Long-Haul Motorcycle Touring - Tips for Staying Awake
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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  • Mark Golden
    Mark Golden

    Great content

  • ShadowAviator

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

  • Open Skies
    Open Skies

    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.

  • T Hurney
    T Hurney

    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!

  • Travel David
    Travel David

    Found some old German chocolate. THAT KEEPS ME AWAKE

  • 984francis

    I've always done stretches while riding.

  • Dylan Briggs
    Dylan Briggs

    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

  • raymond wandell
    raymond wandell

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

  • Sanatan Dharma
    Sanatan Dharma

    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!!!

  • Marc Ritz
    Marc Ritz

    Does Ryan understand analog clocks?

  • Tamara Zawada
    Tamara Zawada

    Was this whole video shot in one long take?

  • DarthBop

    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.

  • who am i
    who am i

    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

  • Roadstar1602

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

  • Martin Schulman
    Martin Schulman

    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.

  • jeremy furr
    jeremy furr

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

  • S Tho
    S Tho

    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.

  • ThePreppersBunkerOutdoors

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

  • Sandford Prince
    Sandford Prince

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

  • Nick S
    Nick S

    The best biker channel by a country mile

  • Jabber 1974
    Jabber 1974

    Best time for staying awake? Get enough sleep.

  • Henry Wes
    Henry Wes

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

  • Dave auf dem BMW
    Dave auf dem BMW

    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. 👌🏼

  • keith burt
    keith burt

    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° !!

  • Free2 Roam
    Free2 Roam

    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.

  • DairyBastardGOW1

    Comments are good for the FIbill algorithm

  • mike

    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.

  • asxtc

    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..

  • Anton

    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.

    • Anton

      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.

  • sam'ool red
    sam'ool red

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

  • DailyFunny TV
    DailyFunny TV

    2:37 RIP headphone users

  • The Vibe
    The Vibe

    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.

  • dippitydoinit

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

  • Digger

    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.

  • Preston Woods
    Preston Woods

    Nice videos. I don't even ride motorcycles.

  • Motero Argentino
    Motero Argentino

    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.

  • Oliver Puczyk
    Oliver Puczyk

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

  • jeff Anderson
    jeff Anderson

    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.

  • Tobias

    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.

  • Dave

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

  • Fureiman

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

  • Janmejay Dave
    Janmejay Dave

    Really helpful tips.

  • W_Callaghan

    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

  • wazza33racer

    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.

  • Maximilian Noé
    Maximilian Noé

    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

  • Harmonious Embodiment
    Harmonious Embodiment

    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!

  • Patricia Frazier
    Patricia Frazier

    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.

  • Aden Green
    Aden Green

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

  • Mike Fu
    Mike Fu

    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.

  • Matt Thomson
    Matt Thomson

    Excellent info; love your brick wallpaper!

  • daft nord
    daft nord

    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?

  • BigFiveJack

    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.)

  • Mykhailo Diuzhenko
    Mykhailo Diuzhenko

    Thumbs up for Leonard Cohen!

  • Clemente de la Cuadra
    Clemente de la Cuadra

    Stop and take a nap. Jeezus !!!

  • Oleg Baskakov
    Oleg Baskakov

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

  • Jesus Tyrone Christ
    Jesus Tyrone Christ

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

  • Jeff

    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.

  • Pay Way
    Pay Way

    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.

  • ian long
    ian long

    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

  • MaG420

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

  • LuLu, Sweet Thing
    LuLu, Sweet Thing

    I ride a scout. No passenger pegs on mine

  • santiago maspons
    santiago maspons

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

  • kato64

    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?

  • jayw900

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

  • Wayne

    Try Adderall and coffee people. Works for me everytime.

  • Marcin Wojtczuk
    Marcin Wojtczuk

    That water trip is priceless! Thank you!

  • Riding Is My Medicine
    Riding Is My Medicine

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

  • Tangent

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

  • DeBee Corley
    DeBee Corley

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

  • James Cardus
    James Cardus

    Dayam those transitions...

  • O. L.
    O. L.

    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?

  • Ghosthound

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

  • Bob Jones
    Bob Jones

    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.

  • Wat Dat
    Wat Dat

    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.

  • Micky c
    Micky c

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

  • Peter

    Feeling sleepy watching this.

  • Clint Flippo
    Clint Flippo

    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.

  • Clouded.beatbox

    Those transitions are smoother than butter

  • Sleepy

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

  • Tatonka Smith
    Tatonka Smith

    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...

  • ozzyg82

    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.

  • OldCountryman

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

  • Quinten Nobbe
    Quinten Nobbe

    This video is so good!

  • MarkusT

    " 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.

  • DS

    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.

  • L Hurst
    L Hurst

    The threat of a violent death always kept me awake.

  • Souvik deb
    Souvik deb

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

  • Anthony Cerbone
    Anthony Cerbone

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

  • Robert Prehn
    Robert Prehn

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

  • Raphi Huber Climbing
    Raphi Huber Climbing

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

  • Jordan

    Do the pan America

  • IDrayas2

    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.

  • Juan Mejia
    Juan Mejia

    You guys deserve more subs.

  • JETZcorp

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

  • merciah

    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.

  • Gautam Pallakki
    Gautam Pallakki

    2:39 I choked.

    • Gautam Pallakki
      Gautam Pallakki

      Just like K pop stars chocking on each other. lol

  • Gale Hess
    Gale Hess

    I have studied driving, and studied many physical performance factors for a decade, and found some things do help: Get a good nights rest 2 nights prior to your ride, and ideally the prior night as well. Eat regularly through the prior days, no 4+ hour stretches of not eating, which deplete glycogen and don't help your cells store up energy. Your brain and body BOTH demand glycogen to function/have energy. In the days leading up: Stretch your hamstrings (long, gentle stretches, further as your body warms up, or do a warm up prior, 10 minute fast walk/jog). Eat all the time. To avoid losing energy after a few hours and more so after 5-7 hoiurs, eat 1/4 PB/Jelly sandwich (or similar) hourly from the start, and if racing, eat and drink every 15 (ideal) -30 minutes (sugar water type stuff, or better quality options). (Brush your teeth if you get a chance, you will rot your teeth if you use this often). Cut glare with a mini visor/photochromic sun glass lens/shaded visor and shaded retractable insert (eg, Nolan N44 helmet)., wear earplugs, set the bike up well ergonomically, get gel inserted into your seat cushion. Frequent quick breaks, before you need them.. !!!!! Sip hydrating beverage, eat 2 bites of carbs, roll out. Relax. (no phone/gps/music/stimulus). If it's a truly long day, your main problem will be getting over stimulated. If you are focused on the road, you will have plenty to think about and other stuff takes mental band width from life/death/efficiency and will tire you out. You only have so many pennies in your bank of brain power, don't spend them on dumb stuff. Your body is a machine, treat it accordingly. Change your oil and use synthetic, don't skip filter changes, use good replacement parts, keep it clean, etc. Just like a used bike (see the segment on that from FortNine), your body and how you take care of it play a roll, too. You need the entire package. Not having oil in your motor is a deal breaker, as is not getting rest the nights leading up, not eating right, not sitting right, staring into setting sun glare, distractions all day long, etc.

  • Colin M
    Colin M

    Best transition thus far.

  • Mech Weeb
    Mech Weeb

    Great transition out of the garage. Really smooth.

  • Gus Klemp
    Gus Klemp

    I can drive, roll a joint and sing a song in the same time. lol