In your life as a digital nomad, you’ve probably seen the world from just about every vessel imaginable. These include planes, trains, cars, maybe even a boat. Have you ever tasted the beauty of life on the back of a motorcycle? If not, you’re majorly missing out. What do we mean by that?
You can create digital nomad adventures and memorable experiences on a motorcycle in many ways, such as:
• Traveling to new countries on your motorcycle
• Joining a motorcycle group or tour
• Taking a solo journey
• Enjoying a new sense of freedom
• Becoming friends with riders across the world
• Trying something new and exciting
• Immersing yourself fully into riding
• Experiencing immense personal growth
• Going off the beaten path
• Becoming a better, fitter you
• Feeling more connected to the world
Motorcycle travel can be considered to be a relatively overlooked option of travel when living in a foreign country. With time, however, more and more digital nomads have adopted motorbike travel as a viable way of including adventure, sports, and fun in their travels. It is not just the advantages of convenience that have turned many digital nomads towards motorbike travels. It is also because such traveling serves as a conduit for interaction with different places and people.
If you’re getting the itch to travel by motorcycle, then this is the article for you. In it, we’ll expand on the 11 points above, explaining each in more detail. We’ll also delve into some of the practicalities of owning a motorcycle as well as problems you might face as you begin new journeys on a motorcycle.
11 Ways a Motorcycle Can Create Amazing Digital Nomad Adventures and Experiences
1. You Can Travel in a Brand-New Way
Traveling still appeals to you, don’t get us wrong, but it does admittedly lose some of its attraction and newness when you do it tens of times in a year. You never get butterflies climbing aboard a plane because you fly all the time. You feel no inclination to stare out the train window as the world rushes by because you’ve seen it all before. You’d rather take that time and catch up on your email.
With a motorcycle, everything’s different. Now here’s something you haven’t done before. Everything about it feels fresh and new, which automatically makes it more appealing to you. All at once, traveling has that excitement to it again.
One tremendous benefit of using a motorbike has to be the unobstructed view of nature. You enjoy about 180 degrees view of vision, and that surely changes the meaning of ‘taking in the sights.’ Not only will you see the nature ahead of you, being in a bike will allow you to feel it as well.
Riding on a motorcycle will make it easier to stop the time and capture the perfect picture. Even better, what could be more worth remembrance than a GoPro footage of your motorcycle winding down a road? These are just memories that you can easily capture and relive them over and over again.
2. Joining a Motorcycle Group or Tour Lets You See New Parts of the World
The next time a locale you’re traveling to offers a motorcycle tour, why not join in on the fun? On the site Book Motorcycle Tours.com, you can research upcoming tours across the world. For instance, one that’s available as of this writing is a 16-day tour that crosses through the Himalayas, Tibet, and Nepal, including Kathmandu. Other tours last nine days and some go even longer than two weeks. If you were so inclined, you could ride for almost a month through Russia.
Whether it’s Italy, East Africa, Sri Lanka, Iceland, Australia, Argentina, Spain, or elsewhere, get a motorcycle and go. Let a group show you some of the places you may have missed if you had never visited these countries before. There are lots of hidden gems all over the world just waiting for you to discover them.
3. You’ll Make Great Friends with Similar Interests
If you’re spending days, sometimes weeks at a time with a motorcycle group, then you’ll reap another benefit besides experiencing new parts of the world. You’ll also develop a camaraderie with the other cyclists.
Some will be seasoned veterans, having ridden on motorcycle tours like the one you’re on now for years and years. Others will have little experience just like you. Maybe there are even some first-timers you’ll feel especially close to.
On breaks and at night, you can swap travel stories with your group. You may find that some of you have gone to the same places without even realizing it. Perhaps you tell some travel stories that make the others in the group jealous or vice-versa. You might also add some new locales to your travel list thanks to the recommendations of your motorcycle tour group.
Once the tour wraps up, you’ll probably opt to keep in touch with some members. You can plan future trips with them if you want. Even if you don’t see your new pals again for a while, you know you have friends scattered across the globe. That’s a great, comforting feeling.
4. Solo Journeys Instill Greater Confidence
Now, you won’t always ride your motorcycle with a group. You might try it once or twice while you get a feel for motorcycle travel. Once you have that experience under your belt though, you feel like you have to prove it to yourself by planning a motorcycle trip on your own.
It truly is an experience that’s 100 percent about you. You select where you go when you leave, and which route you take to get there. Quickly, you’ll realize it’s not like traveling by plane or train at all. With those avenues, you choose your destination, buy your ticket, and arrive at the station at a designated time. Then someone else does all the rest.
On a motorcycle, the onus is entirely on you to get to your destination. You decide whether you want to ride that main highway or snake through some backroads. If a shortcut calls out to you, you can take it without consulting with anyone else.
The sense of pride you’ll feel when you reach your destination, knowing you did it entirely on your own, will make you overwhelmingly happy. Even better, you’ll be so much more confident about future rides that you might travel long distances alone.
5. The Feeling of Freedom You’ll Cultivate Becomes Almost Addictive
Another perk of solo journeys and motorcycle riding in general? The complete and utter sense of freedom. Yes, that’s right, freedom.
You want to bring a buddy on your travels, maybe two? You choose exactly who accompanies you. Do you want to ride alone? That’s fine, too. Unless you own a private jet, then you don’t get such options when flying. You often sit next to a stranger on your flights, and sometimes that’s not the best experience.
With motorcycle travel and digital nomadism, you can surround yourself just with those people who understand and actively support your lifestyle.
Freedom goes deeper than that. If you get the urge to up and go at any time, you can. Say you’re relaxing at night and reading about a route in the city you’re visiting. You want to explore it right now. Who’s stopping you? As long as you’re safe and smart about it, you can ride where you want when you want. The road never closes for the night, so you don’t have to either.
6. You’ll Get out of Your Rut
You know you’re fortunate to live and work as a digital nomad, and you try never to take that for granted. Still, sometimes you can’t help but feel like you live primarily the same day over and over again. Sure, you travel to new places, but it’s all planes, hotels, late hours, and maybe a bit of downtime.
It sounds like you’re stuck in a rut and needs something different. Instead of necessarily going all the way home for a change of scenery, try riding a motorcycle for a while first. All the perks we talked about before as well as the ones to come should rejuvenate you. Suddenly, you’ll remember all that you love about digital nomadism while feeling more invigorated than you have in maybe years.
7. You’re Forced to Immerse Yourself and Focus on What You’re Doing
When you have a flight scheduled, you’re probably the type who works on your computer until the very last second. Then, as soon as you have Internet again, you’re back at it. Sometimes you like train travel because you can at least stay semi-connected while you get to your destination.
You get no such luxury when traveling on a motorcycle. You can’t refresh your emails on your phone or work on an assignment on your laptop. You’re not even able to focus on work. Instead, you have to pay attention to your surroundings and practice road readiness. Getting distracted could lead to an accident, which you, of course, want to avoid at all costs.
If you’re the type who can never put your work down (and you probably are given that you’re a digital nomad), then you’ll find riding through the streets on your motorcycle refreshing. You can genuinely empty your mind of all thoughts of missed calls, mountains of invoices, and assignments you have yet to submit. The only other time you typically get to do something like that is when you’re sleeping, and then you can’t even enjoy it.
Once you train your brain to put work thoughts off to the side for a while, you may find it easier to do this at other times, too. For example, let’s say you wanted to take an afternoon off or a weekend day to explore. Still, you can’t help but feel nervous that you’re missing out on work, which detracts from your whole experience. By turning that part of your brain off for a while, you can make the kinds of memories you travel for.
8. You’ll Grow as a Person
Digital nomadism has introduced you to the concept of self-growth, but it’s something you haven’t tended to in a while. You’re always too busy working on your business and planning your next destination.
Meeting and spending time with new people, seeing the world with fresh eyes, and traveling to places you’ve never been by motorcycle is exhilarating. So immersing yourself in all this experience, it has to offer will certainly expand your horizons. Culturally and personally, you become better-defined and more well-rounded.
It’s vital to grow your business, yes, but you have to develop yourself, too. Who knew it could be as easy as hopping on a motorcycle and hitting the road?
9. Going off the Beaten Path Is Exhilarating
Everybody talks about heading off the beaten path, but most of the time, they mean it metaphorically. As we said before, through your solo journeys or on a motorcycle tour group, you might explore paths and roads never available to you previously by car, train, or plane. These are literally off the beaten path.
It’s always nice to get a reminder now and then of how much the world has to offer if you only reach out and take it. Coming upon a destination with stunning views or arriving at a landmark that’s not so easily accessible by any other vehicle but a motorcycle will make you wonder why you ever traveled any other way before.
10. You’ll Feel Fitter and Happier
Do you want to lose some weight and increase your sense of satisfaction at the same time? Get a motorcycle.
According to biking resource RideApart, if you’re a man who weighs 180 pounds and rides for an hour, you’ll shed 40 calories more than you would by merely driving. While that may not seem like a lot, if you travel far distances on your motorcycle, those calories do add up.
RideApart also mentions how the great outdoors and the riding endorphins positively contribute to your mood. How about that?
11. Your Sense of Connectivity to the World Will Increase
You may be on your phone or computer practically 24/7, but do you feel connected? Okay, maybe via email or social media, but you’re not connected in the way it counts. By stripping back your life and your soul through a leisurely motorcycle ride, you find you feel more connected to everything around you. The trees, the water, the wind, the sunlight, it’s all like a warm blanket enveloping you and increasing your satisfaction with the whole experience.
When you combine that with the incredible memories you can make, it’s no wonder more and more digital nomads have decided to ditch the plane and ride a motorcycle.
Problems You May Face When Traveling by Motorcycle and How to Overcome Them
Now, owning a motorcycle may seem like a dream, but there are specific issues that can turn it into a nightmare. In this section, we’ll explain some problems that may crop up as you decide to make a motorcycle your prime means of travel. We’ll also include some solutions.
Problem: Road tax can be a pain.
Vehicle Excise Duty or VED is the primary road tax in the United Kingdom. Over in the United States, there is a slew of road taxes on motorcycles and other vehicles.
Let’s talk about VED first. The amount of money you pay for this tax depends on the size of your engine in CCs. You can learn more about the tax here.
As for the road tax in the US, it varies state by state. For instance, if you’re based in New Hampshire or California, then your motorcycle’s value determines how much registration tax you’ll pay. New York taxes you based on the weight of the vehicle. In Virginia, the personal property tax means what you’ll pay the difference according to the county. Surcharges may get added as well.
Solution: You can’t get out of paying the above taxes, but you can do your homework and prepare yourself for what’s to come.
Problem: You’re not sure where to register your vehicle.
Do you register it in your home country or the country you’ll travel to for the next month? It’s all so tricky.
Solution: To make everything as smooth as possible, we recommend you register your motorcycle to the state in which you have a home or business address.
Problem: You can’t use your driver’s license to ride a motorcycle.
In almost every state in the US, you must possess a valid motorcycle license to operate one of these vehicles. Only if you have a cycle with a very small engine does this not apply.
Solution: Get a license.
Like paying taxes, there’s no workaround, nor should there be. Having your motorcycle license will make you the safest driver possible.
Problem: Shipping your motorcycle from country to country is expensive and annoying, not to mention stressful.
Solution: Fly less and ride more!
Paying to get your motorcycle transported via shipping will be quite costly. It’s much better to ride your motorcycle around the world instead of fly there.
Choosing Motorcycle Accessories and Getting Prepared for Travel
So you are very much interested in adventurous motorcycling across different countries. You hope to explore more of the globe aboard your motorcycle – sometimes even camping and cooking along the way. But what equipment is essential?
Choose the motorcycle Wisely: Having the perfect machine is an essential aspect of motorcycle travel. Your motorcycle must be suited to the needs and demands of your trip. While choosing the right bike, ensure that you focus on characteristics like low-cost maintenance, mileage, and sitting position.
Prepare your bike Appropriately: Preparing the bike means cleaning it and getting it serviced before leaving home. You must repair any issues you come across like loose clutch, brakes, or the gear. Make sure that the bike has sport tires. Moreover, ensure that you always seek professional help while fixing any significant issues.
The Motorcycle: Regardless of the bike you choose to start with, there are very many accessories and items that you will need to purchase to ensure that you have a safe journey. You will want to have a bike that is easy to repair, off-road-oriented, and affordable. Something that every mechanic can quickly fix might save you so much headache and money.
Additionally, riding a motorbike with enough ground clearance, a sound suspension system, and dual-sport tires will enable you to navigate down the Forest Service roads much more quickly.
Petrol Power: Fuel range is significant on many levels. For a long trip, upgrading the fuel tank can save you unnecessary trips to the gas station. Companies such as IMS, Clarke Racing, Touratech, JustGasTanks, and Acerbis offer large enough fuel tanks for adventure motorbikes.
Buy the right accessories: It is very prudent that you get the right accessories so that you can remain safe throughout the journey. While putting on a pair of gloves and a biker’s jacket promises to help you fight dehydration and fight the heat, always ensure that you put on a helmet since this might be the most significant difference between survival and death after an accident. Remember to put on necessary boots that have enough grip on the brake pedals. Other accessories include a traveling backpack, a tool kit, and biker boots.
Protection: Handguards, skid plates, engine crash bars, and headlight guard will enable you to ride confidently. Depending on your bike’s model, many companies manufacture the parts mentioned above for your motorbike.
Luggage: You will have to tote your stuff. While at it, it is imperative to note that luggage will affect the general distribution of weight on your motorbike and the machine’s center of gravity. Wolfman Luggage makes a wide array of adventure motorbike models that have dry bags. Touratech also manufactures luggage carriers that are secure and watertight for almost all full-sized adventure motorbikes.
The Riding Gear: Some riders forget the small, but important, stuff like putting on the right gloves given the prevailing conditions, and boots that provide enough ankle support, overall protection, and a sturdy sole. Adding these accessories to a pant and jacket combination that has been well armored, ventilated, and waterproof can save you a bit of bone and skin. Icon produces a wide range of cheap riding gear for motorcycle enthusiasts.
Tools: Rule of the thumb: Disassemble your bike as much as you feel comfortable, reassemble it after that and then carry the equipment that you needed to do so. It is also advisable to replace the damaged and weak tools with more quality equipment. You can decide to carry extra tools, but it is always prudent to start with a solid foundation and then add some more.
Irons: A patch kit, Tire Irons, a valve stem, carbon dioxide, and a pressure gauge do not take up so much space or add unnecessary weight. If you have ever changed a malfunctioning tire, you do realize that it be quite problematic, especially on smaller dual sportbikes. The tools, as mentioned above, are things that can be easily carried with little problems but can make a world of difference when needed.
Wrenches and Grips: A well-sized crescent wrench and a pair of grips are essential for a fulfilling motorbike adventure. Making a shift lever, loosening an axle nut, breaking, bending, banging, and doing an assortment of other activities are made easier if you have the right wrenches and grips.
Spare Parts: Some parts ought to be carried while others are not so obvious. If your bike has a 21-inch front wheel and a 19-inch rear wheel, all you need are a few 21-inch tubes. In the event of a flat tire or a pinch flat, you can insert the spare tube into either the rear or front wheel and ride safely. It might not be optimal, but the 21-inch tube will pack smaller than the rest, and will easily snake inside the tire. It will offer you enough traction and air to get to the nearest mechanic safely.
Most motorbike manufacturers will provide a track pack for your machine. What is, to someone else a small box of bolts and nuts, a Track Pack is vital for anyone on a long adventure since you will surely need a random bolt or nut at one point.
Navigation and GPS Units
Navigation: A reliable GPS unit will take you to any place you wish to visit with the relative ease of a power button. Where maps might be more foolproof and do not need batteries, GPS units create a play by play navigation without the need to memorize directions.
Security: GPS units can be quite expensive, and if you have moved off the main road and parked somewhere more precarious, theft can be a serious issue. It is always best to secure your GPS units with a locking mount. The mount will be keyed to match every other accessory that you have with you.
Software: Having the right software pre-installed in your GPS unit might be the difference between a fulfilling ride along unfamiliar paths and a long, tiresome and confusing day of constant dead ends and crossings.
Butler Maps: Regardless of whether you have a GPS unit, a tear-resistant and waterproof Butler Map can save you time, ensure that you do not get lost, and assist you in preparing for your adventures.
How to Get Started with Your Solo Motorcycle Trip
Undoubtedly, traveling on a motorbike, whether on a neighboring state or a foreign nation, is an experience that you will never forget. A bike will create a mental, spiritual, and physical journey that promises to last a whole lifetime.
You’re intrigued by the idea of striking out alone on a motorcycle adventure. How can you ensure your success? Be sure to follow these tips:
• Besides planning where you want to go, sit down, and map out your destination. Research it in depth
• Learn some alternate routes you can take so you cover all your bases
• Let a friend or colleague know of your travel plans in case you get lost or otherwise derailed
• Fuel up your motorcycle ahead of your trip and plan to do so several times depending on how far you travel
• Get a good night’s sleep the night before your trip
• Travel lightly, but do make sure you have food and water. You can refuel during breaks as well
• Don’t push yourself too hard. If it’s a multi-day trip, don’t try to cram it all into 24 hours straight. Take rests and even retire at a hotel for the night if necessary
• Keep your phone charged so you can always get emergency help or other assistance
• Wear a helmet and have your motorcycle license and other paperwork on your person
Regardless of how far you ride or where you venture, you will never get the feeling of commuting for as long as you are on a motorbike. Motorcycling brings out the feeling of travel, and there is a significant distinction between the two. Motorcycling is not necessarily moving from point A to the next. Even if you are going on for a long ride, you will get the feeling that you are venturing into the world, discovering new things, and exploring. For digital nomads, since they will be moving from one country to another, the euphoria is on a whole other level.
There’s something about riding a motorcycle that’s so freeing. As a digital nomad, you might need that change. Perhaps you’re so bogged down with work it’s all you can think about, or you’re stuck in a rut. Canceling that flight and traveling by motorcycle can change all that.
Not only are there countless perks, but the places you’ll see, the people you’ll meet, the experiences you’ll make, and the adventures you’ll have will transform your life for the better. Good luck!
I’m the owner of Digital Nomad Explorer. I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and been an expat in Scotland, Finland, and China. I was a digital nomad while having my own robotics company and traveled throughout Europe and China working remotely. Currently, I’m location independent with a home base in Kirkkonummi, Finland.