Resources for overlanders

Part 1. Moto information preparing for overlanding, travelling long distance by motorcycle.

exploring overlanding deserted road
toyota hilux pick up truck

Overlanding world motorcycle expeditions

motorcycles touring group

Motorcycle touring preparation

Motorcycle maintainance for long distance expeditions

motorcycle rider repairing bike chain

How to prepare a motorcycle for a long tour?

Preparing your motorcycle for a long tour is essential to ensure that your trip is safe and enjoyable. Here are some key steps to take:

  • Plan for maintenance: Research motorcycle shops along your route, and carry a basic tool kit and spare parts, such as fuses, brake pads, and spark plugs.
  • Spanner check; make sure all fittings and fastenings are tight. Take the basic tools, alen or hex keys with you and re-check on tour, especially after travelling on bumpy roads or terrain.
  • Tool kit check; make sure that you have all of the correct sized spanners and sockets, hex etc for removing wheels, tightening main fittings and adjusted chains.
  • Check your motorcycle’s tyres: Check the condition and tread depth of your tyres, and replace them if necessary. Make sure they are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI.
  • Carry puncture repair kit or spare inner tubes, spare tyre valves and tyre levers.
  • Carry a small portable air compressor or pump.
  • Change the oil and filter before your trip. Use a high-quality oil which is the correct SAE for your bike and that is suitable for the range of temperatures expected on your motorcycle tour. Most modern motorcycles are running semi or fully synthetic oils nowadays, which can comfortably handle the longer distances and high temperatures, even across east Europe and the silk road! where we’d tend to carry something like the Mobil 1 Racing 4T oil.
  • Inspect your brakes: Check the brake pads, rotors, and calipers for wear and replace them if necessary.
  • Make sure the brake fluid is at the recommended level and free of contaminants.
  • Check the battery: Check the battery for corrosion and make sure it is fully charged. Consider carrying a portable battery charger with you on your trip.
  • Inspect the chain and sprockets: Check the chain tension, lubrication, and wear. Replace the chain and sprockets if necessary. Do not over-tighten.
  • Also worth checking the gearbox sprocket to ensure it is in good servicable condition, clean and free of mud or dirt which can cause excessive premature wear.
  • Outside of Europe or if travelling far from motorcycle garages, it can also worth carrying a spare clutch cable, tape it in position alongside the original cable for a fast fit if the current cable breaks. Also for longer distances, off-grid, overlanding adventure riders could carry spare brake and clutch levers.
  • Test the lights, signals and horn to ensure they are working correctly.
  • Carry a full set of all light bulbs including headlights and spot lights, where fitted.
  • Pack strategically: Pack only what you need for the trip, and distribute the weight evenly on the motorcycle. Make sure your luggage is securely fastened to the bike.
  • Check weather and road conditions: Check the weather and road conditions for your route before you start your trip. Be prepared for changing weather conditions and plan accordingly.
  • Get travel insurance: purchase travel insurance that includes coverage for motorcycle travel of the cc you will be riding. It should cover accidents, theft, and emergency medical expenses.

By following these steps and doing some basic maintenance on your motorcycle before your long tour, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable overlanding adventures.

My MotoExplorer support vehicle carries all the above kit, helps you travel lighter and is on hand to help with any roadside repairs or adjustments on tour.
Motorcycle touring 10 countries eastern Europe

bmw gs100 adventure motorcycle overlanding

Protect the vital and vulnerable parts of the motorcycle with headlight protector, engine sump guard, bash plate, cylinder protectors, brake and clutch – handlebar protectors.

I am always pleased to hear from you with any feedback or enquires,
Contact Steve Hotson – Motoexplorer

motorcycle touring europe

There’s lots more motorcycle inspiration and touring ideas throughout the site.

Top European motorcycling destinations