“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
It is doubtful that Benjamin Franklin was referring to taking a Dyna Wide Glide down Route 66 when writing the aforementioned quote, but nonetheless, his wisdom applies. Thorough preparation insures a successful and enjoyable road trip for any motorcycle enthusiast, be him amateur or veteran biker. During the process of shipping many bikes for clubs, trips, rides, events, etc., we hear tons of personal stories about what riders have experienced, good or bad. Below, we would like to share the most important facets of preparing for a ride, whether we transport it to origin or if it’s ridden there:
- Book your hotels/event tickets/rides as early as possible – This one is the most obvious, but also the most important. Stay organized, and once your schedule and timeframe is set, book everything you can immediately. For major events like Sturgis, hotels tend to sell out very early on. Communicate with any friends or family coming with you, identify work schedules, flights, driving times, and plan accordingly.
- Tune-up that bike: Before putting hundreds, or even thousands of miles on your bike, through unpredictable weather, make sure your bike is mechanically sound and prepped. Check fluids, gas, tire pressure, brake lights, etc. Have a mechanic check electronics, suspension, gears, and anything else you would be unable to confirm yourself on the road. Any one of these issues could bring your entire planned trip to a quick halt.
- Have cash/supplies handy: Not all diners, bed and breakfasts, gas stations, or stores across America accept credit cards. You never know where you’ll need to pull over or stop. This one cannot be understated. Furthermore, it is important to bring the necessities: helmet, jacket, change of clothes (especially if you are heading into a colder area), first aid kit, flare, backpack, fully charged cellphone, etc.
The next step is to make sure you have a fun, relaxing trip. Plan it out well, but also enjoy where the road may take you. Explore areas of the country you’ve never been, and take pictures to share with family and friends.