Learning how to do regular maintenance task or repairs to the motorcycle. Such as tube changes, or tubeless tire plugs, chain cleaning and lube, and chain adjustment. These are common tasks that need to be addressed on any adventure ride and learning how to take care of them is key to being confident in remote areas. Also putting a big focus on preventative maintenance will help any ride go smooth. Pre-ride checks, check easily accessed bolts to see if they are loose, check the oil and coolant levels, tire pressure etc. Anything that can be done before the start of the riding day will mitigate roadside repairs.
Riding skills. Taking a class on how to ride on dirt roads, proper braking on low traction surfaces like mud, wet grass or loose gravel, and how to pick up a heavy bike when it falls over. Learning is part of traveling. If you can take a riding class or attend a riding school to help improve your riding skill or correct technique it will help in those remote parts of the world where you will only be able to rely on yourself. Furthermore taking a class and having someone else help you determine your limit will be a great asset for you in the future so you can have the confidence to take a break when the road gets too dusty to see, to rainy to ride safe or its to hot outside to make sound decisions. Sometimes we need others to not only help us become better riders but also help us create boundaries to keep us safe.
Personal fitness and health. This is more important than you think and one thing that gets overlooked for many adventure riders. Getting focused on the motorcycle and the ride and not on oneself. Being fit is not just about being strong. If you are in good shape, you’re less likely to get sick or injured. This is a big one for me personally because as a guide I must remain healthy and uninjured. Being fit and putting myself as a priority just like the motorcycle is key to a successful trip.
I hope this helps you build your own list on what to focus on and what to prioritize before a big ride. If you have any questions regarding any of these topics, please send us an email or comment below.