Bike Trip Basics

I look my best when I take my helmet off after a long motorcycle ride. I have a glow and a bit of helmet hair.
— Eric Bana

A motorbike trip to somewhere outside the maddening city life needs no introduction. It is one of the most coveted types, and those who indulge in it feel the bliss while those who don’t always wish that someday they would. A good biker knows that safety is paramount in a bike trip and takes all necessary precautions beforehand to preclude distasteful memories. Depending on how long the trip is and how rough the ride can get, there are a few basic points that always remain in his checklist.

Clothes For Bikers

Starting right from a sturdy helmet with a face shield to biker’s boots, there are many things in between that need attention. While it’s not absolutely necessary to upgrade your entire biking wardrobe, a bit by bit they’ll just start making your journeys more comfortable and safe. So start with what you need to gradually moving on to getting better quality stuff.

1.       Safety gear – not only is a helmet a necessary protection against accidents, it also protects from sun, rain, mosquitoes and dust, so try to make a good investment here. And, riding without one is not cool. Also, worth considering are buying knee and elbow caps to prevent injuries.

2.       Jacket – the leather jacket might be a true classic as the tough second skin provides better protection in case of accidents than most other materials, but for the summer you may want to choose one with a more light-weight synthetic fabric. For serious bikers though, they can deal with sweat but not with compromised safety. So from whatever your budget allows, choose the most durable fabric.

3.       Trousers – a quick drying or waterproof trouser with zippered cargo styled pockets is an ideal companion. Better to have a removable thermal lining as well if the bike happens to be a cruiser.

4.       Shoes – give the sneakers a break and a strong pair of waterproof, slip and abrasion resistant shoes that protect the ankle as well should be considered.

Bike Care Tips Before the Trip

Before an upcoming trip, get the bike thoroughly checked by a good mechanic. If you’re a solo rider than you need to be completely self-sustained. So, learn the basics and get a toolkit with some spare parts. Not to forget, that being able to repair your own motorbike is a useful manly skill while running to the mechanic for every small issue isn’t.

Bike Accessories for A Long Journey

Mostly dealing with how you choose to pack your stuff there are a few accessories that you can get to become efficient and well-prepared, other than ensuring a healthy state of your bike. (Read more about multi-purpose travel accessories)

1.       Detachable saddle bags – if you are a frequent rider then spacious saddlebags would be an investment or else for occasional use they can be just rented. Having multiple pockets will help compartmentalise stuff and make your life on the bike easy. Do make sure to have rain cover or simple plastic bags to cover all bags if the need arises.

2.       Medical kit – not only the medicines for basic illnesses but also the antiseptics and dressing material to address an injury. No one would want to see a small, preventable wound grow.

3.       A small day pack/waist bag/tank bag – a small front accessible bag for phone, keys, wallet, water bottle, snack bars, sanitiser, license and other small stuff that will be needed time and again during the journey.

4.       Maps – become a savvy rider and get a physical map of the place if possible, or else mark all important locations and routes on the GPS beforehand as you never know where the network might ditch you.

5.       Portable speakers – entirely optional, but what fun to have your favourite songs setting the mood for you amidst the vast expanse of scenery! And the songs, they will always remain emotional mementoes.

Other than this, stretch it out after every few hours to avoid a sore back, stay hydrated and just enjoy the journey, ‘cause if planned properly the trip will remain one of your favourite ones for a long time to come. (Read about how to plan a perfect guys trip in India)

Think we might have missed out something? What are your bike essentials?