It’s exciting to see an increasing number of people taking up motorcycles and embarking on solo or group road trips. When people first start cycling, they may have no knowledge about how to ride safely on slightly longer roadtrips outside of city riding. They meet more and more like-minded riders as they ride, and they learn a lot from them and their riding style. This small collection is intended to assist those who are just getting started, and it is based on the personal experiences and perspectives of a new long-distance motorcycle rider, so it should be useful.
1. Choose a bike that is convenient for you.
Whatever type of bike you choose, you must be at ease with it at all times. If you find a bike that needs some improvements to make it more comfortable to ride, make those changes right away. A different handlebar, a more comfortable saddle, guards, better headlights if they plan on doing a lot of evening riding, a new exhaust, and so on are some of the most common improvements that riders make. It’s important to remember that riding a bike well is just as important as looking cool on it.
2. Put on your riding gear.
Often wear riding trousers, ankle boots (safety shoes can be substituted), a riding jacket, and, of course, a full face helmet while riding long distances. Knee and elbow guards, as well as body armour, are options. Motorcycle gear can be purchased conveniently online or in moto shops. Try to get as close to your normal size as possible; loose or baggy gear or clothes can just cause discomfort. When fully geared up, you can feel heavy and uncomfortable at first, but once you’re on the bike, knowing you’re riding safer will make riding more enjoyable and give you more confidence. And, on a lighter note, you get a little more of a biker vibe. If you are a regular phone user, visit mountas.com to buy the best phone mount for bike.
3. Don’t overpack; instead, bring just what you need for a motorcycle road trip.
In the Indian market, there is a wide variety of motorcycle luggage to choose from, ranging from metal to soft textile luggage. There are saddle bags that can be harnessed to your bike’s back seat, tank bags that magnetically hug your tank and can hold lighter items, tailbags that can be bungeed to the back seat, and so on. These, too, can be found online or in moto shops, and come in a variety of sizes and designs to fit your bike. When packing, make sure to bring as many disposable, use-and-throw-away products as possible.
4. Drink plenty of water.
On a motorcycle roadtrip, many people overlook the importance of water. Invest in a hydration pack, which is essentially a water bottle in a bag with a hose that you can throw over your shoulder and drink from without taking off your helmet or stopping. Maintaining a healthy level of hydration during your trip will reduce the amount of effort required due to dehydration. If you like, you can also add some glucon-d or Gatorade to your drink. A 2 litre pack will last you all day and can be refilled if necessary. Make a point of drinking some every time you come to a halt (even if you aren’t thirsty).
5. Be aware of the surroundings.
Not everyone is a natural at remembering directions and routes, but having a good idea of which way you’re going and what path you’re taking will help you avoid wasting time getting lost. If you want to, try to keep a screenshot of the map on your phone or a printout of it. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for directions along the way, and if you see other riders, you can also consult them; you never know, you might learn of a more interesting route. Enjoy the trip, and before you get started, look at the itineraries of other motorcyclists.
6. Take frequent breaks
If you’re running for the saddle sore or the bum burner, it’s not a marathon! Know when your bike and body need to rest and stop for a few minutes every few kilometres or hours, depending on the terrain. Take just as many breaks as are absolutely necessary; otherwise, the riding rhythm would be disrupted. Check if you have enough water to drink and fuel in the tank when on a break so that you can schedule your next break accordingly.
7. Begin by riding a motorcycle with a light stomach.
Eat a light breakfast, a light lunch, and don’t overeat. Large meals require a lot of energy to eat which can cause you to fall asleep. Furthermore, toilets on Indian roads are unreliable and scarce. If you suffer from hunger pangs, bring some snacks and energy bars with you.
8. Hair stumbling block
When you have long hair, one of the most common problems you’ll encounter is tiny strands slipping out from under the helmet and hitting you in the face. Women motorcyclists suffer the most from this problem. The best option is to purchase a bandana/buff that you can stuff your hair into before putting on your helmet. Not only will this keep your hair out of the wind and away from your face, but it will also keep your helmet clean. These are reasonably priced, with a selection of prints ranging from Rs.150 to Rs.250.
9. Be ready for any weather condition.
On long motorcycle trips, I’ve learned that you should be prepared for rain at any time. Raincoats and pants that fit over your riding gear, as well as raincoats for luggage, are important. Try out your gear at home on a rainy day.
10. Maintain your motivation
The advantage of riding a motorcycle is that once you get started, you won’t be able to stop. Even if you slip, skid, or get a flat, stay inspired and excited. Getting panicked and frightened isn’t really helpful, as I’ve discovered on my runs. On a motorcycle, everybody makes mistakes and learns from them.
11. Make sure you have all of the necessary equipment and spare parts with you.
Go to a mechanic and ask him what important spares you’ll need for the bike on your ride. Each bike has its own set of specifications. Spare tubes, spark plugs, brake and accelerator cables, engine oil, and other items may be on a general list.