Cross-Country Harley Trip: Bike Selection, Road Quality

When it comes to major road trips and cross-country tours, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are some of your very best options, combining long-lasting quality with one of America's most recognizable brands. However, maximization of these kinds of trips also involves the presence of the right accessories, plus proper usage of these and other motorcycle features to keep things both safe and practical at all times.

At Advanblack, we're proud to provide a huge range of Harley Davidson parts and accessories, including many that are ideal for long road trips -- such as our tour packs and other luggage carrying formats. In addition, we offer our clients expertise and advice on any major trip they're taking, even in areas outside the parts we provide. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over several themes we generally recommend depending on your current needs for your trip.

The Right Harley

First and foremost, if you don't already have your motorcycle on hand, this will be your first major choice. However, there are several varieties of Harley-Davidson motorcycles that are ideal for long road trips, and choosing the right one for your needs is important.

Always start with a few simple questions down on paper: How many riders do you have? Do you want a combination of comfort and power, or just one or the other? What kinds of roads will you be taking most frequently, and what type of terrain will you be going over? How much luggage do you need to take with you, and how much storage space would you like? And of course, what is your budget?

Almost all cross-country trips should be conducted using one of Harley's Touring models, which are designed to accommodate larger riders, offer superior comfort levels even on long rides, and carry more fuel over long distances. Some smaller motorcycles are also available with ample storage space for your trip's needs, including Harley's Street Glide model along with others.

Road Quality and Weather

One major factor we recommend evaluating before your trip begins is the quality of the roads you'll be driving on. Sadly, roads in some states or areas have generally dropped in quality in recent years due to funding cuts, while others are much better.

For example, in many regions of the Midwest and Deep South, it may be necessary to plan your travel during daylight hours only, due to reduced streetlight coverage or dangerous driving conditions at night (such as drunk driving or foggy roads). We recommend checking maps and news reports for your area, to avoid unpleasant surprises.

In more dynamic locales such as Texas or California, on the other hand, it may be necessary to plan your traveling carefully around cyclical rush hours that can cause delays of several hours in some areas. Keep this in mind when planning your route, and choose a good time to hit the road for an efficient trip.

In addition, checking the weather forecast is essential. This can be done either by visiting a local website or simply asking locals about the weather in your targeted regions. In many warmer climates, rain may not be as big an issue as excessive heat and humidity (such as across much of the South), while colder areas like the state of Pennsylvania will require special attention to snowstorms and other wintry conditions.

In general, it's a good idea to wear clothes that are appropriate for the weather -- in addition to bringing rain gear in bad weather -- and plan your route around these factors.

In part two of our series, we’ll go over some more specifics on accessories like tour packs and others that we offer to clients. For more tips on the perfect cross-country Harley Davidson trip, or to learn about any of our motorcycle accessories or parts, speak to the staff at Advanblack today.