The UK offers a number of truly epic motorcycle tours, from the Highlands of Scotland through Wales’ Horseshoe Pass and the “wild and windy” Yorkshire Moors. Besides their outstanding natural beauty, these excursions also have another thing in common: unpredictable weather. Before you set out on your next motorcycle route in the UK, be sure that you’re well provisioned, packed and prepared with the following top tips.
Riding Kit: Helmet
To make your journey as comfortable as possible, it’s important to pack a number of essentials to tackle whatever the weather brings you. In particular, your riding kit should contain a helmet that you are comfortable wearing for upwards of 8+ hours in a day. If you’re unsure of what type of helmet to choose, online retailers such as XLMoto can give you fast feedback on different variations of helmets. You will also need two different visors, clear and dark, to have you covered both for when the sunshine is fully beaming and for when it goes down at night. Some riders prefer sunglasses to darker visors, so be sure to pack a good pair if your preferences are the same. Although you should dress for the season with replacement clothes and accessories to match the weather, you need to think about the seasonal variations that catch many off-guard.
Waterproof and Windproof Gear
The likelihood that you’ll experience a rain shower is pretty high if you’re travelling through the UK for an extended period of time. Make sure you choose to wear waterproofed textiles which are both breathable and waterproof. You can layer up under you riding suit for windy, high-altitude rides, with fleeces or gilets. What’s more, you should opt for waterproof (and easily washable) boots in cases of rain. Some riders opt for a fully waterproof rain suit, providing that extra level of protection against rain and wind.
Before setting off on your trip, make sure you have a tank bag loaded with all necessary essentials, including spare gloves, water, documents and your electronics (smartphone). You can also buy a number of other packs like tail packs or panniers for carrying extra luggage. In terms of other ride-along essentials, you’ll need safety and maintenance equipment like bike tools, cleaning packs, health kits and torches in the event of a breakdown. When it comes to transporting valuables like passports and electronics, some of the cheapest ways of protecting your valuables are the best: zip-lock bags.
A Planned Route
You don’t need to sacrifice your sense of adventure when planning a motorcycle journey, but you do need to be privy to chosen routes, stop-off points, accommodation (including campsites) and seasonal closures. Keep in the know but remember to savour your journey and obey speed limits whilst enjoying what the UK’s best road trips have to offer.
Lastly, like any other kinds of travel, you need to be prepared with the bare essentials. Think toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and eat plugs. You’ll never know when and where you can be caught out by volatile opening hours at stores in rural UK, particularly on Sundays or holiday periods. Always keep your subjective basics with you to avoid any disappointment.