Motorcycle travel: our advice for a well-equipped trip

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Valery Aloyants


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What to know before going on a motorcycle road trip

The sun is here and you want to take advantage of your motorbike for a weekend getaway or a few days. A motorcycle trip cannot be improvised and it is better to be well organized before leaving to fully enjoy your road trip.

Here are our useful tips to be ready on the day of departure.

Have your motorcycle serviced

Before leaving for a few days, it is essential to have the motorcycle serviced, especially if it has not been driven during the winter. The state of wear of the tires as well as the pressure must be impeccable.

For a long trip, estimate the condition of the gum. Either change them before you leave, or find out where you can buy new ones on your route. If you are going with a passenger, do not hesitate to over-inflate them slightly.

Also check the oil level, the condition of the chain kit, the brakes and the entire transmission (tension, settings, lubrication, etc.). If your motorcycle is equipped with adjustable suspensions, adapt them to a higher load. The lighting must be in perfect working order.

Finally, if you are going on a road trip abroad, check that you are well insured for your destination (the countries concerned are generally listed on the back of the Green Card).

The right equipment for the rider

Whatever the weather, the rider must be perfectly equipped for his safety. Approved and adapted helmet, gloves, jacket or jacket, long pants, boots… Even if the sun is shining, the protection must be complete.

A back protector integrated into the jacket is a good initiative. If you are going for several days, “touring” clothes will be more comfortable and more practical. They are equipped with numerous pockets, removable waterproof or thermal lining or membrane… If the clothes are not waterproof, equipment to protect against the rain is essential. Also think about thermal underwear that protects you from heat or cold.

What luggage to travel by motorbike?

Limit weight and bulk as much as possible and use luggage perfectly suited to your motorcycle. They must be perfectly distributed to preserve the balance. The heaviest is placed at the bottom of the side cases and with equal weight on each side. There are a multitude of models of motorcycle saddlebags, rigid or flexible.

If they are held in place by straps, secure the straps with insulating tape. The tank bag keeps the essentials close at hand. Most have a location for the card, smartphone, identity papers, etc. It must be properly installed and not obstruct the visibility of the meters or hinder movement. A top-case at the rear is very useful thanks to its large volume and it allows the passenger to be well installed.

The essential tools

It is not a question of leaving with a complete toolbox but of having the essential minimum in the event of a problem. You will always have some room to store a knife, insulating tape, a small oil container (essential for a long trip if you have a motorcycle with an air-cooled engine), a repair kit, lubricant and rags. A cigarette lighter socket is easy to mount and can allow you to charge your phone ...

Prepare the itinerary and think about the administrative details

If you are going on a motorcycle road trip abroad, respect the legislation and check if certain accessories are mandatory. This can be the case with a reflective vest, a warning triangle, a breathalyzer, etc.

For a slightly long route, do not overestimate the number of kilometers you can cover during the day. You go for fun and not to break records. Plan enough breaks and enjoy your trip.

Do not forget your papers especially if you are abroad. A good idea is to scan all the important documents (license, registration card, insurance, passport, identity card…) and store them in your mailbox or in a storage space on the Internet. Also think about photocopies; it can be useful in case of loss or theft. And of course, if your road trip takes you outside of France, ask for an international permit at the Prefecture.

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