Below we review 5 tips for traveling by motorbike, all obvious, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to keep them in mind from time to time, especially if it’s your first trip. This time we bring you a brief excerpt of tips and recommendations on how to travel by motorcycle.
Riding a motorcycle is not an easy task and from the beginning, we have encouraged you to do it with friends and family. Sometimes, however, the situation that attracts us the most is getting lost alone, and gaining a new experience or giving free rein to the sense of adventure reassures us. For them, this brief is instructive, because it never hurts to review these 5 points.
About when to check your motorbike’s condition, you should pay attention while you are having the last ride, and make a list of things that you should check for as soon as you’re done with that leg. Memory is fragile, so write them down if you are planning to spare the rest of the day for other things. Or, if you think the trip will be long and arduous, the safest thing to do, is to look for a place where you can have a safe checkup while you are on your trip or, shortly after your return. In addition to the review itself, it is often necessary to replace some components and consumables in the middle of nowhere, so we encourage you to check:
• Tires: in good condition (both), thread (at least 4 mm), please don’t make’em last 10 years, the tire “expiration” date is located on one side. It tells you on which year and week it has been made… it’s worth buying a new set every 5 years if you’re planning for a long ride or if your bike has lots of torque. You can keep the current ones for your local outings.
• Brakes: Brake pads are in good condition. All of them, front and rear. Also always check the inner pad, the pad that fits inside the caliper, a minimum of 3mm is recommended. For the brake fluid itself, check its duration (if it has been a few years but not 10…, we do not force you to change it…) and that it is in good condition (minimum transparency…). This does not apply to mineral brake fluid.
• Drive kit: more precisely the chain, the sprocket, and the sprocket only that do not have very sharp teeth. The chain is clean and greased. For rides of more than 500 km, we recommend lubricating with a small bottle of chain grease every 500 km (up to 1000 km).
• Oil: at the correct level, neither below nor above the maximum level. If it is tanner a year old, also change it. Mineral oils have their own policies about this.
• Coolant: More or less the same, only, in this case, keep in mind that the coolant expands more than the oil when hot, so we recommend not to max it out it when cold. Certainly not below minimum. Recommended, in the middle. Make sure you know what kind of coolant your bike uses and if you suspect that you might have a small leak somewhere, and didn’t have time to go to the shop, take some of the same coolants type with you.
2 – Tire pressure.
We have already said some things about the tires in the first point, but in our experience to check the condition of the product, the component is the best. We always have to be attentive that it has good pressure and to make good use of them.
We may think that the pressures are not very important, but they can affect the good handling of the motorbike, as well as the wear and duration of your tires. If your ride is going to be a multi-day one, make sure you bring a tire gauge with you.
For this, always be guided by the pressures listed in your bike’s manual. We can give you some tips, but your starting point should always be those specified by the manufacturer. Now, the little things; For trips, especially if you are traveling with a passenger or if the bike is more loaded than usual with panniers or backpacks, you can increase the pressure by 0.1 / 0.2 BAR. If your trip is going to have a lot of highways or straight stretches with high speed, a small tip is to increase the aerodynamic load, especially the rear, this way we will avoid noticeable wear in the center and maintain the curvature of the tires for longer.
Another detail that you must take into account is the altitude pressure at which we inflate the tire. That is, the inflation of the tire at the service station, at an altitude of 1,800 m above sea level, is not the same as sea level. If you inflate a tire at an altitude of 1800 m, and your destination or travel route is along the coast, you will notice that the tire “lost” pressure and will act strong and heavy. Conversely, if you inflate at sea level and go up the mountain, tire pressure will increase and reduce tire grip (contact patch decrease), reducing grip and increasing the risk of skidding.
3 – Stop every 200 km.
About 200 km is just a reference that we give you, no matter if it is 200 km, 180 km or 230 km… but stop to rest before 2 hours of driving because fatigue will arrive without warning and that is generally while driving.
In many cases, the fuel autonomy of a motorbike usually corresponds to this distance, but there are bikes like the KTM ADVENTURE R 1290 that have an even greater range of 400 km, so you have to be careful because, with many kilometers behind, you start to make silly mistakes and lose focus.
Therefore, we recommend stopping every 200 km or so, stretching your legs, having a drink, having a soda to cool you down, or something to snack on.
4 – Calculation between gas stations.
On your trip, you must have well-controlled gas stations and refueling points. One thing is to stop to rest and another is to stop because the motorcycle runs out of gas, so if you use both in one go, make sure you have the proper amount of time to rest. When organizing your trip, calculate the stops taking into account the autonomy of your motorbike, and determine the available gas stations. Google Maps or Maps-me is your friend, use them, especially now that they still do not charge for their use.
5 – Carry tools
Tools are very important on your trip, that’s why we prepared a previous blog about everything you should bring on a motorbike trip. We hope that you liked this blog and that it will help to encourage you to go on a longer trip or come to a wonderful country like Ecuador where we will provide you with everything, you need to make your trip spectacular.