The Open Road – Motorcycle Essentials You Need for Long Distance Rides

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A Brief History

Nowadays, there are few things in life that could compare to the joys of being out there on a motorbike, with nothing ahead, but an open road and the wind in your hair –– or rather helmet. You have seen them thousands of times on the streets, but believe it or not, motorbikes have been around for over 100 years! The first ones were produced in 1894 by Hildebrand & Wolfmüller, and since then, there have been hundreds of different companies releasing them with all sorts of features. 

Yet, if you are going on a long-distance ride, even if you have the best motorcycle in the market, there are some essentials that you will need with you.

Digging Deeper

GPS unit

Nothing beats a good old map, but unfortunately, they are not quite practical if you are hitting the road at high speeds on your motorbike. Your smartphone’s GPS will not be useful, either, and you might end up losing the whole phone while driving. A dedicated motorcycle GPS unit is your best option, and it will do you a world of good. One of the best products in the market is the TomTom Rider, which is perfect for whatever conditions you might be driving in. It is waterproof and quite durable, but it is also easy to handle using gloves. You will also find voice navigation should you need it, as well as a host of cool options. 

Head Lamp

This is not exactly a motorcycle accessory, but rather an emergency precaution. Since you will be going on long-distance rides, it is a safe bet that you will be driving at night quite often. If something malfunctions or breaks on the road, you will need to pull over. Fixing a flat tire using one hand, because the other is holding a flashlight, is not very practical and it will be a mess if you are in the middle of nowhere with no lights around. This is why an LED headlamp can be very useful. 

Bluetooth speakers 

Most similar articles you will find online will probably have Bluetooth headsets as part of the gear you should pack along. But those can be quite risky because they usually block outside noise, so you will not be very attentive to the road and your surroundings which is how accidents happen. The alternative? You can read more here to understand how Bluetooth speakers are the best alternative because you will not be facing the same problems as with headsets. You can listen to all the music you want on the road without having to worry about not hearing cars coming in from behind. 

Gloves 

In case this is your first long-distance ride, gloves are a must while driving your motorcycle for some time. You should even pack extra pairs of gloves just in case because without them, you might run into all sorts of trouble in low temperatures. It is crucial that your hand be warm on the road so you could properly control your motorbike, and the gloves will help you stay warm and comfortable across long distances. 

Tire repair kit

Whether you are in a car or on a motorbike, nothing ruins a road trip like a flat tire. You need to pack along a flat tire repair kit for those situations. Yes, motorbikes’ tires are quite durable and last for thousands of miles, but you never know what you might run into, and they could still get punctured. Fortunately, a good kit will help you repair the problem in no time. You should also pack an air compressor, too. What is the point in fixing the flat tire if you cannot inflate it again? A portable air compressor kit is easy to carry around, and it will help you do just that.

Proper helmet 

The kind of helmet you take with you on a long-distance motorcycle ride is the difference between a good trip and a really bad one. Your head needs to be completely comfortable in the helmet, or else it might squeeze too hard and cause you pain. It should also be of high quality, because, well, safety. A flip-up helmet is ideal for such road trips, as it will help you talk to people without needing to take the whole thing off, and it also provides the needed safety. 

You might even want to pack along an action camera to capture your moments on the road, which is always fun. The important thing is to prepare really well for those long motorbike trips. Most of these things are not exactly luxuries or accessories, but rather essentials if you want to have a successful, fun trip. 

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Ensanian, Armand.  Discovering the Motorcycle: The History. The Culture. The Machines.  Equus Potentia Publishing, 2016.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Harley-Davidson, is licensed under the Unsplash License.

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Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland