Spring is here, and many thrill seekers are finalizing their plans for some exhilarating adventures as the temperatures continue to rise. Motorcycling is just one way to fuel the fire of your adventurous spirit, and an extended cross-country excursion through America’s open roads can easily provide enough adventure to last a lifetime. But as with all types of travel, you’ll have to plan carefully if you want to minimize your frustration and maximize fun. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re planning for your spring or summer cross-country motorcycle adventure.
3 Smart Tips For Planning Your First Cross-Country Motorcycle Excursion
This may sound like a given, but many experienced bikers say that it’s easier than you think to neglect small details when it comes to safety, maintenance, and self-care after being on the road for an extended period of time. But above all, safety is a critical aspect of any extended motorcycle trip. About 1.3 million people around the world die in road crashes each year, so it’s important to give yourself a break at least every couple of hours to allow both you and your motorcycle to rest. After all, brakes on an aggressively ridden streetbike can heat up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, while the pads and discs on a racebike may exceed 600 degrees. While your bike is cooling down, rehydrate with some water and grab a snack if needed.
Pack With Precision
You won’t be able to carry nearly as much luggage with you as you would when traveling in a car, which is why you’ll need to pack with total precision regarding both what you pack and where you pack it. While every rider will develop their own preferences over time, it’s a good idea for first timers to pack items together based on when you’ll need them and store them toward the front of your bike for the most even weight distribution. Furthermore, many experienced riders have touted the utility of sturdy plastic storage bags as opposed to a traditional suitcase. Today the world makes and consumes about 600 billion pounds of plastic yearly, and the market is still growing about 5% a year, and plastic is totally weatherproof. Their versatility allows them to be reused countless times as well. Finally, if you’re traveling with other riders, see if you can each bring common items to share to cut back on luggage.
Carry Documents Correctly
If you have an especially busy itinerary, it can be helpful to arrange your documents, such as maps and hotel reservations, in envelopes labeled by day.
“Going on a long, complex trip? Before you leave, prepare one envelope for each day on the road. Mark the outside of each envelope with dates and locations, then stuff them with things like hotel reservation info and lists of things you’d like to see. Instead of juggling your entire stack of literature to find the information you’re looking for, you can just open up that day’s envelope,” writes BuffaloChip.
It’s especially important to arrange documents properly if you plan on venturing into Canada or Mexico during your excursion. There are around 43.3 million foreign-born people living in the United States, and it’ll make your trip much more difficult to return to the United States if you don’t have the right documentation ready at the moment you need it.
With these tips in mind, you can feel confident hitting the open roads knowing you have all your bases covered!
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