Unfortunately, every biker (even the most experienced ones) has at one point made some road trip mistakes.
Some of these mistakes have ended up ruining their road tour experiences in the most unimaginable ways.
The good thing is, this doesn’t have to be you.
Having made several of these mistakes, I decided to find out the most common motorcycle mistakes you can make on your motorcycle road tour.
What I discovered is that most of these mistakes fall under packing and safety.
So, here is a list of some of the motorcycle road trip mistakes that riders make:
The good news is, I also included some easy fixes that any rider can implement in case they make any of these mistakes on their road tour.
Motorcycle Packing Mistakes
1. Over packing (carrying everything)
When packing, you should pack ONLY what’s necessary.
Do not give in to the temptation of carrying what’s not a must. Try to balance between ensuring you have everything that you need vs. taking less.
Besides, you can buy some items during the road trip instead of carrying them all the way.
Or even better, you can go for multi-use tools that can perform more than one task.
For instance, if you are going on a group tour, you could share and distribute other stuff like toothpaste. In other words, you’ll need to create as much space as possible.
Next, you need to test-ride your bike to make sure the luggage balances on the bike equally. This is because there is a need to maintain the motorcycle’s balance.
2. Not saving space
As earlier mentioned, you should leave some extra space when going on a motorcycle road trip rather than overpacking quite simply because you will need it to fill up the additional items that you buy on your road tour.
3. Not packing right
Packing right could greatly help save up some space.
For example, instead of folding your clothes, you can roll them.
Avoid using containers for storage. Instead, store your stuff in plastic zip bags.
And remember, when packing your clothes for a summer road trip, they should be light enough to dry fast.
4. Not carrying all-weather clothes
Let’s not forget, a motorcycle road trip can expose you to all kinds of unexpected weather changes.
Therefore it would be prudent to pack for all weather.
Motorcycle Safety Mistakes
5. Assuming that other drivers can see you
Always keep your distance from other road users on the road.
But even more importantly, stay out of vehicle blind spots.
You will want to be able to avoid collisions with other motorists on the road.
Believe it or not, many drivers are not always aware of motorbike riders’ presence on the road.
And needless to say, If you are riding your motorbike in densely populated areas, always wear brightly colored clothes to increase your visibility on the road.
But not only that. . .
If you are wearing black clothes, stick brighter masking tapes on your clothes to increase your visibility.
Or better still, use proper reflectors and lights when riding at night and when it is raining or foggy.
6. Tailgating cars/trucks
Tailgating can be risky to riders in the event the driver decides to brake abruptly. You could end up bumping into the vehicle from behind.
And in addition to that, it limits your visibility on the road, resulting in slow reaction time if an obstacle accidentally appears.
It could result in severe damages to your bike and yourself as well.
In any case, all you will need to do is to follow the tire trail of the front moving car.
7. Riding in between cars
Without a doubt, this is a great way to avoid traffic.
However, it places the rider in greater danger.
And additionally, riding in between cars abroad may get you in trouble with the traffic police.
Some countries and states don’t allow it. Furthermore, some drivers may find it annoying, thus doing something that may endanger you.
Riding in between cars may end up putting you at more risk than good.
8. Being unaware of the motorcycle’s fuel range
There’s nothing as annoying as getting stranded in the middle of nowhere on your road trip when you run out of fuel.
Knowing your bike’s fuel range will therefore be essential. You should hence always carry an extra fuel container.
9. Using shaded visors at night
From a personal experience, riding at night or in the dark may tempt us to use shaded visors to help minimize the light from other vehicles.
But, doing this will reduce your visibility from the pedestrians and debris on the road.
And needless to say, this could result in an accident or falling off your bike.
10. Taking head-on overtakes
Even if your motorcycle has a powerful engine, head-on overtaking is a risky move for riders. This move may end up putting a stop to your entire road trip.
Riders have narrated scary experiences from this move, such as:
- The engine immediately running out of breath.
- Engine experiencing power loss out of nowhere!
- And other unexplainable phenomena.
In some countries, head-on overtaking is not allowed by law. It will put you in trouble with the authorities.
11. Carrying heavy cargo on a road trip
More weight on your motorcycle makes the riding dynamic more challenging.
You should only pack the essential items.
And don’t forget that by buying souvenirs on the road, you may increase the weight load on your motorcycle.
So, you could instead look for other means to deliver the items to your place.
12. Wearing wrong motorcycle gear
Now, this is one crucial lesson that I learned from experience.
Wearing the wrong gear will not only put you in danger, but it will also worsen your experience on the motorcycle road tour.
I remember riding with my full leathers on a sweltering hot day and the humidity level being exceptionally high.
This was among my worst riding experiences on the road.
It felt miserable as the leather took in all the heat, thus draining me – I cooked!
My legs felt like they were boiling.
Though I now know better, this was indeed a great lesson learned the hard way.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be you.
As a rider, you should make sure that you invest in proper protective clothing, no matter how confident you feel on your motorbike.
Everyone crashes.Some get back on. Some don’t. Some can’t.let’s always be careful out there
13. Neglecting yourself
Always hydrate and eat well.
Remember, you are critical on this trip. There is no road trip without you in the picture.
Take enough rest. Rather than just focusing on getting to your destination, you should take time to enjoy every minute of your road trip.
Aim at making your road trip memorable and one that you’ll live to tell others.
14. Neglecting your motorcycle
Neglecting your bike is equally a huge mistake.
You should always check your tires and test your brakes.
This may help prevent serious problems such as tire balding, oil leakage, and brakes from wearing out.
It is pretty obvious when you think about it. And at no point in time should you ever assume that everything is okay.
In fact, there’s no harm or reasonable excuse for not doing it.
You may never know. It may end up being a lifesaver!
16. Losing sight of what’s important while riding
Going on a road trip on your motorcycle can expose you to tons of eye-catching places and people.
As a result, you might lose sight of the road ahead while riding your motorcycle.
Always remember to focus while enjoying the highway attraction and eye-catching sceneries. You don’t want to end up hurting yourself or damaging your bike.
17. Not choosing the innermost line while taking a blind corner
Hey, consider this a must.
It sounds pretty obvious. But it isn’t to a lot of bikers.
18. Forgetting to carry your motorcycle’s spare key
A lot could happen while on the road.
In any case, no one wants to lose their only bike’s key in the middle of nowhere without a spare.
Always carry a spare key.
19. Attempting to take on a hairpin turn at a high speed for the first time on a new road
I bet this needs no further emphasis.
Quite clearly, this mistake could have fatal results.
Who knows, there could be potholes ahead that you may not have earlier detected.
And additionally, you may either end up being thrown off or destroying your bike.
20. Taking the wrong type of motorcycle for a long road trip
If you happen to pick the wrong type of motorbike for a road tour, you may as well be robbing yourself of all the motorcycle road trip fun.
But the good news is, this doesn’t have to be you.
Other common mistakes
21. Not preparing your motorcycle before the road trip
Be sure to take your motorbike for a full service.
For example, the tires should effectively be able to cover the miles.
You can read in more details about how to prepare your motorcycle for a road trip, from our previous article.
22. Failure to plan for gas stops
Most riders are usually caught up by this common road trip mistake.
It seems obvious, but even the most experienced motorcycle road tripper will tell you that this has happened on their trip.
I always advise other fellow riders to ride on full tanks and avoid passing gas stops along the way.
This is because if you happen to find a road under construction, you might be forced to change your route.
And if you run out of gas, you may end up in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank.
Bottom line: Always ride on a full tank and refuel at every chance you get.
23. Touring with a new gear
Traveling with untested or newly bought gear might not be a good idea.
In fact, you should ensure that you first ride on your new gear locally before embarking on your long road trip.
Why is that so?
Because you wouldn’t want to be caught up in uncomfortable gear during the entire trip.
24. Ignorance of traffic rules
Most riders find themselves in trouble with the traffic police because of ignorance of the traffic rules while abroad.
Traffic laws do vary from country to country.
Trust me. It’ll be worth it if you could take a few moments to go through the traffic laws.
25. Not getting good enough rest before and during your road trip
Your body should be at its best each morning before you begin your motorcycle road trip.
Whatever you do, ensure you get enough sleep and eat well – healthy.
Take regular pit-stops to rest and if fatigue takes a toll on you, pull over and take a nap.