Are you planning a road trip around the US on your motorcycle? There is no greater thrill than setting out on the open road, wind in your face and adventure in your heart.
But there are a few things to note before you go. First, make sure that you pack well, and minimally. Second, know the rules of the road so you can stay out of trouble and keep yourself safe. Third, be prepared with any paperwork you might require, and fourth, know when to call a lawyer if you have an accident.
This brief guide is the very beginning of your adventure: step one is planning (and saving money). Let’s get started!
What To Pack
Bring the right riding clothing. This includes sturdy boots, riding socks, gloves, neck tube, earplugs, waterproofs, a good jacket, and trousers, plus spares! On top of this, bring comfy clothes for sleeping and exploring when you aren’t riding. Layers are a good way to prepare for varying climates.
Pack a helmet! While it is legal in most states to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, this obviously is not the safest option, and a risk not worth taking. Moreover, if you wish to travel between states, you are as well keeping your helmet on for the duration of the trip to avoid being caught out in one of the 18 states, such as Missouri, Tennessee, or Vermont, on the District of Colombia, where helmet use is mandatory.
Don’t forget to bring your useful electronic gadgets, such as your phone, a tablet, a GPS tracker, a portable phone charger, a battery pack, and a GoPro.
Know The Rules of The Road
Lane Splitting is a grey area in most states that can lead to problems. This is the practice of riding your motorcycle on a traffic line or in between lanes of traffic. Only in California is it an authorized practice by law. In any other state, lane splitting can be seen as a reckless or even illegal maneuver, depending on the circumstances.
In some states, there are legal requirements for minimum policy limits on your motorcycle insurance. For instance, Missouri laws state that you need to be covered for a minimum of “$25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage [and] $10,000 per accident in property damage liability coverage.” Double-check the laws in the states you are planning to visit before you start your trip!
Make sure to research license requirements in the states you are visiting, and bring all necessary paperwork with you. Documents you might need include but are not limited to the following: Passport and a copy, driver’s license and a copy, vehicle registration, covid passport, and insurance documents.
When You Might Need A Lawyer
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you should consult with an accident lawyer. Depending on which state you are in when the accident occurs, the laws of that land may affect your case and your right to compensation. For instance, if you need to consult a lawyer about motorcycle laws in Missouri you might find them to be very different from what you are used to at home. Don’t let yourself be caught out by differing laws, instead reach out to legal professionals whose job it is to get you compensated and guide you through the legal process.
This great adventure of yours can only happen if you make the necessary financial plans. You will need to pay for all of your meals, accommodation, any necessary repairs, services, or medical expenses, and potential unforeseen other costs along the way. This means you will need to start saving now.
It is recommendable to write down your priorities. How long do you want to be on the road? Where do you really want to go, and what do you really want to see? Do you want to learn a language, skydive, or have any other big and potentially costly experience? Work out roughly how many nights of accommodation and how many days of food you will be spending on, and create a rough budget.
Then, divide this budget by how many months there are before you embark on your trip and see if you can save that amount every month. Good luck!
Hit The Road!
Now it’s time to plan your rough budget and start saving. This could take months or even a year or two if you are planning a huge cross-country adventure, so keep your motivation up by planning all the exciting things you want to see, experience, and do on your adventure.
Keep this guide handy for when it is time to start packing, as it might just remind you of something important that you had forgotten, like your insurance or passport. And finally, good luck and have fun!