In this day and age touring by motorcycle seems basic
For some riders, the perfect vacation is riding long days on their bikes. For them the road is simply a way to merge points of interests which are best experienced on a motorcycle. The ride is the destination.
Riders with rigid schedule and who strictly stick to it will not only fore go and by pass chances to stop and smell the roses like, taking leisurely meals and see some exotic sites. It will also expose them to dangerous situations because they force themselves to ride even if they lack sleep and tired.
Experienced riders normally ride 300 to 500 miles a day and usually already have developed systems and routines for long motorcycle trips. They usually ride alone on major roads and interstates and can still do it leisurely. But if you have never taken a long ride before, you should start carving away a few miles on the first day. The first day of your tour will involve some adjustments and delays to your gear and motorcycle. The second day will probably be the best day for beginner motorcycle tourers because you are still fresh and most bugs will probably be worked out. After the third day, fatigue is likely to become a major factor.
Minor things such as a flapping jacket collars, loud pipes, uncomfortable helmet and motorcycle seat, wind noise,scratched face shields or windshields, continuous exposure to sun and wind can dehydrate you faster than you may have realized. These situations can easily wear you down and can be a tremendous source of fatigue.
Here are what you need to fight fatigue:
1. Adequate sleep-If you plan to rack up numerous miles on your long motorcycle tour, you need to strategically plan your sleep and rest. You can have a sleep deficit if you ride long and hard by day and not get enough sleep and waking up for early departures. Plan to have a catch-up on sleep every two or three days and set a flexible riding routine. Do not make the mistake of drinking liquor thinking that it is a sleep aid. Alcohol actually reduce the quality and quantity of your sleep. Give your body a chance to adapt. Take breaks as often as you can.
2.You will need ear plugs and good quality full face helmet to protect against wind noise. A windshield that you can comfortably see over can also reduce wind noise.
3. You will need a vented or mesh jacket and helmet to protect you against sunburn and windburn. Some riders mistakenly wear only a cotton tshirt or even go top naked in dealing with the scorching heat. They don't know they are more likely to fatigue faster.
4. Modifications on your bike like adding a comfortable saddle, a sissy bar bag with a combination backrest,small windshields with no visual distortions. These things can contribute to a more comfortable and more fun long motorcycle tour.
And of course a few calisthenics( before and after a ride), proper nutrition and constant re-hydration by drinking a lot of water will increase your energy, makes you more alert and consequently enable you to experience an enjoyable journey on a bike. These tips are boring i know, but these are time tested solutions for fighting fatigue.
One of other major concerns of riders who are planning to embark on a long motorcycle trek is gas mileage. How many miles does a tank full of gas cover? You would not want to be stranded in a strange deserted road and as darkness fall ,waiting for someone who would come by and help you.
The main idea here is to find ways to maximize the gas tank's capacity. Make sure to load up a full tank of fuel before a long leg. Some bikes will take a minute or two before the air escapes around the filler baffle and adding a squirt or two will get much more fuel to the tank. Another way is to straighten up the motorcycle instead of leaning it on the side stand will get significantly more fuel into the tank.
If you have 5.0 gallon tank, it will take about 4.0 gallons of gas consumption when the low-fuel light blinks for the first time. You have about 1.0 gallon of gas left and you can go approximately 40 miles at 45 mph after that. You have to pull over and fill up the tank completely when the low-fuel light comes on.
Speed changes mean more mileage especially if you are riding on little country back roads compared to a long stretch of straight roads.
Leave some time in your itinerary for the unexpected. As the saying goes' you experienced nature first hand on a motorcycle'. It also means motorcycles are susceptible to weather and mechanical delays than cars. Give yourself extra time as buffer, just in case you get held up surprisingly by traffic, weather and motorcycle problems etc. This particular riding tip is for riders who must be back at work on a given day.
These long motorcycle tour especially if this is your first time, might turn out to be rides of exploration and discovery. This might be the occasion where you learn what moves you to travel by motorcycle. You might realized that the scenic roads is the highlight of the trip or meeting new people or nonetheless you will decide that only few activities can ever match the adventure of a long motorcycle tour.