Hitting the Road on 2 Wheels? Plan Ahead for Maximum Fun

Posted by Safeco July 14, 2014
Pack light, research your route and rest when you’re tired to help ensure a safe ride.

Whether you’re headed to the nearest state park or traversing multiple state lines, a little planning will help you make the most of your summer motorcycle getaway.

Not sure where to start? Our tips will help you figure out where to go, what to pack (spoiler alert: not too much) and how to get there safely.

Where to Go

No, you don’t need an exact plan. But you do want to have a general idea of where you’re headed; you can always switch it up on the fly.

  • Trip-planning resources abound online. Try Harley-Davidson’s ride planner or locate great bike routes in all 50 states at motorcycleroads.us.
     
  • Book hotels online or by phone. Often you’ll get better rates than you would by just showing up at the front desk.
     
  • When you have a general plan, be sure to let friends or family know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.

What to Pack (and What Not to Pack)

Packing smart – not just light – is one of the best ways to prepare for an extended motorcycle ride. We’ve all been on a trip with someone who brought four bags for three days. Don’t be that person.

  • Make a list or you’ll forget something. Guaranteed.
     
  • Go light on the clothes. Plan to wear things multiple days and to do laundry during one of your stops.
     
  • Bring a spare key, along with emergency contacts (family members, insurance company, roadside assistance, etc.).
     
  • If you’re on the fence about bringing something, consider leaving it out — and then buying it on the road if you really need it. Odds are you won’t.

How to Get There Safely

Regular motorcycle maintenance is vital, but so is inspecting your bike prior to hitting the road.

  • Before each ride, follow the T-CLOCS inspection protocol: Check Tires and wheels, Controls, Lights and electrical, Oil and other fluids, Chassis and Stands.
     
  • Keep the right equipment on hand in case of trouble: A repair kit, your owner’s manual, your insurance identification card, a first-aid kit, a GPS device or map, emergency flares and a flashlight.
     
  • Distribute weight evenly when you pack the bike – a road trip means you’re carrying more stuff than you typically do for a shorter ride.

Finally, know your limits when it comes to how much ground you can cover in one day. The more well rested you are, the safer you’ll be — and the more fun you’ll have. See you on the road!

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