Don't leave home without it - perhaps the first rule when traveling to a destination to ride your dirt bike.

Bring your dirt bike!

An obvious statement but someone, somewhere, sometime got all packed up and underway only to forget their ride. But outside of that, traveling with your dirt bike whether to an out-of-state Motocross event or off-road adventure miles away can turn an expected fun trip into a troublesome outing you won't embark on again.

You would never enter a Motocross race unprepared so don't hit the freeway on a long trip unprepared either. In many respects, your dirt bike doubles as a secondary means of transportation so it takes up lots of room when hauling it on a trailer, in the back of your pick-up or inside a sprinter van. And by now you already know the maintenance requirements so you also need all the tools, fluids and parts that keep your bike running.

But don't stop there. If you have never taken a dirt bike destination trip before you will quickly learn what others who have made the journey already know. You have a lot to do and just as much to remember. So, to help you get started and hopefully limit any aggravating incidents we have come up with some tips to get you on your way.

1. Make a Checklist

Start now. Write down everything that comes to mind. Keep your checklist handy so when you remember something at 2 a.m. you can quickly write it down. You won't remember it in the morning. Check out this Pre-Ride Checklist for your dirt bike. That should help get things started.

2. Hauling Your Dirt Bike

Make sure you know how to tie down your bike and effectively haul it. Pot holes, sudden braking and the need to swerve happen. If you have not thoroughly secured your dirt bike you risk damage if it tips over but at the very least you get the unsettling sound of your bike hitting the floor and bringing down anything else in the way. For more information, check these articles out:

Be sure to turn the fuel off and don't add fuel to the gas tank.

3. The Pit Stop

Road trip means stopping somewhere along the way either for gas, a restroom break, something to eat or all three. If you travel alone use a large cable to lock your bike(s) - put in place when tying down. Your "quick" trip to the restroom or for a bag of chips and coke offers enough time to allow someone who wants your bike to take off with your bike. Don't expect patrons to remember you as the owner and recognize the guy casually "working" on your dirt bike as a thief.

Always keep an eye on your stash when possible and if you have a companion take your bathroom and food trips one at a time.

4. Have a Sleep Over

If you stay at a hotel, bring your dirt bike inside your room especially if you have it in the back of a pick-up or trailer where anyone has access to it. No, most hotels won't appreciate the added "companion" so be polite and place some clean towels or newspaper for the tires. If you have a sprinter van with darkened windows you can try for a parking spot close to your room and back it in - that should deter most potential thieves. But to ensure you leave with your dirt bike in the morning bring it inside.

5. Your Final Destination

Once you have arrived, place your bike on a stand (one more thing not to forget) and bleed the air from the forks, top off your fuel, check tire pressure (expect some change especially in drastic elevation changes) and go ride.

Expect some bumps along the road, figuratively and literally, however like the annual family vacation you will learn to live without - those things you forgot - and remember for next time thus making the packing and transport on subsequent trips more efficient and complete.

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