guide to motorcycle route planning

Proper preparation prevents poor performance – a mantra that applies to many things, including long distance motorcycle travel.

When it comes to planning trips which criss-cross some of the world’s best riding terrain, GlobeBusters are undoubtedly the experts in their field, recently guiding another successful group from Ushuaia in Argentina to Deadhorse in Alaska.

In the September 2016 edition of RiDE Magazine, Kevin Sanders has been passing on some of his top tips for budding adventurers looking to plan their next overland trip.

  • Dig Out The Maps

Once you’ve picked a country, continent, or even a few continents, bring out your good old paper maps and guidebooks, and start to identify some of the best roads – ideally with plenty of squiggles and interesting contours.

  • Take To The Internet

The internet is full of information, you just need to find a reliable source. GlobeBusters recommend Horizons Unlimited as a good place to start – ask who has been on your route before and what they recommend. The Unesco World Heritage site also lists plenty of interesting places to see if you want to add some culture to your trip.

  • Check The Foreign Office

Do you need a visa for a portion of your trip, or is there a warning against all but essential travel, which may mean that you’re not covered by your travel insurance? The Foreign Office website is the best place to find out.

  • Think About The Details

After finding your approximate route. start to think about the nitty gritty. Do you stick to main routes, which can be more chaotic and expensive? Or go between smaller towns on the quieter roads for the sheer pleasure?

  • Plan Your Stops

On any long distance ride it’s a good idea to plan some stops in urban centres where you can iron out any issues you may have with the bike. Whether that’s a service, spare parts or even new tyres, it’s much easier to get in a big town or city. It’s also nice to have a break from the road!

  • Go Self Sufficient

If you are planning a ride in a remote area, you’ll need to be totally self sufficient, and account for your camping gear when packing.

  • Choose The Right Time

Going at the wrong time of year could see all your best laid plans come unstuck. It might be an extreme example, but on the Trans Americas expedition, try getting to Prudhoe Bay some 3,000 miles north of the Arctic Circle anytime other than from June to August! Know your climates!

  • Be Realistic

It’s easy to convince yourself that you can cram more than is actually possible into a single day, whether that be places to visit or miles to cover. Travel in Europe is usually much faster than in Africa or Asia.

  • Be Adaptable

Don’t be afraid to alter your route as you go. Try to garner local information about the state of the roads ahead in order to stay safe and avoid trouble spots. Take care though, some locals will try to please by simply giving you an answer – ask for facts as opposed to opinions.

As an official partner of Continental, GlobeBusters have our comprehensive adventure tyre range at their disposal. Their choice of route will dictate their choice of tyre, and may even mean a swap to something more aggressive en-route as terrain changes. Either way, they carry replacements to be used as required!

You can view our entire adventure tyre range for both road and off-road use right here – all tested by the experts at GlobeBusters!