6 golden rules of long motorbike rides

Riding long distance trips is something most motorbike riders yearn for at some stage.

The idea of an almost endless ride to somewhere far-flung is very exciting indeed. The freedom of being on the open road and countless countries to explore is indeed one of the main reasons people invest in motorbikes.

The realities can be quite different, though, and if you don’t follow these six golden rules of long motorbike rides, you might end up with far more than you bargained for.

1. Start early - end early

There’s a couple of reasons to get started early with your ride. Firstly, you’ll get to see the sun rise and the world come alive, but the earlier you set off, the earlier you can finish, too.

The latter is particularly important, because the dimming light experienced at dusk can be pretty perilous for riders.

2. Dress right

This might sound obvious, but many riders who undertake long distances decide to do so in their normal gear.

On a long ride, we’d suggest adding armour inserts and brightly visible styles that offer the protection you’ll need during the journey. Avoid baggy clothes, too, because they’ll only get annoying the longer you ride against the breeze.

3. Think about changing weather

It stands to reason: the longer you ride, the more chance you’ll have of encountering different weather conditions.

From sun drenched motorways to slippy, rain soaked B roads, you’ll probably have to deal with it all, so take waterproof jackets, and plenty of storage space for when you need to remove a layer or two.

4. Acclimatise yourself to the noise

Long rides are generally soundtracked by wind and noisy roads. During your daily commute, this is fine, but ride for an entire day in similar conditions, and it’ll quickly become wearing.

Try and get some experience of this by riding for a few hours longer than you would otherwise each day. You’ll gradually get used to the noise for longer stretches of time.

Oh, and take some earplugs, too!

5. Adjust your stance

The last thing you want to do on a long motorbike ride is maintain the wrong stance for the entire trip. It’ll do you serious damage.

Firstly, make sure you’re supported by a seat that is firm enough to prevent you from sinking but soft enough to remain comfortable. Consider a backrest, too.

Securing your footing with motorway-ready pegs is also a good idea, but remember that you should still be able to bend your knees every time you need to shift position.

6. Inspect regularly

Get into the habit of inspecting your bike every time you stop. You’ll be stopping a lot during your long trip, and that means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to check tyre pressure, brake condition and look for anything that might be out of place.

It’s also worth surveying the tyres for nails, punctures and raised cords. Find them early, and you won’t be met with a nasty surprise on the road.

Wrapping up

There’s of course lots more you can do to prepare for your long motorbike ride, but the above tips are the ones you should take with you at all times.

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