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50 Tips for Motorcycle Trips Across the USA

Posted by Karl S on Jun 30th 2015

Motorcycling across the USA can give you the experiences that will create lifetime memories. When you take a little time before your trip to prepare, you'll find fewer pitfalls and have a great time.

Here are some tips to make your trip more enjoyable.

#1 Make up your mind to do it and stop putting it off. A dream trip like this can slip away as the years pass by. Find a time when you can get away from other responsibilities and commit to the trip.

#2 Allow yourself plenty of time to see the things that interest you. A two to three week minimum is required to maximize the time you have, but not feel rushed.

#3 Plan your trip. Begin by choosing a starting point. For example, if you want to see the USA from coast to coast, but you're in the midwest, you can choose any city you want and fly there, have your bike shipped, or use a reputable dealer and rent one.

#4 Find the best routes for your trip. This includes finding roads that are in line with your riding ability. If you're an expert rider, there won't be too many that you'll want to avoid. If you are not comfortable with windy mountain roads, this is a point you will want to take into heavy consideration.

#5 Get online and map out your sleeping accommodations. Even if you plan to rough it part of the way, there is nothing better than a hot shower when you've been on the road for a while. If you're on a budget, you may want to consider some of the nicer budget motels such as Best Western, Motel 6 and so forth.

#6 Check the customer ratings on any hotels to make sure you don't end up in a seedy dump in a bad part of town. This is particularly important if you're new to the area and not familiar with the best places to stay overnight.

#7 Pack all of the necessary gear that you will need for both comfort and for safety. You don't want to get hundreds of miles from home and realize you've left behind a necessity.

#8 Take a set of earplugs along to preserve your hearing. The roar of the motor for several hours a day can take its toll on your hearing.

#9 Leave your itinerary with a trusted friend or family member. Include a time for periodic check ins so they will know if you get into trouble, and approximately where you are supposed to be at.

#10 Plan on spending more time off of the interstates and on roads that will connect with with more of the local people. You'll see more interesting scenery and enjoy the view more.

#11 Plan stays in towns where you'll have the opportunity to see new sights and meet interesting people.

#12 Give yourself plenty of time to take in the scenery and relax while you're in places you truly enjoy being. Life is short and it's all about experiencing it and living it whenever possible.

#13 If you ride with others, make sure you're of compatible personalities. It's a real drag to be on the road with a person that makes the trip miserable.

#14 Get plenty of pictures and videos while on your trip. You'll want something to remind you of the special moments you'll have on your journey.

#15 Make sure to start your trip at an interesting place and end at one that is just as intriguing for you. Don't end your trip at a family member's house, unless you really want to see them and would enjoy doing so. This is about personal freedom, not conforming to the expectations of other people.

#16 Have weather band radio so you'll know if bad weather is coming. Particularly important when riding through tornado country.

#17 Wake up early and enjoy the sight of the newly waking world. You'll be amazed at what you see when you have no other distractions.

#18 Eat a light breakfast and take light snacks with you. Heavy breakfasts can make you sleepy and this is not a good situation when you're riding down the roads on a bike.

#19 Eat your heaviest meal at night and go to bed by 10:00 p.m. This will help you to wake up energized and ready to meet another fresh, new and exciting day.

#20 Keep yourself focused when driving. Accidents are caused by distractions and drowsiness. The best way to avoid them is to keep your mind clear while driving and concentrate on being safe on the road.

Remind yourself of why you're on this trip.

#21 Don't take any unnecessary chances. Stay safe while riding and if you have people who are riding with you who are not practicing good safety, part company. It's better to be safe than sorry when you're covering a lot of highway miles in a single day.

#22 Plan to cover a reasonable amount of miles in one day. This means don't push yourself too hard to reach a certain destination. Give yourself plenty of time when you're planning out your trip.

#23 Allow for down time when planning your trip. You never know when you may have mechanical problems, inclement weather or may not be feeling up to par on a certain day. Allow some slack time in your itinerary so you can better enjoy the trip as a whole.

#24 Don't consume any alcohol until your bike is parked for the rest of the day. Wait until your head is clear in the morning before you resume your trip.

#25 Take all of your valuables in with you when you've parked your bike for the day. This can help to prevent loss from theft.

#26 Take along a reliable way to communicate for check in times. Generally a cell phone will do. There are some places that will have poor reception so you may have to use a pay phone to check in with the folks back home.

#27 Take along something to write a journal on. If you're by yourself you may have thoughts that you want to get down on paper and look back on later. This is a great way to detail important parts of your trip and read them later.

#28 Take rain gear so you'll be prepared if there is unexpected precipitation. You'll want to be prepared for any kind of weather.

#29 Have some good reading with you. You'll have down time when you just want to relax. This is the perfect time to get into a book that you've been wanting to read.

#30 Don't forget your favorite tunes. Music makes the world go round and you'll be glad that you have it when you're on the road for long periods of time. It helps to make the time pass more comfortably when the view isn't all that great.

#31 Be mindful of your thoughts and your attitudes. When you're out for an extended period of time, you may start to get the blues, or to think about negative things. This isn't the time for unhappiness. You're out to have the time of your life, so keep negative thoughts in check.

Remind yourself of why you're on this trip.

#32 Take along a GPS system so you'll know where you're at all of the time. This will help to prevent you from getting lost, even if you take a wrong turn or decide to check out an area that is off the beaten path.

#33 Make a realistic budget for your trip. You'll want to have enough money available to spend to do all of the things you would enjoy. Consider fuel, food, lodging, event fees and personal supplies.

#34 If you're on medications, make sure that you have a large enough supply to last your trip.

#35 Plan for extra time in areas that are of special interest to you. You can always make adjustments in your schedule as you go. You don't want to plan things so tight that you are in a rush to get from one place to another.

#36 Take time to smell the roses. Let yourself get caught up in special moments. It could be a beautiful sunrise, a sunset, or seeing wildlife at one of your stops. Life is short so enjoy it to the fullest.

#37 Don't forget your personal grooming items. After being on the road and getting a hot shower, you may want to go out for the evening. Its better to be able to look your best and choose not to, than to not have that option.

#38 Prepare your bike before the trip. Change the oil and make sure its in top mechanical condition

#39 Pack a first aid kit. You never know when you might need it on the open road

#40 Take along sleeping gear. Even if you're planning to stay in hotel rooms throughout the trip, you never know when you might have an emergency and need to camp out for the night.

#41 Keep snack items on hand. This is so you'll always have the ability to stay hydrated and fed. You might not get to a place where you can purchase food and drinks when you had planned to.

#42 Have a backup source of getting money. In the event you are robbed, it's a good idea to have access to an alternate source of funds, such as a credit card or bank account.

#43 Take along sunscreen. You may need to have protection from UV rays if you will be exposed to excess amounts of sunlight - you have plenty of room in your pull behind motorcycle trailer if you are hauling one.

#44 Take along enough different clothing for any kind of weather. This is in addition to the regular riding gear you will take. You may want to have a pair of light shoes for evening relaxation.

#45 Make a list a few days before you pack for your trip. Check it over the day before your trip. Take off any unnecessary items and add any that you have forgotten. This is the best way to make sure you have everything you'll need.

#46 Pack the night before your trip. This will give you time to figure out what item needs to go where, so you'll be fresh and ready to go the next day.

#47 It is also recommended that after you pack, that you unpack and take a quarter of the unnecessary items out so you won't be taking more than you need with you.

#48 Get a good night's sleep the night before you leave. You'll want to be fresh and alert when you start out on your trip.

#49 Make sure that your riding gear is all in good working order.

#50 Have the time of your life. This is a dream come true for many riders who just sit and talk about the trip they're going to take one day. You're actually doing it, so more power to you.

Should you need to hit the highways on your adventure across the USA, here are a few of the most interesting highways to see in route. 

Most interesting highways across the USA

America's most interesting highways for motorcycle riding