9 Tips When Making a Hardcore Cross-Country Motorcycle Trip
Have you thought about taking a ride across the entire country? Imagine hitting the open road, wind on your face, just you and two wheels. It’s a dream come true. A coast-to-coast trip is on many bikers’ bucket lists. Some long for the solitude of a solo cross-country trip with their favorite machine, while others thirst for the journey with their fellow riders.
If you’re ready for this adventure or are merely dreaming of it, there are several things you should first consider. Venturing out into the great unknown can be thrilling and soul-quenching, but it’s best to be prepared. Here are nine tips to ensure it’s the trip of a lifetime.
Where to Start
To do a true cross-country motorcycle trip, you’ll need to start out on one of the country’s coasts. Where you begin the journey will depend on where you live. Those living on the east coast would naturally begin there, and the same goes for west coast dwellers. But what if you live somewhere in between?
Your first step is to get your bike to the closest coast. Having your motorcycle professionally shipped is a good way to accomplish this. Letting the professionals get your bike to an easy coastal starting point saves you the hassle of riding it there only to begin the trip. You’ll need to save your energy for the actual cross-country adventure.
Pack the Proper Clothes
You’ll need to pack light but smart. Weather conditions can change as you trek across the country. Ensure that you’ve got everything you’ll need to stay comfortable. Dressing in layers can help you stay warm while maintaining safety. Before heading out on the long, winding road, invest in a good quality motorcycle jacket and gloves. Forgetting to pack rain gear can turn an awesome adventure into a not-so-pleasant experience.
Breakdowns can happen at any time, so it’s crucial to make sure your bike is in top running condition before hitting the road. Schedule time with your mechanic and have the shop give your motorcycle a complete head-to-toe inspection. Ensure that your tires have enough tread to make it coast-to-coast, your brakes are good, and change all fluids. Repair anything that needs repairing, no matter how minor. Weeks of all-day riding will be hard on your bike. Bring along some basic tools in case you have to do some roadside wrenching.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Enjoy the Journey
A cross-country trip isn’t a race, it’s an adventure. If possible, give yourself a few days more than the actual trip should take. You’ll want to take highways and interstates at times when your goal is to make some fast miles, but be sure to venture off the beaten path enough so that you can actually enjoy some scenery. There’s typically nothing exciting or memorable to see on the highways, so try to hit lots of secondary roads. Remember, for a trip like this, the journey is more important than the destination.
Give Your Body and Mind a Break
A cross-country trip is all about endurance. Somewhere during your journey, you’re bound to feel tired, if not exhausted. Endless hours and countless miles can quickly blur, and you’ll need to stay focused while riding. Road fatigue not only takes the fun out of a trip, it can also be dangerous. Plan on a mid-trip break and give yourself a few days to relax. Maybe spend a few days at a national park or perhaps a town or city that you’ve always wanted to visit. Once you’ve given your body and mind a break from the road, you can continue your trip feeling your best.
Be Prepared Physically and Mentally
Long days on the open road can take its toll on both the body and the mind. Staying hydrated is of utmost importance, as is eating properly. When you stop at hotels or motels to sleep for the night, make sure you get a good night’s rest. Partying with the locals at a biker bar might sound like a great idea, but watch how much you drink. Nothing is worse than needing to cover 200 miles with a pounding headache and a hangover. Remember to drink responsibly. It’s best to not touch any alcohol until your day’s riding is over.
Bike and Belongings Safety
When spending the night at a hotel or motel, always park your bike close to the entrance, and, if possible, in a well-lit area. Remove everything from your saddlebags and leave them unlocked. If you’ve brought a motorcycle lock, chain up your bike to a solid object. If there’s nothing available, chain the bike to itself. Be aware that your travels could possibly bring you to less-desirable parts of town, where crime may be an issue. Emptying your bike of anything of value and leaving your bags unlocked will make sure no one breaks into them only to find them empty.
Document Your Trip
For most bikers, this will be a one-time deal. Riding across the entire country in one shot is a huge accomplishment. The days will pass quickly, and you won’t remember everywhere that you went or passed through, so take a lot of photos. If you see something interesting or scenic, stop and take some photos or videos to remember the moment. Consider daily posts to social media so that friends and loved ones can see your progress. This is a wonderful way of documenting your journey, something that you can look back on and smile. Plus, social media posts keep your people informed of where you are.
Make Your Cross-Country Trip Memorable
Before you can make a memorable trip across the country, you’ll need to ensure that your bike (and you) can handle the exhausting and taxing trip. Once that’s covered, and you’re raring to go, get your bike to one of the coasts by contacting the motorcycle shipping experts at A1AutoTransport, Inc. Let the experts in the industry safely transport your bike to your starting point. Once reunited, you can hit the road and let the adventure begin.
Author: Jason Mueller