Hi. 👋🏻 There’s something incredibly thrilling about solo motorcycle adventure. It’s a unique experience that offers unparalleled freedom, an opportunity to push your limits, and a chance to challenge yourself.
You make all the decisions yourself and you are responsible for them. You’re in complete control of your journey, and there’s something truly liberating about that.
In this article, we’ll explore some tips for solo motorcycle touring, including what to pack, how to stay safe, and how to make the most of your adventure.
I myself am a passionate motorcycle enthusiast with over 150 thousand kilometers of riding experience. I use these tips myself to get the most out of my motorcycle adventures.
Before You Go
#1 Learn Basic Motorcycle Maintenance
Get a basic understanding of motorcycle maintenance. It allows you to diagnose bike problems early, long before they turn critical. This means that you can address any issues yourself and avoid having to search for dealer services in another country, which can save you both time and money.
In addition, the peace of mind that comes with knowing your bike is in good condition is invaluable during a solo adventure.
Simple things to know include:
1. Changing engine oil
2. Plugging a flat tire
3. Adjusting the chain tension
4. Replacing brake pads
5. Diagnosing worn wheel bearings
6. Replacing an air filter
7. Replacing Spark plugs
#2 Plan Approximate Route
Having a rough idea of your route before hitting the road is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, it helps you estimate how long your trip will take and how much money you will need for fuel food and accommodation.
Secondly, it enables you to plan for points of interest like beautiful mountain roads and passes that are a must to go through.
Thirdly, check for campsites on your route in advance. Often there are many campsites in a specific area around a lake or mountain and few campsites in between such areas. It is better to plan the day riding range and overnight accommodation accordingly so you end up in a campsite-rich location every evening.
#3 Check for Main Points of Interest in Advance
One of the joys of solo motorcycle touring is the freedom to explore new places and discover hidden gems. Researching your route ahead of time can help you identify the main points of interest, such as scenic routes, historical landmarks, and local attractions. This way, you won’t miss out on any must-see locations along the way.
#4 Plan ICE in Advance
In Case of Emergency (ICE) is something to take care of just for peace of mind. In reality, most problems can be solved on the road with help of other people. The only real emergency is an injury or a serious road accident.
Make sure to share your route with a trusted friend or family member and establish a plan for communication in case of an emergency.
Have a badge with your name and ICE contact on your motorcycle jacket.
When traveling through remote areas, such as deserts, it’s important to prepare for emergencies by having a charged cell phone, backup battery, and satellite phone. You should also inform your friends of when you plan to call them, so if they don’t receive a call, they’ll know that something might be wrong. Following these steps could be crucial for saving your life in remote locations.
#5 Have a Person at Home Who Can Transfer the Money
Running out of cash during a solo motorcycle tour can be stressful and potentially dangerous. Having a person at home who can transfer money to you in an emergency can provide peace of mind and ensure you have the means to return home safely.
#6 Pack Light
Less is more on a motorcycle trip. Keeping your gear to a minimum not only saves space on your bike but also reduces your load and makes the ride more comfortable, especially if you have poor road or even off-road sections on your path. Only pack essential items and plan to do laundry along the way if necessary.
Rain can quickly dampen your spirits (literally). Also, rain gear doubles as an additional insulation layer to keep you warm in the early mornings and when the temperature decreases below 10°C.
Tent, Sleeping Bag, and Stove
If you’re planning to camp during your solo motorcycle tour, be sure to pack a lightweight tent, sleeping bag, and stove. These items allow you to camp out in remote locations, save money on accommodations, and add more options to choose from every day.
#7 Plan Itinerary
Planning a detailed itinerary before setting off will help you stay on track and make the most of your trip. Be sure to include daily goals, such as mileage and main points of interest, and allow for flexibility and spontaneous detours. With a well-planned itinerary in hand, you’ll be ready to hit the open road and create memories that will last a lifetime.
I recommend taking calory dense foods with long shelf life. My personal favorite – is pistachio nuts. I can pack 2 kilos of these for a week-long tour. When I need a rest stop – I would often look for a location with beautiful scenery. I can quickly access nuts and water in my tail bag and have a nice lunch packed with vitamins and lots of healthy calories without spending time on cooking.
On the road
#9 Don’t Neglect Rest Stops
Remember that it is all about the journey itself. Too often people create milestones as if they are doing some kind of a JOB and make themselves busy getting from point A to point B within a certain amount of time.
Having rest stops for 5 minutes every hour helps to reset your brain. it is a way of meditation – just be here and now. That is the real purpose of your journey. Nothing will change if you will arrive 30 mins faster to your campsite.
Taking breaks during long drives is crucial for both your physical and mental health, as well as for the safety of yourself and others on the road.
#10 Choose Backroads
While highways may be the most direct route to your destination, taking backroads will provide a more scenic and relaxing driving experience.
Backroads have less traffic and offer the opportunity to see local sights and villages that you will miss on the highway.
#11 Start Early, Finish Early
Starting your ride early with sunrise results in riding on empty roads with less traffic. I prefer hitting the road at 5 AM in the morning.
Secondly, you will do most of your riding by 11 AM and will have an idea of where you will end up in the evening making it easier to book accommodation in advance.
I try to get to a campsite by 15-16 PM. This way I have 4 hours to do my stuff, service my bike, put up a tent, cook food and I go to sleep at 20 PM so I can wake up early the next day.
#12 Arrive Before Dark
If you’re arriving at your destination after a long day of riding, it’s best to aim to arrive before dark. This gives you ample time to settle in, put up the tent, and prepare for the next day’s activities.
#13 Book Accommodation Before 11 AM
It’s better to book your accommodation before 11 AM. If you follow my advice and hit the road at 5 AM – you will be on the road for 5-6 hours by 11 AM.
Most likely you will cover a significant part of your daily distance and have a clear idea of your destination for the day.
Booking before 11 AM increases your chances of securing your desired location and reduces the stress of last-minute arrangements for accommodation.
#14 Use Appropriate Safety Gear
Be your best rider. Use safety gear all the time. It does not simply protect you in an accident but also reduces fatigue from wind, noise, bad weather, cold, and heat. It protects you from insects or little rocks picked up by a passing car and hitting you at 100 km/h. Take rain gear with you and use it as an additional insulation layer if the temperature drops.
The right mindset can make all the difference in your experience. Here are some key mindset principles to follow.
The main reason to do a solo motorcycle trip is to experience the sense of freedom that comes with being on the open road. Embrace this freedom and enjoy the journey.
Make all decisions yourself and be responsible for them.
On a solo trip, you are in charge of everything, from route planning to accommodation choices to navigation through challenging situations. This can be hard at times, but it’s also liberating to be solely responsible for your own decisions.
#16 Journey, not destination
Focus on the journey itself, don’t think about the destination too much. This mindset will help you stay present and appreciate the little moments along the way.
#17 Meet people
Traveling solo on a motorcycle provides a unique opportunity to meet new people. Whether it’s other travelers, locals, or fellow motorcyclists, embrace the chance to connect with others and hear their stories.
Interacting with locals can lead to unexpected experiences. Sometimes they may invite you to stay for the night at their house. They may even offer to share a meal with you in the evening.
Be thankful for their hospitality and accept it and share your own experience and knowledge in return. You can gain a deeper understanding of their culture and country as well as save some money on accommodation and food.
So, don’t be afraid to reach out to locals and strike up a conversation. You never know what kind of experiences it may lead to, and the experience you make can last a lifetime.
#18 Be in the moment
In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about the future or dwelling on the past. But on a solo motorcycle trip, it’s important to stay present and focus on the experience you’re having right now. Take in the sights, sounds, and smells of your surroundings, and enjoy the ride.
Don’t think about the future: It’s important to plan ahead for your trip, but try not to get too caught up in thinking about what’s coming next. Focus on the present moment and trust that everything will work out as it should.
Don’t think about problems: Similarly, try not to let worries or problems distract you from enjoying your trip. If you do encounter challenges along the way, approach them with a problem-solving mindset and stay focused on finding a solution.
#19 Challenge yourself a little bit
Finally, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things on your trip. Whether it’s taking a different route or trying a new type of food, pushing yourself to try something new is a rewarding and enriching experience.
A solo motorcycle trip is a unique and exhilarating adventure that allows you to experience freedom, challenge yourself, and discover our beautiful planet.
To make the most of it, plan ahead, pack light, have a rough idea of the route, and zone into the right mindset. Leave your worries at home and focus on the moment here and now.
With these tips, experience the joy of solo motorcycle touring while staying safe and prepared. Ride safe! Cheers.
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