Now that the festive season has ended and many of the tourists have gone back to their respective lands, make use of this new found calmness and take a motorcycle tour to unwind from your “holiday”. The idea of having the family over for the holidays seems good at the time, however we tend to forget about the various stresses and strains that go along with this gesture of goodwill.
If you are a weekend rider or you haven’t ridden your motorcycle in a while, it’s always a good idea to have your motorcycle serviced by a trained professional. There are a myriad of reasons to do this instead of opting to have your buddy check it out, unless they are the said professional.
I have always found that creating lists is a good method of ensuring that you don’t forget anything. However a list is only as concise as the person compiling it and I have, on numerous occasions, found myself on the road having to purchase something that I had not put onto the list.
The key is to remember that you will be travelling by motorcycle and not by car or SUV, so your packing space is significantly reduced. How many times have you returned from a trip only to realise that you haven’t worn half of the clothing that you had packed.
As you will be on your motorcycle most of the day (in your riding gear) it would be fruitless to pack excessive amounts of clothing. If the tour is a long one it would be more logical to stop off from time to time and do some laundry than to overload your ride.
The use of storage boxes cannot be overly stressed. In my opinion, opting for the hard panniers is a better option than the leather ones. The panniers can be clipped on and off your motorcycle, making the packing and unpacking of clothing and other essentials much easier. It’s also a fantastic safety measure, as you can simply unclip them from your motorcycle and carry them into you hotel room.
An additional storage method is a magnetic tank bag. These are ideal for valuables such as a camera, wallet or travel itinerary. If you are hiring a motorcycle for your trip, enquire if the tank is metal or plastic as many of the new motorcycles have plastic tanks.
If you are travelling alone be sure to pack a small first aid kit and to include items such as insect repellent, headache tablets as well as antihistamine tablets. If you are going to be part of a tour group then the tour operator or one of the guides should be medically trained.
I like to travel alone and whenever I plan on riding to or through a remote area, I always take my GPS tracker along. My particular model is equipped with an emergency button that if activated will alert emergency services as well as nominated individuals on my contact list.