How to Plan a Ride

February 11 2013 by Jason Fogelson
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harley trip.jpgYou've always dreamed of taking a weeklong trip on a motorcycle. Here are a few tips to help make that dream a great reality.

Your Bike, or Theirs?

Is your dream destination more than 500 miles from your home? You may want to consider flying to the area and renting a motorcycle, and starting your ride where you want explore. Motorcycle rentals are surprisingly affordable through Harley-Davidson Rentals and other vendors.

Advantages of motorcycle rental:
- Less wear and tear on your own bike
- Less time on the road to and from your destination; more time to explore a new area
- You get the opportunity to try out a bike you've always wanted to ride

Route Planning

Once you've decided where you want to ride, which routes will you choose?

Harley-Davidson's Ride Planner is an excellent free tool that is specifically designed to help map out motorcycle tours. You can plan a trip, save your route plans online and share them with friends and family. You can even see other riders' saved plans for ideas about great routes and road recommendations. Best of all, when you click on "Hotels" in the Harley-Davidson Ride Planner, the tool reveals all of the Best Western Hotels along your route. Select a hotel, and with one click you can reserve your accommodations. The tool even lets you know which Best Western Hotels are "Rider Friendly," so that you can expect special treatment upon arrival at your destination.

A few route planning tips:
- Select "Avoid highways" in the Ride Planner menu to see the best roads
- Consider your daily distances, and follow a long day with a shorter day to avoid fatigue
- An average of 250 miles per day is a good rule of thumb for scenic rides
- Allow time to explore along the way
- For extra-long distance rides, remember to plan for maintenance stops
- The H-D Ride Planner also shows the location of Harley Dealers

Weather and Your Ride

Motorcyclists have to be amateur meteorologists, constantly checking the weather ahead to avoid unpleasantness. The weather along your route will constantly surprise you, so it pays to be forewarned.

A few tips on dealing with the weather on a motorcycle journey:
- Use online resources like to discover average conditions during your trip
- Forecasts are generally available for 10-day periods
- Almanac functions can reveal conditions for past years
- Install a good weather app on your smartphone, and consult it regularly as your trip approaches
- Prepare for the extremes
- If your route includes mountain and desert roads, you may experience cold and hot conditions in the same day
- Look for trouble spots on your route, and plan alternate routes in case of extreme conditions

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    By Chris on February 12, 2013 3:09 PM

    You sure have a gift for writing such great articles! Thank you!

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