What is the best long distance motorcycle?

What is the best long distance motorcycle?

As motorcycle riders, we are always in search for the best.

The best tires, the best gear, even the best fuel, it doesn't matter, if it is motorcycle related, we want the undisputed best, and of course, that doesn't change when we are talking about long distance motorcycles.

In our relentless search for the crème de la crème of motorcycle creation, or for that piece of gear touched by the divine, time and time again we forget the most essential aspect, ourselves.

We do that because we ask the wrong questions, lead by the belief that there is one bike or one piece of gear that is so indisputably good that it pleases everyone across the board.

But doesn't exist, and neither can it, because as humans we are unique, and as such, we will adapt differently to equipment and motorcycles, making the indisputable best, as unique as ourselves.

Knowing this, and when asking what is the best long-distance motorcycle, I would suggest different questions that may help you more:

  • Are you aiming to do as many miles as possible?
  • Are you aiming to be as comfortable as possible?
  • Are you aiming to carry as much luggage as possible?
  • Will you be riding alone, or with a passenger?
  • Are you aiming to ride on road, or off-road?
  • Will you be riding in places with no access to mechanical help if needed?
  • Do you want the best mile to the gallon possible?

The answer to those questions and more will play a crucial part in helping you decide on a few bikes that can be suited for you and your needs.

After all, you don't want to take a Gold Wing on a 10-hour off-road ride, in the same way, you probably won't take an Ural Side card to spend a week trying to beat times on Pikes Peak.

But since I do not have access to any of your answers to those questions, I will focus on a few aspects that go across the board, regardless of your bike needs.


    I don’t know why, but this point is widely overlooked, and it is critical for endurance.

    Modifying the position of the seat, handlebars or pegs, may produce excellent results in achieving a proper riding triangle between your butt, hands, and feet.

    Give this website a look - Motorcycle Ergonomics.

    There you can choose your height, different motorcycles, introduce raisers, and even change the foot-peg position in order to get a general idea of how you will sit on any given bike.

    motorcycle ergonomics

    Reference: Image from TEAM Arizona and modified by Braaaaaapp for this article


    We don’t use motorcycles in a vacuum, so long distance will always take a toll on the body, regardless of the motorcycle you are using.

    We have to park, we have to turn them around, we have to get them of the side stand, we have to battle wind, our backs have to take the hits from the road… all of those will be physically demanding, and as such, it is important to be in minimum shape.

    One doesn’t need to be an athlete to go on multi hour bike rides, but being minimally fit will do wonders in making sure we can take the abuse of the ride.

    Needless to say that if you are aiming for off-road, being in shape becomes substantially more important.

    Regardless of your fitness level, a good principal to adopt is the stretching before departing.

    Stretch for long bike riding | Braaaaaapp

    Reference: Image from How to ride a Motorcycle on long distances

    Check your posture

    It is not all about getting the best bike, long hours on a motorcycle are all about how we tackle the challenge.

    Long distance motorcycle | Braaaaaapp

    Reference: Image from How to ride a Motorcycle on long distances

    As we do when sitting at home or at the office for too long, on the bike after a while, specially if riding highways or roads that aren’t specially physical, we tend to slouch and to stiffen up.

    Slouching will kill your back and drive you into exhaustion and pain faster.

    A kidney belt may help in preventing slouching.

    Lack of proper gear

    Long distance motorcycle | Braaaaaapp

    Reference: Image from How to ride a Motorcycle on long distances

    Weather changes, and when we are talking about long distances, we need to assume that the weather from our starting to our finishing point will not be the same.

    I’ve had days of starting in sun that was warm on the skin, pass by snow and finish with mild weather, and of course, bikes don’t have A/C.

    It not only sucks to get stuck in weather you are not dressed to ride in, but it can also lead to more serious problems.

    If you are freezing or boiling, your comfort will go out the window, and so will your focus.


    Motorcycle travelling tips | Braaaaaapp

    Reference: Image from How to ride a Motorcycle on long distances

    My experience tells me that there are two main reasons why this happens:

    1. We get super excited with the ride and we loose track of time.

      That means, we may spend hours without drinking anything just to realise we are thirsty beyond belief.

      If you are feeling super thirsty, you are already feeling the first stages of dehydration.

    2. The consumption of the wrong liquids and foods

      Many riders like to re-hydrate with drinks like RedBull or Coke, and those, because of the caffeine and sugar will actually make you dehydrate faster! Choose the right way to do it.

    Not enough stops, not enough blood flow

    Doesn’t matter how fit or how perfect your bike is, even the best couch in the world gets uncomfortable after a while, so make regular stops.

    Motorcycle travelling tips | Braaaaaapp

    Reference: Image from How to ride a Motorcycle on long distances

    This is probably the worst thing we do to ourselves on the road, we tend not to stop all that much and just push on through.

    More experienced riders will be very adamant about their stops, and make no mistake, it is not always to take a leak.

    Unless we are doing off-road or the road is extremely demanding, we tend not to move that much when riding, and our body needs to move.

    Cramps, sour muscles, twitchiness, lack of feeling in extremities, all of those can happen to anyone that stays too many hours on top of a bike.

    Going deaf, going mad

    Wear ear plugs | Braaaaaapp

    Reference: Image from How to ride a Motorcycle on long distances

    I don’t mean we will go deaf from one long riding day, but it can drive us bonkers.

    Bikes are loud, wind noise is loud, and even if we are “used to it”, in reality, we are not.

    Noise pollution and its side effect are very real!!

    You will get tired faster on a noisier environment than on a quieter one.

    Tired faster means uncomfortable faster, out of focus faster, and once again, our attention goes away from the road.

    With that in mind, I advise one of these options.


    So in the of all of this, which is the best long distance motorcycle?

    As long as you approach the ride in a thoughtful manner, any bike that makes you happy.

    What is the best long distance motorcycle?

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