by Woody Longacre
Do you have an adventuresome sprit? Do you have the desire for something new and different? If so, then an interesting trend in vacationing is motorcycle touring.
Whatever scenery you enjoy, whatever venue you like, whether it is the beach, the mountains or the cities, a Harley motorcycle vacation promises great fun and entertainment. There is nothing like the back to nature feel of the wind in your face, leaving your cares behind, and seeing the world from the seat of a Harley.
If you are considering taking a motorcycle vacation, planning and preparation are important to your success and enjoyment.
Below you'll find information on how to prepare and plan a great Bikers vacation.
Preparing the Bike
Make sure your motorcycle is road worthy and reliable before setting out. Ensure all equipment is working and can withstand the rigors of the road. The tires should have plenty of rubber and be properly inflated, the oil and other fluids should be clean and topped off, and all lighting should be working. If your bike has a chain drive, the chain should be properly tensioned and lubricated, if belt driven, the belt should be inspected for wear and properly tensioned. Make sure all nuts and fastening hardware is tightened. Especially the license plate, it's usually the first thing to fall off.
Packing for Travel
Unlike other types of vacations a Harley motorcycle vacation is one of necessities and essentials only. You will not be packing multiple suit cases for your trip. On the contrary, you will be packing several small to medium packs or bags. The type of packing you do is dependent on the bike you own. Some bikes are equipped with saddle bags, while others are only equipped for places to lash down soft packs or bags. In either case your packing space is limited; you will only have room for the essentials. So what are the essentials of the road?
- Warm clothing, includes jacket and gloves adequate for the extreme cold temperatures you may face.
- Helmet, this of course is an optional device but when it rains, gets cold, or some little old lady runs you over you'll wish you had it.
- Rain gear, you don't want to get wet, and make sure your packed items are protected from rain as well.
- Motor bike tool set. Basic tools for tightening nuts, turning screws, removing a wheel and dont forget electrical tape and wire.
- Personal hygiene articles, this should include any medications you normally take.
- Change of clothing, this is where you may have the most difficulty. An extra pair of jeans, couple pairs of undies, a pair of socks, one or two of your favorite tea shirts and a long sleeve shirt are the minimum fashion articles you'll need.
Of course, your packing should be tailored to the climate and venue you'll be traveling, that is if going to a warm sunny climate then heavy clothing may not be needed. If traveling to a cooler or rainier climate then additional warm clothing and rain gear may be needed.
Planning Your Trip
Everyone has someplace they have always wanted to visit. This could be a beach, a mountain range, a forest, a city, a monument, a desert, an amusement park, an ocean or lake. The list is endless, heck it could even be grandma's house, no matter your destination, you should take time to plan a travel route. This is where the adventure of motorcycling becomes fun and exciting. Instead of traveling the freeways straight to your end point try the back roads, take the alternate route that leads to places unknown. You will be amazed at the scenery, the quaint villages and towns and the friendliness of people along the way. You may not even make it to your final destination because of all the interesting things you'll want to stop and visit along the way. It's all just part of the fun! Beware however to ensure that while traveling your route you are not caught in a situation where lodging, food or gas are not available when needed.
Before you swing a leg over that bike make sure you know your route; it is very difficult to read a map while traveling at 60 mph on a motorcycle. Have a good idea of the areas you want to visit. Try to plan your days travel so that you end up at a location where lodging is available. In peak times of the year lodging can be hard to come by so you may want to make reservations in advance. Knowing where you are going and where you will stop helps make the trip less stressful.
As in any traveling endeavor, there is always an inherent risk when traveling on a motorcycle. Illness can befall us at any time, an accident can cause injury, a natural disaster can occur without warning or perhaps an emergency from home could take place. While these things are out of our control it is wise to be prepared in case some unplanned event occurs. Carry a list of your emergency contacts and numbers. Put these in a safe place. Include any important medical information about yourself. Be sure your license and insurance documents are up to date and are with you at all times. By doing this, you will be better prepared to cope with any emergency that may occur. It is also wise to inform your family or friends of your travel plans and route, just in case you get lost they'll know where to search.
By proper planning, taking your time to enjoy, and being prepared for weather extremes you can experience a vacation that you'll remember for years to come. You, your Harley and the road, passing all those people crammed in cars, knowing the real enjoyment of travel is with your face in the wind and butt in the saddle. I'll see you on the open road!
Reprinted with permission. This article written by Woody Longacre and is brought to you on behalf of HarleyResource.net, - Harley News, Videos, Articles, Chat Forum and Online shopping for everything Harley! Motorcycle Vacationing on a Harley by Woody Longacre