Whether it’s a day trip or an excursion spread out in a couple of days, most motorcycle enthusiasts in Singapore dream of going on a long-distance riding trip. The adventure and freedom of being on the road makes it all about the journey rather than the destination. However, all journeys need planning. Before heading for your motorcycle road trip, make sure your motorcycle insurance covers your trips outside of Singapore. Without proper planning and the right tools with you, complications on the road can go from bad to worse pretty quickly. This is why we are listing down five must-have accessories for a motorcycle road trip.
Keeping your items safely secured is one of the top priorities when it comes to motorbike road trips. Not only will it keep your stuff in one convenient bag but it will also protect it from harmful elements such as direct sunlight and rain. There are three kinds of motorcycle luggage: hard, soft, and dry luggage. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each one depending on the type of road trip you are having.
Hard Luggage – materials are often aluminium or composite panniers
- Perfect for long road trips
- Secure & lockable
- Adds to the width of the motorbike
Soft Luggage – materials are often textile or leather
- Perfect for short road trips
- Light & easily accessible
- Not waterproof
- Hard to mount & dismount
- Minimal protection to your items
Dry Luggage – materials are often polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU)
- Perfect for travelling in inclement weather
- Waterproof & dust-proof
- More durable than textile
- Hard to get stuff inside quickly
- Professional grade waterproof luggage is hard to find
2. Paper Map & GPS
If you are unfamiliar with the route or area you are travelling to, the best way to make sure you don’t get lost is by following a map. This is especially helpful in remote areas. Although maps are easily accessible in a smartphone, a dedicated GPS is still the most convenient gadget you can have on the road. With access to alternative routes and live traffic, you can easily get to your destination. However, it isn’t fool proof. In cases where your phone or GPS battery runs low, a paper map is essential. Make sure to mark your route as well as any essential stops along the way.
3. Flat Repair Kit
Motorcycle wheels wear out pretty quickly as compared to car wheels. This makes it vital to carry a motorcycle flat repair kit (also known as, plugger tubeless repair kit) with you during long trips. This is available in most motorcycle shops. It includes everything you’ll need to repair your motorcycle wheels such as repair plugs, special cement, insertion tool, folding knife, and air cartridges. Optionally, you can also bring a bicycle air pump to keep your tyre pressure consistent. Do keep in mind that these flat repair kits are only temporary solutions. Before any trip, make sure the tyre pressure of your front and rear wheels are in the optimal level. Not only will it extend the life of your tyres but it will also give you better mileage. Check the tread of your tyres too. A good gauge on worn out tyre treads is about 1.59mm (2/32” or 0.063 inches). If your tyre treads fall below 1.59mm, it’s time to change out your tyres.
4. Motorcycle Gear
With Malaysia and Thailand’s tropical climate, weather can be quite unpredictable. If you get caught in a monsoon, the best way to protect yourself is with waterproof motorcycle gear. Good quality gear can not only make your ride more comfortable but also much safer because it reduces drag and wind resistance. It also protects you from abrasions and flying debris. Water-resistant riding jackets and riding pants average around $100-$300 depending on the material. Although it is quite steep, it is a worthy investment in keeping you dry and safe on the road. While bothersome due to hot weather, motorcycle gloves are necessary during long road trips. There are numerous advantages to wearing motorcycle gloves. Apart from the fact that it protects your hands from abrasions due to falling or skidding, it also dampens the vibration of the handlebars, which is especially helpful during long road trips.
5. Tool Kit
Some motorcycle manufacturers include a tool kit when you purchase the bike. These include some essential tools you’ll need to make quick repairs if you ever find yourself stranded at the road side. Here’s a short list of all the basic things you’ll need in your repair kit.
- Combo screwdriver
- Multipurpose pocket knife
- Adjustable wrench
- Spare plug sockets
- Cable ties
- Electrical tape
- Hex key set
- Nut driver
- Adjustable headlamp (lithium batteries)
By planning ahead and having the right tools, you can make sure that your trip is comfortable and safe.
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