How I plan a long distance trip on a motorbike

In this post I want to share some thoughts and routines how I plan a long distance motorbike trip and also mention the tools I use (including some brain work…lol).

Before I start with the detailed planning, I ask myself some questions first.

  • How far or how many hours can / want I ride per day?

    In my opinion it makes no sense to calculate a too long riding time or distance per day.
    It should be a relaxed and not an exhausted trip.

  • How much time I have for the trip?

    Never forget to add extra time for sightseeing, chill out, maintenance etc.

  • What is my budget for the trip?

    Running out of budget half the way is not funny.
    Check cost for hotels / resorts in the region you want to travel to.
    Check costs for food and fuel.

  • Does the motorbike I want to use fit for the road conditions and is it comfortable enough?

    Personally I not want to have any health issues due to an unsuitable motorcycle.
    And I definitely not want to go off-road with a sports bike!

  • Do my riding skills work out with my plans?

    Don’t overestimate yourself. Joining an additional motorcycle training is not a fail.

  • Are there border crossings?

    What paperworks need to be done?
    Do I have all the required documents and if not – how can I get them?
    Do I need to apply for a visa?
    If yes, where, when and how to apply?

  • Does my health insurance cover my plans?

    If not, I research where to get the right insurance and book it.

  • Maintenance for the motorbike? Do I need to service the bike and get new tires?

    When I go for a long distance trip, I check out before I start if there is a suitable garage somewhere on the way. And often pre book spare parts like tires if they are not in stock.

  • Do I have the right riding gear?

    It’s a big difference if you travel to Scandinavia or Greece.
    No matter if hot or cold, not wearing the right gear is uncomfortable and unsafe.

Finally when I choose my destination according to the points listed above I start to plan how to get best to the final destination.

For the route planing I use mostly Kurviger. Kurviger – for me – is the more flexible tool compared to for example Calimoto.

Start simple by setting the beginning and the final destination of the trip.

Kurviger then calculates a route according to my in app settings. This route is a very first draft and gives a rough idea about distance and time.

Then the first research starts! What POIs I want to visit?
On every POI, I set a way point and let the software calculate again.

Now the information about time and distance are getting a bit more detailed.

Last but not least, the fine tuning of the route starts.
Meaning, I have a look on the map and check if there are areas I not want to pass like cities, industrial areas etc.
To avoid those areas, I set sharping points on the roads I want to go (maybe as well on major highways and by passes?) and let Kurviger work again and recalculate.

In the next step, I look for nice and scenic roads. And probably some major highways to cover distances more fast.
No, for this research I not use Google Maps, I not check in social media, I decide just by having a look on the map and use some brain.
Believe me, this works very well!

I know that some people check everything and everywhere upfront in Google Earth and Google Streetview but in my opinion some surprise is the salt in the soup and more adventurous.

That’s why I never follow or download the GPX files of other riders. Great when their trip was awesome but I want to explore by myself.

Now again the work with setting sharping points to finalize the details.

That’s it! Don’t forget to safe all your changes!!!!

For navigation, I use an Android phone and the Kurviger app. Unfortunately, as of today, the Kurviger app is only available on Android. But good news for Apple fans, plans for an iOS app are on the to do list.

In case of there is no internet connection or I not have the right SIM card, I download the maps and navigate with offline maps if necessary.

What I never do when traveling a long distance trip:

  • Pre book hotels and resorts! Bringing camping stuff as a back up is for me the better and way more flexible option in case of there is no room available. You can stop whenever you want as you not depend on hotel bookings. Maximize your freedom!
  • Stay on the route if there is something worth to visit what I not recognized during planning. If you have enough time, get off the track and start exploring.
  • Hurry and panic mode – I take it easy and want to relax and not ride as many kilometers per day as possible. Especially in extremely hot conditions it’s more safe to stop riding early enough.

So in the end even the final planned tour is just some sort of a draft and not set in stone. You never know what happens during the day while you are traveling.

The screenshot above – in reality I would never pass the center city of Rome, Italy.
First the traffic and second I not know where I stay over night once I visit Rome. So more fine tuning and recalculation “on the fly” is necessary. Mostly I do this in the evening for the next day.

If you are not exactly following your route, with Kurviger it’s easy to start in the morning from where ever you stopped off route. Kurviger will guide you to the next sharping point on your original route.
This is a big difference to Calimoto. Calimoto tends to delete way points once you are off the track what is not funny. To stop riding and re adjust again and again is like a pimple in the butt. Even when you detour too far on the original track for drink a coffee or take a photo, it happens that Calimoto deletes the next way point.

After more than 60.000 km navigation with Calimoto, I use the app now only for tracking. Calimoto has those blue lines showing where you have already been. A nice feature what Kurviger at the moment not offers. (But hopefully will in the near future).

If you want to learn more about Kurviger and be part of the community helping to develop the app, check out the Kurviger forum.

Probably this litte “guide” gives you some input about planning your next long distance trip.

Leave me a comment how you do the planning…I believe I can learn something from you as well.

Happy planning guy’s and enjoy yourself!

#dustysocks #fortheride #makelifearide #motorcycle


  1. Sangjaa

    Thank you for sharing your ideas 😍👍

    1. Dusty Socks

      You have and ideas to improve?

  2. James

    Very informative and useful information. I’m going to give Kurviger q good look. By the way, what is a sharping point ?

    1. Dusty Socks

      Hi James there are 2 types of “way points “in Kurviger. Via points and sharping points.
      Via Points are for “wanna go exactly there”. For example, stop for sightseeing.
      In this case, kurviger will always navigate to this point.
      Shaping points are for “get the route where i want”. This point is not necessarily to drive to.
      If there is a detour and the shaping point is in this section you do not drive through, you can drive on at that point you come back to your route.
      That means, use via points only for real stopps and the shaping points for choosing the road you prefer to go.

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