General Question

janbb's avatar

Advice for someone setting off on a cross-country motorcycle trip?

Asked by janbb (53812points) May 14th, 2009

No – not me. My younger son – 26 – is setting off in a few weeks on his motorcycle for a few months of travelling. This is not an area in which I have any expertise – just trepidation. With his knowledge, I am posting this question on Fluther. He is planning to go South first from our home in the mid-Atlantic. Any tips on things to see, safety, places to stay, roads to avoid, etc.?

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8 Answers

Dog's avatar

Have him keep up on weather conditions. If he has an iPhone or similar smartphone be sure he has a weather service on it.

Be sure he has a backup battery for the phone. It could be a lifeline.

Be sure he has water and that his bike has a tune up before leaving. Let the mechanic know he intends to take in on a 2 week road trip. This will alert him to delve deeper in inspection.

Dog's avatar

I also want to add that I have always wanted a headlamp and tail light modulator

You need to be sure they are legal in the states he will be visiting and they do increase visibility greatly.

_bob's avatar


YARNLADY's avatar

Just the normal stuff, don’t drive when you are sleepy, be cautious of your surroundings, don’t take chances.

Dog's avatar

Just out of curiosity, Does he long distance ride now? If he is used to only an hour or two in the saddle at a time he may want to bring Motrin as well.

rooeytoo's avatar

You just always have to be alert, moreso than in a car I think. I don’t know if people don’t see motorcycles or they try to run you down but you have to totally ride defensively! It half takes the fun out of riding unless you are on a road with no traffic, then it is heaven (as long as you keep your eye on your rear view mirror).

exitnirvana's avatar

Read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, it provides a little insight into long-distance motorcycle trips…might give him a few things to think about while on the road.

DarkScribe's avatar

Is he riding alone or in company? It makes a big difference to all aspects, safety, breakdown assistance, the general enjoyment of the trip.

Make sure that the bike is fully serviced – use fully synthetic oil for best reliability, forks and brakes, chain or belt tensioned correctly etc. Carry good wet weather gear and some emergency ration packs. I use equipment from my boat and carry an Epirb (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) in case I come off and can’t stand or walk. It has happened once – as well as flares and a satellite phone. I have been right around Australia on bikes and Australia is a very big, very remote country. It is probably already covered, but a digital camera with a spare battery and extra memory cards is a must.

Organise a check in schedule. Make sure that he makes contact at set interval – usually when arriving at the next overnight stop, so that you can get a head start if something happens. Make him set a daily alarm to remind him to make contact. Here (Australia) we have a system when traveling in remote areas where the local Police are informed of departure and expected arrival times.

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