How to prepare your Motorcycle for an Adventure Trip
Tips on Preparing for an Adventure Motorcycle Trip
So your "bucket list" includes a road trip on an Adventure Motorcycle? Great! Although in a perfect world it would require little more than to get a tune up and pack your bags, the reality is you are much better off taking the time to properly prepare.
If you have been off the bike for some time it will be necessary to learn how to ride again and develop the skills required to handle a big dual-sport bike off-road. In addition, you will need to identify and acquire the right gear, supplies and tools to complete the trip. Even if you are a regular rider, if this trip will be longer/ more exotic than your previous experiences, time and planning are key.
Adventure Tour Preparation Checklist
- Take a refresher motorcycle riding course.
- Test out various bikes before deciding which to use.
- Practice off-road riding on smaller bikes.
- Watch numerous videos about off-road riding techniques.
- Talk to other experienced riders for advice.
- Take several organized weekend group camp rides.
- Practice and perfect fixing a flat.
- Read regional tour planning guides.
- Spend time in related forums online and ask of them anything that you need.
- Research appropriate gear to bring depending on your journey/destination.
- Install a new set of tires and break them in properly.
- Talk to your bike dealer about maintenance, tools and spares.
- Practice using all electronics before you depart.
- Get a tune up, oil change, new filters.
- Dress-up your ride with protectors as Skid Plate and Crash Bars.
Whether riding solo or not, it is a great idea to take a satellite communicator (such as DeLorme or Spot) for a couple of reasons. One, if you run into trouble of any kind it will streamline the process of calling for help. Two, family and/or friends can track your location for fun or to help find you if you meet with a need to be located in a crisis. If you are going somewhere that is remote, remember your cell phone will not always have a signal.
If you will be staying at motels for your trip, your packing list will be much different than one who plans to camp out, naturally. Hotel stays will allow you to pack fewer items for lodging and more things such as video equipment, fishing gear, zoom lenses, high tech camera(s), etc.
For those who will camp out, investing in a small, lightweight tent and sleep bag are just the beginning! Again, spend plenty of time reading the experiences of others for items to pack that will enhance your experience. Simple items such as bug spray or mosquito netting can save you from a miserable time.
As for your bike, research will unveil tips and tricks that will make a huge impact on your experience. For example, coating your bike with spray cooking oil will help clean-up of bugs and other debris along the way. Another example is to carry fuel octane booster if your bike requires a certain minimum octane level.
Surely it is evident that planning and allowing plenty of time to do good research are key to a successful and enjoyable adventure bike trip. We hope you have a great and safe ride! #ProtectYourPassion !