Those who ride motorcycles are all too familiar with the thrill that comes with a burst of fresh air in one’s face. The sheer excitement and freedom that comes with biking are why this method of transportation is viewed as one of the ultimate forms of travel. When it comes to long distances, however, there are many more considerations than simply going on a local day trip.
For those who crave a temporary home on their bike and don’t mind riding for hours on end, then perhaps a motorcycle road trip is perfect. This, and many more pros and cons, should be considered before committing to this unique vacation.
Pros Of Road Trips On A Motorcycle
There are many reasons why one might consider hitting the open road on their hog rather than in a car. It might come from sincere love and passion for the bike, or even from a place of ease and versatility. It might even come from the fact that this means of transportation is often more affordable and lends itself well to a free-flowing itinerary. Here are some pros to consider.
Ease Of Accessibility
There’s no denying that travel is much easier when all one needs to worry about is the vehicle they’re riding, a pack in the back, and the road in front of them. Whereas a car requires more maintenance, full packing, and more fuel, a motorcycle excels in all of these areas. Additionally, pulling into tight spaces or pulling off on the side of the road for some impromptu sightseeing is much more attainable.
The Sheer Thrill Of The Journey
Let’s face it: cars can be pretty boring sometimes. Unless one is taking a ride in a luxury, fully-outfitted SUV, there aren’t many ways to pass the time or find joy in the journey. While on a motorcycle, the joy is the journey. It’s a great way to immerse oneself in the feeling of the landscape, as well as get a genuine feel for one’s surroundings in a new place. With other bikers on the road, there’s a sense of camaraderie that one doesn’t have when driving a car. Okay, maybe in a Jeep – but not every car brand has their own friendly ‘wave.’
While some cars can get pretty decent gas mileage, motorcycles are known for getting 50 – 70 miles to the gallon. It’s pretty impressive considering how many gas stops one typically makes with a car, which makes it affordable simply on fuel alone. Additionally, motorcycles are often charged less in fees when it comes to parking or campsites. For those visiting national parks on a motorcycle, the cost of admission is usually much less than that of a car.
Cons Of Trips On A Motorcycle
Obviously, The Weather
The best time to take a road trip on a motorcycle is during the summer. Any other season, with the exception of early fall, can be a bit dicey when one is depending on two wheels as opposed to four. Anything from slick rain-soaked highways to icy snow-covered overpasses can lead to trouble in a matter of seconds. For this reason, motorcycle travel can be a bit restrictive and when done during the wrong month, even dangerous.
Exhaustion & Fatigue
It takes some serious skill to ride a motorcycle, especially on roads or highways that one might be unfamiliar with. These long hours can definitely cause fatigue for those who are not used to it, which is a major con of long-haul road trips. The best way to avoid this – or, at least, get a feel for it – is to practice prior to the trip. Even being out for 3-4 hours to prepare for an eight-hour drive is better than nothing.
Safety On The Road
It goes without saying that cars do provide more protection on the road than motorcycles do. In the event of an accident, a rider doesn’t have any shield between them and a car or a road obstacle. While not pleasant to think about, road safety is something to consider when one will potentially be hours away from their home. Riders must be aware of the vehicles around them while also paying attention to various road conditions, which only further increases the risk on a long journey.
Understandably, there is a lack of storage space when it comes to traveling on a motorcycle. For this reason, travelers will likely find that their destination options are just as limited. While it’s entirely possible that one might be able to drive six hours or more, a destination that far might be challenged by the sheer lack of ability to bring little more than the essentials – if that.
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