MOTOCAMPING: THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU SET OFF
I have been taking multi-day trips with my Harley loaded up with camping gear for as long as I can remember. Even when I was a teenager, me and my friends would take a tent and a few sleeping bags with fishing rods strapped to our 250cc motorbikes and head off for a couple of night’s fishing.
Motocamping has become a lot more glamorous in recent years and the arrival of improved camping technology has streamlined the whole camping in experience and made it more comfortable. But if you are thinking of loading up the hog and taking it out on a multi-day camping trip, there are a few things to consider before you head out.
If your helmet doesn’t completely cover your ears, use earplugs. The wind gets into my ears when I am riding, particularly in winter and on chilly days. It gives me a splitting ear ache. I have to use silicon ear plugs if I am wearing a helmet which keeps my ears exposed.
When planning your daily distances, bear in mind that you can really only comfortably ride about 100 miles before you need a break. My backside simply can’t take more than 100 miles straight of my saddle. When we plan our trips, we work on the assumption that we will stop every 200 kilometres and cover a maximum of around 800 kilometres in a day.
If you are on your bike for more than 3 days, consider taking a rest day. On the 4th day, everything aches, the pressure points in contact with the saddle are screaming at you to stop and the trip stops being enjoyable. Take a day or two. Have a rest. Enjoy your surroundings and get back on the bike when you are in peak condition to enjoy the ride.
BRING BUNGEE CORDS AND A KICKSTAND PAD
These are essentials. Bungee cords are like gold-dust on a long-distance motorcycle trip. They are ideal for attaching luggage to the bike and keeping everything pinned down while you are riding to stop it flapping about behind you.
You never know when you might have to pull up and park on grass for the night. If you have a heavy bike, like mine, you will need a kickstand pad to spread the weight of the bike across a larger area and stop it sinking into the earth and falling over. These can be picked up easily enough from bike shops or you can make one yourself easily enough. If you opt for a rock on the spot, make sure it is a flat one.
What do you think? Have you got any tips of your own? Share your thoughts through the comments section below.