Four Things To Do When Preparing Your Harley for a Trip
Harleys pretty much started and still own the touring bike market. Nobody quite makes bikes for those road trips the way they do, in comfort, style, and reliability. To ensure an optimum road trip experience with your Harley, here is a quick checklist of things you want to go through before you roar off into the sunset:
1) Bring rain gear.
Rain gear means a proper raincoat that zips up properly and is in perfect order, rubber or plastic pants, and overshoes. If you are bringing a passenger multiply this by two. You may not plan on riding in the rain but circumstances may very well force the issue. You can find yourself in the middle of a sudden downpour in the middle of nowhere, for example. Don’t be cavalier about this one, although it can be a royal pain to find room for all this stuff, you can easily wind up regretting it if you don’t.
2) Check the integrity of your tires.
Tires are so important for safety and the general quality of the ride, yet so often wrongly neglected. If it’s a longer trip, consider just getting new tires, the best you can afford, because a blowout is something nobody can afford. Also, this becomes even more important if you’re going to be on gravel or dirt roads for any part of your trip, because traction becomes a major issue then.
3) Consider the effects of different climate zones.
If you are going long enough distances (either north-south or up-down mountains) you may be passing through several climate zones. Sometimes it’s even a good idea to plan oil changes, for example, around climate changes. It’s a good idea in many cases to use less viscous oils at higher altitudes, for example.
4) Bring spare parts
I recommend as a minimum brake pads and shoes, headlight bulb, and accelerator and clutch cables. This is a good basic spare parts kit that can be kept in a small bag in your storage, and keeps you covered in the event of 95% or more of potential parts emergencies. Many small towns and rural areas have a hard time keeping good stock of parts, and there’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck somewhere because they don’t have a long enough cable. Stock up at a place like this with top-quality parts and be prepared.
With proper preparation, your road trip will be just another amazing experience for everybody involved. Get out and explore!