Saturday, January 14, 2017

Motorcycle Long Ride Planning - Tips on how to prepare for a long motorcycle ride.

We had inquiries from some newer riders wanting to know how long they should plan to ride per day and how they should prepare for such a trip. So here are some suggestions we have picked up along the way.

1. How long to ride.
If the longest ride you have ever taken is 300 miles in a day,{don’t plan a trip with a string of endless five- hundred mile days. Most people ride the most miles on the first couple of days and ride steadily less each day after that. On day seven of a trip, the typical long distance rider will comfortably ride about 65% of the average daily mileage that they would book on a two day trip. If the pros have this type of mileage attrition rate, you should plan accordingly.

2. Don’t plan on cruising at high speeds.
A steady rider can book more miles, enjoy more mountain vistas and ride more twisty miles than a rider obsessed with making the best times. By taking your time, you will get better gas mileage and avoid the fatigue that is caused by fighting the effects of pushing a motorcycle through the wind. You might even avoid a speeding ticket.

3. Avoid drugs and caffeine.
You are better off stopping for the day when you get tired. You are asking for an accident if you try to artificially wake yourself up.

4. Make sure your motorcycle is in good repair.
You don’t want to delay your trip and spend unnecessary funds on new tires or a valve job because you forgot to check them before you left. Have an oil change before any long trip – but try to have any mechanical work done well in advance.Even the best mechanics can make mistakes.

5. Be prepared for temperature changes
The warmest day can cool off at night and you should be prepared with the proper clothing..

6. Pack wisely.
While many riders use a tank bag, what they pack in them is not always well thought out. Sun screen, skin lotions, eye cleaner, eye lubricant, a flash light, a tire gauge, maps and other essentials should all be kept in a handy location. If these items are not accessible when you need them, you won’t use them and that can lead to costly mistakes like missing a road because you didn’t want to look for your map or getting a painful sunburn because it was too much trouble to find your sunscreen.In addition, you don’t need to pack a lot if you bring the right things. Your leather jacket can be warmer at night when you need it if it has a zip out liner.

T-shirts for Bikers

7. Plan Your Route
You can use MapQuest to see realistic mileage between cities and determine just how far you can go in the time you have without exhausting yourself. Don’t forget to include time to stop and enjoy the scenery. It’s not just about riding – there’s some amazing country to be enjoyed.

8. Learn to Recognize Signs of Fatigue
It is important to know what speed your internal riding clock runs by and when your speed falls below that average, take time out and get some serious rest.
Symptoms of fatigue to watch for:
a. Inability to maintain a desired speed. If you find yourself slowing down and constantly having to speed back up, you are ready to fall asleep!
b. Forgetting to turn high beams down for oncoming traffic.
c. Indecision. Can’t decide to stop for gas or continue? Can’t decide what turn to take? These are all a result of fatigue.

9. Stay Hydrated
Lack of water affects mental and physical performance, causes soreness, cramping and headaches. Whether you|feel thirsty or not, drink water on a regular schedule – even in cold weather where you may never feel thirsty. While your motorcycle might have a fuel gauge, unfortunately, your body does not. By the time you are thirsty, you have already started on the road to dehydration.