The first road trip for any biker is an exciting prospect. Accordingly, we spends hours and days planning the journey so that it is nothing short of perfect. Once we’re on the road for a couple of hours though, we realise that the reality is very different from what we expected and that there are a few challenges that have to be dealt it. But a little preparation goes a long way, and it will certainly make your first bike road trip more enjoyable. Here are 6 things you need to keep in mind before you go on the trip.
1. The road is longer than you think
When you look at a distance of 200/300 km on Google maps it doesn’t look like it will be a big problem, but it surely will if this is the first time riding such a long distance. Unlike in a car where you can turn on the music and relax, a biker has to be completely focused on the road. And being that focused for 4-5 hours of riding is bound to drain your energy by a lot.
2. Take more breaks than you think you need
As I mentioned earlier, riding for long durations is exhaustive and riding when you’re tired is never a good idea. Being tired causes you to lose focus and any mistake made while riding a bike is going to have severe consequences. To prevent any such thing from happening, keep taking regular breaks even if you’re not feeling particularly tired at the moment.
3. Ride with a comfortable position
Sport bikes look fantastic and are perfect for straight line blasts and sharp corners but for long road trips? Not so much. Riding a bike with an aggressive seating position will cause some serious pain and cramps in your wrists and back. Bikes with upright positions like the KTM Duke or Pulsar 200 NS in addition to the already famous Royal Enfield and Harley-Davidson are ideal for road trips.
4. Get a Windshield!
I don’t like windshields on bikes any more than the next guy, but they can be a real boon on long trips. The wind whipping across you while riding is one the things we like most about bikes but it becomes a real nuisance if you’re subjected to it for 3 hours in a row. Even if you hate how it makes your bike look, get an after-market windshield that you can use every time you go for a trip.
5. Be prepared for all kinds of weather
The most important thing for bikers is the weather. The ideal riding weather is hard to come by and most of the time it’s either too hot or too cold or god forbid, it might even rain. So to make sure that you’re trip isn’t ruined by the changing weather, pack the right type of gear, preferably well-ventilated waterproof equipment that will serve its purpose regardless of the climate.
6. Prepare to get dirty
Roads are nasty, disgusting places, and by the time you reach your destination hours later, a lot of that nasty, disgusting stuff will be on you. You will have sweated more than you thought you did, your deodorant will have long since worn off, and somehow, you’ll have dirt and grime in places that you could have sworn were covered by your jacket and helmet. Accept this is going to happen because well, it’s not the worst thing in the world.
(Also read: 5 ways for bikers to make road trips more enjoyable)
If you’re worrying about going on your first bike road trip, don’t. Even if you don’t follow anything mentioned above and have a bad trip, there’s no way that you won’t do it again.
This article is brought to you by Wheelstreet – India’s first bike rental platform.