Extended road trips have an undeniable allure, especially when experienced from behind the handlebars of a motorcycle. A bike allows you to communicate with the road in a way that traditional vehicles just can't match. However, this method also requires some additional planning. Before you rev up the engine, make sure you're armed with these essentials.
Commercials might show riders wearing nothing but a tight T-shirt and faded denims, but this isn't consistent with reality—at least, it shouldn't be. Wearing protective gear reduces the chance of road rash if an accident occurs. This includes riding boots, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved jacket (preferably made of Kevlar or heavy leather with armor inserts). A neck gaiter will offer additional protection and help keep you warm in chilly weather and offer sun protection. Finish off the ensemble with a sturdy helmet with a face shield, or if needed a pair of goggles or sunglasses, and you're good to go. Earplugs might also come in handy, especially if the bulk of your trip will take you along busy highways.
As you can imagine, nothing can derail a trip faster than a blown tire. Be prepared to deal with the situation by packing a tire repair kit. Most patching kits will include rubber cement, sticky strings, and a rasp and needle. You should also carry pliers or a multi-use tool in case you need to remove any foreign objects from the tire. It's best if your tire repair kit comes equipped with a CO2 inflation system. At the very least, you should pack a small manual air pump so you can restore the tire to a safe pressure before returning to the road.
If you don't already have a GPS system, you should definitely invest in one before your trip. This will save you on time and gas mileage by ensuring that you're heading in the right direction at all times and allow you to plan your needed rest-stops easily. In addition to helping you stay on track, it can also come in handy in case you're the victim of an attempted theft. The system will allow you to track the bike's movement, making it easier for law enforcement to find and apprehend the thief.
While these items are useful when it comes to the success of your journey, they can't do the job alone. Have the bike serviced before you leave home, and be sure to observe standard safety procedures when you're on the road. With the right preparation, you can make this trip the adventure of a lifetime.
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