Date Published: 2024/06/21

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Tips for Long-Distance Motorcycle Riding

Bikers wearing motorcycle gear driving along a curvy road that’s on a hillside with forest to the left of the riders.

You crave adventure and want to hit the open road on your trusty motorcycle. Why not plan the ultimate motorcycle trip, complete with miles of exploration and excitement?

Long distance motorcycle riding brings a whole new dimension to the biker lifestyle, but with a few caveats: apparel, gear, and other solutions that work for short rides may no longer cut it when you want to commit long hours on your motorcycle. Safety is also a big concern, and you’ll want to feel confident that you are protected every moment you are on the road.

A little planning can make all the difference, and, with the right gear and accessories, any motorcycle trip can be a joy. When in doubt, aim for maximum ergonomics and safety. Gear up with these essentials, which will keep the longest motorcycle trips as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible:

Use Throttle Locks and Padded Grips

Wrist strain is one of the most common complaints among distance motorcyclists, and even those who feel perfectly comfortable after moderate rides may feel their wrists complaining after a few short hours.

Throttle lock provides one of the most reliable solutions, maintaining a fixed position so that a constant speed can be easily maintained. The result? Relaxed hand positioning, rather than needing to apply continuous pressure.

Padded grips can also be helpful. These reduce road vibration while providing plenty of extra cushion. These grips promote the even distribution of pressure across the hands and fingers, thereby limiting annoying sensations such as tingling or numbness.

Focus on Seats with Padding and Contouring

There is no easy way to select a motorcycle seat, but the usual complications become even more obvious when planning long trips. In general, wider, contoured seats tend to be more comfortable when spending long hours on a motorcycle. Extra padding or gel inserts can provide much-needed cushioning and support. When in doubt, emphasize ergonomics over a more aggressive riding stance — or at least, this should be the focus for longer trips.

Plan for the Weather

As a Canadian motorcyclist, you can expect the weather to add complications to the best-laid plans. Depending on when you head out for your big motorcycle trip, you could encounter frustratingly cold temperatures or even precipitation. What seems tolerable for a short trip may be less welcome for longer excursions, but you don't need to let weather stand in the way.

When in doubt, opt for plenty of layers, including waterproof gear in case of showers. The key is to strike a balance between coverage and maneuverability; some options, although warm, might be too bulky. Don't forget waterproof boots and a helmet that is designed to limit fogging.

Even if rain isn't in the forecast, you’ll want to have a few weatherproof options (and a change of clothes) on hand, because things can always change. If it does rain and you aren't ready to take a break somewhere dry, slower speeds and reduced leaning are key to staying safe. 

Protect Your Eyes And Ears

Sunny days might seem ideal, but all that squinting can get tiring. Proper eyewear is always valuable, as it shields your eyes not only from the sun, but also, from debris. Goggles provide the most protection, although some helmets may call for motorcycle glasses. Transition lenses or visors can be helpful for longer trips, as these adjust to accommodate changes in lighting conditions throughout the day.

Ear protection also matters and, again, noises that seem tolerable during short trips start to become a lot bothersome as you add longer durations to your motorcycle expeditions. Wind noise can even cause hearing damage, so earplugs are worth the investment. Many motorcycle enthusiasts are happy to stick with low-cost foam plugs, which promise to block out sound. These can feel isolating to some and higher-end custom earplugs may provide a better experience.

Keep Safe With Reflective Gear

Do you anticipate nighttime motorcycle excursions? If you expect to ride after dark, you’ll want to invest in reflective gear. This could be as simple as adding reflective strips to your helmet or jacket. This could dramatically improve driver awareness and may even prevent accidents. There are plenty of excellent options available, including reflective vests that are impossible to miss.

Prepare for the Ultimate Motorcycle Adventure

As you plan an amazing motorcycle excursion, look to Orbit to take the guesswork out of insurance. This will provide peace of mind so you can focus on motorcycle excitement. If you're ready to take the next step, request a quote from Orbit Insurance Services for motorcycle insurance.