Suppose you’re in the market for a motorcycle or have decided to take your first motorcycle road trip. It’s essential to prepare before hitting the open road. Motorcycle riders can be entertaining, but they can also be dangerous, especially if you’re unprepared. If you’re not careful, you might find yourself trying to flag down cars on the highway with nothing but an empty gas can in hand and the clothes on your back.
As the saying goes, better safe than sorry. So here are eight essential things you need for a motorcycle trip. And even if you’re not planning a motorcycle trip right now, many of these essentials are great ideas for any road trip.
It may seem obvious, but calling for help is an absolute necessity. If you’re worried about your expensive smartphone breaking or getting stolen, get a cheap phone to use just for traveling. Or better yet, purchase a power bank in case of emergencies. That way, if you run out of juice on your device, it won’t ruin your trip.
- GPS Device
A GPS device can help you avoid getting lost, even if you’re unfamiliar with your surroundings. Whether you use a standalone unit or a mobile app like Google Maps, it’s best to choose one that allows you to put in multiple destinations. This feature is especially beneficial if you plan on taking different routes. Be sure to pack extra batteries and charge your device before heading out on your trip. It would also be wise to include a map if something happens to your GPS device.
- Water Bottle
It might sound basic, but keeping your body hydrated is an absolute must. A water bottle with filter and purification straws is a great idea, particularly if you’re in an area where clean drinking water is hard to come by. Be sure that when you purchase your flask, it’s capable of holding more than one liter. This capacity will allow you to carry water in case of a mechanical problem or even dehydration from long hours on bumpy roads.
If you plan on eating while you’re on your trip, make sure you have enough food to sustain yourself for an extended period. Food can be bought along your route if needed but make sure it will last until your next planned stop. Also, consider bringing snacks and bars if you’re feeling hungry. These are great for on-the-go energy and nutrients and keeping hunger pains at bay. You don’t want to run out of gas, figuratively or literally! Packing healthy foods with protein and nutrients is essential because you need those things to keep going all day long.
A waterproof jacket is essential when you’re riding. Even if it’s a beautiful day, you never know when that perfect ride could turn into an unexpected downpour. And if you do get caught in the rain, your jacket can keep you dry and prevent hypothermia. If possible, opt for a jacket with zippers on each pocket to help secure your belongings. Be sure to pick up rain pants too. They may seem bulky, but they’ll come in handy if you encounter inclement weather. No one wants to ride home soaking wet!
- Spare Tire
There’s nothing worse than realizing that you’ve got a flat tire right in front of your hotel when it’s freezing outside. Bring along a spare tire, or get it professionally mounted on your bike before heading out. Once you start riding and experience wear and tear, make sure to get your tires rotated by an expert as soon as possible. That way, you don’t accidentally blow your tires while you’re riding down some deserted highway.
- Extra Gas
One thing you never want to run out of is gas. If you do, it’s easy to see how things could go downhill fast. Always fill up when your tank hits half-full to prevent that from happening. That way, you’ll still have enough fuel to get where you need to go. For long trips, you should also try to keep an extra gallon on hand if you hit unexpected traffic or get lost. This will ensure there are no delays.
- In Case of Accidents
When planning your motorcycle road trip, it’s easy to put safety last. But when you’re on the open road, it’s essential to be prepared and think about how you will react in an emergency. Ensure you have enough life insurance coverage if anything happens during your trip. Call your family to let them know where you are and how long you plan on being gone. Ensure that somebody knows about any special medical conditions that might require additional care.
For extra measures, you can also keep a motorcycle accident attorney on speed dial to help out with claims and other legal paperwork after an accident. They can also help you get compensated for lost wages or property damage as well. By staying safe ahead of time, you can save yourself a lot of trouble down the line.
Before you hit the open road, make sure you’ve got your essentials covered. Don’t skip over these tips and tricks if it’s just a quick day trip. Instead, use them to keep yourself and your bike safe! If you are going on an extended trip, be sure to check out our packing guide. Happy riding!