Motorcycle Travel Hints
- Only ride at night or in the rain if it is unavoidable, due to poor visibility for you and other traffic.
Poor road conditions are magnified exponentially.
Beautiful surroundings are not visible. Remember that travel is not all about just getting there.
-Constantly check your turn signal switch.
Itís something simple, but it can KILL you if you don't.
-Relax your shoulders continually as tension will exhaust you on long rides.
Your reflexes are much quicker in emergency manouvers if you are relaxed.
-Be very aware of your blind spot and the blind spot of other close vehicles.
Never ride in someone else's blind spot.
-Learn to read the "body language" of other vehicles and assume they cannot see you.
Use head movements and wheel directions to help you to predict if a car will cross your path.
-Never drink and drive a motorcycle.
Even a small amount will effect your balance and coordination.
-Get in the habit of shoulder checking EVERY time you change lanes or cross a lane of traffic.
Remember your blindspot.
-Know when you will go to reserve and how far reserve will take you. Zero your trip meter at fill up and know your fuel capacity.
-Know when your next service is due.
Carry spares like oil filters, sprocket and brake pads.
-Cold start- Idle your bike for at least a minute.
Most engine wear occurs in that first minute from a cold start.
-Cross railway tracks and road ridges as close to right angle as possible.
You never know if oil or water has made them slippery.
-Keep your visor clean.
I use water and my bare hand to clean.
Setting sun on a dirty visor is blinding.
-Avoid distractions like map or GPS reading on the move.
Things will come for you when you are not looking.
-Try to keep up with traffic to avoid being an obstacle to other traffic.
We all know the dangers of passing a slow vehicle.
-Constantly watch for sand or oil on the road when cornering, or anything else that may cause you to loose traction.
-Stand up on your pegs while crossing rough terrain.
It's easier on your back and stops the catapult effect as well as lowering your center of gravity.
-If you fall off your bike, get off a busy road.
Do a quick check of you and your bike and ride on to a safe area.
-Always drive with your headlights on.
You are so much more visible to drivers only looking for other cars.
-Try NOT to brake strongly and suddenly.
The vehicle behind may not react quickly enough.
-Keep your distance from the car ahead.
They may do an emergency brake.
-For emergency braking use your front brake in stages.
Full on front braking may lock your front wheel and down you go!
-Never ride with your foot resting on your back brake pedal.
It wears out your brakes and keeps you brake light on.
-Avoid passing a slow vehicle that could be slowing to make a turn, possibly in front of you.
-Never pass a vehicle indicating across your path.
In some countries, this is a signal from the driver that it is clear to pass!
-Think ahead and use your engine and gearing to slow you down rather than your brakes.
A set of pads will last you a lot longer and you get better fuel consumption.
-Watch your mirrors about 5% of the time as 99% of collisions come from the front.
Still, know whats coming up behind you.
-Check tyre pressures regularly.
This will save fuel , make your tires last longer and may save you from a fall!
-Always cover your bike at night or long storage.
It stops rust and corrosion and hides the bike from thieves.
-Don't ride in salt water.
Rust will quickly disintegrate your bike.
-Check oil at each fill up until you get a usage pattern for your bike.
-Wear protective clothing for the season.
If you are too hot or too cold it will affect your judgement.
We find that layers is the answer.
-Drink lots of water on the road.
Dehydration will also affect your judgement and energy.
-Don't get angry if someone cuts you off.
You need full focus and concentration .
Just practise collision avoidance and stay mentally positive.
-Count to 5 at the intersection when the light turns green.
How many times have you seen people run the RED?
-Be obliging and respectful to all police officers.
They have the capacity to make your life a misery.
-Keep a record of all services and maintenance so you know what to
do before your next trip or for the next owner.
I will pay more for a bike that I know is maintained properly.
-Many nice things are always at the end of a gravel road!
Don't be afraid, just adjust your speed to suit your bike.
-Stick with your mates:
Keep them visual in your mirror- If you haven't seen them within in a few minutes, slow down for a few minutes and if you still haven't seen them then stop for a few minutes. If still no sight then turn back to the point you last saw them. No contact then phone, if out of range then go to a phone reception area or the original destination and call or email your friend.
-Keep the lead guy in front in sight.
Never turn off the road if the guy behind cannot see you. Stop and wait.
Which country do you visit?
- Choose a cheap and safe country as your daily budget will be lower and the trip can be longer.
It may not be cheap or safe the next time you travel.
-Time your visit to avoid the cold or wet season.
-If your time is specific then choose a country for the season.
-Shipping is expensive and a hassle, so choose a country that is easy to get to.
-Make sure you have valid 3rd party insurance for the country of travel.
A lawsuit could ruin your life.
-Choose the lightest bike possible to do the job.
No one has ever complained about having a bike which is too light!
-Choose a bike first for it's reliability.
-Choose a bike that has many dealerships in the country of travel.
Bring a parts manual (on a CD or USB) as dealers can order your parts even though they didn't import the bike.
-Contact the H/U community members ahead of your travel.
They are like minded people wanting to meet fellow travellers.
-NEVER BORROW MONEY TO TRAVEL!
Enjoy every moment, sometimes riding can be like a computer game, but in this game you only have one LIFE!
Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.
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