Doing road trip with motorbikes offers different experiences compared to road trip with cars. Motorbike road trip offers bikers a chance to feel the wind grazing by their cheeks and picks up various smells as they pass by – the salty smell of sea, the fragrant bread from bakery, even freshly blooming flowers near the suburban road.
All of these make the experience of motorcycle road trip richer than the car counterpart. However, motorcycle road trip also has its catch; because motorbikes don’t have as much room for storage as a car does, biker should be wise and smart in deciding what to bring and what not to.
The luggage should have everything one might need during the trip, but also shouldn’t weigh down the biker with unnecessary items. In regard to that, below are 10 checklists for long distance motorcycle road trips.
1. Ear plug
Road is surprisingly a loud place. Not only there are many big and noisy vehicle like trucks, the sound of wind blowing can be disturbingly loud.
Exposing ear to this level of noise for a certain period can be detrimental to hearing.If one doesn’t like ear plug, he can wear it only when the noise are unbearable, like when going through a highway, and then take it off when riding through a city.
This one should be installed into the motorcycle, but it’s worth the investment if one wishes to ride through a highway. The wind blowing along as one is riding his motorcycle is great, but not if he is going with speed around 80 miles per hour or more in long distance.
The wind doesn’t just blow at this point, but slap. It won’t be painful, but it will be uncomfortable and distracting, not to mention it may carry dust or other tiny thing that can get into the eye.
Map is essential, especially when going to a place for the first time. Always prepare two kinds of maps: the digital and the physical. The digital one can be Google Maps or any other GPS apps, it is fairly accurate and the information is up-to-date. It can even give alternative route and time.
However, digital maps sometime can be down, either because of bad signal reception or dead battery. To avoid getting lost, always prepare a copy of physical map in the bag. Pick detailed but foldable and portable map.
4. Bluetooth Headset
When riding together, sometimes it’s hard to communicate to each other because everybody can’t hear each other. Rather than trying to outrun the other and then signaling them to stop, invest in Bluetooth headset.
With this item, one can notify others easily that he wants to stop at the next gas station or restaurant. He can even relay important message like when he feels sick and needs help.
5. Tool Box
Motorbikes can break, and while help is just one call away, sometimes it’s just faster, easier, and cheaper to take care of the matter alone. Keep a box filled with following items: tire pair equipment and air pump.
Air pump is important so when one gets flat tire, he still can make it last until the nearest workshop and get it fixed. Air pump is available in every gas station.
Don’t forget to pack essential tools such as wrench, screwdrivers, and multi-purpose hand tool. To support those tools, add duct tape, electrical tape, wire, fuses, and spare blubs. Throw in a flash light as well because motorbikes can also break during night time.
6. Power Bank
Keeping phone powered is essential on road trips – to call for emergency, help, or to check information in the internet and GPS. While free, it is available in almost all of the restaurants in the country, sometimes they can be scarce in some area.
Invest in durable power bank, or power station, to keep the phone alive. Also, make sure that the power bank is fully charged.
7. Waterproof Clothing
Weather on the road can change in the blink of eye. While it is impossible to snow on summer or get heatstroke during winter, rain and storm can be another story.
While it is advised to seek a shelter rather than continuing to drive in heavy rain, riders can still go through light rain. Of course, to avoid getting drenched and catch a cold later, wear waterproof clothing or rain coat.
Pick two pieces of waterproof clothing with top and pants rather than a piece of long coat to minimize the risk of the coat getting caught into the wheel.
Wear layered clothes, so they can be adjusted according to the weather. When the weather is hot, simply take off some layers and when it is cold, put them back.
8. Extra Gloves and Socks
Still talking about clothing, extra gloves is something many people deemed unimportant enough, but it is essential. Hands and neck are two body parts where one can directly control the temperature, so dry and warm gloves should be available during road trip.
Meanwhile, spare socks are also mentioned here because no one likes wearing wet socks and get their toes cold.
Pick a leather gloves which offer enough ventilation but also protection.
Other than that, the gloves must be comfortable and fit for the biker’s hand. Also pick gloves with finger tips that can be detected by touch screen devices.
9. Water and Snack
Being well-hydrated and not hungry is important during road trip. Not only water and food are body’s basic necessities; lacking them can result in concentration loss.
Restaurant and cafés are available, but sometimes one has to go through a long road in the middle of forest or field, and there wouldn’t be any restaurant there.
To avoid being hungry and irritated, always bring a bottle of water and snacks. Bring water, not soda, because soda is loaded with refined sugar and it can make the drinker get thirstier.
For the snacks, make sure to bring high energy snacks. These snacks must include various fruits, chocolate, granola bar, or protein bar.
10. First Aid Kit
Although, many a times we try our best not to get involved in any accident on the road, but sometimes accidents just happen. Mostly, it is minor injuries such as scratch and sprains.
Pack a light first aid kit for this kind of injuries. The item in the first aid kit should at least include antiseptic or sterile water to wash the wound and sterile bandages or band-aid to close the wound.
For muscle-related pain such as sprain and soreness, have analgesic balm and elastic bandages. Due to the risk of accident, it also wise to wear medical wristband if one has any.
These are few things which can be kept in mind while planning for a road trip. If we have missed anything please let us know through comments. Happy Journey!