With temperatures warming up, now’s the perfect time to plan an unforgettable motorcycle road trip! Whether you’re preparing for an epic adventure to Sturgis or a peaceful trip to the coast, be sure to pack your road trip essentials. Once you're several miles from the nearest town, you would hate to be stranded or not have what you need. There are also some tips to keep in mind to ensure you have the time of your life!
In this post, we’ll discuss some important motorcycle road trip tips. From packing your gear to scheduling your day, there are several things to think about. Keep reading to learn how to plan your road trip like a pro!
1. Check Fluid and Filters
Checking the basics on your bike is a simple and essential step on any road trip.
Make sure to check the following before you head out and periodically during your trip:
- Coolant level
- Fuel filter
- Air filter
If you fail to check these, you could experience a serious problem with your bike—and you could be left stranded on the side of the road for hours. Dealing with these problems can be a huge downer on your trip! That said, always make sure to check your fluids and filters. You may also have a professional look over your bike before leaving on your road trip.
2. Check Tires
While checking your fluids and filters is important, your tires are also vital. You want to make sure they’re at the right pressure and are free of any leaks. It’s also essential to have good enough tread. If you fail to check these, this could result in a life-threatening situation. Are your tires nearing the end of their life? Even if your tires have some tread left, you may replace them sooner rather than later. This is especially true if you’re going on a long road trip. You would hate to deal with tire issues while on the road. Make sure your tires are in tip-top shape to protect you, your bike, and others around you!
3. Eat at Different Times
Eating at odd times can save you tons of time. This is especially true if you’re traveling to a popular destination on a highway. Chances are most people will stop for food at the same place as everyone else. If you decide to stop at these restaurants along the way, they can be swamped at regular eating times. That said, consider eating lunch at 11 am or 2 pm and dinner at 5 or 8 pm. This allows you to beat the crowds and get back on the road in no time!
4. Stay Hydrated
Unfortunately, many people forget to drink enough water during road trips, resulting in dehydration and feeling terrible. While you may be extremely busy running around from one place or another, make it a priority to drink water. This is especially important if you’re drinking alcohol. While on the road and at your destination, always keep water close by. However, as you can’t simply pull out a water bottle while riding, you could invest in a hydration pack. These are backpacks with water packs built-in. They come with a long tube where you can easily drink water whenever you need it. Not only can you pack enough water for hours on the road, but these packs can also carry your other essentials!
5. Pack What You Need
Packing for a motorcycle road trip isn’t always easy. After all, you only have so many storage compartments. However, one great option to add more space involves installing a luggage rack. These are relatively inexpensive, sleek, and extremely useful. Another fantastic storage option is a saddlebag. These can easily attach to the side or rear of your bike, providing extra space when you need it most!
Additionally, think carefully about what to bring with you. Since you don’t have much space, packing light is essential.
Here are some packing tips to keep in mind:
- Roll your clothes
- Fold chaps properly
- Create a system
- Lock up expensive items and valuables
- Bring only what you need
- Carry bungee cords and zip ties
Packing light not only makes things easier, but it also helps to reduce the weight of your bike—which saves gas!
6. Wear Protective Gear
Of course, you can’t forget about safety gear. This includes items like helmets, jackets, and pants. No matter where you’re driving, you never know what weather will come your way. From sunny skies to rainy conditions, weather can be very unpredictable. However, while you want to bring all these essentials, you need to be careful not to pack too much. Try to invest in lightweight, high-quality, and easy-to-pack protective gear. Also, don’t forget about sunscreen. You would hate to get an awful sunburn on your long, epic adventure!
7. Bring a Spare Key
Imagine having the time of your life on your vacation, only to realize you can’t find your motorcycle key. This can turn an incredible trip into a nightmare quick. To avoid this embarrassing, costly, and time-consuming situation, bring a spare key. Many riders use a zip tie or duct tape to attach their key to their bike. Another option is to leave the spare key with your traveling buddy. Bringing an extra key can save you from a horrible situation!
8. Take Breaks
Road trips can be exhausting. While you can have an unforgettable time on your motorcycle road trip, they can take a lot out of you—especially if you don’t ride often. To keep your energy and stay motivated, schedule breaks when needed. If you’re traveling with other people, talk to them about when and how often to take breaks. While riding on a bike isn’t strenuous, it can still make you extremely tired. Also, riding for long hours can give you saddle sores. It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when the time is right. Your bike will also appreciate the extra rest!
9. Prepare for The Worst
No matter what trip you’re headed on, you always want to plan for the unexpected. In fact, it’s best to prepare for the worst. This will keep you ready for anything that comes your way.
Here are some common situations that could happen on your ride:
- Bad weather
- Lost items
While you don't want to even think about experiencing an accident or losing something valuable, you just never know when these things can happen. That said, always be ready for whatever comes your way. Keep emergency phone numbers handy, carry a first aid kit, and know who to call when an emergency pops up.
10. Know Your Location
As you’re cruising on your bike without a care in the world, you should care about one very important thing—your location. Especially if you’re in an unfamiliar area, you always want to keep tabs on where you are. If you get lost, getting back on track can be a stressful, time-consuming process. Also, you need to know your location if an emergency strikes. Even if you have your cell phone with you—one of the top road trip essentials—the 911 operator needs to know where you are in an emergency. Consider using GPS, having a map, and paying attention to road signs and mileposts.
11. Wear Earplugs
As you probably love the roar of a motorcycle engine, this sound can harm your ears over time. In fact, just one ride can result in years of hearing problems. Wind noise is another sound to worry about. The longer you go with all this noise, the worse your hearing issues can become. Also, hours of loud noise can bring on fatigue, possibly leading to a drop in concentration and focus. This could be detrimental while riding. One simple solution is earplugs. If you're in the market for one of these road trip essentials, there are many different types to consider.
Here are the various types of earplugs on the market today:
- Moldable earplugs
- Foam earplugs
- Banded earplugs
- No-roll earplugs
- Reusable earplugs
- Electronic earplugs
Ditch the fatigue and take care of your hearing with a pair of high-quality earplugs!
12. Book Lodging Ahead of Time
Thinking about taking a road trip to a popular motorcycle rally? Or how about a famous national park? Whatever the case may be, it’s vital to book lodging accommodations ahead of time. While you can always roll up to a hotel and book a room, you take the risk of them being sold out. This is very possible if you’re traveling to a popular destination. Additionally, this approach can lead to paying more for a hotel room. If you book online or call the hotel ahead of time, you’ll typically receive a better rate.
13. Create a Road Trip Playlist
Last but certainly not least, creating the perfect road trip playlist should be a top priority! Nothing beats driving down the highway while cranking your favorite tunes. If you have rider companions, talk with them about what to include on the playlist. Be sure to have some heart-pounding tracks to keep your spirits high! Building the ideal road trip playlist can make your adventure that much more enjoyable!
Have an Epic Road Trip with Garage Bagger Stereo
Garage Bagger Stereo is your one-stop-shop for all your motorcycle stereo road trip essentials. We’re the leaders in motorcycle audio. Whether you’re searching for a new radio, motorcycle speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, or something else, we’ve got you covered.
With decades of experience in the industry, we’re ready to take your motorcycle stereo to the next level. Contact us today to create the perfect sound system for your next motorcycle road trip!