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Winter tour planning

Sunday, January 3, 2016 @ 17:47

Winter tour planning 

First of all, Happy New Year and hopefully you have spent the holiday well prepareing for the new motorcycle season!
I guess I am not the only one pondering how long this winter will last and when it will finally make up its mind (here, in Denmark, the conditions are still borderline ”rideable” for most of the time). The bike is cleaned and maintained - waiting for its turn to roar on a long tour once again. Commutes are simply not enough anymore.. I take this time off to dream and think of future rides. And there’s no better place than Tourstart to do just that!

From Rio Negro to the Alps, Hanoi and even Sydney – Tourstart users see it all.

I’ve gathered some tours from all over the world for you to get inspired. I would definitely like to ride in each of these locations:

  • Africa
    Jan-Åke Rosenqvist’s (Swedish, KTM 950 Adventure Orange) challenging 20 hour tour in South Western Kenya: Kenya tour 2013
     



Motorcycle Fun in Kenya

  • Asia
    Member Anh Wu (Vietnamese, Honda XR 250 R) shares his ride plan in Northern Vietnam. 577 km and an estimated duration of 9 hours. Ha Giang scenic ride
     



Stunning Vietnam on Motorcycle

  • Australia
    Jim Liddle (Australian, Triumph Sprint 900) shared his exciting 1250 km route from Brisbane to Sydney, on the Eastern coast: Brisbane to Sydney
     



  • Europe
    Sonny Frølgaard (Danish, BMW K 1600 GTL) shares yet another variation of riding tours in the Alps. Just under 600 kilometres of mainly Austrian wunder-roads: Tour in the Alps
     



The curvy Alps ride on Motorcycle

  • North America
    600 kilometres of pure joy in the South West USA by Henrik Riis (Danish, BMW K1300 S): USA trip
     



North America on motorcycle - Dantes view

  • South America
    An inspiring and eventful journey from Argentina to Colombia through the eyes of Jens Odinga (Dutch, Honda Africa Twin): The South American adventure
     



South America on motorcycle

Tourstart is a multi-platform tool

Yet another great advantage of Tourstart is its multi-platform accessibility. Even if I find myself stuck at a gathering or on a long flight, I can turn on the mobile iPhone and Android app and browse through tons of offline available maps, check out future events, even look at the same crazy South American tour from above.

Tour planning tips
As a part of this holiday edition, I have also decided to write down some of the key things that I consider while planning a new trip. Maybe it will remind you of something or simply inspire to sit down and start dreaming:

  • Set a daily kilometre limit. 500 or so is what I aim at. It gives me plenty of time to rest, enjoy the scenery and snack in-between riding.
  • Food planning. I usually try to keep the heavy and big meals for the evening, snacking all the way from breakfast until I stop for the day. This allows me to feel light and energetic without wasting too much energy on cooking/eating and digesting huge meals.

  • Money is always a question. Where are you going to sleep? Where will you eat? Are there any tolls, ferries involved in your trip? Do you need new gear? How about the fuel and oil? Reserve for spare parts and onroad repairs? All of these factors should be a part of the planning phase.

  • What kind of weather are you up for? In general, I try to do my research and be ready for all kinds of possible weather. Besides that, I plan how to pack my gear so that I can always access it and ride comfortably (not too hot/cold, always dry, etc).

  • Try out the bike with gear before setting off to see whether everything is stable and you are comfortable. Packing the gear and fastening everything is an easy step we all can do during winter. Does everything fit? If not, do we need everything?

  • Don’t plan to have a date/important meeting after a 10 hour ride.. Besides your physical condition, which might not be as presentable as you’d like it to be, riding long distances also tires the brain.

  • Plan how to stay well hydrated throughout the trip. I found that drinking plentifully helps me stay alert, so I always carry a litre or two of fresh water.

  • Prepare to take loads of photos/film often. Can your memory card store 500 photos? If not, maybe it’s time for an upgrade? The necessity of deleting pictures to take new ones along the way is terribly frustrating.
  • Will you be able to pay by cash everywhere you go? Having some emergency cash is always a good idea and if you will be off to an exotic destination, getting some cheap cash in advance, already in your home country, could be a good idea.

  • Something a bit off topic, but I myself am considering to bring a kickstand pad of some sort. Loaded bikes tend to have problems with standing on sand/gravel or other mushy terrain. A simple piece of plank should do the job, though!

With that I leave you to plan and wish you an adventurous new year – one full of new experiences and few punctures! Can't wait to see your ride plans on Tourstart.

Lukas J.

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