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How to Survive Long Two-Wheeled Journeys without Going Nuts

by Roxana Oliver

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Nothing awakens a sense of freedom like a road trip on two wheels. The wind on your skin, the scenic views, and all that adrenaline! What a way to clear your mind! Nothing ahead or behind you, just miles and miles of grey asphalt. 

Whether it’s a long-planned motorcycle journey or a spur of the moment decision, you are sure to have the time of your life. A motorbike trip is much faster than driving a car or any other form of transport. Plus, it gives you a sense of independence and the feeling of being one with nature. However, if you have yet to make your first long journey on a motorcycle, there are a few tips to bear in mind. Let’s get rolling!


Safety first




When it comes to safety, compromise is not an option. Safety is always first. Always get your bike checked out by a mechanic before a long journey. Nothing throws the proverbial spanner in the works faster than a mechanical problem. If you can’t find the time to go to the shop, you can ask a mobile mechanic to come around and check out your bike at your home. They can also come and help you in case your bike breaks down on the road.

Apart from the usual routine tune-up, consider getting a proper windshield if you don’t already have one. Some people don’t like the look, but they are a real lifesaver. If you are even remotely serious about riding a bike, a good helmet is the first thing you have to consider. And not only that, no matter how much you enjoy the feel of the wind, trust us: a few hours in, it can feel terrible and exhausting.




You should inspect your tires before setting off on your road trip, but punctures can still happen. That’s why you should never leave without a pump and tools.


Dress the part




One thing about riding that feels great on shorter rides, but can really cause trouble in the long run, is the fact that you’re exposed to the elements. Bikers don’t dress up in all that gear just to look cool. They need proper clothing and equipment for warmth and safety reasons. You can check the forecast before you leave, but remember that it’s always much colder on a bike.

Apart from proper clothing, another crucial element is sunscreen! Never go on a long ride without quality, high protection factor sunscreen. And don’t just apply it before you leave – bring the bottle and make sure you reapply regularly, at least every couple of hours. Also, who can say that they don’t want to wear a super cool leather biker jacket? Come on!


Pack away!




Always pack beforehand. Leaving the packing for last minute will add unnecessary stress, plus you might forget to bring something really important. Pack lightly, take only the essentials. Driving for hours will take its toll on you, so don’t expect to end your motorcycle adventure squeaky clean and smelling of roses. Bring a change of clothes, because you will most likely be sweaty and dusty. You probably won’t be able to bring all of your tools, but make sure you have at least a basic toolkit, in case you need to fix some smaller issues.

Remember that there are a few things you will need easy access to: water and high-protein snacks, sunscreen, earplugs, map or a navigation device. Don’t forget to put these somewhere where you can reach them without problems whenever you need them. And don’t hesitate to pull over to use these; don’t do acrobatics on the road if not necessary.


Assess the duration




If you aren’t experienced with long drives, you might not have a realistic idea of what 10 hours on a bike actually feels like. It feels like a very long ride, so it’s best to build up the distance gradually. Buying your first bike, then setting out on a trip several hundred miles long is probably not a smart idea. Start with moderate length trips, first practice in the city, then make them a bit longer and maybe progress to intercity trips. Make your motorcycle tours a bit longer each time. If it’s absolutely necessary to jump headfirst into a really long journey, plan plenty of stops for rest and refreshments.


A long bike journey could be one of the best or one of the worst decisions you make. It all depends on how prepared you are. Trust us, it’s not something to take lightly, thinking you’ll just wing it somehow. You have to prepare. Skipping proper preparation could lead to excruciating discomfort or even an accident. On the other hand, if you do your homework ahead of the ride, you will be able to enjoy every minute and bask in your achievement.


You can find out more about Roxana’s writing by following her on Twitter and Facebook. She is also one of the editors at Higstylife Magazine.

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