Your Travel Planning Guide for Your Next Motorcycle Vacation

Jan 5, 2024


dozens of motorcycles parked at a scenic look out

Looking to plan your next motorcycle trip? Make the planning process simple and exciting - a ride you can’t wait to embark on. Whether you’re traveling to a destination and hoping on a motorcycle rental or taking a journey on your own, there’s lots of considerations. Where do I go? Is it the right destination and route? Should I schedule a tour? What do I pack? Where do I stay? How do I make the most of this? 

Understood. And trust us, we get it. No trip ever goes 100% as planned, but ensuring you’re making choices with your goals and spirit of adventure in mind is what makes it worthwhile. Here are our most-used tips:

1. Choosing the Right Destination

Picking the destination is the step that sets the tone for your entire trip. Here are some key considerations to help you choose the perfect destination:

  1. Reflect on what gets you excited about traveling
  2. Choose a destination that aligns with your interests
  3. Consider distance and duration
  4. Don’t forget about seasonality and weather
  5. Availability of motorcycle accommodations

Best Motorcycle Destinations for Your Next Getaway

Embark on a motorcycle adventure to some of the most scenic spots in the United States. Whether it's a couples' ride or a solo journey, these destinations promise a perfect mix of exhilaration and relaxation:

  • Asheville, North Carolina: Cruise through the Blue Ridge Parkway, delve into the vibrant art scene, and enjoy local craft breweries in this picturesque mountain town.
  • Texas Hill Country: Ride the thrilling Twisted Sisters route, explore charming vineyards, and experience the warm Texan hospitality.
  • Finger Lakes, New York: Traverse romantic vineyard landscapes, discover cascading waterfalls, and enjoy the serene beauty of the lakes.
  • Deals Gap, North Carolina: Famous for the Tail of the Dragon, presents an exhilarating challenge with 318 curves across 11 miles. Set against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, this area is also home to some of the country's most popular motorcycle resorts.

These destinations are ideal for motorcyclists seeking a blend of adventure and cultural experiences. 

Image of an intersection in front of the Tail of the Dragon a deals gap motorcycle resort

Planning for Motorcycle Travel During Winter

  • Monitor Weather Forecasts: Choose clear, less icy days for local rides.
  • Travel to Warmer Climates: Consider states with milder winters.
  • Maintain Your Bike: Ensure it's winter-ready, with special attention to tires and brakes.
  • Prepare Your Gear: Wear layers, thermal protection, and waterproof gear.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with local road conditions and closures.

For more information about some of the best winter travel destinations, visit our blog, “Best Winter Travel Destinations in the USA.

Going for an event?

  • Book Early: Book your accommodations well in advance, especially for popular events like Daytona Bike Week or The One Moto Show.
  • Plan Your Route: Choose scenic or direct routes based on your preference and the event location, like Bama Bike Fest or Laconia Bike Week.
  • Check Your Bike: Ensure your motorcycle is in top condition before setting off.
  • Know the Event Schedule: Familiarize yourself with the activities and timings, especially for large gatherings like the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
  • Budget Wisely: Consider all costs including travel, accommodation, and event-related expenses.

These tips will help streamline your motorcycle trip planning to any event. Don’t worry about the things you can plan ahead for. 

Ariel view of a drag strip at Bama Bike fest

2. Choosing the Right Motorcycle Route

Planning your next motorcycle trip and wondering which roads to travel? We've got some great recommendations for you. Here’s how you can pick the best routes that promise a memorable ride.

  • Consider the Scenery: Choose routes that offer stunning views and enjoyable rides, like the Hudson Valley route from NYC to Albany or the scenic A1A Highway from Orlando to Daytona Beach.
  • Plan for Stops: Routes with interesting stops, such as state parks along the Hudson River or attractions like Daytona Beach Boardwalk, enhance the journey.
  • Match the Route to Your Skill Level: Some routes, like the Grand Circle Tour from Page to Monument Valley, offer challenging rides through diverse landscapes. Ensure the route matches your riding skills.
  • Weather and Climate: Consider the climate of your destination. Routes like Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana are seasonal, while others like the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu in Los Angeles offer year-round riding.
  • Consider Culture: If you enjoy cultural immersion, pick routes that pass through areas rich in history and culture, such as the Tamiami Trail in Miami.

Remember, the right route can turn a simple motorcycle trip into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Whether it's a weekend getaway or a longer vacation, consider these factors to choose the best route for your journey.

Tips for Planning a Guided Motorcycle Tour

Getting your custom motorcycle tour just right is all about nailing the details that matter most to you. It’s more than just picking pit stops and routes. Let’s break down how to make your dream ride a reality:

  1. What are you looking for? Make a list
  2. Group Size Matters
  3. Ride Duration
  4. How far are you willing to go?
  5. Pick a guide that matches your style and expectations
  6. Is culture important to you?
  7. Be upfront about budget
  8. Spur-of-the-moment or structured?
  9. Is a bike included?

By keeping these points in mind, you can tailor a motorcycle tour that’s just the right mix of adventure, comfort, and exploration for you. For more info on choosing the best tour for you, visit our blog, “Finding the Best Bespoke Custom Motorcycle Tour.

3. Prepping Your Bike Or Renting One

Your Bike

  • Check brakes, tires, lights, and fluids.
  • Double-check tires are in good condition and properly inflated.
  • Charge the battery if needed.
  • Fit saddlebags or a luggage rack for longer trips.
  • Carry a basic toolkit and first-aid kit.

Renting a Bike

  • Choose a bike style that fits your trip’s requirements
  • Read reviews of the bike you’re renting
  • Inspect the rental bike for any pre-existing damage & ask for tips for that specific bike
  • Understand the rental terms and insurance coverage
  • Check if roadside assistance is available

Need to rent a motorcycle? How much will it cost?

On average, it costs around $100-150 a day to rent a motorcycle, depending on where you rent it from. With Riders Share, you can cut that cost down significantly- with bikes starting at $25/day. For a more in-depth look at how much a motorcycle rental will cost you, click HERE

4. Tips for Packing Gear

  1. Pack light, only take what you need
  2. Use Waterproof Bags
  3. Dress in Layers
  4. Carry Basic Repair Tools
  5. Keep a First-Aid Kit
  6. Secure Everything (And we mean everything)

5. Choosing Motorcycle-Friendly Accommodations & Stops

Picking the right accommodations and stops is key. Make sure to look out for motorcycle-friendly lodging that offers secure parking for your bike – a must for peace of mind. Lots of places also provide special amenities for riders, like washing stations or toolkits. For stops, consider places with easy parking and access, ideally those that cater to bikers with services or discounts. Don't forget to check out local diners or cafes popular among the riding community; they're great for a meal and might just offer some valuable local riding tips. 

Remember, the right stops and stays can elevate your motorcycle journey from good to great.

6. Documenting Memories

  • Consider a helmet cam
  • Document pics on your phone whenever you can
  • Pack a small tripod for your phone for group pictures
  • Have friends follow along on social media
  • Remember to back up your photos to a cloud or drive as you go
  • Journal your experiences

7. Make the Most of Your Experience

For a truly memorable motorcycle trip, find a balance in your itinerary. If you’re riding for hours a day, make sure to take some time to relax at diner, try new experiences, take a hike, or even just nap. Remember, it's not about filling every moment but about enjoying them. And don't forget the importance of a buffer day – getting things in order before you leave and allowing yourself a day to unwind and soak in the memories after you get back. 

Ready to Plan Your Motorcycle Trip?

As you throttle down the highway of your next motorcycle vacation, remember that the perfect trip is in the details. From picking destinations that speak to your soul, to making sure your bike is in good condition, every aspect contributes to your vacation. With the right prep work, a spirit for exploration, and a knack for soaking in every moment, your motorcycle journey promises to be more than just a ride – it's an experience that will linger long after the engine quiets down.