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Since 1999, the #1 Motorcycling Magazine for Women and the Men Who Ride with Them

10 Tips for Planning Your First Overnight Motorcycle Ride

Must-read advice for anyone planning to tour

Story courtesy of RoadRUNNER Magazine

Most motorcyclists start out strictly as day-trippers, meeting with other riders on the weekend for the proverbial breakfast or lunch ride. This allows them to focus on just the day of the ride. If the weather forecast is dry, they may not take rain gear. If they do get caught in the rain, there’s always dry clothes and shelter waiting at home. 

"You should make sure the other riders know you will not be
trying to keep up with them..."

The type of gear worn also may be more light duty in nature: half or three quarter style helmet, perforated jacket and pants, one set of riding gloves, no heated gear, no extra set of dry clothes, etc. On day trips, riders also may not bring along more tools than those that came with the bike, or navigational aids like maps, GPS, or other items often packed for multi-day touring.

Once riders are exposed to the vicissitudes of nature, unexpected road hazards, and navigational challenges on a multi-day ride, they quickly realize that they’re in a whole different ballgame, so to speak, than when they were just day-tripping to a restaurant and back home. Covering greater distances during long days of riding requires riders to do some pre-planning. As the old bromide cautions, “Plan for the worst and hope for the best.”

Touring multiple days on a motorcycle can be an invigorating, uplifting, and confidence building experience for riders. But, if you (or a riding buddy) haven’t done it before, here are a few planning tips.

1. Buddy-up
While always a good idea to tour with a partner, it’s especially important for inexperienced touring riders to have a companion who is experienced. Unforeseen problems on the road are always more manageable if there’s more than one person to tackle them.

10 tips for planning your first overnight motorcycle ride buddy
If you don't have a riding buddy, one way to find one is through social media and by connecting with a riding club near you.

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