Every motorcycle owner knows the joy of heading out on a long ride. It’s something a rider yearns for while riding along narrow city roads and amongst the slow traffic. One needs to hit the highways every once a while, get out there, amongst nature, visit historical sites or just get to a destination to sit back and relax. And of course there are some riders who aren't satisfied with just a few hundred kilometers and so like to kick it up a notch. These are the enthusiasts who give the phrase ‘hitting the road’ a new meaning. Long rides can mean riding from dusk to dawn with very little rest. It could mean riding for days without a proper hotel bed and also passage through places where even food can be difficult to find. In such conditions, one should always be prepared for the worst ahead. Since the riding season is closing in, team HNP shares a few riding tips and tricks that will help you, if you too are living on your bike!
Wear proper gear:
The first and the most important thing to keep in mind is to wear proper riding gear. A good helmet is one of the most necessary investments. On a long ride, the helmet should be adjusted to remain tight at the strap while also being breathable. Gloves, jackets and knee guards are other important riding gears that make a ride safer and more enjoyable any day. A good pair of riding boots keeps you in a good mood while also giving the sporty aggressive look required to keep the testosterone level going. Common sense would tell you that the more time you spend on the road, the higher the probability of something going wrong out there. Good safety equipment ensures that an unforeseen crash only sets you back a few days maybe, and does not mean the end of it.
Use a Bluetooth Communicator:
Using your phone while riding can be one of the most expensive mistakes a rider can make, a cheaper alternative would be to use a Bluetooth communicator. This device is very easy to use as it snaps onto the helmet and can be used to accept calls while also enjoying your favorite music on the ride. It helps on long rides, as you do not have to park by the highway and attend to your calls – with just a tap on the helmet accept any incoming calls at a distance of even a few kilometers from your cell phone. Sena SMH-5 Bluetooth Headset and Sena 30K Bluetooth Headset with Mesh Intercom are a few communicators that are well priced and very efficient. The Sena 10C Bluetooth also comes with a camera for video logging your rides.
Tyre kit, clutch cable and tools:
Indian roads are as unforgiving as the climate here, so along with protection from the weather a rider should also always carry a puncture kit and tyre inflator on a long ride. A tubeless tyre is very easy to fix as a tubeless tyre kit is quite easily found at any shop and its use can be mastered in minutes. Once the puncture has been fixed, a rider also needs a tyre inflator. Slime Power Sports Tyre Inflator is an electronic tyre inflator that can pump up your tubeless or tube tyre in a matter of seconds, an extremely useful tool. Riders who own bikes with tube-tyres should carry extra tubes if possible as it's not always possible to find the brand of your choice en route. Clutch cables are a part of the bike constantly under tension and stress; hence the chances of snapping are high, so always keep a spare cable in hand. All of this might or might not need a toolkit, though keeping a toolkit handy is the right way to go when out on unknown roads and trails.
Anyone who’s tried carrying a rucksack on one’s back knows well that’s not how things are done on the road. Strap your bags onto your pillion seat or the side of your bike using bungee cables. Use ropes only as auxiliary cables and do not rely on ropes to secure your luggage. Due to the low elasticity of ropes, they do not take the constant pressure and are prone to snap on jerky roads. Bungee cables with hooks ensure you do not damage your bike while securing your luggage to it either. Oxford bungees offer a wide range that’s suitable for the cause.
Tent, foldable chair, Thermal sheet:
If you’re not one to look for fancy hotels or settle for shady lodges, a tent is a must. Waking up by the seaside or on a hilltop is a joy incomparable to any other, and a tent ensures that you have a shade over your head, no matter what the weather conditions. If you’re a seasoned camper you might also want to add a foldable picnic chair to your inventory list. In any situation, it is also wise for any rider or camper to carry a thermal sheet. A thermal sheet acts as a sheet of insulation between the person and the physical environment maintaining body temperatures in extremely hot or cool conditions.
Always carry a multi-tool when traveling to any outdoor location. This compact tool is perhaps the most efficient of all and can fit into your pockets easily. From wire cutters to screwdrivers, strap cutters to bottle openers, everything on the multi-tool is pretty much everything you’ll need. Check out the Oxford tool kit before your next long ride.
Along with a healthy sense of adventure, the above-mentioned things are some of the basics and must-haves for a long ride to any of your favorite locations. Carry a Bluetooth speaker along with you if you want to make those silent nights a little groovy, but give yourself up to nature and the simplicity of life on the road and you will not miss any of the materialistic joy that city life has to offer. Just be well prepared for the long road ahead.