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National Motorcycle Ride Day

A Little Preparation Goes a Long Way Before a Motorcycle Trip

With Autumn in full swing, the weather is nice and it’s the perfect time to hop on the bike and take off for a few days.

 The perfect time to plan that road trip, though, is not the day before you leave. Preparation will reduce your stress level, increase safety and make the entire trip more enjoyable.

 We know, it’s not as wild as just heading out with no plan whatsoever. But you’ll have plenty of fun by following these tips — and if you find yourself in a sticky situation, you’ll be ready. 

Your itinerary

You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going, of course. Part of the fun of a road trip is the freedom to change it up. It’s best to come up with a general route, however, so you can do a little research on sights and attractions you may want to hit. Try or Harley-Davidson’s ride planner.

And thanks to smartphones, you can book hotels as you go. Keep in mind that calling or booking online (even moments before you arrive) will often get you a better price than just walking in. 

Your safety

As always, make sure your motorcycle is in good working condition before any trip. Regular T-CLOCS inspections will ensure that your journey doesn’t get stalled on the side of the road. Check:

  • Tires and wheels,
  • Controls,
  • Lights and electrical,
  • Oil and other fluids,
  • Chassis and
  • Stands.

In addition to your regular gear, some essential safety items to pack include: A repair kit, your bike’s manual, maps or a GPS device, emergency flares, a first-aid kit and a list of emergency phone numbers (family members, insurance company, roadside assistance, etc.). Carry a spare key as well, or trade one with a traveling companion. You probably won’t need it, but if you do, you’ll really need it.

Your enjoyment

Road trips aren’t races — they’re meant to be relaxing and sometimes even meandering. So try not to overdo it. Have realistic expectations for the number of miles you can do each day, especially if you’re on back roads. Also be sure not to over pack; you can always do laundry on the road if needed.

Whether you’re headed around the state or across the country, here’s to a fun (and safe) journey!