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Old 11th September 2021, 12:46   #16
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
You have not evinced a desire to be a tourer. Keep life simple
Very nice post based on bucketload of experience it seems. Fully agree with every word written here except …
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- Sleep well, wake up and ride at 4am (5:30am if you wear specs and not contact lenses)
Curious why do you suggest leaving at 5:30 am for people wearing specs. I wear specs so an explanation would really help me.

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If you are truly sleepy, find a dhaba with long distance trucks parked there and go to sleep. You will be among friends (been there done that)
I actually came here to post about trucker dhabas for OP (since I forgot to mention in my last post) and how he could use it for napping if tired. Truck drivers in general are the most helpful and experienced bunch on highways and what you suggested in the entire post is million dollar advice for anyone starting off long distant riding.

Quote:
Take any city - bunch of 3 morons on a Splendor will come and race past you, revving the daylights out of the bike.
I was literally in splits on reading this
Brought back a lot of memories. These 3 morons on a splendour are like Sharma Ji ka Beta. They have been part of every rider’s life and will continue to be atleast for the foreseeable future!

Last edited by warrioraks : 11th September 2021 at 12:47.
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Old 11th September 2021, 13:34   #17
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Thanks for your extremely kind words, WO. Ride hard & safe!
It comes from seeing too many crashes in riding groups, including some dear buddies (an image that doesn't leave me after 16 years). Always a believer in the basics / Keep things simple

Oh Skyline - if you wish, please get a decent mobile phone holder on your bike (not via amazon but in person) - getting in and out of cities can be annoying without GPS.

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Originally Posted by warrioraks View Post
Curious why do you suggest leaving at 5:30 am for people wearing specs. I wear specs so an explanation would really help me.
1. SGTR is inexperienced in every aspect of long distance riding. For a motorcyclist, you have a high chance of dying irrespective of who / what went wrong. Thus, only the paranoid survive (or keep touring into old age)
2. Safety means controlling for the most uncertain variables
3. Not opening an eyesight debate but for folks like me - myopic since age 12, I found:
- My vision riding a regular motorcycle with regular headlights (much like OP) at night is worse than during day. The famed Mayo clinic of USA supports this.
- Contact lenses alleviate this majorly, esp the glare angle - I do not know why. I just have 18 years of riding / driving with contact lenses to vouch for this little n=1 inviolable truth for me.

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Hence my recommendation - 5am is when the first city dwellers start to leave, villagers get up, many do the stupidest thing like cut across highway medians with their bikes. If OP's eyes are getting tricked by the changing light and he's myopic, why risk it. Start at 530am when the day light is abundant! OP does not have muscle memory to help him.

I personally am a fan of 2am starts - not recommending what I do because our contexts are chalk and cheese apart.

Quote:
I actually came here to post about trucker dhabas for OP (since I forgot to mention in my last post) and how he could use it for napping if tired.
Totally agree - in my stints down west/south, parked HR38/55 truckers were a sight for sore homesick eyes. Assured decent punjabi / north indian food and a comfortable charpoy to nap on.
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Old 11th September 2021, 14:12   #18
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
3. Not opening an eyesight debate but for folks like me - myopic since age 12, I found:
- My vision riding a regular motorcycle with regular headlights (much like OP) at night is worse than during day. The famed Mayo clinic of USA supports this.
- Contact lenses alleviate this majorly, esp the glare angle - I do not know why. I just have 18 years of riding / driving with contact lenses to vouch for this little n=1 inviolable truth for me.
I'm short-sighted as well and I had no clue this is why I face so much issues driving my car in night. Normally the LED headlights do their job fine as long as there's no oncoming traffic, but as a vehicle comes across, I am literally blinded. Even riding my scooter in city night lights has recently giving me troubles, especially since last year - as work from home started and which results in more screen time. Thanks for sharing this, I'll definitely highlight this to my opthalmologist.
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Old 11th September 2021, 18:09   #19
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Wishing you a very happy trip @SkylineGTR. For inspiration please view this link below. The then 67 year old gentleman, Mr Vernon Franklin has done Nagpur-Leh and Nagpur- Kanyakumari on two separate occasions, on his Royal Enfield Bullet Classic. The bike stood him in good stead and without any major mechanical trouble, he could undertake these solo rides. He was complaining about the front suspension oil leak and nothing else. The return from Kanyakumari- Nagpur was almost a non-stop ride. He touched Kanyakumari late in the evening that day and started immediately on his way back northwards after a few minutes halt there. The return was sans any halt at Bangalore and was a 43 hour journey from Bangalore-Kanyakumari- Bangalore-Hyderabad non stop.

The link:-

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motor...umari-too.html (Vernon Franklin, 67, does Leh-Ladakh solo ride on an Enfield. EDIT : Now Nagpur-Kanyakumari too)
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Old 13th September 2021, 11:38   #20
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

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Originally Posted by SkylineGTR View Post

Although I have had serviced the bike every 3000 km, and it has no real problems (except minor rust and some recent front brake trouble) I am not very confident about taking a 10 year old bike on a 500 kilometer solo highway journey. I have so many fears: what if the accelerator/clutch cable snaps? What if I get a puncture? What if keeping a high speed for long periods of time snaps something inside the engine?

Can you guys give me any tips on how I can prep my motorcycle(as well as myself) to have a safe and sound 500 kilometer ride? I am going to get this bike serviced next week, whether I undertake the ride or not. I will get done whatever you guys recommend.
Hey @SkylineGTR,

I can totally relate to your though process as a person who was in the same situation almost 2 years back, although with a slightly different premises.

1. The bike [Karizma R] was 10 years old, but I bought it used only 2 months prior to the date of ride. So I had absolutely no clue how she'll behave or what might break in a 450 km ride.

2. Covid curfews just started and highway was empty (not even a puncture shop I saw in the entire ride). Actually the nation went to complete lockdown just after I crossed the border to my home state.

3. I had no time to plan. Woke up around 8,impulsively decided to ride back (that gut feeling that tells you to go back before something drastically goes wrong and I'm stuck at Bangalore alone) and started my ride with a luggage bag.

Luck was in my favour, by God's grace everything went almost fine.

Although I would never recommend such feats to anyone again, it just taught me to believe in gut instincts and to take a chill pill.

Be confident mate, everything will be fine! After somedays you'll have a wide smile whenever you think of what you've accomplished.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/trave...-lockdown.html (A spontaneous lucky solo ride from Bangalore to Thrissur before the Covid-19 lockdown)
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Old 13th September 2021, 13:24   #21
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Having ridden my 10 years old Hunk from Rajasthan to Mumbai with a day tour in Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad in between, I can share few tips and my personal experience with you:

- The most important thing in your bike is your tyres. It should be in good health. Period. Can't compromise on that.
- Carry a puncture kit with you.
- Make sure that engine oil is in good health. Change it even if it was changed few kilometers or months back and is in suboptimal health currently. Your engine oil will be the one which will protect your engine during cruising speeds.
- Headlight, taillight and turn signals should be working fine. Your lights will be the only thing that truckers and other drivers will notice in those dark stretch.
- Try not to keep targets while driving. Enjoy the journey. Avoid night driving. Take a rest somewhere in the hotel during night time. 500 kilometers is easily doable during a day itself.
- Maintain a lane while driving. Anticipate a large vehicle approaching and give way to them beforehand so that they don't have to cut through their lanes to overtake you.
- Rear view mirrors are extremely important on highways.
- As someone said, keep earplugs on. Constant high winds and sounds will tire you off quickly.
- Have a helmet with clear visor without scratches.
- Carry extra clutch cable.

Hope, I covered most of the points.

Last edited by DrCar : 13th September 2021 at 13:39.
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Old 13th September 2021, 14:19   #22
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Get the bike serviced. Fill up tyres at optimal pressure. Wear a full face helmet, elbow guards, jacket, gloves and knee pads and shoes at the very least.
Get on the bike and go.......
You own one of the best bikes that are made in India, almost bulletproof. So should not be a problem.

Don't speed up. Cruise at a comfortable speed, enjoy the journey!!
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Old 13th September 2021, 17:03   #23
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Just remember that getting to your destination takes precedence over the time it takes to get there. At times, when you see the open empty roar, you might be tempted to 'gun it', but try not to give into the temptation. As brother Marcel used to say, 'enjoy the joy of the journey', but also be mindful of your surroundings.

Take regular breaks to hydrate yourself, stretch your legs, chai etc. It'll really help as you get closer to the 400-450 kms mark. Apart from that, start early, be safe and tell us how it went.
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Old 13th September 2021, 18:48   #24
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Thank you all for your suggestions, I will take all your suggestions onboard. Will try my best to click some good pictures and post a mini-travelogue.
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Old 13th September 2021, 19:08   #25
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

1. Service your bike atleast 1 week before the planned long trip so that small niggles after servicing can be corrected. Change consumables.

2. Fill up bike tyre and full tank petrol the previous day.

3. Start by 4-5am so that you are a few hours ahead of the traffic and you can ride, acclimatise yourself in lone road before traffic begins.

4. Wear protective gear. Minimum a good quality full face helmet. Better to ride with full riding gear.

5. Even if you feel fresh, don't ride more than 1 hour/75km at a stretch. Take a break every hour, stretch yourself, bio break, cutting tea, photoshoot for memories etc.

6. Don't keep targets. Don't push yourself beyond time, speed limits. 75-85kmph is ideal, safe cruising speed for a 150cc bike in 4 lane highways. Anything above 100kmph is a no-no. Safety should be the priority. Don't push for any speed/time record.

7. Look at the rear view mirror every 10 second or so.

8. If you feel drowsy, unable to concentrate, slow down and take a quick nap in the nearest safe place.

I did my first long bike trip while in college. An impromptu 450km bike ride without any preparation.

After a few years, you will look back and cherish your first long journey. Enjoy !!!

Last edited by Arwin07 : 13th September 2021 at 19:13.
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Old 13th September 2021, 22:14   #26
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Other than what other members suggested, I would like to add one thing. Pour in synthetic engine oil, you don't need to spend a lot on the oil for a 150CC engine, even basic synthetic oil from Castrol would be sufficient. I have been riding my father's Hero Passion these days. I use Castrol Power-1 10W30 Synthetic oil and believe me it made significant positive changes in riding experience.
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Old 14th September 2021, 00:02   #27
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Lots of good advice already covered.
I have done twice up down from Ghaziabad 201016 to interior UP 229127 on Yamaha Liberos (one was 2003 model, almost nearing 15 years age at that time and another one 2007 model, nearing 13 years age). More than 600 Kms in one go.
Get good night sleep, sleep early, pack the night before, don't pack much, avoid backpack, get good secure luggage ties, not the elastic ones, they just give way, when tugged.
Start early, I started around 6. Before this was a bit too dark and secluded...I didn't feel safe starting earlier than this.
Get good gloves, boots, jacket and jeans...and don't skimp on replacing helmet visor, if there are any scratches.
Tank up the day before.
Mobile charger is required, need Google maps for navigation. Phone battery will drain quickly on using GPS.
I saved some time by taking a detour suggested by Google maps.
I tried Noida-Agra-Lucknow highways. Believe me, it was too boring on a 100cc bike. Too monotonous.
Other time I tried to avoid the highway but it was too racing, again jumped on the highway at the available opportunity. Can't help it.
Last few hours are a pain when you are bound to set the targets...you know you are near to the destination and will stretch for the last few kms. Try not to. Instead, start early and try to keep pace. Or, rest overnight.
Be safe, take frequent breaks, and enjoy the journey.
May this be one of the many more to come.
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Old 16th September 2021, 18:41   #28
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Hope I am not too late, if I am then I will wait for a fun short travelogue.

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Originally Posted by SkylineGTR View Post
1. I have never actually ridden a motorcycle that long.

2. I also have very little mechanical skill of my own, I don't even know how to fix a puncture.

3. what if the accelerator/clutch cable snaps? What if I get a puncture? What if keeping a high speed for long periods of time snaps something inside the engine?

4. Can you guys give me any tips on how I can prep my motorcycle(as well as myself) to have a safe and sound 500 kilometer ride?
1. Well then you're in for some fun. Numb backs if I may but your bike is quite comfortable so remember whatever you feel post 100-150kms I have felt post 50kms into a long ride but the excitement and fun takes it away, even now.

2. Ditto but I still have no issues taking my 2011 RTR180 wherever I want. Since I know what that bike has witnessed but more importantly the biggest USP is its a popular bike.
Worst case scenario, if it breaks down either drag it to any garage on the roadside or park it on the side and walk to find a local shop.

3. Cables don't snap that often and that easily but like others said after 10 years and 26k kms get them changed. At least it will make the controls way smoother. Keeping high speeds for long will cause it to overheat in the worst case but don't do that, try to cruise below 80kmph the bike and you both will enjoy and won't overstress.

Punctures are a different case, if you think that "maybe" the tires are old/worn just change them. The biggest lesson from my first road trip on a Star City. I keep my pressures a bit high (28-38) to further reduce the chances of a puncture.

4. You have a reliable and easy motorcycle, just ensure a good service, change tyres and cables pre-emptively, ensure that all your lights are good and the headlight is properly focused, fill it up and your bike is ready.

You can get bungee cords to fix the bag on your rear seat but don't fret over it, prepare for the many chai breaks you will have as an excuse to rest your(s)

As for you, gear up with whatever you have, check/change your helmet's visor, carry water, sleep early, start early and

Enjoy the Ride
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Old 17th September 2021, 12:22   #29
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Buddy,

First up relax and enjoy it ! When I got back to India I undertook my first solo ride from Chennai to Shirdi and back on a CBR 250 - Been riding every year ever since for about 8 and also did a Chennai to Bhutan with a bud ! Hondas basis my experience are as reliance as hell so chill !

Please have your safety gear sorted out ! I have had a few minor fall but that's well taken care of by your gear ! as many a experienced readers have said those splendours and RX riders will ride and rev to death , my experience is to tell them if they stopped me and asked for a race (some have) I just say sorry I am new to riding and they are better than me - Makes them happy so be it - I don't want to be guilty if they have a fall - I let them go and even buy them a tea and ciggie if need be.

My schedule if it will help for a 800 odd km ride per day is a early 5:00 am start and my first break is at about 200 od km - the next at about 375/400/450 basis the restaurant and that's usually around 10:30/11:00/11:15 types basis the road and traffic - I have a big brunch and a good 30 min rest and hydrate well - noon ride is kinda hard on me so I slow down till about say 3 and then usually stop for tender coconut water around the time and then it is just hit the road till about 6 or 7 latest basis where I want to stay !

Fuel up at COCO's - They are aplenty these days - I usually carry basic meds (actually more for my damn headache) !

You will enjoy the ride mate ! just a final word of caution - Long distance riding solo can become tremendously addictive if you love it the first time and folks and family may not like it too much - But looks like the biker in you is ready !

Stay safe brother, have fun and god speed !

Srinivas
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Old 17th September 2021, 13:03   #30
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Default Re: Preparing a motorcycle for a long highway journey

Please buy some reflector strips (the neon yellow ones) and strap them to your backpack and to the back of your jacket. That way you will be visible to cars / trucks in the late evening or night if they come from the rear. Motorcycle backlights are tiny and cannot be seen properly in heavy rain or at night.

The reflector strips cost Rs 300 on amazon. They are sold for bicyclists, but I am sure you can use for motorbike riding.

Safe travels and enjoy your ride.
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