Being an adventure rider was and will never be easy. Riding off road for long time is difficult. It is certain that you will encounter problems of different kinds such as mechanical failures, injuries, safety issues etc.
While riding out in the wild can be an amazing thing it can also be dangerous. There are situations during adventure riding that you can control but there are other things you just can’t.
We have laid down a few things to do in order to improve your safety and make your experience as fruitful as possible:
Plan before you start the riding. I find this one of the most important things a rider should do; choose a bike that you can handle. And when I say handle I don’t mean just being able to ride it through bushes, forests and sands. I mean being able to lift it up. Why? Because eventually it will fall, that’s why. Yes, I know there are a few ways to pick up your bike. A lighter bike will reduce the possibility of injury in case the bike falls on you. Moreover, you will be able to lift it even if you are slightly injured. If you can’t pick your bike up then you should consider getting one that you can pick up, or hit the gym ;)
Prepare your trip. Know where you will go. It is important to know – more or less – where you will go, where you will stop, how long approximately you will stay in each stop. Make sure that your main route has a few other “sub-routes” that lead to a road in case of emergency.
Have a pair of good conditioned dual sport tires. I don’t need to say much here. If you have the minimum experience in riding a bike you probably understand how important it is to have good tires. It is even more important to have good tires when riding off road. Very important safety tip.
You will probably carry luggage with you so make sure that they are striped correctly and they are placed preferably in soft bags instead of hard. Why? Firstly any loose luggage might get in the wheels and cause serious accident. Secondly, soft bags can by nature reduce your possibility of injury (because they are soft!).
Remember, pack light. It is an adventure trip. Get away from your comforts. Anyway, you don’t want to carry a zillion of unnecessary things that will take space and probably make your trip uncomfortable.
Check your motorcycle at least once every couple of days. Do the basic checks once in a while to make sure everything is ok. Basic checks can be (oil change, air filter, chain lube etc.).
Gear and Peripherals:
A complete first aid kit. And make sure you know how to use it.
Sealed snacks and bottled water. It is good to have with you a couple of bars (you know…those ones with nuts inside) that will give you the necessary energy required in case you don’t have access to food.
A survival kit. Things such as a Swiss knife and a lighter can be extremely helpful.
Spare parts for your bike. These might include extra tubes, fuses, clutch level, chain tool and links etc. make sure you have a tool kit that will help you fix these possible bike damage.
GPS communication device and paper maps.
Safety Gear. Keep yourself protected when by wearing full body protective gear. Make sure your gear has protectors on elbows, shoulders, back and knees. Get a good pair of boots.
While in action:
If you are riding with a group and they ride at speeds not comfortable to you and you don’t feel like riding at those speeds, just don’t. Ride at speeds which are comfortable to you. It is not a competition and most probably nobody will win. Plus you don’t want to miss important signs.
Stay focused on the terrain and make sure you look at least 100 meters ahead. You never know what’s coming.
Changes in the terrain usually mean that the road is changing and you should adjust your speed accordingly.
Night riding is not an option. Get your daily schedule done so you find yourself under a shelter before sunset. Riding at night can be extremely dangerous.
Ride with at least one rider. It’s like scuba diving. You never dive alone.
Fill your tank at every opportunity even if you don’t need to. Gas pumps in remote areas are rare. Keep your tank full at all times.
Take all the above very seriously. Never say “it won’t happen to me” or “what are the chances?” or anything similar. Act preemptively to stay safe. Nature is wilder than you think.
That’s all folks! Feel free to add something we might missed, comment and share.
Riding is an amazing experience when is done properly.