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The Unique Challenges and Benefits of Adventure Motorcycling

 Posted on: August 8th, 2023

Adventure motorcycling

Adventure motorcycling is an unconventional, adrenaline-spiking, and mind-opening way to navigate the globe. However, as with anything worth pursuing, it has unique challenges. It's a game of resilience, resourcefulness, and continuous learning.

Knowing how to take proper care of your machine, along with the occasional roadside repair, will make the difference between an unforgettable and frustrating journey.

Beyond that, the best motorcycling trips are those filled with authentic and meaningful connections with people from all walks of life, as you immerse yourself in the extraordinary.

The Thrill of Exploration Can Promote Well-being

Compelling evidence supports the idea that the excitement associated with adventure activities can be good for mental and physical health. The key ingredient here is the element of thrill, which serves as an exceptionally motivating factor.

The unique mix of physical exertion and psychological stimulation sets adventure sports apart from conventional physical activities. It pushes the body to its limits, promoting aerobic and musculoskeletal health, agility, and strength. But more intriguingly, it engages the mind in an unparalleled manner.

While the physical benefits of motorcycling — improved core strength, enhanced balance, and calorie-burning — are noteworthy, it's the mental health benefits that truly steal the show:

  • Improved mental agility and decision-making skills;
  • The laser-focused attention required reduces stress;
  • A sense of freedom that contributes to personal autonomy and overall happiness.

Consider motorcycling a healthy hobby — these psychological payoffs and physical benefits encourage it.

More Freedom to Choose Your Own Path

Adventure motorcycling isn't just about moving from point A to point B. It's about the ability to choose your adventure. Unlike conventional modes of travel, where pre-planned routes and rigid itineraries often restrict you, motorcycling puts the handlebars firmly in your hands.

While it's true that traditional forms of travel offer these choices as well, there's a distinct freedom associated with motorcycle journeys. Owing to their smaller size, motorcycles can maneuver through routes that might be inaccessible to larger vehicles, providing more flexibility and opportunity for exploration.

Much in the same spirit as cycling vacations and bike tours, guided tours are also popular options for motorcyclists who want to experience the joys of the road while also benefiting from the convenience and safety of traveling with a group.

A New Way to Exercise

Motorcycling doubles as a dynamic, full-body workout, hiding in plain sight:

  • Starting from the top, your arms and shoulders maneuver and control the bike, especially in off-road conditions where precision and strength become critical.
  • Your core and back muscles are constantly engaged to maintain balance and control while riding over different surfaces.
  • As for your hips and legs, they're busy providing stability, controlling the bike during stops and turns, and absorbing shocks from the road.

What sets motorcycling apart from many traditional exercises is the fact that it doesn't feel like work. You’re often distracted by the wondrous sights around you and adhering to safe motorcycle-riding practices.

New Opportunities to Enjoy the Outdoors

Long-distance riding is the perfect opportunity to discover the world's natural wonders in a way no other travel can match. Whether it's a national park that sprawls out in a riot of colors or a quiet lake that mirrors the sky, motorcycling makes every ride a front-row ticket to nature's show.

This starkly contrasts more traditional forms of travel where you’re separated from the outdoors thanks to a cab and bug-spattered windows. While there's undoubtedly joy in this form of travel, it’s certainly a different experience — far more removed than motorcycle travel.

But with adventure motorcycling, you are free to soak in every bit of natural splendor that comes your way — to pause and appreciate the subtleties of the landscapes.

Navigating the Challenges of Adventure Motorcycling

The risk is part of the package, and it's crucial to acknowledge and respect this. Riding through rough landscapes and unpredictable weather, handling mechanical issues in remote locations, and dealing with physical fatigue are some challenges riders may encounter.

However, the risk doesn't equate to recklessness. It's all about managing and mitigating these risks to ensure safety. Careful planning and preparation are instrumental in making this happen. This encompasses aspects such as:

  • Understanding your motorcycle's capabilities;
  • Learning basic mechanic skills;
  • Packing smart and planning your routes with weather, terrain, and distance in mind.

The ability to adapt to unexpected situations, make quick decisions, and maintain a positive outlook can often make the difference between a small hiccup and a significant problem.

Maintenance

When you take your motorcycle off the tamed tarmac, it's bound to face some wear and tear. Off-roading can throw a variety of challenges at your motorcycle:

  • Bumpy trails can result in loose bolts and fastenings.
  • Dusty and dirty conditions can lead to clogged air filters. Riding in water can sometimes cause issues with your bike's electrical system.
  • Frequent heavy braking on downhill trails can lead to faster wear of brake pads.
  • Possibilities of punctured tires, damaged rims, or bent handlebars in case of falls or accidents.

Riding on an un-serviced bike or ignoring these potential damages can heighten risks significantly, from unexpected breakdowns in remote locations to potential accidents due to part failures. That's why regular checks and maintenance are advisable and indispensable.

Before and after each ride:

  • Check the tires for cuts or punctures and ensure they're at the correct pressure.
  • Inspect for loose bolts, fastenings, and brackets.
  • Clean the air filter and check the brake pads.
  • Ensure your lights, horn, and indicators are working correctly.
  • Check the fluid levels — engine oil, brake fluid, and coolant.

A lift table is one of the most valuable tools for maintaining your bike. It allows you to comfortably and safely reach all areas without straining your back or knees. But using a lift table requires careful attention to safety procedures. Always ensure the bike is stable and secure before starting any work.

Safety

Helmets, gloves, boots, knee and elbow guards, and body armor can make a significant difference in case of a fall or accident. Remember that your gear should be specifically designed for off-road use — think dirtbike helmets with visors and goggles, off-road gloves with better grip, and motocross boots for better control.

Here are a few more safety tips:

  • Always carry a first-aid kit.
  • Never ride under the influence.
  • Ride in a group, especially in unfamiliar areas.
  • Ride only on designated routes and at a safe speed.

Likewise, be mindful of other riders as well.

Finding Trails

While many people may be intrigued by adventure motorcycling, they might not know the best trails around them. Luckily, plenty of resources are available for you to discover new trails. ADV-focused websites, apps, and events are fantastic places to start. These platforms offer comprehensive trail databases, user reviews, difficulty ratings, and even topographic maps — all of which can help riders confidently plan their next adventure.

Accessing Trails

Once you've found your trails, getting there can be another challenge — especially if they're far from home. To safely transport your bike to these remote locations, you might want to consider options such as motorcycle trailers or carriers. They offer a secure and efficient way to move your motorcycle and keep it in good shape.

Transporting multiple bikes on one trailer or carrier can also have environmental benefits. By consolidating, you can reduce emissions and make your experience more sustainable.

With the right approach to safety, trail discovery, and bike transportation, you can get out and maximize your adventure.