Guide to Planning a Motorcycle Road Trip

Guide to Planning a Motorcycle Road Trip

by Chris Rutter March 04, 2021

There's nothing like exploring the country and seeing awe-inspiring scenery on motorcycle trips. Traveling by motorcycle connects you to the road and your surroundings.

Embarking on a motorcycle road trip is a memorable experience. It's enticing to saddle up on your motorcycle and take off on the open road, to experience freedom and have no plans other than to go with the flow. This approach might work for some riders, but most people may have a specific time frame for their motorcycle road trip because of life obligations.

Planning your cross-country motorcycle road trip is like getting to start your adventure before you leave. Deciding on destinations and sites to see along the way can build your excitement and anticipation for the journey.

This guide will help you plan and execute a safe, unforgettable trek.

Motorcycle Road Trip Planning Checklist

Before you leave for your road trip, it's essential to make sure you have everything you'll need along the way. Whether you're planning a long-distance ride or a weekend motorcycle trip, a packing checklist will come in handy during the planning process.

Accessories and Tools

Packing all the motorcycle accessories and tools you need will be beneficial for any traveler. Some items are must-haves for your journey, while others are things you'll be glad you brought if the need arises.

Riding Gear and Clothing

Riding Gear and Clothing

Pack your riding gear and enough clothes to last your entire road trip.

  • Backpack
  • Leather gloves
  • Helmet
  • Earplugs
  • Jacket
  • Shoes
  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Underwear
  • Sweatshirt
  • Sunglasses

Remember to pack any clothing you'll need that's specific to your destination, like a bathing suit or winter coat.

Information and Documents

Bring all your crucial documents and information. Situations may arise on your road trip where you'll need them.

  • Bike registration
  • Passport or ID
  • Vehicle insurance card
  • Cash or credit cards
  • Maps or printed directions

Other Items

  • Food and snacks
  • Water
  • First-aid kit
  • Medical insurance card

Add anything else you know you'll want or need to your packing list. Customize your checklist to ensure you don't forget any belongings that will come in handy on your motorcycle trip.

Planning a Motorcycle Trip

Planning a Motorcycle Trip

Knowing how to plan a motorcycle road trip will prepare you for any situation that can happen. You can prevent forgetting any essential items you'll need and schedule the sights or attractions you want to visit within the time you have to travel.

Whether you're taking a cross-country motorcycle trip or a weekend ride, you can maximize your experience by planning.

By preparing before you go, you can make your journey as comfortable, safe and timely as possible. Follow this guide for tips and helpful information to get ready for your upcoming motorcycle road trip.

1. Complete Practice Rides

Being comfortable on the road is a significant part of a motorcycle road trip. If you're used to spending one or two hours at a time on the road, an eight-hour ride may seem like forever. Taking practice rides before your trip can help you acclimate to your bike and adapt to long-distance rides. Check to make sure your handlebars, seat cushion, foot mounts and backrest are comfortable for the long trip, and adjust as necessary.

2. Pack for Any Weather

You are entirely open to the elements when you're riding a motorcycle. It's pleasant to feel the sun warming your face and the wind on your skin, but you'll also experience rain, heat, chills and other weather conditions. Preparing for any weather condition is a smart plan for your road trip.

Even if your trip is in your home state, the elements can be unpredictable and change within hours. Research the forecast for your travel dates and pack accordingly. Packing layers can help you bundle up if it's cold or let you cool off if it's a little hot outside.

3. Plan Snack and Water Breaks

Cruising on your bike for a few hours can make you hungry and thirsty. Taking snack and water breaks is crucial to your well-being while on your road trip.

Frequent breaks allow you to stretch and prevent any muscle aches. Pack plenty of water to stay hydrated, and bring healthy snacks to keep your energy levels up during your ride. Be careful not to get dehydrated. Dehydration can affect your driving abilities and health, especially if you're riding in the hot sun.

Drink plenty of water on breaks and stock up on more at rest stops or convenience stores.

4. Choose Destinations and Stops

You want to maximize your time on your trip. When you choose a destination, pick the routes that will be the most enjoyable for you. If a path takes you through a big city, remember that rush-hour traffic jams can slow you down. You can find alternate routes that may have a scenic bypass to view as you cruise down the road. 

Looking at the road ahead also lets you add unique attractions and sights to your itinerary. You can schedule some time to visit a museum or national park on your journey to fill your road trip with fun experiences.

5. Have the Best Playlist

Boost your experience on the road with the ultimate riding playlist. Upbeat music can set the mood for any occasion, and having a musical backdrop for your road trip can make it thrilling.

6. Create a Backup Plan

It's always smart to have a plan B if something on your trip doesn't go the way you expected. You never know when you'll encounter circumstances beyond your control. Research an alternate route to use if there is an accident or construction, and choose another destination if weather conditions prevent you from visiting your first choice.

Let Fat Head Cycles Help You Prepare for Your Road Trip

Let Fat Head Cycles Help You Prepare for Your Road Trip

You'll want to get your motorcycle in top-performing condition before embarking on your journey. Ensuring that your bike is up to date on maintenance checks and has the parts it needs is essential to a successful road trip. If you're looking for Harley-Davidson parts or service, consider Fat Head Cycles.

At Fat Head Cycles, we offer maintenance, service and a range of Harley-Davidson products to help you get ready for your long-distance ride. Contact us to request a quote for in-shop services or give us a call to learn more about what we provide.

Chris Rutter
Chris Rutter


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