Riding for fun is one thing, and travelling on a motorcycle is something quite different. In the first one you may want to impress or perform, in the second you need to be efficient.
Riding the long haul you need to be very conscious of your bike’s mileage as you do not want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere. Believe me, it sucks.
In addition to that, if you’re travelling on a budget, you’d also want to save some money. Some drifting and abrupt acceleration is great fun. Riding across country doing that is tiring and expensive.
Here’s a to do list when making it long
- Know your motorcycle. You don’t really want funny surprises when you’re really away from home. Things like keeping a record of your mileage or how the bike behaves in different weather conditions is essential. Running out of fuel is the most common cause of being stranded for bikers.
- Know your limits. If you don’t know how long or how fast or how hard you can ride, try not to find out when travelling. That’s why training is so good. Some riders find normal to ride a thousand miles in a day while others may need a week!
- Know your apparel. Going somewhere far can be tiring. Wearing the wrong apparel can make you stop. Remember is not only riding, you also have to live with those clothes, so before you can wear your casual clothes you will have to go to the toilet or eat lunch in a restaurant.
I learnt the previous stuff in many different trips. However, the pictures below show the longest one. It was from Southern Spain to Zurich on a wonderful Ducati Multistrada 1200 I miss quite a bit nowadays.
You can see me above before diving into a lake in the French Alps, it was unusually hot for the Alps even in September, and here’s the story:
I left home early in the morning, I was in my cordura pants and jacket which seemed better than leather to me. It was going to be an extraordinarily long trip this time. Longer than I was used to, and the weather could get really cold in the Alps.
The motorcycle behaved extremely well. It is one of the most spectacular bikes I’ve ever ridden. Ideal for the long-haul.
I didn’t really know my limits, and I wanted to get closer to it, so I broke my own personal record. I had once ridden 750 km in a single day, and I exceeded that by riding some 1050 km which allowed me to sleep in France after having ridden the entire Mediterranean coast in Spain.
But I could have felt fatigued at any moment and get the urge to stop. If that happens in Spanish or French roads it is easy to find a bed. If that happens in the middle of a wilderness, you would regret not knowing yourself!
Apparel was a real pain in the arse. The cordura jacket was sticky when I started sweating, and so were the pants. On my down I stopped by this wonderful lake in the Alps, and as I took my pants off they simply broke. All the internal fleece separated from the rest of the pants taking the protectors with it.
Since then I started thinking of how to improve that… but that’s another story.