Nothing captures the spur-of-the-moment nature of motorcycling like going out on a trip on the open road.

But despite the spontaneous nature of long-distance bike rides, it takes planning to make sure the trip is as fun and hassle free as it should be. Here are ways you can make sure you won’t cruise into trouble during your trip.

What Bike is the Best?

Knowing what type of motorcycle you own plays a factor in figuring out what paths to take in your long-distance trip. Although there are a variety of motorcycles available for sale, not all bikes will give you the best performance for long-distance riding. Some motorcycles are meant for highways and open roads. If you prefer taking it rough and off-road, farm quads are your best bet.

What to Bring for the Ride

Unlike cars, motorcycles don’t have ample space for luggage. Here are creative ways you can pack for your motorcycle trip:

  • Bring the essentials: Bring weather-appropriate gear (sunglasses, sunscreen, gloves, waterproof outerwear), maintenance supplies (tire kit, bike cover, motor oil) and personal comforts (first-aid kit, medication, flashlight, phone charger).
  • Roll up your clothing: Rolling up your clothing frees up more space on your storage than folding.
  • Disperse your gear low and towards the front: Arranging your belongings on this area evens the centre of gravity.

Getting Your Bike Ready

Your trip relies on your motorcycle, so make sure it’s at its best performance before you set for the road.

  • Be aware of the load limits: Check the owner’s guide of your motorcycle and look for the maximum total weight it should carry at one time.
  • Inspect key components: Test spark plugs, clean or replace dirty air filters, inflate the tires and make sure all your lights are working.
  • Take a test ride: A test ride helps you know what else needs tweaking before you set off for your trip.

Planning the Finer Details

A motorcycle trip doesn’t involve plenty of travel arrangements but nailing down a few details ensures a smooth journey.

  • Map out a basic route: Your route doesn’t have to include landmarks and timeframes. Just figure out where you want to go and the path you’ll be taking and keep a loose schedule.
  • Plan sleeping arrangements: If you want to sleep in a motel or hostel, book your accommodation in advance. If you’re planning to camp outdoors, research the best places where you can make a pit stop.
  • Find fill-up spots: The last thing you want to happen is to run out of fuel in the middle of your trip.

Boosting Your Motorcycle Coverage

Before you head out, make sure that you’re fully protected with motorcycle insurance. If you already have insurance, check the policy and add coverage in areas helpful to your trip.

For example, adding coverage for towing and labour gives you peace of mind in case you get stranded. There might also be coverage for costs for alternate transportation, food and lodging while you’re waiting for bike repairs to finish.

Although long-distance motorcycle trips may happen spontaneously, heading off unprepared or forgetting the essentials tends to ruin what is supposed to be a fun getaway. Before you cruise off, do some planning and packing the essential to prevent headaches down the road.