What do I need to know before setting off on a long motorcycle trip?
The wind in your hair, the taste of freedom, the excitement of exploring the world and the thrill of discovery - these feelings are familiar to almost all motorcyclists. But it's not easy to cover hundreds or even thousands of miles on a motorcycle. So it's worth considering a few tips to make the journey a pleasure.
Choosing the right bike
For longer trips, you should try to find out about road and weather conditions in advance, as this may influence your choice of motorcycle or, if you already have a motorcycle, at least prepare it as much as possible for the trip. Touring and adventure motorcycles will be suitable for long distances, as these iron steeds have more powerful engines, large fuel tanks, hoods and windshields for fair and foul weather, and more space for luggage.
The most popular model and the most appreciated by long distance riders is the BMW R 1200 GS. It is a versatile bike, as it can be ridden on flat roads and, conversely, on winding paths off the beaten track, thanks to its rigid frame, handling, electronically controlled suspension, automatic stability control and different riding modes.
The complete technical control of a motorcycle
Before leaving on a trip, you should have it checked, make any necessary repairs, check the condition of the running gear, engine and electronics. After a complete service, a "test ride" of 300 to 500 kilometers on different road surfaces should be carried out to ensure that the motorcycle will not break down during the trip.
Motorcycle tires play an important role - they should be changed before you leave on your trip.
The average tire has a "life cycle" of 10-15,000 kilometers and if you are planning a trip that exceeds that mileage, you need to think ahead about where you can change the tires on your motorcycle.
Be sure to pack extra supplies - a repair line with tools, tape, an air compressor or air salt for tire repair - to repair the tire if necessary and at least get to the nearest garage. You should also have the minimum tool kit for your model of motorcycle.
Have road maps and a list of useful contacts
They say that everything happens by how well you plan, but on the other hand, nothing ever goes according to plan. In any case, there are things you can do in advance, such as downloading maps into the navigation system and preparing a list of useful contacts, such as garages, hotels, maybe even dealerships authorized by the bike manufacturer.
BMW Motorrad has tried to make navigation as easy as possible on its bikes.
For example, the BMW Motorrad Connectivity system and the BMW Motorrad Connected App offer innovative solutions for navigation. The connection between the smartphone and the motorcycle allows the rider to find his or her destination conveniently via the direction arrows on the TFT display.
Riders can download maps before setting off, making navigation independent of a mobile network connection, which is particularly important when Roam at Home is not in use and mobile data use is an expensive pleasure.
Think of the optional equipment for a more comfortable trip
It goes without saying that long journeys require special motorcycle clothing that protects not only against changing weather conditions, but also against injury in the event of a fall. But there is also additional equipment available to make the trip more enjoyable.
For example, the handlebars are padded and can be heated to make them easier to grip.
Since the most difficult part is sitting for a long time, the comfort of the seat is important. Special gel pads can improve seating comfort, as can a removable and fixable backrest which can be useful from time to time to relax the lower back.
It's important to consider the positioning of luggage - a tank bag secured with straps or magnets works well for items that are needed relatively often or can be retrieved quickly. For larger items, side bags and a luggage compartment can be useful.
For a long motorcycle trip, it is important to prepare not only your bike, but also the rider.
There are two aspects to consider: the physical and the psychological.
Before the trip, more attention should be paid to sports activities, as they help prepare for the extra effort and overcome fatigue.
The best way to find harmony and peace during a trip is to rest a few days before the trip and not to overwork yourself.