Whether you are riding across town or across the country, there are a few standard items that you should have with you on every ride. The following list will help you prepare yourself no matter where you and your motorcycle are headed.
This kind of goes without saying; if you want to ride a motorcycle, you need to obtain one, right? However, you should take this a step further and make sure you have a bike that is well-maintained and ready to ride. This will help you avoid an accident or being stranded somewhere.
2. License and Training
Again, this one is also kind of obvious. However, too many riders just jump on a bike and take off with no clue of what they are doing. This can be catastrophic. Take an MSF safety course or equivalent, and get the “M” endorsement on your license.
Flip flops may feel cool, but your feet can get burned, or worse. Plus, it can lead to problems when stopping. Get some sturdy, stylish boots to stay safe and protected. Finding the perfect pair of riding boots can be tricky, but you have to do it.
Gloves are another important piece of safety gear. They’ll protect your hands if you come off the bike or have to catch yourself when the bike goes down. If you have a tendency for sweaty palms, they can also help with your grip on the throttle, clutch, and brake.
The feel of the open wind in your hair is the best feeling ever, especially on a warm, sunny day. If the worst happens and you come off the bike, you will be thankful that your melon is protected. There are many stylish and comfortable helmets on the market – get one.
6. Eye Protection
Nothing is more frustrating than a bug flying into your eyes on the highway. Or worse, a rude cage driver tossing a cigarette butt out the window and into your face. Get a helmet with visor, or pick up some glasses to protect your eyes.
This goes along with the gloves. Your arms may feel (and look) great when you are riding in the sunshine. If you come off the bike, though, they’ll fare better if protected by a sturdy jacket.
Your legs should be protected, too. The feel of your knees in the breeze is amazing, but if you get into an accident, you’ll be thankful that you put some jeans or leather pants on before you hopped on your bike.
Chaps are another must-have. Jeans can be torn by sliding down the pavement. Chaps add another layer of protection – and they look pretty sexy to a lot of members of the opposite sex. Win-win!
We already covered foreign object damage to face and eyes. However, the sun can be a nuisance, too. Unlike a car, you have no roof or sun visor on your bike to shield your eyes. Make sure you have sunglasses on hand for bright, sunny days.
11. GPS System
Many riders like to hit the open road and ride until they wind up back at home. If you get into a storm or other situation, you may need quick directions back home or to a hotel. You can install a GPS system, or have an app on your smartphone to keep you on the right track.
12. Bluetooth Music
A ride in the open wind is better with the right music. You can purchase a helmet with Bluetooth capability and have your music with you every time you ride. Here are some suggestions for the best motorcycle riding tunes.
A stock bike without all the bells and whistles can be attractive. However, you probably will need storage at some point, whether for extra clothes or supplies. Saddlebags, a luggage rack or even a backpack work great for this need.
14. Tire Repair Kit
Another frustration that can ruin a ride is a flat tire. Take along a small tire repair kit to help you limp your bike into the nearest service station. What good is a super fast roadway if your bike is done?
This may be one of the most important things you take with you on any ride. A cell phone can provide music, directions or get help quickly if needed. Never leave home without your phone. You can also access weather information to help you plan trips or divert elsewhere to avoid a storm. In case you are in a long-distance relationship, your smartphone is even more important.