Harley-Davidson® motorcycles scream adventure, among other things. For some bikers, the adventure is a long-distance ride cruising through multiple cities for hours on end. Often referred to as touring trips, these long-distance rides are not for the faint of heart. You’ll be exploring exciting new locations all while enjoying the open road on your Harley. If you’re new to long-distance riding, there are some important pointers you should take into consideration.
Harley-Davidson® of Yuba City is no stranger to touring trips, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to share some of our valuable knowledge. We’ve put together this useful guide to long-distance riding. If you have questions or want to check out some high-quality gear for your next trip, stop by our dealership in Yuba City, California near Sacramento, Lincoln, Rocklin, and Chico today!
Plan Your Route
The longer the trip, the more you’ll want to plan your route in advance. It might sound fun to roll with the punches and let spontaneity lead the way but when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere wasting money on gas and unnecessary lodging, you’ll probably wish you’d planned a bit better. In order to get the most bang for your buck while on a touring trip, you need to plan it in advance.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make a list of all the site you’re interested in checking out along the way. Next, you’ll be able to plan a route that hits all these stops on the way. When you choose the fastest route, you’ll have more time available to spend at your chosen destinations. You can also choose the scenic route if you prefer to enjoy the ride a bit longer and aren’t in an immediate rush. Once your route is formed, start making your lodging reservations along the way. You’ll greatly reduce the costs of your trip by booking in advance.
Some riders have trouble packing light and bring just about anything they think they might need on their journey. It’s best to pack wisely and be conscious of the tendency to overpack, which will lead to lugging around unnecessary extra weight. Many of the “just in case” items you’re tempted to toss in your bag can be found along the way. Leave these items at home if they aren’t totally necessary. In the worst case scenario, you’ll be able to pick such items up along the way so there’s no need to overpack.
Use Ear Protection
Before you zoom off on your big adventure, make sure you have proper ear protection. You might not notice it, but you’re exposing yourself to irreparable hearing damage on your bike. Hearing loss starts with sounds around 80 decibels of noise. Riding at a mere 40 mph exposes you to a staggering 90 decibels of noise. You definitely don’t want to skip the ear protection.
Luckily, earplugs remove about 30 decibels of noise, so the level is brought down out of the damaging range. You can choose between disposable earplugs, rubber balls, reusable wax, or custom-made earplugs. All of these options vary in cost, so you want to pick the one that will best suit your needs and offer adequate protection.
Remember to Take Breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in your ride and forget to take breaks. You can probably ride for several hours without stopping if you’re really enjoying yourself. Remember that your body needs to stretch and rest from all the effects of the road. Your back will get sore, your arms and legs will cramp, and your eyes will start to glaze over. Be kind to your body and be conscious of your riding time. Schedule breaks at certain times throughout the day so you don’t forget. Without breaks, it’ll be harder to remain alert and make good judgment calls on the road.
Safety is key when you’re on a touring trip and taking breaks plays a big part in this. Stretch your limbs and prevent potential cramping and soreness. A good way to get your breaks in is to plan them around scenic viewpoints or local spots so they’re fun and less of an inconvenience.
Make sure you visit Harley-Davidson® of Yuba City before you take off on your journey! We’re located in Yuba City, California near Sacramento, Lincoln, Rocklin, and Chico.