Travelling on two wheels is always better than the confined walls of a car. Haven driven extensively across India, Bhutan and Nepalese Himalayas I have a few key pointers to share with those who are contemplating about going on a thrilling motorbike adventure.
It is nearly skeptical of the type of chariot you may take, the love for adventure remains the same. Keeping the necessities in mind, here are some essential pointers that are vital and ironically we all have a tendency to overlook.
1. Select an ideal vehicle
One of the fatal mistakes we do is to go for the wrong type of two wheeler. Bikes have a large variety with significant differences like the sitting postures, wheel bases, etc. It is necessary of us to clinically understand the demands of the route and select the type which would adequate for our body.
2. Get your bike serviced
Preparation is key, and for a long ride, preparation comes in the form of servicing your motorcycle. Ensure the motorcycle is checked by an authorised technician, since the only way to make it a happy trip is when your motorcycle is trouble free. Check the tyres before heading out, and change it if necessary. Tyres take a beating on long trips, so ensure they are inflated as per the recommended pressure, get them changed if the condition requires.
3. Fill the tank before setting off
There are many riders out there who would prefer to hit reserve before tanking up again – that is not a good idea. Fill up before heading off a day before. This will help you save time on fuel stops, and also keep your pace. There could also be issues when there are no petrol bunks working, or worse – there are no fuel stations on your route. It would be wise of you to carry a bottle of fuel too, for extreme possibilities.
4. Tool kit
Maintaining a tool kit is a must, we never know what trouble awaits us. We must always be prepared for it. Carry a tire-plug kit with a CO2 tire-inflation system or a small pump, bunch of necessary tools, etc.
5. Understand the importance of mirrors and lights
Bikers need eyes at the back of their heads too, and that’s what mirrors are for. Leave them on, and make sure they give you enough visibility. Whereas Every light is meant for a reason on the motorcycle, be it headlight, park light, indicators, or tail lamp. Make sure all of them work and if necessary, carry spare bulbs. Never head out even if one of the lights do not work.
6. Every document is necessary
While sailing through states (If you are in the Indian subcontinent) or countries every rider shall have each and every relevant document with him. Keep your necessary documents, including your ID, insurance and roadside assistance information, in a secure place safe from the elements.
7. Over reliance on technology
What we youngsters commit is potentially a fatal mistake, we over rely on the technology. While riding carry torches, physical maps with marked routes and a basic mobile set with least multimedia in it. The handset with full battery would provide you as a personal SOS with your contacts in it. Make sure to keep count of these things and keep them close, if in case of any emergency.
8. Always wear full protective gear
Wear full protective gear while you’re out on your motorcycle. If you are left with a choice between trip or gear with the cash you have saved up, choose gear. You can always save up for another trip, but you get only one shot at life. Always pack the necessary things in extra, gloves, glasses, undies etc.
9. Pack smart and light
If you have planned for a week’s trip and six of those seven days involve riding from one place to another, it is understood that you will be in your riding gear most of the time. Never pack too much, because you will be carrying all that luggage on your motorcycle, which is going to make the bike heavy, and you will end up not enjoying the trip at all.
10. Start early, finish early and planning is the Essence
Last but not the least, The thumb rule one has to follow is to start early, as soon as the sun’s up and finish early, before sun down. Visibility will make the ride feel very miserable and if you do manage to get lost, or have a breakdown there won’t be people around to help. Plan your day’s route, this will help you calculate how much fuel you would need, the amount of money you should be carrying, places to visit along the way, and good spots to take a power-nap if required.