Travel Advice for New Harley-Davidson Riders
If you're new to the Harley-Davidson family, read on. We have some advice from the seasoned riders at or around Outlaw Harley-Davidson for those of you who are getting ready to head out on the open road on their new bike. Even if you're not new, there could be something here that maybe you've overlooked! Experience is the best teacher, but this is the next best thing.
Plan Your Ride with the Harley-Davidson App
It's always best to start with a plan, and Harley makes it easy with the Ride Planner available on their app
. It's incredibly versatile and convenient (you are planning on bringing your phone with you, right?) Along the way you can add dealers, gas stations, and waypoints to create your perfect route that stays on the best roads. You can even share it with your friends and fellow riders, so that everyone's on the same page.
Create a Checklist
Once you know where you are headed, make a checklist of what you need to take with you. A tip from experienced tour riders: put everything you intend to bring on your trip into a pile on the floor, then remove the least essential items until the pile is both manageable and pack-able. Hit us up if you're missing any gear!
Check the Weight Limits
This limit includes your bags and racks, and how much you've had to eat lately. Experienced Harley riders also advise adjusting the tire pressure and suspension accordingly. Lighter is always better, when possible.
Distribute the Weight
When you're getting your bike ready for the trip, we suggest keeping as much weight as possible low and toward the tank, which is the bike’s center of gravity. Also, be sure to evenly distribute the weight on each side.
Check the Weather and Be Prepared
Be sure to keep an eye out for the weather forecasts between where you are, and where you're going. Experienced riders suggest packing your cold weather and rain gear regardless of the season or weather forecast for your trip.
Pack the Right Clothes
We can't control the weather, and there's been many times when a random rain cloud has tried to ruin our day. Remember that lightweight synthetic clothing can be quickly washed in a hotel sink and left to dry overnight whereas cotton fabrics will require more time.
Roll Up Your Clothes
This is often overlooked, or not considered at all, but in order to save space don't fold your clothes. Rolling them up can conserve a surprising amount of room!
Don't Overlook Plastic Bags
"Ziplock"-type plastic bags vary in size and are incredibly useful when trying to organize your stuff in saddlebags and duffle bags. They help keep your items organized, which means that you save time looking for and retrieving certain items. Not only that, they go a long way towards keeping things dry and free of dust.
Test Run and Recon
If you can, we recommend going for a short ride one or two days before you leave. This will give you time to adjust the load as needed so as to avoid problems during your trip. We hope these tips help you out with your future trip. Good luck out there and have fun!