Miscellaneous Preparation Activities

Miscellaneous trip preparation activities not covered elsewhere are briefly addressed below.

Medical and Dental Preventive Care

Medical and dental checkups prior to an extended trip are scheduled. Any planned procedures are completed before departure.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for a specific extended trip is a good thing. A key feature of such coverage is emergency medical care and transportation, which can be extremely expensive. The policy premium is generally reasonable since the policy duration is limited to the actual trip. I've used CSA Travel Protection in the past but have never needed to file a claim.

Motor Club Membership

Being broken down and stranded thousands of miles from home happens to many travelers. The obvious advantage of membership in a motor club is being able to make a single phone call to have a service vehicle dispatched to transport the bike to the nearest service facility, with a pre-defined limit on out-of-pocket expenses.

My current preference is KOA RV Roadhelp. Many motor clubs exclude motorcycles but this one does not. In addition, the bike is covered for transport to the nearest capable service provider with unlimited distance. They have an excellent track record as is evidenced on several of the larger online motorcycle forums.

Emergency Information Sheet

This is a single sheet of paper with emergency information potentially useful to first-responders and health care providers. There are multiple identical copies and at a minimum one copy is kept on my person at all times and at least one copy is kept in the tankbag.

The following information is on this sheet: full legal name, social security number, driver's license number, passport number, date of birth, place of birth, home address, home telephone number, contact information in case of emergency, physician's name/address/phone number, dentist's name/address/phone number, blood type, drug allergies, existing medical conditions, routine prescription medication dosages and times, medical insurance details, and travel insurance details.

Contact Information Sheet

This sheet of paper is intended for non-emergency use. It contains contact information for persons/attractions/ferries/reservations/etc expected to be visited en route, favorite motorcycle parts sources, motor club membership details, and friends and family member contact information should help be needed.

Credit Cards

I try to use credit cards whenever possible to avoid dipping into cash reserves. They are also handy if an unexpected major expense arises or when paying for something in a foreign currency.

The credit card companies should be called prior to departure to advise them of the trip. This can prevent the cards from being inadvertently cut off due to tripping their fraud detection and prevention procedures.

Proof of Insurance

If traveling outside the country a special proof of insurance card may be needed. This is certainly true in Canada. Any reputable insurance company should be familiar with the requirements of the countries to be visited and be able to provide the necessary card(s).

Dry Runs and Shakedown Rides

This is done prior to an extended major trip to identify and work out any unexpected bugs. It is especially important if new bike accessories or camping equipment has been purchased or if significant modifications of any kind have been made. A short overnight camping trip to a nearby location is ideal for this.

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