12 things to keep in mind before you plunge on road for long Drives.
1) Carefully choose a Bike on which you are comfortable
2) Gear Up
3) Carefully pack your backpack(it should be light in weight)
4) Always stay hydrated
5) Do not overeat
6) Always dress to ride
7) You should know the route(Because we do not get internet service everywhere)
8) Take a break for light snacks or tea regularly
9) Be prepared for any kind of weather
10) Always carry essential tools and equipment (safety must be first priority)
11) Stay Motivated
12) Hair Huddle
1) Carefully choose a Bike on which you are comfortable
A road trip is something any self-respecting biker will never say no for an answer. India has just warmed up to the largely Western activity of long-distance motorcycle trips. The Iron Butt rides (The Iron Butt Association is a US-based organization dedicated to endurance motorcycle riding with a claim of over 60,000 members worldwide who tout themselves as the “World’s Toughest Riders.”)are becoming very popular among the Indian biking community.
With better road connectivity and improvement in communication tech, enthusiasts are able to help each other through various online forums and biking clubs, be it helping get spares parts and modifying their ride.
2) Gear up
Riding gear is of paramount importance be it riding on the street or the highway. Riding gear also helps when you ride to higher altitudes, protecting you from the cold, during night rides by improving your visibility to other road users, and preventing your fingers from getting numb overextended riding periods.
A good helmet, gloves, jacket, jeans and hard boots are a minimum requirement to swing your leg over. Good riding gear is available at affordable prices. Some manufacturers are selling their branded riding gear too, if you are lucky to own such a motorcycle, then it would be a good combo. For bikers who can afford to go the extra mile, riding pants, back protector & knee guards will complete the list.
3)Getting your Bike ready for the ride
A clean bike is a good starting point. Basic checks should include:
First at all Get the bike serviced, faulty, will-fail-soon components replaced
1) Engine oil level and quality
2) Tire pressure
3) Brake pads/ braking performance inspection
4) Clutch, accelerator cable functioning
5) Chain- sprocket kit (If you are planning a drive more than 1000 miles)
6) Any unusual noise from the bike
7) Leak from any system
8) Check for any rust
9) Shoulder bags can be more stressful in long rides Use tank bags, saddlebags to carry luggage.
4) Carefully pack your backpack
Well, we thought we’d go with the most obvious one for starters. For any long-term trip, you won’t find us going for a suitcase; it’s all about the backpack. Try to find one with an easy-to-operate rain cover. Not only will it keep everything dry, but when storing your bag on buses it makes accessibility for wandering hands a little less convenient/tempting; it also lengthens the life of your backpack dramatically.
List of the things to carry for a long drive
1) Always carry a Helmet
2) Pair of extra gloves
3) Proper set of Footwears
4) Cooling Neck wrap( If you’re going on a summer road trip, a cooling neck wrap can make riding in scorching temperatures much more comfortable.)
5) Heated Riding Suit(For those who enjoy winter Rides, a heated riding suit can help you stay warm and toasty on the road.
6 Rain Gear( Don’t get caught in the elements without the proper gear. From a rain jacket and rain pants, don’t forget to bring your weather-proof gear along.)
7) Protective Eyewear(It’s important to have protective eyewear while you’re out on the road, including sunglasses and rain/night goggles.)
8) Documents(Keep your necessary documents, including your ID, insurance and roadside assistance information, in a secure place safe from the elements.)
9) Bike tools(If you know your way around a motorcycle, wrenches, sockets and other tools specific to your bike can help out in a pinch.)
10)First Aid Kits(It’s always a good idea to carry a basic first aid kit that can help tend to minor injuries.)
11) Water(Staying hydrated on the road is important. Bring at least 2 gallons of water so you never get thirsty.)
5) Always stay hydrated
Staying hydrated on road trips is super important. You’re exposed to all sorts of new germs, and making sure you stay hydrated is a great way to support your immune system on the trip. A lot of people do not pay attention to the water factor on a motorcycle road trip. You should always drink water after a span of 1 hour to keep yourself hydrated.
6)Do not overeat
Eat light breakfast, try to get some snacks and energy drinks. Big meals take a lot of energy to digest and will make you sleepy and heavy. Apart from this, it’s difficult to find reliable toilets on Indian roads.
7) Always dress to ride
For long distance riding, always try & wear riding pants, ankle boots, riding jacket(or else full sleeve shirt or t-shirt) & of course a full face helmet. Or there is the option of knee & elbow guards or body armour. You can easily purchase these items from Amazon.com or Flipkart.com. You will feel like a more biker if you are light in weight and it will be very comfortable for long drives.
8) You should know the route
First, at all try to find your destination on google maps and remember it if you can or nowadays we have an option of screenshots also. Apart from these do not hesitate to ask it from persons you find enroute. You can also google about other riders blog for more information about convenience routes.
9)Take breaks regularly
You are not an iron man. Definitely, you will be needing a break because after a drive of 1 hour you will be feeling numbness in your buttock region. Know when your bike & body need a break & stop & rest for a few minutes every few km or every few hours depending on the terrain. Try not to take too many breaks but only essential, otherwise, it just breaks the riding flow. While you are on break please check the things like drinking water and your fuel tank so you can plan your next break accordingly.
10) Be prepared for any kind of weather
A lesson I have learnt on long motorcycle trips is that you should be prepared for rain at any point in time. Carrying raincoats & pants that will fit over your riding gear & raincovers for luggage are a must. If you are travelling in winter, do not forget to carry your windshield.
Always carry essential tools and equipment. Go to a mechanic & ask him what all essential spares would you need to take on your trip for the bike. Every bike has different requirements. A general list might include a spare tube, spark plugs, break & accelerator cables, engine oil, etc.
11) Hair huddle
When you have long hair, then a problem you are likely to face is those tiny strands always slipping out from under the helmet and slapping you in the face. Women motorcyclists are the worst lot with this problem. The best way is to buy a bandana/ buff that you can push all your hair into before putting on the helmet. This will not only keep your hair out of the wind & your face but also help keep your helmet clean. These are not very expensive & there are a variety of prints available in the Rs.150-250 range.
12) Stay Motivated
The beauty about riding a motorcycle is that once you start enjoying it, there’s no stopping. Always stay motivated & excited, even if you fall, skid or have a flat. Once you start enjoying the ride, you will feel like road should never end.
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