Long Distance Motorcycle Trip Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Long distance motorcycle trip mistakes to avoid based on my own experience motorcycle traveling. I have ridden motorcycles all over and have learned many mistakes the hard way. I hope this video helps you avoid some of the common mistakes that I see new motorcycle travelers making.

Some of the top five mistakes for long distance riding are:

1) Over packing. Avoid this by using a scale to weigh what you want to pack, this will help you prioritize. You should also be working within your motorcycles load capacity, as well as the capacity for your saddlebags or cases. Using a scale will also help make sure your bike is balanced properly from side to side.

2) Not having a plan. Avoid this by planning a itinerary. Just make sure not to be too ambitious. If you can take more time to do less mileage and shorten the trip to fit your timeline. It is important to have some structure but avoid adding unnecessary pressure to yourself.

3) Too much focus on destinations. Try to switch the focus to route instead. Look for the most scenic and fun way to get from A to B. Cool places and pit stops will present themselves if you stay off the main highways and explore a little.

4) Staying in too many hotels. This will quickly deplete your budget and can easily be avoided by camping more or staying in Air BnB. Check out my video on finding inexpensive and free places to sleep on the road here:

5) Gear! Make sure you have the proper gear for the climate you will be traveling in. It is better to have a modular helmet that can be closed in bad weather, rather than having an open faced, 3/4 helmet that leaves you constantly exposed to the elements. Rain gear will be crucial on any long trip. Also make sure to wear all your safety gear all the time!

Hope these tips help you avoid some heartache on the road! Thanks for watching!!!


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There are 22 comments

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  1. Forty Times Around

    QOTD: What is a big mistake that you’ve made on a long motorcycle trip that you want to avoid in the future? Let us know!

  2. dgrant591

    Rode too far without giving myself enough time. 3700 miles in 10 days was too much. I barely got time to enjoy a few of the sights along the way.

  3. dgrant591

    Biggest mistake last trip of a thousand miles was not putting the stock slip on mufflers back on my Road King. Louder slip ons are okay for around town and short rides with ear plugs but even with the plugs, the louder pipes killed me.

  4. MultiOutdoorman

    Common mistake is covering lots of miles but not allowing enough time to stop to enjoy the places which you are passing through….

  5. Irish MadDog

    Not bringing Gore-tex or equivalent 10,000-15,000 mm hydro static lined jacket and boots and gloves. My boots got soaked and my gloves and my jacket, but I stayed in a hostel for 15 Euro and they had a shed in the back with air coming through, this allowed me to dry my tent over night, and I dried my gear, other then my boots, which were still wet the next day. I faced them towards the air and tightened them down with a cargo net to dry them out as I drove, but long story short..
    Get Gore-tex boots above all else, or if you can't afford that, buy waterproof gaters that go over your boots they work too.

    Safe riding everyone!

  6. Rob Kimler

    I can't believe those mistakes,all or almost all are common sense really. Yes I sometimes take too much stuff,like a couple of extra pairs of jeans or shorts or a jacket I never wear but that's about it but hard cover books,what the? Ever since I first started touring when I was about 19yo, I would plan my destination for that night & the fuel/food stops along the way,still do the same thing today & I've ridden over 850,000 klms since that first trip. I used to camp when I was younger & didn't have much money but nowadays it's rare for me to not stay in a motel,sore old bones like a nice bed before riding 600-1000 klms for 3,4 or 5 days straight.Never worn an open face helmet & never will & the lids they have today are sensational compared to back in the 70's. I ride a Hayabusa & a ZX14R,both full fairing bikes with enough wind & weather protection for me & plenty fast to super-cruise all day. As I said,common sense really but your video is very good as people new to it sometimes may not think of all that you mentioned.I still ride almost everyday but back in the day I rode every day without fail so things that some people might not think of I do out of habit. Keep ya knees in the breeze!

  7. MeisVlk

    We tried to find a camping site in the middle of the night (2am). This way we didnt know how busy a place was normally, how visible that place was, are there any properties nearby. And we couldnt find a good place on the ground for the tent, we hopped on the bikes, went a little, stopped, and surveyed the area with flashlights. Then we didnt like it, started the bikes again, and so forth 😀
    Also, don't ride in the dark while tired 😀

  8. Peakrider

    Getting dehydrated. Making sure you take on plenty of water, and ensuring you have water with you. I got dehydrated and started getting a headache and tired, when I pulled over I was in such a rush to get off the bike, it moved forward knocking the stand, and me and the bike went over. No damage, just looked and felt stupid!

  9. David knows

    The full face helmet on a long trip is definitely right on the money. I just rode from NH to VA and back. Opened face shield when it was warm and dry, closed when wet and cold. Perfect. I dressed in layers, my leather jacket remained on for the same reason you now wear gloves!

  10. Abe Rinkin

    Forgot my flashlight. Went out of the tent to take a leak, tripped on a rock, and fell face first into a patch of ocotillo.

  11. EZ Moto Tim

    The mistake I made most recently was leaving some gear at home. I didn't pack a fleece shirt. I encountered colder weather than expected and that one shirt would have made a difference. Fortunately I had my Gerbing heated jacket with me and used it a few times. In conjunction with this mistake, I didn't go through my packing list. I forgot a couple of items that I would have used if I'd had them with me, but they weren't so important as the warm clothes.

  12. Tay S

    Time time time. The wife and i always take 3 to 4+ weeks. You literally cant go anywhere cool from central canada at a relaxed pace without 3 to 4 days travel anyways. A month+ was perfect for california. Lots of no rush there and back time with cool roads and campgrounds. Enough time to stay at some for a couple days when they were nice private ones.

    Oh. And buy a legit touring/adv or sport touring bike. Sure, your zx10, dual purpose or 1st gen vmax are fun bike for their purpose. But mile munching isnt one of them.

  13. DALE thebelldiver

    Number one mistake; wrong selection of bike. The weight displacement, CG and engine size are huge factors when considering distances, weather, and terrain.

    Go where your machine is best suited. Go where your physical condition is best suited. Go where your abilities are best suited.

  14. howard dirkson

    thrashed a brand new tire,,put more air in for extra lugage weight ,hit the gym+do not over pack+camp rough!!

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