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Why you should take a Small Motorcycle on Long Motorcycle Trips

September 02, 2019 4 min read

Why you should take a Small Motorcycle on Long Motorcycle Trips

You’ve probably heard the standard advice that you need to have a big adventure bike on the long trips. Something gigantic and powerful as the BMW1200 or Yamaha Super Tenere fits the bill perfectly. Contrary to this popular belief, you don’t need a big adventure bike on your long motorcycle trips. What you need is a powerful engine and enough luggage capacity to take all your riding gear and motorcycle accessories. Nothing beats a big petrol tank on the long motorcycle trip and a bike that transmits instant torque for an added thrill. In this article, I will tell you why you should take a small and light motorcycle for the long motorcycle trips instead of the big power guzzlers. One of the reasons for choosing a smaller bike is that you will save on fuel costs and overall maintenance needs.  

Weight of the bike

Weight matters a lot when it comes to your trip’s success. If you are looking for the unspoiled motorcycling adventure, it is worth remembering that you will soon have to leave the straightened asphalt roads and head deep into the abyss of off-roading. In this situation, the lighter you are, the better control you have, and the more chances you have of keeping on the road. It is quite challenging to control a heavy bike and spins are more commonplace. As you will learn during your riding, it is not necessary to have the big and bulky engines on the dirt as they do nothing to help you during your motorcycling adventures.

Cost of the trip

To travel the world on a motorcycle is a dream come true for all avid bikers. But the cost of the journey can be a big turn off, especially when you are on a budget. Big adventure bikes will eat away your money like quicksand and cost you not less than $15,000 for a single trip. When you include crucial riding gear, maintenance taxes, motorcycle insurance and tires, the overall costs skyrockets close to twenty grand. The big boys will have you spending more by up to 30% compared to a small and cheap motorcycle. Even then, spending so much money on the trip does not guarantee you will have the best trip of your life. But yes, a small bike will do you favors by keeping the running costs down.

Helps you keep a constant speed

On the long trips, you are not trying to break the speed record, but more importantly, stay at constant speeds at all times. The big bikes are designed with speed in mind and not so much for the long trips. It is much better to maintain a constant speed over the length of the journey as opposed to clocking high speeds that take away the joy of the adventure. You might argue that you need top speeds on the long rides and think that a big bike does the job much better than the smaller bike. But that’s not true.

In most cases, you will need to ride slowly depending on the harshness of the terrain and at top speeds on very few occasions. I have seen many bikers ride fast on the road and miss out the opportunity to look around and enjoy the trip. If you want to see the world and enjoy every breathtaking moment, then a small bike is the best for a constant speed that allows you to enjoy the whole experience.

Good enough reason to carry less luggage

The temptation to take every item imaginable on a long trip is profound when you have a large motorcycle. Some of the stuff you carry as luggage is not necessary at all and you may end up not using them. When you have a small bike, you are left with no choice but to carry only the essential things hence reducing the number of items that you bring along. No matter how long the trip is going to be, one week or two months, with a small bike you will learn to be more efficient with your luggage and pack only the necessary motorcycle gear. Perhaps a more efficient way to carry more stuff is by using a specialized biker leg bag or a leather saddlebag to protect against the elements.

Enhanced safety

The long motorcycle adventures can be dangerous and unpredictable as much as they are thrilling. With a small bike, it is much easier to ride in traffic and do maneuvers that you wouldn’t do with a heavy bike. This level of flexibility can get you through tight spaces and demanding terrains. You are also more likely to escape unhurt if you fall and get stuck under the bike. I have seen many cases where solo riders face the challenge of their lives when their heavy bikes fall, and they are unable to lift them back again without requiring help. If you are riding alone in a desert, you may want to ride a small bike to avoid such problems. Overall it is much easier and safer to control your small bike compared to a heavy motorcycle that weighs 500-700 pounds.

When planning for your next adventure trip, you should adequately prepare for unusual riding experiences and risks that you will have to take. For example, are you skilled enough to ride through the sand or cross a river? You should go for a small motorcycle that offers excellent maneuverability and easy control will providing you the thrill that you are looking for.

Do you think a small bike is better than a big motorcycle for long trips? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comment section below.