Anyways, a few people asked me about general advice when going on a big motorcycle trip, and I thought it to be nice to turn it into an 8-rule list of impenetrable wisdom. Some of them apply as much to riding in general as they do to big trips, but alright... here goes!
Rule #1: Don't do anything other than riding
This seems kind of obvious, but especially when multimiling it's easy to let your mind wander off, lose focus and look for other stuff to entertain yourself. It's also the main reason my tankbag doesn't take the maps for the route - I can't afford to try and find out my route while traffic is upon me.
Unless it's something I can see in a glance like the time (watch on handlebars) or general direction (compass), I am not going to bother.
Sometimes though I still need to remind myself of this rule, eg. when my tent had moved around on the bike during the Britain-tour and I wanted to put it back while riding (in photo). Self-slap on the wrist, pull over, job done.
Rule #2: Beware of the Abominable Cager Ninjas (what's a cager?)
A rule of thumb is simply to ride as if everyone's both blind and crazy. See the signs, plan ahead, and defuse an attack before it takes place.
Rule #3: Ease up, calm down
If a schedule is really necessary (e.g. to get to a ferry in time) make sure you plan in enough leeway for any unforeseen hiccups. Keep distances under 400km a day to help you with this. Also, prevent riding at night as much as you can.
Rule #4: Avoid city centres with the bike as much as possible
Traffic in city centres is usually a stop-start kind of thing, which on a multimile tour is something you just don't need.
Sure, it's nice to visit cities of interest (I know I have) but when you're lugging 500-600 pounds of motorcycle around without any riding wind to cool you down, circumstances will quickly become annoyingly uncomfortable. It's bound to become a downright exhausting affair, which in turn compromises your patience and with it, your safety.
Rule #5: Fill up when you can ( be it petrol, oil or air)
It's also useful to take into account that the extra luggage eats away at your regular mileage - normally, I use around 1L per 22km and on a trip this drops to 1:20.
Furthermore, keep an eye on oil consumption and tire pressure - things which are easily overlooked. During the Greece trip, I made it a tradition to start a day with topping up fuel as well as checking tire pressure (something which you should do with cold tires anyways).
Rule #6: When in Rome, ride as the Romans do
Rule #7: Keep it simple
Another thing is the equipment itself. It's nice to have a gazillion gadgetries, but they'll all need power and subsequently run the risk of breaking down. Things like a booklet as a diary or a paper map for navigation won't ever break. The less complicated something is, the less there is on it to go wrong.
Rule #8: Don't forget to spoil yourself
Ofcourse, everyone of you is a battle hardened testosterone pumping steel muncher whose only requirement of a bed is a flat surface (AHRRRR!), but don't forget to ease off the gas. Pamper yourself a few times... you know you want to. And besides, you gotta recharge your cam batteries somewhere, right?