There’s more to motorcycles than admiring pristine paintwork and squeaky clean chains. And there’s more to odometers than doubling up as service reminders. Forget that, they’re not ornaments. Our bikes need to be ridden and enjoyed. And we reckon slapping 5000 miles on your clocks with #ride5000miles this year is the best way of doing that.
To prove it, a bunch of our big mileage readers reveal what they get from riding more miles a year; from eliminating stress to saving a wad of cash, blitzing past traffic and becoming a better rider. So what are you waiting for? Get out there, rack up some digits and have a blast!
Bradley Grew, 12,000 miles a year
I used my XT to commute to and from work covering around 6000 miles a year. But I got a little bored of the same old ride so I decided to ramp up the miles with longer trips around the UK before heading into Europe. Last year I racked up an additional 10,000 miles after riding to Turkey and back.
Touring and travelling is the most fun you can have on a motorcycle. I can’t remember living life more than exploring new countries on my bike, off-roading in the middle of nowhere, wild camping and meeting new, amazing people. It’s something I couldn’t do if I was flying from country to country or in a car. Travelling on your motorcycle is an awesome way to rack up miles.
Barry Thompson, 15,000 miles a year
There really is a family feeling when you ride. And you can only get that with riding more – more miles, more clubs and more routes. I commute all year on my Fazer, tour to Wales, Europe with my mates once a year and jump on my Suzuki GSX-R every once in a while –just to scare myself. But when I moved to Cheshire I started going to the Ponderosa Café at the Horseshoe Pass. I’ve made most of my friends today there. It’s an amazing feeling just talking to and getting on with people I’ve never met before. Everyone’s welcome.
Lewis Smith, 35,000 miles a year
I ride everyday of the week and love it. I’ll commute to work on my bike in the morning and then go for a ride straight after work, usually calling on my biking mates on the way home. I love the social vibe you get from riding. As motorcyclists we’ve got our own amazing community. Being in a car is like sitting in a box, on the bike we’re all together doing what we love. I’m part of the Moray Coast Motorcycle Club, I rack up a lot of miles there and with all our charity runs too. I just love that biking social life and the enjoyment of riding. If you get off your bike and don’t have a huge smile on your face, you’ve bought the wrong one.
Matthew Cooper, 10,000 miles a year
I used to only ride my sportsbike on sunny Sundays. But that all changed once I got a new job and traded it in for a Honda NC750X. It’s the slowest bike I’ve ever owned, but it’s changed my life. I’m now doing more miles than ever before, I’ve knocked 40 minutes off my daily commute and it costs me half as much in fuel. I’m way less stressed too, I absolutely hated sitting in traffic. Now I arrive at work chilled, happy and fully awake. But most importantly, I’m a far better rider than I ever used to be.
I never used to go out in the wet but now I ride no matter what the weather is. All those extra miles build your confidence. I’m more aware of my limitations; I’m doing more, going touring and learning loads. I go out all the time and love motorcycling more than ever. I feel like I’ve been missing out! Once you’ve upped your miles, and don’t treat your bike like a weekend toy like I did, then it becomes a completely different thing. It’s much more fun, I wish I’d done it sooner.
Mark Adamson, 7000 miles a year
My wife and I love riding; we head to Europe with a group of mates and do 10-hour days in the saddle exploring. It’s so different to the UK; less traffic, more forgiving drivers and spectacular scenery. Our new thing is flying to countries and hiring bikes there. We recently covered 800 miles riding the length of Vietnam on a little Chinese bike. We didn’t plan anything, just turned up and went for it. We’re off to South Africa soon for six weeks, and we’ll definitely be hiring a bike there too. I massively recommend it. Fly and ride trips are an incredible way to see more of the world on two wheels.
Ian Speight, 16,000 miles a year
I’m a bike trainer for RoSPA and cover 400 miles a month for Advanced Rider Training alone. I’ll then ride another 10,000 in the year for pleasure. Luckily, my partner is bike mad and loves riding pillion.We head off to Europe and on riding weekends covering a couple of thousand miles each time. I’ve found that the more miles you cover the more bike fit you get. And the more bike fit you are the easier and more enjoyable riding becomes.
You’ll learn more too; like how to layer clothing, proper packing, how to travel on a bike and so on. It’s easy to get out there now too; jump on the forums, speak to people in your area, join a club, build a list of biking mates and you’ll have a cracking year.
Allen Millyard, 6000 miles a year
I’ve loved riding motorcycles since I was 10 years old. If I don’t ride everyday my wife says I’m moody. But aside from loving it, riding everyday keeps me sharp. If you tuck your bike away for winter then you’re rusty in summer. It’s like being a fighter pilot; they have to fly all the time to hone their skills. If you ride more miles you’ll be a more proficient rider. It keeps you current, your reactions will be faster, you’ll be more alert and at one with the bike. That’s why we all need at least two bikes. A ‘sensible’ one and a winter hack – like a trail bike, you’ll have just as much fun in the snow and mud!
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