Adventure riding is vastly more interesting and rewarding compared to the regular long-distance road touring. There is just so much to discover when you explore the countryside. However, a smooth ride is all about preparation. The better prepared you are, the more you’re going to have fun and overcome the challenges.
1. Set a date and lock it
Don’t be vague about when you’re starting your journey. It’s fine if there are still three months to go, but if you were to say, “Uuh… I should be leaving tomorrow-ish,” then you’d better just reschedule.
Setting yourself a dateline serves as a goal to carry out your research, prepare your plans, your bike and not the least to prepare yourself mentally. Rushing it at the last moment will have you on your way guessing about what you missed.
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2. Set Realistic Goals
There’s no perfect distance for motorcycle adventures. However, a realistic goal is important. Setting a destination too far away may tire you out and frustrate you, besides being potentially dangerous; while setting a distance too close may cause you to feel unrewarded.
It all depends on if you would like to blast through all the familiar stuff and ride at a slower pace to discover new stuff in the unfamiliar surroundings. Anything to keep your mind interested in the ride.
Contrast that to setting a goal to ride 600 km in the dirt per day. What? Competing in the Dakar Rally?
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3. Plan your route
If you’re riding solo and isn’t mechanically savvy, it’s best to cover a route with more civilization, or conversely ride with a buddy or two who could fix virtually anything. Otherwise, you may find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere with a broken bike, surrounded by the jungle and without cell phone signal.
It goes without saying but always plan for fuel and refreshment stops. Additionally, do also have contingencies for emergencies. Make sure you map up out police stations and hospitals.
Planning your route would enable you to prepare your bike more thoroughly, such as what you’d need to fit or remove, for example, if you’d ride more on-road or off-road.
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4. Learn basic maintenance/repairs
Speaking about being technically savvy, it’s best to learn some basics such as performing troubleshooting and simple repairs, such fixing a puncture, bent or dropped off levers, spark plug removable, oil change/top up and such. Being able to do so will bring you comfortably into the wilderness, off the beaten path to discover the best nature has to offer.
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5. Learn dirt riding
Being able to ride in the dirt prepares you physically and mentally to tackle the loose stuff, thereby providing you the uncanny confidence to travel anywhere, hence being encouraged to explore. Exploring is way more exciting than riding on those paved highways no different from your daily commute.
Oh yes, remember to practice how to pick your bike back up in the dirt, should you ever drop it.
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Stay tuned for Part 2 of this 'adventurous' read...ops, ride!