Planning a Bike TourHeading out on a long distance solo motorcycle tour? We’ve got tens of thousands of solo long distance miles under our belts, including coast to coast rides across America. Here are some of the things we’ve learned, which we hope will be helpful. And remember, if you need to hire a motorcycle for your American, Canadian or Australian tour, contact us! We’re an Official EagleRider Agent with great prices.}
File a daily “Flight Plan” with friends and relatives.
When you’re putting in big miles in unfamiliar places, especially in remote areas, it’s a good idea to give friends and family an idea of where you’ll end up every day, and when you’ll be checking in. At the least, this will give your loved ones a sense of ease about you riding alone. As riders, we often discount the concerns of others, because we know the rewards of motorcycling. But if we do have some issue, out on the road alone, it’s wise to have someone back home who’s thinking about us, and who can reach out if you don’t check in after a reasonable amount of time. 99 times out of 100, the “Flight Plan” helps our families feel better more than it helps us. But you never know.
Start early, finish early.
When we’re on the road, we like to be up at 6:00am, shower, breakfast, pack and on the bike by 8am (earlier if possible). It’s an incredible feeling watching the world wake up from the seat of a motorcycle, and if you’re planning to do big miles, the earlier you start, the earlier you can finish. As a rule, we are off the bikes before dusk, certainly sunset. Why? Well, dusk is when critters like to run out in front of bikes. The changing light can also make it harder for drivers to see you, and it’s harder for you to see road hazards. Pull into a town in the late afternoon, choose a place to stay at leisure, park the bike, get a quick nap and shower, dinner early, bed by 10pm. That’s a recipe for being fresh on the bike, getting in some good miles, and staying safe.
Inspect the bike
It’s critically important that you are aware of any mechanical issues your bike might have before you start it, ESPECIALLY on a long distance, solo ride. So check your bike in the morning before you start it, check it when you wipe it down when you park it for the day, check it when you fill up, when you stop for lunch, for a photo……often! The main things to check are: tires – tread ok, no cords showing, no punctures, nail heads? Chain and sprocket – any kinks, broken teeth, metal shavings? And leaks beneath the bike, any oil or anti freeze on the cases of the bike? Especially with suspected leaks, clean the bike, start it, let it sit and run for a minute, check again. Take care of your bike and it will take care of you.