Summer is officially in full swing, which means more opportunities to have adventures on your motorcycle, whether you’re simply enjoying a leisurely day out, or you are an avid biker headed towards a rally or other similar get-together. Here are some tips for you to have that picture-perfect motorcycle trip.
1) Pack and wear appropriate clothing.
As tempting as it may be to try wearing flip-flops and shorts, a summer trip around England is not a quick jaunt on a scooter to a petrol station. You still need to observe safety protocols concerning your riding attire. Naturally, the helmet is a must at all times. But what to do when out on the carriageway and it’s hot out?
Leathers will likely be excruciatingly warm, of course, and you don’t want to become overheated. After all, riding on a fast bike plus a slow brain from too much heat equals a bad situation. Try on a pair of Kevlar jeans, instead. They will allow for better airflow, but you will still be protected. That, and they look quite stylish.
For the jacket portion of your riding outfit, you can either try a perforated leather jacket, if you still want that type of look, or you can opt for a textile jacket in light colours. The high-tech materials that help wick away moisture plus the light colours mean your summer ride time will be a lot more enjoyable.
And of course, don’t forget a breathable base layer in a material that also keeps you cool. Pack enough of these types of shirts, etc, but depending on where you’re staying, and how long your trip is, don’t hesitate to use any available washing machines.
2) Fingerless gloves: two-way protection.
If you plan on riding for long distances, you will still want gloves. Try grabbing a pair of thin ski gloves and cutting off the fingers to the second knuckle in from the tip of your finger. The ski glove material will wick away moisture, but still leave your hands protected in the event of either severe sunburn or collision.
3) Carry—and drink—plenty of water.
It’s true that this may seem overly obvious, but unless they’re avidly into healthy living, people don’t really drink enough water. While it’s important to do all year, water consumption in the summer is an absolute must. Even if you have a way to keep your neck cool, and wear the most moisture-wicking clothing, making sure you bring water with you will ensure you stay hydrated. And when you’re hydrated, you stay clear-headed. Plus, there is nothing worse than heat exhaustion or worse, heat stroke, to put a decisive damper on a glorious time on your motorcycle.
4) Do proper checks on your bike. Just as you need H2O to ‘oil’ your internal ‘engine,’ your bike will require proper safety checks and servicing before you go out on your summer rides from London to the rest of England. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of your route with a broken-down bike. Set up a schedule of daily, weekly and monthly checks to ensure your preferred mode of transport is up to your chosen trip, or set of trips, if you plan on riding out multiple times during the summer.
5) Plan for all eventualities. Whether you have your route all planned to the last detail, or if you’re aiming for a more spontaneous jaunt through the English countryside, you still need to have a plan for what to do in case something goes wrong. If you’re the sort that prefers to go as unplugged as possible, meaning you don’t bring a tablet or mobile phone with you, that may be fine if you’re also the sort to go riding with a group. But this level of ‘unplugged-ness’ may not be advisable if you’re riding alone. You’ll at least want to take a mobile phone with you, and have some sort of app installed, such as RealRider, that can summon help if you are ever in an accident.
That said, you can cancel the call for help if the app detects an ‘accident’ when there really isn’t one.
Whether you’re headed for a rally, or a lovely motorcycle ride to the Cotswolds, a trip from London to the rest of England can end up being that perfect summer ride if you follow the above tips to ensure you have everything you need to make your motorcycle trip a success.