Every time we think about a long ride on a motorcycle, the first thing that comes to our mind is an image of a touring bike. Not all can afford a different bike for touring as well as one for daily commute and not everyone should. We suggest you pick a naked bike and do some basic modifications to make it a touring bike as well as a better daily commuter. Remember? Even the biggest touring bikes are evolved from a naked bike! Here we are talking about the first generation Honda Goldwing.
Similarly, even you can simply modify your bike for better comfort and ergonomics. So here we are with the things you should improve to eat more miles on your naked bike.
Recall the last time you had some stuff to carry on your motorcycle and how you managed. It is not every time that you can ride with a backpack especially on the longer rides. If you are riding to work or on a trip across the country you need to store gears and your luggage. No matter what the conditions are, you always need a storage compartment on your bike. So the best way to improve the storage is to either get a pair of saddle bags, a tank bag or a tail pack. No matter which brand, type, material you choose all are supposed to serve the purpose. We suggest you to get semi-hard bags which aren’t as sturdy as a box and not as tender as a simple bag. These bags maintain their shapes themselves even if they are empty and you don’t even need a special mounting apparatus to get them fitted on your bike.
It is not every time that we ride on roads which we are familiar with. Sometimes, when we ride out, we get to see new paths, cities, landscapes and much more. Getting lost is fun but not for too long. For the same, there are maps. Some people prefer paper maps, but even though they are fun to use, they need a lot of concentration and understanding as a single wrong turn can be a spoiler for your vacation. There are a lot of places where the locals are not willing to help you with directions. People either refuse to tell the directions, or tell the wrong ones. At some places people are not so friendly with the bikers. So we suggest you to get a mobile mount on your bike’s handlebar so that you could navigate easily from your smartphone. Getting a dedicated GPS system for a bike is another option to help you stay on track.
When it comes to safety we would suggest you don’t take any chances. Often people miss out on the protection of their bike when they are setting up a bike for track or for off-road use. However adding some crash guards, bash plate and engine guard could prevent your bike from many minor/major crashes, which we hope never happen, but if they do, you’d rather be safe than sorry.
One of the most important things to be considered is the rubber you depend upon while riding. The factory fitted tyre options usually do not serve the touring purpose. Most of the naked bikes features street tires which are probably a good option for daily commute but you need to upgrade the set for touring purposes. There is a huge market for tyres across the globe, made as per the need. The tread-free looks of the track tyre may sooth you but they are only meant for track and are worn out after a few thousand kilometers. The off-roaders on the other hand seem to provide ample grip on the loose gravel, but the braking gets effected on highway riding. So, we suggest you to get a pair of dual purpose tires so that you have enough confidence while cornering and braking and enough courage to cross a loose dirt track.
5. Ergonomics and comfort
Another issue with riding a naked bike is that you are exposed to all the elements right in the face. Remember the last time you were riding on an open highway with a widely opened throttle? Remember experiencing a wind-blast as you passed a truck by your side? It just feels like an invisible man trying to push you off the road. To avoid this, you should get a windshield. We are not talking about the massive fairing or the huge windscreens, because that would completely lose the purpose. The visor should be just right to aerodynamically cut the wind as you race through.
You can get your seats cushioned so that you could be able stay intact to saddle for longer periods of time. Products like Air-hawk or gel padded seats should help you do this. Also, a good set of aftermarket brake and clutch levers are great for your riding comfort.
Are we missing some modifications you think a naked bike should have to improve touring experience? Do let us know in the comment section below.