Kick the Tires
Tires are every vehicle's point of contact with the road, and it's essential before going on a long trip to ensure they're up to the task. Check the tire pressure first, and adjust it if needed. Remember that the weight of extra luggage and gear might require a little extra tire pressure compared to normal riding. Pay attention to the wear on the tire as well, and make sure there is enough left on the tread to last the whole trip (or plan for a stop to swap tires for new ones at some point).
Plan for Hydration
It's not just about how the bike handles long rides, but how the rider performs as well. Staying hydrated is key to overall comfort and alertness. Make sure you have enough water to last through the day and then some, in the event you get stuck somewhere outside of town. Take a drink at every stop, or ride with a Camelbak that lets you sip H2O on the go.
Good motorcycle ownership 101 requires checking the chain regularly anyway, but it's especially important before a long trip. Remember that heavier-than-normal weight on the bike could call for a little more slack on the line. Check the tension regularly in the weeks before departure. If the chain needs tightening more frequently than usual, then it's probably time to get a new one. If it does need to be replaced, don't head off on a brand new chain. Put some miles on it with shorter rides to break it in before the long haul.
If you do find anything wrong with your bike or just want a professional opinion before an epic journey, stop by Tecumseh Harley-Davidson, where our service department will make sure everything is in working order before you hit the road. While you're here, take a look at some of the latest Harley-Davidson models and check out our parts and accessories for add-ons and apparel to make your trip even more comfortable.