(NC) Think planning a road trip where you ride your bike is the same as one where you ride your car? While preparation is key for both trips, that’s where the similarities end —extended motorcycle road trips mean a whole host of new things to consider.

“You have to remind yourself this is a trip on two wheels, and the rules are different. One common item I see even experienced riders forget is to have something to drink and eat with them. You may not need it, but if you do, proper hydration and food will help keep you alert and focused,” explains Glenn Cooper of Aviva Insurance. “Effective preparation can be the difference between a successful ride and an experience you don’t want to repeat.”

Cooper outlines the follow six tips for riders planning a road trip:

1. Don’t try something new. Make sure you’re not going to try something for the first time during a road trip, like riding in full rain gear for an extended period.

2. Travel with familiar riders. If travelling in a group, make sure everyone is on the same page. Compatibility is key. If you have misgivings about a day trip rider, don’t invite them on a longer trip. Having a rider with you who doesn’t fit in will be an unwelcome distraction you’ll regret.

3. Get your bike serviced beforehand. Ensure your bike is in suitable mechanical condition. If your service intervals occur during the trip, incorporate that into your plans or take care of it before you leave.

4. Plan for all types of riding conditions. Remember that you’re not in a car, so riding in the mountains at high altitudes doesn’t mean turning up the heat, it means ensuring you have heated gear or another layer available. Riding in 30OC means no air conditioning, having the appropriate gear, and staying hydrated.

5. Test your equipment. Test and become familiar with your GPS and communication gear before hitting the road. Bring an area map for making decisions while on the trip.

6. Consider using communicators. Communicators such as Scala that uses Bluetooth or comparable units with full-duplex where both parties can talk at once — as opposed to a push-to-talk device like a CB — allow you to have discussions on the fly with your passenger and fellow riders. Experienced riders will tell you this is a huge benefit when on the road, regardless of group size.

Find more information through your insurance broker or online at avivacanada.com/leisure-lifestyle.