Nothing compares to riding your bike for hours on end, exploring the wide road and the rolling countryside while pausing to take in the different sights and sounds of the local areas. However, long journeys often bring the unexpected, and travellers can meet all kinds of difficulties, even if their mode of transportation is the reliable Harley Davidson.
Unlike casual rides, when you go on a road trip with your Harley, you are putting your motorcycle, as well as your endurance and riding prowess to the test. That said, you’ll be considerably more equipped to handle any difficulties you encounter if you properly prepare your bike and yourself for your long-distance road journey. And here are some tips to help you do so.
Have Suitable Luggage
Anyone who’s ever taken a long road trip knows that proper storage is a must. But given the constrained space on motorcycles, investing in some good motorcycle luggage is more than recommended. When you add baggage to your bike, it is much easier to bring along rain gear, additional clothing, and other basic supplies you may need on your trip.
The extra room will help you keep things organised, which will make your journey more comfortable and ultimately a much more enjoyable experience. And of course, you’ll also get enhanced protection of your belongings so they don’t get lost while you’re travelling.
Luckily, for such a popular bike model, there’s a variety of Harley Davidson carry on luggage options to choose from. With the addition of storage inserts or strap-down luggage, you can effortlessly pack everything you need to keep yourself comfortable, clean, and mobile. You can also choose between hard and soft luggage depending on the items you’re hauling and the length and nature of your journey.
Adventure and long-distance bikers are known for having hard luggage. This is usually some type of aluminium box that is fastened to the side of the motorcycle using a baggage rack. The main advantages of hard luggage are security, lock-ability and toughness. Also, if you crash the bike and dent your luggage, it can be hammered back into its previous form because it’s made of aluminium.
For motorcyclists who are more dedicated to their off-road adventures and prefer to stay light, soft Harley Davidson travel bags are ideal. These also perform particularly well for shorter trips and for riders who do not like the expenses and limitations of bulky, rigid bags. Soft Harley Davidson carry on luggage models vary greatly in price from £50 to £500, as do their features and level of construction. The main benefits of soft luggage are its affordability, ease of use, and superior performance in off-road conditions.
No matter how big your bike is or how much storage you’ve added, overloading it will make it slow, so pack your belongings carefully. Keep in mind that it is better to ride a bike when you are carrying less weight.
You might stop in several different locations on a long motorcycle road trip. So, be ready to deal with various weather conditions. Study the surroundings of your locations to be prepared for any weather on the journey.
At any time, it might rain. Pack some rain gear accordingly. Having some warm clothing is also a good idea because it can get very cold on rainy days. To keep you safe, your bike should include a wind/rain shield. Install one if it does not. To keep your items dry, use waterproof bags or plastic sheets.
Besides making sure you have everything you need, also bring along any tools to fix issues that might arise with your bike. For any unforeseen situations on the road, it helps to keep a portable all-in-one motorcycle tool kit on hand. Here is a list of the essentials to bring:
- an extra set of batteries and a tiny flashlight;
- a tire patch kit;
- cabled batteries;
- additional lights and fuses;
- hand tools like pliers, screwdrivers, and bike-specific wrenches;
- a multifunctional tool;
- duct tape, electrical tape, and zip ties (for hoses and cables).
Get Bike Protection
Of course, you will be making stops and sleeping over at hotels, hostels or in a tent. That said, a security system is required to prevent someone from stealing your bike. Luckily, a sophisticated security system is already installed on many of Harley’s most recent models. In those models, the Harley Davidson Smart Security System turns on automatically five seconds after the ignition key is turned off.
If that’s not the case, your vehicle can also be protected with smart locks and chains from Harley-Davidson or any other brand. If you want to be able to hear the sound even from a distance, you can purchase a Harley-Davidson alarm system.
And whatever you do, don’t forget to put a protective cover on your Harley at night or when it rains.
Check Your Bike Pre Trip
Do the following to make sure your Harley is in excellent condition before you venture off:
- Inspect the state of your oil and filter;
- Check the battery and charging conditions;
- Examine the brake system thoroughly;
- Perform a fluid check and adjust if needed;
- Make sure there are no leaks.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when arranging a trip with your Harley. But there is literally a lot at stake when on the road, so make sure to thoroughly inspect the state of your ride. If you don’t have the time or don’t know how to perform the above-mentioned checks, consult a professional.
Harley Davidson bike models are pretty pleasant to ride for extended periods of time. Being at ease while travelling makes you feel more at ease and less worried so you can do a little more exploring. Don’t hunch too much and make sure to maintain a straight back. Otherwise, you risk developing significant back discomfort.
Dress comfortably for the trip. Driving a motorcycle for long periods of time is not the most pleasant activity to engage in while wearing ill-fitting clothing. Also, make sure to have a full-face helmet for protection, a good pair of riding boots and gloves, a leather jacket to resist the wind and earplugs to reduce the noise on the road.
Now that you’re all set, have a safe and enjoyable trip!