Although any of us may have used our motorcycle for a short trip at some time, the truth is that planning a long motorcycle trip is another story. For our part, we believe that a motorcycle trip can be considered long-duration when it exceeds at least five nights.
Taking a long motorcycle trip is an exciting and challenging experience that attracts motorcycle lovers from all over the world. The sense of freedom experienced while traveling endless roads, amazing landscapes, and remote places is utterly incomparable. However, you must also be aware that a long-distance motorcycle trip requires careful planning and the use of proper equipment to ensure your safety and comfort on the road.
For all these reasons, in this post, we want to give you the professional tips that we apply in all our organized long-duration tours, such as the Barcelona to Munich tour, with more than 2400 km, or the Moroccan Odyssey Tour, with more than 2.000 kilometers of route.
How many kilometers can you cover in a day?
The distance you can cover in a day on a motorcycle trip will depend on several factors, such as the type of motorcycle you are riding, the terrain, or your level of comfort. On paved roads and with a motorcycle designed for touring, you could cover between 400 and 800 kilometers in a day, while with an adventure motorcycle, where you can combine roads and off-road routes, this figure can be reduced by half. Obviously, this is because off-road routes are usually more challenging and require a slower speed.
After all, on a motorcycle trip, the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and the landscapes, so we do not recommend that you set very high goals. In fact, from our experience, it is better to cover fewer kilometers in a day so you can stop to get to know the surroundings, increase comfort and safety, and reduce your fatigue.
Combine paved roads and off-road routes
One of the most exciting decisions you have to make when planning a long motorcycle trip is whether you want to combine paved roads with off-road routes. This approach can offer an even more diverse and exciting travel experience but also poses additional challenges.
If you plan to include off-road routes, it is essential that you have the right motorcycle to adapt to the different terrains you will travel. Also, it is advisable to carry a good specialized GPS device that allows you to know the routes you will take off the conventional roads.
You should also consider carrying additional appropriate equipment for this type of track: all-terrain tires, extra protections for arms and legs, and a good communication system, as the routes can be remote and little traveled. It is clear that combining paved roads with off-road routes is everything a motorcycle traveler could ask for on a long-distance motorcycle trip.
How to Plan a Long-Distance Motorcycle Trip
Properly planning a long-distance motorcycle trip is essential for everything to go smoothly. To start, choose your destination and route wisely, considering the weather and road conditions. You must also ensure that your motorcycle is in good condition for a long journey and get the specific equipment you need for your route.
Carry the essential personal luggage, always look to lighten the load, and don’t forget to leave space to bring back a souvenir. Also, prepare some waterproof covers to protect your saddlebags from the rain.
Try to reserve some key accommodations before leaving, as it will give you some security, especially if you plan to visit large cities. Finally, make sure you have all the necessary documentation, photocopied, and stored in dry bags to prevent them from getting wet during trips.
How to Stay Comfortable on a Long Motorcycle Trip
On a long motorcycle trip, comfort is a totally determining factor, as you will spend many hours driving on the road. To stay comfortable, the most important thing is to use proper clothing that is not loose, wind and water-resistant, and most importantly, offers protection against impacts in case of a fall.
Moreover, it is also essential to ensure you have as ergonomic a position as possible while driving. To do this, adjust the position of the seat and handlebars to find the posture where you are most comfortable. Finally, don’t forget to schedule frequent stops along the way to stretch your legs, hydrate, and rest your back and muscles.
Equipment for a Long-Distance Trip
Whether you are going to make a long trip through a single country or are planning to travel several thousand kilometers, equipment will always be a key factor in ensuring your own safety. Make sure to have a good quality full-face helmet with a visor that is comfortable and can be used under any weather condition. It is also advisable to wear good sunglasses.
Regarding clothing, always use jackets, pants, and suits that are specific for riding a motorcycle. It’s interesting to have a rain suit and a few thermal shirts that help you maintain body heat while driving. Gloves and boots are also essential, and we recommend that they be as sturdy as possible (if they can be for enduro, better) to also protect your hands and feet in the event of a fall.
Finally, combine any map application on your phone with a GPS device and other applications that can give you key information about the weather or the safety of the trip, such as iOverlanding.
Set a Budget
Another fundamental point when you are going to organize a long motorcycle trip is to set a budget. Take into account essential expenses, such as gasoline, accommodations, or food, and also include other necessary expenses such as travel insurance for you and the motorcycle or a budget for possible repairs or maintenance during the trip. In this budget, we also advise you to include leisure expenses, such as museum tickets, and a small contingency percentage, around 15 percent of the total budget.
Always Have a Plan B
When embarking on an adventure as big as a long-distance motorcycle trip, you must understand that unforeseen events will also be part of this experience. For this, our recommendation is that you always have a plan B that can help you get out of certain complications.
For example, carry an additional mobile phone, always charged and that you will only use in case your main phone stops working or runs out of battery. It is also advisable to carry a small toolkit and spare parts, have mechanical workshops located along the route, or have an action plan that allows you to make quick and reliable decisions in case of any setbacks or changes in the weather.
To conclude all these recommendations for a long motorcycle trip, we could not forget to remind you of the need to always drive safely, applying all the prevention tips at our disposal.
It is clear that safety should always be a priority on a motorcycle trip, so we advise you to maintain a safe speed that does not exceed speed limits and that is adjusted to the weather conditions and type of road. Also, maintain a safe distance between your motorcycle and other vehicles and make sure to use lights at all times to improve your visibility, even during the day. In addition, to be as visible as possible to other drivers, it is advisable to equip yourself with brightly colored and reflective clothing.
In summary, making a long motorcycle trip is an unforgettable experience, but it requires careful planning and the use of appropriate equipment. Keep safety as a priority, enjoy the trip, and prepare for the challenges you may encounter along the way. With the right preparation, you can experience an exciting two-wheeled adventure like the ones we live on our organized tours.