Guide to Riding a Motorcycle in Arizona

Feb 19, 2024


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Arizona's diverse landscapes and sunny weather make it a motorcyclist's paradise. From the scenic vistas of the Grand Canyon to the vibrant streets of Phoenix, riding through Arizona is an experience unlike any other. This guide offers insights into making the most of your motorcycle journey in the Grand Canyon State.

What You’ll Find in This Blog:

Is Arizona a good state to ride a motorcycle in?

Absolutely! Arizona's climate, with over 300 days of sunshine annually, and its varied terrain, from desert flatlands to mountainous regions, offer ideal conditions for motorcycle riders. The state's well-maintained roads and breathtaking landscapes add to the appeal.

When’s the best time to ride a motorcycle in Arizona?

The best time to ride in Arizona is typically from late February to early May and then from late September to November. During these periods, the weather is comfortably warm, and the risk of extreme heat or monsoon rains is minimal, providing perfect riding conditions.

What are Arizona’s motorcycle laws?

  • License: A motorcycle license or endorsement is required to operate a motorcycle.
  • Helmet Law: Helmets are mandatory for riders under 18. Although optional for adults, they are highly recommended.
  • Lane Splitting: The updated legislation permits motorcycles to lane-split, allowing them to navigate between lanes of stationary vehicles, but only if the rider maintains a speed not exceeding 15 mph. However, there are specific limitations on where lane-splitting is permissible: riders cannot use the road's shoulder or median for passing. Additionally, this practice is exclusively sanctioned on highways where the posted speed limit is 45 mph or lower.
  • Eye Protection: Required unless the bike is equipped with a windscreen.
  • Insurance: Motorcyclists must have liability insurance coverage.
  • Sound: The regulation in Arizona prohibits muffler cutouts, bypasses, or any analogous devices on motorcycles.

Motorcycle Events & Festivals in Arizona

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Arizona Bike Week: One of the largest motorcycle events in the Southwest, featuring concerts, contests, and rides in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Thunder Valley Rally: A mix of scenic rides and live music in Cottonwood.

Tucson Motorcycle Expo: Showcases the latest models and accessories.

For more information on Arizona motorcycle festivals and events, visit HERE

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Motorcycle Rentals in Arizona

Whether you’re planning a short day trip or a longer ride in Arizona, Riders Share is your go-to destination for motorcycle rentals in Arizona. With hundreds of bikes to choose from across the state and in popular destinations like Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale, you’ll find the right motorcycle rental for you, all from $25/day. 

Motorcycle Day Trips from Phoenix

  • Sedona: Known for its red rock formations and spiritual vortexes.
  • Prescott: Offers a historic downtown and cooler mountain air.
  • Tortilla Flat: A scenic and curvy ride through the Superstition Mountains.

For more day trips and information on the above, visit HERE

Best Motorcycle Rides in Arizona

  • Route 66: Experience the historic charm of one of America's original highways.
  • Apache Trail: A challenging ride with stunning canyon and lake views.
  • Mount Lemmon Scenic Byway: A refreshing climb with diverse flora and fauna.

For more of the best motorcycle rides in Arizona with maps, start/end points, and highlights, visit HERE

Motorcycle Day Trip to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix

A trip to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix is an all-day adventure, covering about 230 miles each way. The ride offers incredible views and diverse landscapes, making it a bucket-list journey for any motorcycle enthusiast.

For more information on how you can take a day trip from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon, visit HERE

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Riding Tips

Riding a motorcycle in Arizona is not just about the route or the bike; it's also crucial to prioritize safety and be well-equipped for the journey. This section provides essential tips on gear and safety for an enjoyable and secure riding experience in Arizona.

Gear Up for Safety and Comfort

Helmet: Choose a DOT-approved helmet for the best protection. Consider helmets with visors to shield against the intense Arizona sun.

Riding Jacket and Pants: Opt for breathable, yet protective gear to stay comfortable in Arizona's climate.

Gloves: A pair of sturdy gloves can protect your hands from the sun, as well as improve grip.

Boots: Durable, over-the-ankle boots are essential for protection and comfort during long rides.

Stay Hydrated and Protected from the Sun

Hydration: Arizona's dry heat can be deceptive. Carry enough water and stay hydrated to prevent heat exhaustion.

Sunscreen: Apply and reapply sunscreen during your trip to protect against sunburn.

Be Prepared for Changing Conditions

Weather Awareness: Keep an eye on the weather, as conditions can change rapidly, especially during monsoon season.

Emergency Kit: Always carry a basic motorcycle emergency kit, including tools, a tire repair kit, and a first aid kit.

Know Your Route

Map It Out: Familiarize yourself with your route. GPS systems are helpful, but it's good to have a physical map as a backup.

Rest Stops: Plan for regular rest stops to stretch and take breaks, which is crucial on longer journeys.

Experience the Open Road in Arizona

Riding a motorcycle in Arizona is an exhilarating experience that combines adventure with the beauty of the Southwest. Whether a local or a visitor, exploring Arizona on two wheels is an unforgettable way to experience the state's natural wonders and vibrant culture.

Remember always to ride safely and adhere to local laws to ensure a memorable and enjoyable journey through Arizona.