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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Guest Post: 5 Tips for planning a Touring Trip on a Motorcycle

There can be any number of unexpected surprises on a motorcycle trip.  You can’t plan for the unexpected, unless you are simply always prepared.  Planning may seem daunting, but it will end up allowing you to enjoy the best moments along the way.  Here are just a few things to consider as you build your trip strategy:

Tip #1: Take the right bike
Not everyone has the luxury of choosing their ride for a motorcycle trip.  If you only have one bike, then think of it this way: Plan the right trip for the bike you ride.  An ADV bike will take you further into uncharted territory where a cruiser would be out of place.  A properly outfitted touring bike will allow you to outlast for those ironbutt treks.

Tip #2: Choose the right season

Leaving at the right time of year can make all the difference in successfully completing a tour.  Keep in mind that the seasons reverse as you cross the equator.  How many hours of daylight do you need to cover the mileage to your destination?  Will you expect rain, or even snow?  Don’t ride below 36 degrees unless you’ve been doing this for twenty years - ice is the silent two-wheel killer.

Tip #3: Wear the right gear
Based on your first two set of choices, make sure your gear is up to task for your style of riding and the season you are in.  Not everyone has the budget for high end gear, but you can build a strong wardrobe to suit your needs by paying for the right features and functions.  The ‘right’ gear will give you the stamina to log the miles and remove distractions so you can focus on the road.  Some brands to consider that offer good options at several price points are: Bell Helmets, REV’IT! Textiles, and Sidi motorcycle boots.

Tip #4: Pack the right stuff
Are you camping or staying at hotels?  Will you be traveling in urban areas with quick-access to amenities, or will you be stranded next to the ‘No gas station for 100 miles’ sign?  Does your cell phone have coverage along your route?  Will you be stopping for food or bringing it with you?  Ask the right questions; get the right answers.

Tip #5: Map the right roads
This is what it is all about, right?  Don’t be too short-sighted.  You can choose the most awesome twisties on the way out, but remember you have to get back home!  A return timeline can force you to take long, straight, boring highways all the way home, if you aren’t careful.  Charting in triangles often allows for a good mix of mileage, diversity and pacing.

About the Author: Chris K, Motorcycle Enthusiast, RevZilla.com. Commuter by trade, but an aspiring sport-touring rider, Chris prefers twisties and mountain views, but will put up with stop and go traffic to avoid driving the cager.  A dedicated two-wheeler, Chris rides his VFR800A Anniversary Edition Honda Interceptor - rain or shine.



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