Do you know what’s required of you?

Wife, mom, grandmother, motorcyclist, and blogger.

Hubby and I gathered with some friends tonight across town. We took the car because of the food and some other things we brought with us. I bet we saw about a dozen motorcyclist out on the road today. Of those dozen I’m guessing maybe four were wearing proper gear! Not smart.

Do you know what’s required of you?

I’d love to be able to take a long distant trip on a couple of bikes with my husband. We talked about maybe being able to do that next summer. We’d love to drive down to Illinois to visit my family. It’s about 400 miles mostly through Wisconsin.

All this got me thinking about the different laws Wisconsin or Illinois might have for motorcyclists. Minnesota only requires eye protection for those with the motorcycle endorsement. Guess that’s why I didn’t see too many helmets today.

Do you know what's required of you? helmet laws by state

The internet provides so much instant information! I Googled and found the Motorcycle Legal Foundation. It has motorcycle requirements listed state by state. Not sure of the copyright date so it is best to check with the state you are traveling through. I ride wearing full gear and helmet, but it was interesting to see some of the other requirements like head light must be on or how old a passenger must be.

Okay friends, I’ve got the state laws down but what else do I need to know about taking a road trip on a motorcycle? Your wisdom is always appreciated! Ride safe.

@helmetorheels blogger Pam

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6 Responses

  1. Heels: I think you have to refine the process yourself. I started with weekend trips, then extended weekends. I have found that I always bring too much stuff. I am learning as I go. The last trip was nearly a week and still I brought too much. The problem is that half of my weight is for emergency tools and repair kits. Compressor, flat tire repair kits, both types of plugs, chain lube, extra engine oil, screwdrivers, socket set, open end wrenches and TOILET tissue and baby wipes (just in case). Also I carry a few cameras, chargers cell phone and netbook. I can charge batteries while riding. After all this junk there is hardly any room for clothes.

    Wet Coast Scootin

  2. To expand on Todd’s point, be prepared for any kind of weather, and be prepared for sudden changes in weather. In the Midwest don’t they say, if you don’t like the weather, wait five (10, 15…) minutes? Where I live, one is always being admonished to dress in layers, and that’s excellent advice. It’s quite easy to get hypothermia when riding. There’s this thing called wind chill.

    In fact, being a weather fanatic wouldn’t hurt. Get the Weather Channel app for your smartphone, or at least find the Weather Channel on the TV in your motel room.

    By the same token, be prepared to make changes in your route due to sudden road closures, traffic or other causes. Where I live, you can get that info by dialing 511; that’s true in other places.

    Finally, don’t try to win the Ironbutt competition your first time out. Bob is right—work up to it. I’ve found 300 miles/day is my limit. Your bike might be more comfortable, but you might end up riding on roads that are twistier/hillier than Interstates.

    Scootin’ Old Skool

  3. Kind of off topic, but the Pan American Highway runs through Nicaragua, and we see motorcyclists on it all the time. It makes me want to follow them all the way up, and makes me think of all the amazing and beautiful sites they’ll see on the way.

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