If you are planning your first motorcycle trip, your might be prepared but it is important that your bike is also ready for the journey. Regardless of whether you are going abroad or just wanting to see another part of the country you need to ensure your bike is in good shape.
You might be up to date with your bike maintenance already, but just incase it is important to make sure that you have had a recent service. For a long trip it would be wise to ensure that you have had an oil change. This will ensure that your engine is running smoothly, remember a happy bike means a happy trip. Next, check that your brakes are up to the task if you are taking a major trip it would pay to bleed those brakes ahead any expedition.
If you have been using the bike for daily commute check those tires ahead of any trip. Take a good look not just the pressures but the tread depth. If they are looking pretty worn and approaching the tread depth it would pay to change them. Remember that when tires start to get the minimum tread they wear faster, a lot faster. Most touring tires give a great mileage without sacrificing performance.
Of course check cables, lights and everything else. It is often a good idea to wash your machine, not just so it looks good for the trip but it is the best time to spot any obvious faults or damage to the machine.
If you are taking your bike overseas you need documentation. Take original copies of your documents, especially the registration papers. It would also be wise to check for any regulations that would apply. If you are going to be driving on the opposite side of the road then you are going to need headlight deflectors for your machine. This is a legal requirement as without these you will be dazzling incoming traffic.
Finally, check everything and then take your machine on a test ride with the luggage that you are going to be carrying. This is to get used to the machine with extra load (this will certainly change the handling a little), and check your luggage. Make sure those panniers aren’t damaged.
Once you are happy, you and your bike are ready for a trip of a lifetime!
Photo Credit: Tomasz Kustrzynski