What It’s Really Like to Ride Your Motorcycle Through Canada
Canada is a large country bordered by 3 oceans and the USA. The variety of riding in Canada is extensive and scenic, from the Rockies in the West, the Central Prairies to the Eastern Maritimes and to the Northern forest.
There is every type of riding available for every type of motorcycle and motorcyclist.
The riding season in general is from April to October with longer seasons on the west coast and southern Ontario.
Canada’s population is over 35 million, 3.8 million square miles or 9.9 million square kilometres of land… there are a lot of roads to ride! Come Ride in Canada!
Watch the video! See what Canada is really like on 2 wheels
- Safety:Helmets are mandatory in all Provinces
- Seasonal Riding: Can I ride year round in Canada?
- Speed & Distance: Canada is metric, everything is measured in Kilometres
- Canadian Roads: Are the road conditions the same through out the whole country. Will I ride on ice roads?
- Gas: Priced by the Litre and readily available
- Biker Friendly Accommodation: What sort of options are there for clean cheap motels?
- Canadian Weather: Cool mornings, cool evenings and good idea to have rain gear readily accessible.
- Border Crossing: you’ll want to be aware of this
Planning a Ride to Canada?
Read the rest of this page for trip planning details. You’ll be glad you did. If you find it useful, please share it
Border Crossing and Speed Limits
Crossing the Canadian Border on Motorcycles
Crossing into Canada at any border point from the USA is generally very straight forward and like anywhere depends on the Custom Agent. A Valid Passport is required to enter Canada. What you can NOT bring with you…
- No firearms are allowed
- All travellers must declare to Canadian Customs authorities any firearms and weapons in their possession when entering Canada.
- What if I’m riding to Alaska through Canada?
Canadian Speed limits and Distances
For anyone not used to Kilometres, you will want to watch your speedometer and learn a quick conversion. All signs stating distance are also in Kilometres, be aware of this for fuel estimations.
- Miles to Kilometres
- A standard conversion reference is 55mph is 90km/hr which is good to know for speed limits and distances from “A” to “B”.
- Speed Limits in Towns
- Majority of towns have a 50km/hr speed limit, which is 30mph and in school zones, playground zones it is 30km/hr which is just under 20mph.
- Buy Gas by the Litre
- Pulling up to the gas pumps your fuel is in Litres, a 18Litre tank will hold around 4.75 gallons. Prices vary from Province to Province, City to City, town to town.
Riding in Canada, Prepare for any type of weather
Just because it is July and the temperature is hot, doesn’t mean you won’t get caught in a rain, hail or snow storm.
Always Pack your Rain Gear – Depending on the Province you are riding in will determine the extremity you can experience. For the most part riding season is April to October, with the exception of the West Coast and Southern Ontario being a longer season. Weather can change in a heart beat, be prepared and have your rain gear easy accessible.
Mornings are cool, often dew on your windshields and the evenings cool down when the sun goes down, except for the prairies, they tend to hold their heat and their cold.
However… if you are riding in Canada you probably are not a fair weathered rider. We discuss seasonal riding and weather conditions in Canada in our post.
Seasonal Riding in Canada
Road Conditions, Helmet Laws and Animals in Canada
What Are Canadian Roads Like?
People may joke but they do wonder if the roads are made of ice? People ask if only the main Highways are paved? If you have never been to Canada you will soon find out there are many paved highways, main, secondary and rural. Roads conditions vary from province to province, county to county and with a mass amount of roads through out this great country, you will also experience some gravel roads. We asked other riders what they thought of the roads in Canada:
- “Trans Canada Highway #1 is so different from province to province”
- “the secondary roads are better than I was expecting “
- “always construction, but I guess that just means better roads”
- “we’ve rode on some gravel roads, pretty good hard packed”
- “spring time use caution with the frost heaves “
- “roads are really good, I’m quite surprised”
There’s a few more details we’d like to share, so have a look at our post about it.
- DOT Approved Helmet
- It is the law for riders and passengers to wear a DOT approved helmet, you must have a valid driver’s license and insurance is also mandatory. Safety is important while riding, being alert and aware of your surroundings is key to a fun safe ride, signage is very good in most areas.
- Construction Zone
- Spring, Summer and Fall there is a lot of construction to rebuild all these millions of kilometers of roads, it is the law to slow down to the posted speed limit through a construction zone, fines are STEEP!
- Passing Emergency Vehicles
- At any time you pass an emergency vehicle (Police, Ambulance, Tow Truck, etc) on the shoulder of the road or in a lane, it is the law to slow down to 60km/hr
Watch Out for Canadian Wildlife
Canada is known for its wildlife, big or small there are a lot of animals all across this great land. When riding your motorcycle, from far it is really exciting to see that animal, hoping your passenger has their camera ready for the perfect shot. When it is NOT exciting is when the animal is on the road in your path, grazing on the side of the road or quickly making that mad dash across the road.
Across Canada you will find similar animals from Province to Province, like the white tail deer/ mule deer can be found from east to west, north to south.
Animals from Ontario to West of the Mountains that you may see:
- Buffalo, Elk, Moose, Caribou, Wolves, Cougars, Black & Brown Bears
- Mountain Goats, Big Horn Sheep, Lynx, Coyotes, Foxes,
- Raccoons, Badgers, gophers and all kinds of birds
NEVER STOP WHEN WILDLIFE IS NEAR
Animals in the Maritimes that you may see:
- Black Bear, Moose,
- White Tail Deer
- Lots of birds
Alberta, Ang’s home Province
Find More Information about all the Provinces
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