Long-Haul Motorcycle Touring - Tips for Staying Awake

Publisert 23. aug.. 2020
There has been an alarming rise in the number of big cruisers involved in motorcycle crashes. Big distance brings bigger fatigue but there are ways to minimize your risk of succumbing to the zzzs.


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  • I like how Ryan f9 never asks for likes and subs. I’m motivated to hit the like button solely on quality of his content.

  • the noise is a real killer. it's unbelievably fatiguing and shocking when it's gone! Small tanks (fuel and urine) both ensure frequent stops, too. My old Nighthawk 650 was good for about 3 hours between fuel stops. That was PLENTY!

  • The second/third trip i did was with the same bike and it was a 10hour ride. Only stopped to fill gas and had one coffee at 8pm😅 also the worst ride. But im planing to have a road trip with a Benelli BN302 hopefully with my wife also. Kinda lonely to see the country sides and beautiful scenes of Vietnam alone.

  • Damn the first road trip i ever did was an 8hour ride at night and it was killing me. Ive got a 150cc manual (WinnerX) and it was loaded with bags and it was just horrible.

  • You should do a video on the most comfortable super sport bikes for those who like super sport bikes, but go on some long rides every once in a while

  • Great content

  • I sometimes try to grab some sleep on the plane. I must snore though, because my passengers freak out and wake me up.

  • Went from Amarillo TX, to Raton NM, to Chicago IL on a 750cc Honda Shadow Spirit in 34 hours (including 7hrs sleep) last week. A month before that on the same bike I went from Virginia Beach to Nags Head NC to Knoxville, TN in 14 hours straight. These aren't the fastest times but I think I earned a medal for riding a little 750cc to the limit.

  • Just ride your damn bike and knock off all the distractions. The only thing you should be focusing on is what's down the road and avoiding all the other dimwitted motorists who are with you on said road while fiddling with their stinking phones, rocking out to crappy music or arguing with their spouse or children. Pay attention to your surroundings and these folks won't end your riding career or in particular your life! I practice those stretches and a some I've created on my own to alleviate muscle fatigue and cramping. If it gets too severe then I just find a safe place to pull over and take a break. Common sense people...use it or lose it. Don't push a bad or losing position if you don't have too! Nothing is so important that it's worth your life. However, I could be wrong. Cheers!

  • Found some old German chocolate. THAT KEEPS ME AWAKE

  • I've always done stretches while riding.

  • 3ml of water per lb of bodyweight..? I weigh 141lbs, so thats what, 423ml of water? not even half a litre? That doesn't seem like much

  • Don't hate on my kpop bro.cold,wet, sugar crash, dehydrated = opportunity to go bike shopping after a ride in an ambulance.

  • This is very useful information! I know that research indicates that vehicles (cars and bikes) are becoming, nay, have become so refined that we are cosseted during our travels, consequently creating conditions that encourage drowsiness! My Series III Landrover has to be driven, man handled at all times. It is so noisy and uncomfortable that I stay awake, and if on a rare day I am a little drowsy I can open the bullkhead flaps that allow cold air to waft all over me. The perfect vehicle!!!

  • Does Ryan understand analog clocks?

  • Was this whole video shot in one long take?

  • I like to add in a nap in the early afternoon. Nothing tremendous, but 15 or 20 minutes dozing in the shade is a real refresher.

  • 5:49 weebs after years of reading subtitle while listening to the dialogue, listen to the theme song, watching the characters, watching the background and watching and thinking of the lores: pathetic

  • If you're dozing off while riding, then you're just plain motorcycling wrong.

  • You are great. As an old unbold rider, many 1000 mile days, I love to listen to you. At one level it sounds like pontificating BS, like a lecture at an Ivy League school on a subject that doesn't matter but my experience tells me that you are usually right on the button. Keep it up.

  • Ha, I thought alcohol was attributed to 99.9999999%! Of accidents. It’s not sober people.

  • That was a long script to lead to a cardio stereo advertisment... But it was a good video. Didn't know i did all this instinctively. I guess 46 years on a bike...you figure it out or die. 8am to 6pm unfortunately is the city rush hour kill hours. You must plan your trip yo avoid that. Water up beforehand. I stop every two hours...that's just me...I don't gave s Goldwing. I alter gears and throttle several times in 15 minutes. Ear plugs on long trips does help a lot. I sing to myself, and do not use stereo or phone communication.

  • "Start early"- me starting 99% of my road trips at like 6pm lol

  • I really enjoy your scientific take on safe motorcycling. Great job!!

  • The best biker channel by a country mile

  • Best time for staying awake? Get enough sleep.

  • Not me, I'm more awake at night. When the sun comes up I start yawning. 3rd shift too long I guess.

  • Did the survey calibrate for miles ridden for the long-haulers? I often commute on the bike, splitting traffic jams on the freeway. My favorite piece of gear is my modular helmet - instant blast of fresh air at stops or moderate speeds. 👌🏼

  • My DL650 was too small to get a Loan, too cheap not to buy , too reliable not to touch up a few details, too easy to just ride when I need to, F9 prepared for more O/O° !!

  • My last resort when I need a bit more time is Advil cold and sinus. It contains Sudafed which is a stimulant, as long as you take it infrequently it will work. Coffee will work, as long it is infrequent as well. I stop and swim, but at least get your head cooled down regularly, a cold wet cloth at every stop if its hot.

  • Comments are good for the NOwine algorithm

  • My 3 point plan is: 1. Programme yourself to instantly search for the next junction as soon as you sniff that drowsy poison gas. Pull over and close your eyes and slump forward on your tank bag for 10 min. No more. 2. Play something on the headphones that makes you weep uncontrollably (Danny Boy, national anthem. Anything by Morrisey) doesn’t matter if it’s joy or rage, those old emotions will bring you back to the here an now 3. Belt out the lyrics to your favourite song/s as loud and as long as you can. This will increase the oxygen levels in your brain by about 50% and make your voice sound like 50c afterwards.

  • You can tape Pawnstars and watch it during the black lined area..just sayin. Also the green and blue areas is normally for watching pornstars. Great vid btw..

  • Unfortunately the last advice is not very correct. As we were told in auto school and as I tested for myself the fatigue goes from monotonous activity. So if you are listening to some rhythmical music then you became more sleepy. The solution was listening attentively to some funny radio or news programme so your brain starts reacting with emotions. Also you can look not only on the road itself but on the environment surrounding you like mountains, forests, fields, birds, whatever differs from road situation you constantly focused on.

    • And the best advice ever: take a 20 minute nap on the gas station or whenever you feel sleepy then your brain will be a lot more fresher and will continue to function instead of trying to be awaken.

  • truck drivers if they want to do longer hours have to complete a fatigue training course. least here is aus , very informative :)

  • 2:37 RIP headphone users

  • As a semi truck driver the best thing to wake you up is to talk on the phone for half an hour with somebody. Of course don't use your phone and drive. Some fancy bikes nowadays come with Bluetooth. Or just pull over, initiate the call and pull off.

  • Regulate your body temperature as much as possible. Don't let yourself get too hot or too cold. Pull over and take a break.

  • If you can afford a K bike or the Wing you can probably afford a dusting of marching powder and the close company of your choice of friend to help you relax. Message ends.

  • Nice videos. I don't even ride motorcycles.

  • Another tip: Change your speed. Slow down a couple of miles then go up to speed again when you feel better. The wind, noise and vibrations will go down, the landscape will pass slower, and your brain will appreciate the change of pace.

  • If you normally work graveyards the only things to worry about are deer and cops and every bathroom and place for snacks being closed

  • Advice from the wife (especially when she's on the back) - stop every hour. It seems like a pain and adds to travel time but it helps with the stiffness, loss of focus and actually does make the ride more enjoyable.

  • Would sure like a source for what is said at 1:56 - never heard of and gets zero google-hits. And I happen to be a swede who ride motorcycles and like to keep myself updated.

  • Statistically dangerous because they tend to put the most miles and most hours on motorcycles.

  • Is there anyway you can link is the thumbnail for this video? Would love it as a wallpaper!

  • Really helpful tips.

  • cardo does have some very nice speakers. no idea about the unit itself because i soldered cardo speakers to interphone sport. pair them with alpine motosafe earplugs and enjoy

  • Having driven millions of km's on Australia's crumby roads in rough noisy heavy trucks........the best tactic is stop every 2 hours, get off/out the vehicle and stretch the legs etc. Also the best mindset approach is break the journey up into achievable legs or segments. Otherwise the distance total will make it feel impossible when doing 1000km plus journeys. For example, when running road trains (averaging only 80km/hr road speed) traveling from Sydney to Perth, we would have a daily objective, and knock out each day.......usually covering 1200km per day.

  • So Ryan is basically telling me to drink about 6 liters before my ride. Good thing: I won't get bored on straight roads as I need to stop every 30 minutes for a dehydration break

  • How do you deal with riding motorcycle in windy places? I rode around 700 mile road trip last week from bay area through Yosemite to Twin Lakes and back a semi northern western route. Trip was great until around 40 miles from home, in Cordelia between Sacramento and into Cordelia wind suddenly became ferocious! When the wind began blowing my and my motorcycle across into other lanes of traffic on the freeway I pulled off into Cordelia near a gas station. Even then while simply trying to make a very very slow u turn wind gust blew my motorcycle and me onto the road! ENded up having to get towed back the remaining 40ish miles wind was so bad!

  • At age 59 Did an iron butt on a Harley fatbob. 1000 plus miles in 17 hrs in summer heat. Wear compression socks. Water only maybe a little Gatorade and stretch rest on gas stops. You gotta get gas about every 175 miles. 5 hr energy works pretty well for a couple hours.

  • I was literally thinking cat/cow right before you said it 😂

  • AMPHETAMINES!!.....are the ONLY realistic way.....period!!!!........how do you think Truckers stay awake for 20 hours? Pilots flying over your head right now???Sorry but it's the truth.....The only other option is Don't put yourself at risk with long drives.......energy drinks and all that crap makes you Crash Harder, it makes things worse, Not better.

  • Excellent info; love your brick wallpaper!

  • Sometimes all it takes is a poor food decision to launch me into severe drowsiness. Any food and snack recommendations for alertness? Or list of food that already covers that?

  • 5:01 "Drink three milliliters, (metric) per pound, ( Imperial and U.S. Standard) of body weight...". What??? I enjoy your videos very much! Simultaneously I must add, that mixing measurement systems within a single sentence, works against your effort to communicate. (By the way, I'll need to drink 24 & 1/3 ounces four hours before my long rides, per your instructions! I think that'll have me stopping to dispense liquid more often than I want to.) You're an excellently clear, and entertaining communicator consistently, so we'll let this "slip up" "slide". Just don't do it again! (I hope you can laugh at this comment, and see it as a light hearted "poke". You upload top quality videos and I will continue to watch them.)

  • Thumbs up for Leonard Cohen!

  • Stop and take a nap. Jeezus !!!

  • The most important stuff: use cruise control(or put a special tool, simulating it) and do some hand and wrist exercises.

  • Bro that was one helluva one-shot! That must've taken quite a few takes

  • There is one key variable overlooked in this. Age. Touring bikes are expensive. And expensive toys are owned by an aging population. The dusk hours are when anyone over 40 has trouble seeing. Diabetes and other factors cause drowsiness. Or in other word, you are just simply old. Being old and then tack onto it the awards given out for “iron butt” and always pushing yourself to do what you used to be able to do. All of that leads to the statistics on crashes.

  • Good topic. I once woke up riding on the shoulder of a highway doing 35 in top gear. Good thing nothing was in front of me.

  • I'm a truck driver, best thing to do if you start to feel drowsy is to pull over and take a nap. Less easy on a bike then in you car but sleeping is the only way to truly combat fatigue

  • That helmet you use, what type is it? Long oval , intermediate oval or round? Thank you in advance

  • I ride a scout. No passenger pegs on mine

  • Is it possible, or rather, intelligent to do the standing up stretch while riding with a pillion? thanks

  • I’ve done a lot of long-distance touring over the years. I pack light, eat light, travel with a full Camelbak of water, take regular breaks, and even have resorted to pulling over in a roadside park for a 20-30 minute power-snooze, to refresh myself. One question for Ryan; Who was the better long-distance rider, Barry White, or Leonard Cohen?

  • If you need "tips" to stay awake, it's time to call it a day.

  • Try Adderall and coffee people. Works for me everytime.

  • That water trip is priceless! Thank you!

  • Gonna ride 1.000km in 24H as part of a local competition. Will apply all of these tips!

  • I think your comments about water and stretching alone will save me on my next big trip.

  • Wow. FortNine, your production values exceed the "professionals" Nicely done. (Stealing from Jay Leno.)

  • Dayam those transitions...

  • I dont understand how people can ride for hours. I have a bad problem: my ears are ringing during and after each ride. Shoei helmet and earplugs not helping. Please help! Is there something wrong with me?

  • "Tips for staying awake" Buy a cafe racer. The back ache, thin seat, and weird ergonomic will keep you awake

  • Another is make your fuel stops at a different time to your food/coffee stops. Same time in total but breaks the ride into smaller stints.

  • I have a good tip. Go to donefirst and buy an adderall prescription. One of those baddies will net you an extra 6 hours of alert saddle time.

  • The K-Pop reference was entirely unexpected and pure GOLD!

  • Feeling sleepy watching this.

  • Shouldn't the metric be "deaths per mile ridden." Those guys do way more miles and way more time, deaths should lean toward them. They are riding more.

  • Those transitions are smoother than butter

  • I got no problem staying away my seat is like sitting on a cinder block 🧱

  • I did a 20 hour ride. Started zoning out in the last 1/2 hour. A vehicle in the ditch with it's lights on probably saved my life. I couldn't figure out WTH they were doing. BTW, my radio died at about hour number 4...

  • Great vid. I’d add the good old taking regular breaks. Or sleeping properly beforehand/ not going for long rides after a series of bad sleeps.

  • Why does anyone want to sit on a bike for 10 hours? You might as well just fly or drive a car.

  • This video is so good!

  • " I feel a bit foggy without a break" Ryan really nailed it right there at the end. Take a break and bring a Kit Kat.

  • Or.... if you’re a slightly older biker like me.. you have to stop every 100 mile minimum for pee ! 😂 That’s my break. Walk a little, drink a little , eat a little... carry on.

  • The threat of a violent death always kept me awake.

  • I talk with myself in the helmet if this thing fails i imagine my toxic past relationship, that shit keep me awake for nights👀

  • There's a good reason Honda is making the goldwing for 45 years.

  • How can I like this more than once? Awesome content!

  • Don't forget to stay fit in general. Good cardio will help you endure tough rides way easier!

  • Do the pan America

  • I've been listening to foreign language thing that i only understand about 30-40%. Before that the drowsiness of morning ride was killing me.

  • You guys deserve more subs.

  • I love that two of the best aviation channels on NOwine have commented here, on the best motorcycle channel. The venn diagram of flying and riding is really fat in the middle.

  • I do regular rides from my home near Seattle to my dad's near Sacramento. I have found the best way to combat fatigue, is breaks. My bike being an older Buell has a really small tank, so I stop apprx every 2 hours for gas. Keepa me from getting overly tired, and if I do get sleepy or tired, I stop at a rest area, park my bike next to me at a picnic bench and take a nap.