Essential Pointers for a Fun and Safe Motorcycle Adventure
America is an off-road rider’s dream: It’s filled with picturesque highways that provide majestic and stunning views, and there are so many locations to choose from. But it’s also for these reasons that riders or motorcyclists need to prepare in advance and take precautionary measures to ensure that they remain safe should they decide to go on an adventure. If you’re thinking of hopping on your motorcycle and going on the on-road and off-road adventure of your life, here are some essential tips for a fun and safe trip.
Arm yourself with all the information you need
You may have a smartphone with you, but you never know when certain locations have no access to an internet signal. Arm yourself with printed maps and other guides so that you never get lost, and memorize all the basic information.
Prepare a small but complete toolkit
Prepare a pocket-friendly toolkit that’s filled with all the necessities:
- Headlamp or flashlight for when you have to do some repairs in the dark
- Hazard light to warn passing vehicles
- Duct tape strips
- Cable ties
- Swiss Army knife
- Roadside toolkit filled with different types of wrenches and sockets
- Tire repair kit
- Compressor pump
- Personal supplies and items
- Spare gloves
It’s possible to fit all these items in a small toolbox—be strategic about the pieces you bring with you. Choose multi-functional tools as well, so you can cut back on too many loose items in the kit. While it’s entirely possible you won’t run into any motorcycle trouble on your trip, it’s better safe than sorry. The last thing you want is your bike breaking down in the middle of nowhere with you not having the tools you need to fix it.
Wear the right gear
Here are some gear worth investing in for your trip:
- A high-quality helmet that can protect your head from anything. Going off-roading on your bike increases your chances of slipping or bumping into trees and other rocks. Injuries on your body will heal, but your head is incredibly vulnerable. An off-road helmet is your best bet since it provides adequate ventilation, keeps out mud and the harmful rays from the sun, and a wide aperture to let your goggles sit properly. Don’t skimp on the helmet you’re using.
- Dirt bike jerseys or adventure jackets are also highly encouraged. You don’t have to worry, though; there is plenty of adventure gear in the market that won’t require you to break the bank. Adventure jackets can be all-in-one, which has thermal liners that can help keep you warm, as well as waterproof layers. On the other hand, or bring-your-own-layers are like an armored shell. They can’t necessarily protect you from the cold, which is why a separate layer is needed. Consider the temperature of your destination and decide from there what type of gear is best for you to wear.
- As for your shoes, your feet are always on the ground when you’re biking, which means they are most vulnerable. Choose boots that were specifically designed to protect your feet while riding your motorcycle. Proper bike boots will have decent ankle protection and strong soles, protecting your feet in the event of a crash.
- Gloves should serve two purposes: They should make your hands feel comfortable, and they should also protect your hands from abrasion. If you’re off-roading in colder weather, wear inner gloves to prevent smelly hands and to add a bit of insulation as well.
- There’s been plenty of debate on whether riders need a suit of armor when they’re road or adventure riding, but if that’s the extent of your trip, then your jacket may be enough protection. But if you’re going on an off-roading adventure, then you might need protection for your shoulders, spine, elbows, and knees. The extra protection you need will largely depend on the activities you decide to do, so consider consulting with store owners about the gear you will need for the kind of adventure you’re planning to take.
Know your rights and responsibilities as a rider
If you’re primarily riding on the tarmac, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities as a rider, especially since you’ll be in the presence of other drivers and riders. Consider consulting with a motorcycle injury attorney to know how you can keep yourself safe during your trip and practice some risk management before you hit the road.
A motorcycle trip can come with many challenges, but there is also plenty of fun and excitement to be had. Do everything in your power to keep yourself and others safe while you’re on your adventure—and fun will surely follow no matter what.