who is in front of you and so make it easier for him to know where you are at all times. If you have established some stops to refuel, all of you must do it at the same time, so you don’t have to stop the whole group in different occasions, which would make the journey much less fluid.
8-Don’t pick up your pace
That could lead to unnecessary risk situations, if you meet other bikers on the road who are going faster than you, say hello and do your thing, if on the contrary you join them within your limits, go ahead, enjoy the company.
9-If you go with a passenger
Don’t make manoeuvres that could make him uncomfortable, set a simple code of signals to stop if necessary, for example two touches on the shoulder means that you slow down, if he lifts his thumb it means that everything is fine, etc.