Prep for long distance riding

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by GimmeFuel, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. GimmeFuel

    GimmeFuel Member

    Aside from the obvious things like oil change, tire pressure, etc., what are some other steps that should be taken to prep your ride from long distance riding?
  2. bcortani

    bcortani Active Member

    Fresh plugs (and wires if you have em)...pack a spare set of plugs/and wires because if you don't, you will need them. Figure your stow and luggage, what you must have and what you must have quick access to and pack accordingly. Dress in layers with room to remove if it warms up and or to find what you need it it gets cold or rainy. Have an ideal of your general route for gas stops. If you can manage it, pack an extra gallon of fuel. Also, take a can of pledge, or a very wet towel lighty wrung packed in a zip lock or bread bag for fairing cleaning when needed. Better than using the scrub squeegee's that will always scratch your shield up. Check all your plugs and exhaust fittings for proper torque, lube your neck under the handlebars...might as well. Make sure you have your bike reg and insurance proof some where easily accessed but not to where you lose it. If riding long stints, I reomend ear plugs and a couple of water bottles. Most of all, enjoy.
  3. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    The ride is relatively easy to prep as long as it's in good mechanical order to begin with. There is nothing special to the bike itself the real prep comes in what you bring with you on long trips. I always carry some tools with me. You dont want a whole saddlebag full of tools but it helps to have the bare necessities. Make sure your kit inlcudes zip ties, and electrical tape. Neither of them take up much room but can really be handy if needed. I've never been one to carry extra oil but you can if you choose. Also make sure to bring some rain gear. There is nothing worse than being cold and wet on a bike. Also take a small map so you can find alternate routes if you need to.
    The main thing is to bring what you need but you dont need to take your whole garage with you. I know some guys that will mail certain items to their destination instead of carrying them on the bike. If this is possible for you than it is a very good alternative.
  4. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Leave wrist watch off. Take a map. Forget about GPS. For if gas is in tank you are never lost. Leave cell phone at bottom of saddle bag and turned off. Always look forward and never look back. Enjoy every mile of trip and make memories for a lifetime, have fun and be safe....:s
  5. gusotto

    gusotto Junior Member

    I usually carry my old plugs after changing. I know they work and are the proper fit. You could do the same with plug wires but I usually have changed the plug wires for better quality than stock. Nice idea with the wires but I've never carried them.Too much bending in the saddlebags can make your spare wires go bad.

    I have a 10MM small wrench that fits the battery bolts. A few lengths of wire w/connectors. Never know if needed. Vice-grip, small adjustable wrench, etc.... Not too much but some things that you'd like to have if traveling in the lonely part of the country.

    I probably carry too much stuff. I was riding with a friend on a used Suzuki. Earlier he made a comment about how much "stuff" I carried.
    On our ride, his bike started to cut out. Needed a 10MM wrench to remove the tank. I had one! Then he needed some tape and connectors to fix the rats nest wiring. I also had them! He's never made fun of my "stuff" since then.
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    On long distance trips are always with wife she is on a dyna wide glide and i am on a softail custom both evo bikes
    as i have been on motorcycles since 1975 some of what i do is perhaps down to what was known to fail in the past and not specific to any HD models
    I have a tool bag on the forks of each bike with my thoughts on the tools i may need on the road
    the previous set of plugs from the bikes zip ties tape a range of nuts bolts and washers (hard to find on the road in Europe as all metric here) some top up lubricants a set of control cables that will fit either bike and an automobile association relay card as i am a member just in case i need recovered
    if on mainland Europe i pre purchase AA european coverage for the 2 bikes
    The most important thing i carry with me is complete confidence that my bikes will make the trip due to me knowing them well and having taken care of their needs
    last big trip the tool bags didn't get opened once

  7. DanDolfn

    DanDolfn Member

    Don't forget your cash and credit cards.
  8. gator508

    gator508 Senior Member

    I would pay attention to the critical fasteners as well as what you have already mentioned, if something is loose it's bound to cause problems on the long haul..have fun!
  9. Mongo1958

    Mongo1958 Junior Member

    +1 on the cash and credit cards. You’ll need cash for the spots that do not take cards. Yes, there are plenty of country restaurants here in the south that is cash only.
  10. bigbubba402

    bigbubba402 Active Member

    If you use debit cards make sure you notify your bank other wise they cancel if used out of your area and could take a few days to get activated.Enjoy every moment and every mile