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Riding your Motorcycle Long Distances

A guy in a forum asked what he needed to know about riding long distances. This was going to be his first long ride so I got real basic with him:

You are going to get sore riding in a straight line faster than if you are constantly shifting your weight and turning. Of course you can go a lot faster in a straight line so you can usually go further but it is not as fun. If you can take two days that will be a lot better on your body.

You may run into some hot stretches so drink water. Your body will cramp and get sore faster if you are dehydrated so I like to alternate Gatorade and then water at stops. A neck cooler that you soak and evaporates while you ride will cool you down too. We are closing out the hot days so you may not need this advice as much.

Get a pad. Mine is an AirHawk but like the alternative gel pads, they distribute weight evenly across your butt and reduce the time till soreness. Sheepskin can help too.

Layer. Riding dawn to dusk will be brutal if you can't shed some layers. Keep your rain gear handy too.

Drafting can be a godsend in a headwind. Find a semi or SUV that is doing a similar pace AND is a competent driver and slot in behind him. You will get batted side to side a little but it is better than the continuous frontal attack of a headwind.

Make sure you are rested and take some time at each gas stop to stretch and hang out.


Good read that backs up what I've been carrying on my GS. Will be doing a ride from the south coast of NSW, Australia into the outback of NSW/S.A thence to the Great Ocean Road , Melbourne and home to the S.C in July 2007 with a mate. Camp grounds can be good but off road is better.
- Jon

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