It feels good to finally hit your home circuit again at the start of the season, or maybe cruise along to a bikers' meet on a day trip. But now that the summer holidays are here, why not head out on a longer motorcycle tour? To keep the good times rolling from start to finish, you need to be smart about your preparations and bear a few things in mind when you’re on the road. MOTOREX has put together some essential tips for multi-day getaways.
You're sure to have an idea of your perfect motorcycle tour. Riding solo or with a group of friends? Headed for a fixed destination, or would you prefer a round trip along the best routes in a particular region? Camping or hotels? Whatever you’ve got in mind, the best way to get started is with our tips…
If you haven’t already used spent the winter planning your tour, take plenty of time to prepare. What do you want to see on your travels? Which interesting routes are you aiming to take in along the way? How much will it all cost? Plan in enough breaks/rest days. When it comes to route planning, don’t experiment! Whether it’s a map, a navigation system or a smartphone – use whichever device you’re most familiar with from your day-to-day life.
It is important that your daily stages correspond to your physical fitness and motorcycle experience. Don’t push yourself, otherwise the trip won’t be half as much fun. If you ride for too long, your concentration levels will drop – and that could be dangerous. As a general rule, the motorcycle experts at the German automobile association ADAC advise a maximum distance per day of 700 kilometres on motorways, 350 kilometres on country roads, 250 kilometres on mountain passes and 200 kilometres on gravelly bike trails.
Your bike has to be in tip-top condition. That's a must. Before setting off, you should check the tyre tread and adjust the air pressure in line with your increased load. Make sure you check all oil levels: engine, possibly gearbox and rear drives for shaft-drive bikes. When you need to refill or change your oil, you can find the right lubricant for any application using MOTOREX's online OIL FINDER. The drive chain must still be in good repair and tightened according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Older chains deteriorate faster with every kilometre and can even tear in extreme cases. A good chain spray such as the CHAINLUBEs from MOTOREX is a must. Checking your lights, brake pads and brake and hydraulic fluid levels is equally as important. If the brake fluid has been in the system for two years or more, change it; this will do wonders for your brake action.
When it comes to packing, less is more. Lots of extra weight can have a negative impact on your motorcycle's handling. To minimise this, stow your luggage as close as possible to your bike’s centre of gravity. What should you pack? Food and drink in a tank bag for practical reasons, your documents (of course), means of payment and any tickets you need, rain gear, “normal clothing” and a small tool kit. You should protect your motorcycle clothing against moisture and oil with MOTOREX PROTEX SPRAY. For a clear view, make sure you bring a visor cleaner such as -MOTOREX VISO-CLEAN with you, while MOTOREX HELMET CARE SPRAY will help refresh your helmet lining when it gets sweaty. Now it’s time to set off. To make sure your trip runs smoothly, we have a few tips for you while you're on the road:
You do it for your engine anyway, so why not apply the same logic to yourself? Especially after a strenuous day, do a warm-up in the morning before you really get your engine revving. Tyres require a minimum temperature in any case; until those temperatures are reached, don't push the limits. A few strong brake actions will help warm up the front tyre and give you a feel for the bike. It also makes sense to clean your bike’s windshield every morning or evening with MOTOREX QUICK CLEANER.
No, we're not talking about watching your waistline here. Hitting the right line in corners is not only more fun, but safer too. If you turn too early, you won't be able to see the bend very well and may end up facing oncoming traffic when you're accelerating. It’s safer to "undercut". This involves staying on the outside for longer as you enter the curve and shifting the front wheel towards the curve's exit. This way, you can see into the curve earlier, will have more leeway to make any adjustments and can accelerate earlier.
If you’re touring in a group, you shouldn’t ride strictly one in front of the other, but form two staggered rows. Under no circumstances should you overtake or tailgate others. It is particularly important to maintain a sufficiently safe distance at all times. If the person in front brakes unexpectedly, those behind will have increasingly less time to react – in the worst case, not enough. And just as with cars, the same applies to your motorcycle group: don’t linger in other people’s blind spots.
Just taking breaks to refuel, use the toilet and smoke is not enough. Use every break for active recovery and recuperation, for example by doing relaxation and stretching exercises. Leg, arm and shoulder muscles often tense up. Keep checking in with yourself to see if you need a break. For example, if you are pressing your lips together and grinding your teeth, you won't be relaxed when riding. So it's better to get off your bike and relieve your tension.
It may sound obvious, but riding a motorcycle demands your undivided attention. Avoid distractions such as scrolling on the display screen, using your navigation device, using a GoPro, etc. It’s important to stop and make time for photos and videos. This is the sure-fire way to get better shots.
After unloading, the first thing you should do when you get home is clean and maintain your motorcycle thoroughly using MOTO CLEAN and other CLEAN & CARE products from MOTOREX. This also gives you a chance to quickly check your filling levels at the same time. It’s important for your tyres and chain to be in good shape before you use them again. But after a long tour, you should check whether they need to be changed straight away. After all, when it's time to get back on your home circuit, you'll want to feel at your best.
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