Driving long distance with your motorcycle is a beautiful experience. We can all agree that there’s no better way to travel than on a bike. You get a very different, closer connection to your surroundings than with a car. But to make it as seamless as possible and your riding experience memorable, some preparation is essential.
Choose your destination
This might just be the most fun part of planning your road trip. What is that special destination you’ve always dreamed of? Will you go abroad, or discover lesser-known parts of your home state or country? If you want to see the world from a motorcycle, almost any destination is possible. The world is your oyster.
Define your route
Planning your route beforehand is essential to make your road trip as comfortable as possible. You can modify your route as you go, but having an idea of where you are heading and how long it will take you is essential. Make sure to set a daily riding limit: pushing yourself too hard is not recommended since it can negatively affect your experience, making you frustrated and tired.
By planning ahead, you can include the stops you want to make along the way, where you’ll stop for gas (on scenic back roads gas stations can be few and far between), and it helps you do a rough calculation of the expenses. Also, it can be essential to book ahead for certain hotels during high season unless you plan on camping.
Equipment - Riding gear and spare parts
Packing light is not an easy task when you are planning on being on the road for an extended period of time. Spare parts are essential if you will be away for days or even weeks, and what you’ll be needing depends highly on what areas you will be visiting. On our Scram Africa trips, we need to bring everything: spare tires, oil, tools, and plenty of spare parts!
When it comes to gear, layers are essential. Keep in mind the climate, and if it changes on your route due to altitude changes or similar, in case you will be staying in the mountains overnight. Layers are perfect for when you’re experiencing different types of weather during your trip.
The Fuel Marathon jacket is equipped with an inner lining that is easy to remove when it’s hot, and add when temperatures go down. It also has built-in openings to keep the air flowing. If rain is expected during your trip, make sure to pack a good raincoat to keep you dry. Check out our Day of the Dead rain suit, inspired by the leather suit worn by motorcycle legend Dave Aldana in the 70s. It is made with reflective paint to increase visibility in bad weather conditions and has sealed stitches to block water absorption. If you plan of traveling to a hot area with little variation in temperature we recommend a summer jacket, such as the Arizona jacket, inspired by the dry and hot Arizonian deserts.
Make sure your gloves offer abrasion resistance and have integrated knuckle armor for crash protection. Opt for lighter summer gloves, that still offer great resistance and safety.
Your riding pants need to keep you safe and offer you protection for any incidents on the road. They also need to have ventilation to keep you cool during hot weather. If cold temperatures are expected, bring thermal clothing for wearing underneath your riding pants.
When choosing the right boots for your road trip, make sure they are comfortable: you’ll be wearing them for hours on end. They also have to keep you protected, and make sure they are waterproof. Nobody wants their feet wet!
We do not recommend bringing your brand new helmet or boots on your trip. They are the kind of gear that requires some time to adapt to your anatomy and can be uncomfortable and even cause an injury. A good idea is to take them out for a spin a few times with your bike and let them adjust to your body before going out for a longer ride.
Secret European roads
Are you looking for ideas for your next big road trip? We have picked out three of our favorite secret roads in Europe to inspire you when planning your next destination!
1. Spain: AL3102 From Bacares to Velifique
This stunning road in the south of Spain (Almería) offers magnificent landscapes and includes a mountain pass that rises to 1.820m above sea level. The route is 31 km long and very scenic, with many hairpin bends. The asphalt is in excellent condition and makes for a great ride.
Keep in mind that the temperatures here rise high, especially in the summer, but it can get quite cold up in the Sierra de Los Filabres mountains. Make sure to choose your gear accordingly.
2. Croatia: E65 From Senj to Prizna
For stunning coastal views, head to Croatia, specifically to the Adriatic coast and the E65 between Senj and Prizna. Croatia can sometimes be a challenge when it comes to road surfaces, but this 20km long drive is a breeze. Cliffs and curves offer some fun along the ride, and the scenery is breathtaking.
3. Portugal: N266 from Nava Redonda to Porto do Lagos
If you are looking for a fun challenge, then this one is for you. Tight corners, short straights, and blind bends provide a different riding experience in a beautiful landscape. This drive is 36 km long and the perfect option for an experienced rider.
So get your maps out and start planning your next road trip! Regardless of your destination, check the current COVID-19 restrictions for smooth travels.
Preparations are essential, but of course not everything goes according to plan. Sometimes having to veer off your route might end up being the best thing that happens during your trip, and make for the experience of a lifetime.