woman looking at map with motorcycle

Planning a Motorcycle Trip

Updated April 1, 2024 . AmFam Team

If you’re planning a motorcycle trip, our tips can help you plan that route and enjoy the ride.

Some folks consider a full tank of gas and a little chunk of time all they need to hit the road on their motorcycle. But hammering out some details first can improve any ride, especially if you’re rolling with a group. So, whether you’re in charge or going solo, here are some things to think about to plan your motorcycle trip.

How much time do you have? When life slows down, you hop on the bike and speed it up again. Make the time you have count by accurately estimating from experience how many miles you can lay down in a day. If you’ve done 300-400 miles a day, remember what the weather was, which bike you were on, road conditions and how many were in your group, and adjust your estimate accordingly. Be honest with yourself about the number of gas or rest stops, and figure in unplanned stops. Obviously for a multi-day trip, some days include hard riding, but be open to new experiences and make the journey memorable.

Where can you go? If you know the miles you can ride in a day, and how many days you have, the rest is simple math. Of course, there are well-known stretches of tarmac on every rider’s bucket list. But dig deeper. In addition to these epic rides, there are tasty, well-traveled scenic stretches that might not be as popular, but equally enjoyable. When you’re in a new town, using social media is a great way to find a local riding club and learn about new routes and one-of-a-kind destinations.

Where you’ll sleep. One thing is certain, for most people when it comes to lodging, planning is key. If your group is embarking on a multi-day ride, think about the nights you’d like to have a soft bed and a pool, maybe after a long ride. And if everyone is up for sleeping under the stars, check around for accommodating campsites on your route and make reservations. Keep in mind if camping is in the mix, factor in packing considerations, and budget accordingly for motels.

Fuel for bike and body. Here is where a little pre-ride research comes in handy. If you can find a few gas stations at intervals that work with your group, it’ll add to your peace of mind before you set out. When it comes to food, heck, this is America where even in remote places you’ll likely putt by some grub, but it’s still a good idea to pack snacks. Remember though, unique places make a trip memorable and shouldn’t be missed. So, check ahead for those locals-only gems.

Maps and roads. Smartphones have made mapping a bike route easy and flexible. Not only can you choose your destination and get directions, you can add all your stops with the “add destination” option, and then drag the suggested route to add roads you want to try. Best thing about it, once you figure out the perfect route, you can share it with your group.

Helpful apps. The trips you take on your bike can create lasting memories that help you bond with your friends. Head over to the App Store (Opens in a new tab) or Google Play (Opens in a new tab) for top-rated motorcycle apps that help you enhance each of those adventures.

Enjoy the open road on your next adventurous motorcycle journey!

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