21 Secrets for Successful Motorcycle Touring

Motorcycle Touring Secrets

Do you feel it too? You know, that zing of excited energy you feel running through your body when you anticipate getting on the motorbike to go for a ride? We get it every time we go, whether its a short ride or our longest trip, a 32 day motorcycle tour! We’re sharing our 21 secrets to success that we’ve gleaned over the last 3 years where we’ve banked 10,000 miles in 3 month-long motorcycle touring trips.

21 Motorcycle Touring Tips

  1. while it may seem obvious make sure your know the basics about your motorcycle maintenance
  2. if you can afford it, ship your bike to your destination. We shipped our bike to Europe for $1000 and have been on back-to-back, month long adventures, 3 years in a row. It is amazing to have our motorcycle, that we know and have set up just as we like it. (We can’t tell you what the price is to ship back to the US)
  3. pack a motorcycle cover, cable and lock- the cover keeps the bike safe at night, dry when it rains and the seats from getting hot in the sun while the lock allows you to lock your jacket to the bike and walk around in comfort
  4. have some basic tools with you for possible mishaps
  5. don’t over do it. 200 miles per day is a nice full day on the road of twisty turny backroads or mountain passes
  6. talk to the locals – this is invaluable for off-the-beaten-path sights, food, places to stay, plus many other things only locals know
  7. don’t over pack, too much stuff just weighs you down
  8. good gear – rain gear, helmet, clothing. Nothing worse than being wet, hot or cold while trying to enjoy yourself
  9. willingness to adapt!! If you have planned your course and the forecast calls for torrential rains, be adventurous and willing to change your plans and go somewhere else or change your dates. Now is not the time to be pig-headed
  10. on a 17 day or more tour plan to spend 2-3 nights in each location. A 2 night stay really means you only have 1 full day in that location
  11. don’t hesitate to stop for a power nap, it only takes 10 minutes to feel completely rejuvenated & touring motorcycles can be pretty comfortable to catch some quick Zsdon't hesitate to stop for a quick power nap, it only takes 10 minutes to feel completely rejuvenated and touring motorcycles can be pretty comfortable to catch some quick Zs
  12. most people will tell you to plan your stops thoroughly, we COMPLETELY DISAGREE. We do minimal planning and fly by the seat of our pants so that every turn winds up being something unexpected and therefor a true in-the-moment experience. If you don’t have expectations then there is nothing to be disappointed by!
  13. scan your drivers license and passport before you travel and store them in the cloud. We lost our passports once so trust us, they come in handy!
  14. keep a spare key in a completely different location than the one you use every day.  I keep one in my purse and Scott keeps one in his pocket
  15. create a routine for packing up the bike so that you don’t leave anything behind
  16. sign up for roadside assistance and if traveling abroad buy travel medical insurance
  17. have spare bungees, zip ties, fuses, chamois, ziploc bags, etc.
  18. get a reliable gps system that is easy to use
  19. rather than having things like reservations in paper form, photograph it and save it in a folder on your phone
  20. use your hotel miles, we love SPG, to rent rooms in the big cities we visit, that way we are in the heart of the city and have a place to park
  21. post a picture of where you are on social media at least every other day so, the folks back home know where you are and that you are safe while you are touring