I love the feeling of setting out for an adventure and coming home with new memories and experiences, and It’s much more satisfying to share the experience with some friends. Over my years of adventure riding, I learned from all my riding experiences to be more efficient, so that my next adventure ride is more relaxed and comfortable.
Over time I have realised that there are small things most riders don’t think of doing that can make their riding experience much more comfortable.
1. Using your mirrors!
First and foremost, it is very useful to set up your motorcycle mirrors so that it is comfortable to ride whether you’re standing or sitting. When riding in a group, it’s usually your responsibility to look after the person behind you and to make sure they don’t get lost or separated from the team. Even if you’re the second-to-last guy and you have to slow down to let the last rider catch up, this rule should mean the guy in front of you will wait for you at some stage or turn. This is a well established method of keeping the group together.
However, the difficulty remains in constantly looking for the rider behind you and usually checking to see if you can see their headlights. Always having to know what’s happening behind you but can’t see behind you using your mirrors, we continuously do shoulder checks which cause us to lose direction and possibly heading for the bushes.
To use the mirrors to fix this is easy, you simply set your one mirror for a standing position and the other mirror for the sitting position. I use my left mirror and set it while standing to see behind me. The right mirror I set normally to see behind while seated.
This usually takes a little adjusting and getting use to but on a long adventure trip, it becomes normal and the fact that you can check your riders while standing is much simpler and safer than looking over your shoulder.
Read more about: Using your adventure bike mirrors
2. Fastening things to your bike
Make sure your camping gear is strapped or locked to your motorcycle in a way that it can’t accidentally fall out of place! Loosing gear and equipment can be expensive and dangerous if it comes loose while riding in the bundus.
Using Mountain-bike bicycle tow-straps works like a charm!
Read more about: Best Way To Fasten Most Things To Your Adventure Bike.
3. Comfort of a Camping Chair
Packing a small camping chair is never a bad idea. After many adventures over the years, I’ve come up with a list that helps me pack the essentials I need, and a camping chair is a ‘must’ items on my list. Small, three legged and compact. All that seems obvious, but it’s remarkable how many riders don’t think of strapping a camping chair to their bike when going on a tour and only realise it comes entirely in handy when it’s too late. To ensure an enjoyable camping experience, you need to come prepared and remember to take it with you, because it’s one of those things that always seems to slip your mind.
I use bicycle tow-strap clips to fasten my chair to the inside of my side pannier, and I think its the best way to do it.
Read more about: Comfort of a Camping Chair on your ADV trip
4. Using your Smartphone For Navigation?
You’ve all been there, spent ages on Google Maps trying to plot a perfect route; but come unstuck when trying to follow the way while on the bike using your phone. My solution was to get the following
- Using your mobile phone
- Mounting your Mobile phone
- Planning your route using Google Maps and sharing routes
- Offline navigation while riding using Locus phone app
You don’t want your mobile phone popping off your motorcycle and disappearing. I use a RAM mount; It’s easy to use and surprisingly secure—I know lots of people who use these mounts and haven’t heard a single story of phones bailing out, it’s also very flexible.
Read more about: Use your Smartphone For Navigation When Riding A Bike
5. Mounting your phone
I only use a RAM mount; The patented ball-and-socket design ensures a firm hold with road vibration dampening and backed by a lifetime warranty.
Read more about: Mounting your mobile-phone on your adventure bike
6. Using Google Maps for planning and sharing your route
Google Maps is free and you can do all your planning in one place, online
I plan my route on Google maps using layers and make my pins different colors for each day. After I spend hours planning my journey from start to finish, I save my map created on Google Maps in my Dropbox and from there its uploaded to Locus maps. Taking a printed copy with you is always a good idea just to be safe.
Read more about: Using Google Maps for planning and sharing your route
7. Using offline maps on your mobile
No cellular Service for navigation? You don’t need it…
Using your phone as a GPS is the big one and for a good reason. The reality is, you can use your phone anywhere in the world and still get your GPS location as well as maps, even when you don’t have cell service. And it doesn’t use data.
Another big misconception is that you can’t rely on your phone to show you maps when you have no cell service. Using an app like Locus Map is a multi-functional Android navigation app adding advanced online and offline GPS capabilities, this application can “cache” or save maps directly to the internal memory in your phone, allowing you to access that map data independent of your network status. Just like purchasing maps from Garmin.
Read more about: Using offline maps on your mobile
More articles you might be interested in: How To Plan Your Adventure Riding Route