While a lot of riders claim to enjoy motorcycle touring, long-distance motorcycling is a lot less popular. Most people like to head out for a long weekend or even a week-long trip.
Anything longer than that and life typically gets in the way. However, even on those shorter motorcycle trips, there will still be days that you might have to cover up to 500 miles or more.
There might even be a few days in a row where you have to ride these kind of miles. in that case, there are two key points to keep in mind to improve your long distance motorcycle riding experience.
This would be efficiency and comfort. In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at long-distance motorcycling and provide some helpful tips to make it a more enjoyable experience for you.
1. Get Your Stamina Up Before the Trip
The last thing you want to do is jump into long days in the saddle without any practice beforehand. A great strategy is to build up to the higher mileage Days by getting some good riding in before your trip.
Depending on your usual day trip mileage, start by trying to hit between 50 and 100 miles on a single trip. From here you can work your way up until you’re comfortably doing 200 or 300 miles in a single day on the weekend, or whenever time allows.
This is going to help acclimatize your body to the longer distances. It’s also going to give you the chance to try out your motorcycle touring luggage and determine which setup works for you when you’re out riding.
not everyone is going to have the free time or freedom to get these kinds of miles in before a big trip. The important thing to remember is that every little bit helps and even a small amount of riding practice beforehand is going to help you out when you head off.
2. Improve Your Fitness
The main issue with long-distance motorcycling is that it’s physically and mentally taxing. your mind is going to be drained and your body is going to be extremely tired after a long day of riding.
Multiply this a few days and you’re looking at a recipe for disaster. Instead, it’s a good idea to try and get into better shape before heading out on your trip.
The easiest way to accomplish this is to start trying to get in better shape a few months before you leave. By getting into shape I mean improving your cardiovascular fitness, stretching regularly, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
This is definitely going to make things easier for you when you’re riding long distances on the motorcycle. Your energy is going to be higher oh, you’ll feel more comfortable on the bike, and you will have a better experience overall.
Check out my post on motorcycle riding Fitness for a better idea on how to accomplish this. Every little bit helps when it comes to longer motorcycle tours so it’s definitely something worth considering.
3. Perfect Your Long Distance Motorcycling Gear
Another benefit to logging in some miles before you head out is that you can refine your long-distance motorcycling set up. You’ll be able to see what luggage you prefer riding with and whether or not you need something new.
It’s also going to help you determine what you can leave behind. For example, maybe you need a smaller motorcycle tank bag or you might want some heated motorcycle gloves because your hands are getting cold.
Riding with luggage will also give you a better idea how your bike feels when it’s fully equipped with all of your gear. When you’re out riding, make an effort to ride in different conditions so you can get the best feel for your bike.
It doesn’t hurt trying to ride with a motorcycle top box and switching the gear in your luggage to see how the bike handles. You might even find out you want a motorcycle leg bag or some other piece of equipment instead.
4. Pack For Your Trip Beforehand
We have mentioned this a few times already, but it’s a great idea to pack for your trip before you leave. This will give you the most accurate representation of your long-distance motorcycling set up.
Take the time to pack your gear so you can see how everything will fit. It’s not a bad idea to use a checklist as well, just to prevent forgetting anything.
It might seem counterintuitive packing a few weeks or months before your trip, but it’s really going to help in the long run. Learning how your bike handles when it’s fully loaded and you’re close to home is a lot better than figuring it out when you’re on the open road.
5. Plan to Start Early
When you’re on a long-distance motorcycling Adventure, the last thing you want to do is sleep in. Waking up early means you have more light during the day and can cover a lot more miles comfortably.
You won’t need to worry about riding your motorcycle in the dark. It’s also easier to plan your stops, without needing to consider tourists, and avoid Areas with heavy traffic.
Think about it – if you hit the road between 10 and 11 a.m. you have already lost a few hours of daylight. This drastically limits the riding time you can have during the day and can significantly cut down on your mileage.
It’s a lot easier to set out early in the morning, when it’s still a little dark, as opposed to riding at night. Another problem when you’re riding at night is you have already ridden throughout the day and will be tired, more likely to make a mistake.
Instead, it’s better to start early when your mind is fresh and you’re still enthusiastic about the day ahead. It doesn’t hurt to have some extra time later in the day as well, so you can relax at your destination or enjoy your dinner without feeling rushed.
6. Stay Hydrated
Once you get into the hang of things it can be easy to ride hundreds of miles, only stopping for gas. Don’t forget that it’s just as important to stay hydrated as well.
Considering most of you will be touring during the summer, it’s going to be hot on the bike. Even with your mesh motorcycle jacket, you’ll probably still be sweating without realizing it.
Getting dehydrated can be dangerous and can cause you to lose focus. Along with water, make an effort to drink some electrolytes as well.
Hydration Packs for Long Distance Motorcycling
Rather than stopping to take a sip from a water bottle, using a hydration pack on your motorcycle makes it a lot easier to stay hydrated. You can fill these up with water and regularly sip on it when you’re riding.
This can surely be helpful since you’ll probably have to pee every time you stop for fuel. Even on a fuel efficient motorcycle, it’s a good idea to stop regularly to stretch your legs and top off the tank.
There are a number of options for motorcycle hydration packs that you can check out. Whatever you use, fill it up with cold water in the morning and regularly refill it throughout the day to stay hydrated.
7. Check the Map Before You Leave
If you’re like me, you probably spend hours agonizing over Google Maps and planning every stretch of the trip. However, those of you that don’t, are doing yourself a disservice.
It’s a good idea to check Google Maps before you head out each day to get a better idea of your route. You also never know when your phone is going to cut out or the battery is going to die.
Checking the map should give you an approximate idea of where you’re going and what to expect. Unless you’re in a busy City, you should be able to recall from memory the direction you’re heading and how to get around until you can get back on Google Maps.
It’s also a good idea to check the map and look for scenic routes, mountain passes, shortcuts, and other areas that can improve your riding experience. Don’t forget to look for toll roads or busy areas that you can avoid when you’re riding as well.