What It’s Really Like to Ride Your Motorcycle Around the United States

The United States of America, or otherwise known as USA is a large country bordered by 2 oceans and 2 countries, Canada to the North and Mexico to the South. The variety of riding in the United States is diverse, plentiful and scenic, from the West coast beaches, over the Colorado Rockies, across the Central States farm & ranch land to the Eastern historic landscapes, all offering epic views!

There is every type of riding available for every type of motorcycle and motorcyclist.

The riding season varies from region to region, the lower states you can ride all year round. (California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Florida and Hawaii of course). The north western states have cooler riding seasons that can start earlier than April, but for the most part the rest of the states ride from April to October depending on how soon the snow flies!

The United States’s population is over 314 million (2013), 3.8 million square miles or 9.9 million square kilometres of land, which is about the same size as Canada’s land mass.

Watch the video! See what the United States is really like on 2 wheels

map of united states

Ride Details

  • Safety:Helmets are only mandatory in some states
  • Seasonal Riding: What states can I ride all year long?
  • Speed & Distance: USA uses the Imperial system, everything is measured in Miles
  • American Roads: Are the road conditions the same through out the whole country? Are there many toll roads?
  • Gas: Priced by the Gallon and readily available
  • Biker Friendly Accommodation: What sort of options are there for clean cheap motels?
  • American Weather: What kind of weather can I expect to ride in, any severe weather patterns I should know about.
  • Border Crossing: Coming from Mexico or Canada, some things to know about
  • National Parks:How many are there? Do they all have a admission fee>

Planning a Ride to the United States?

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Crossing the Border on Motorcycles

crossing into the united states border on motorcyclesCrossing into the United States at any border point from the Canada or Mexico is generally very straight forward and like anywhere depends on the Custom Agent. A Valid Passport is required to enter the USA.

Firearms Rules & Regulations
The ATF regulates and restricts firearms and ammunition and approves all permanent import transactions involving weapons and ammunition. If you want to import weapons or ammunition, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer or manufacturer.
What if I’m returning with the same weapon I left with?
You do not need an ATF permit if you can demonstrate that you are returning with the same firearms or ammunition that you took out of the United States. To prevent problems when returning, you should register your firearms and related equipment by taking them to any
CBP office before you leave the United States.

Helmet Laws & Border Crossing Information

What you need to know about helmet laws, declaring items as you cross any
port of entries into the United States.

Click the button below for more info

Helpful information about Laws in the USA

US of A Laws

Helmet Laws in the United States

Helmet Laws are different by State
It is the law for riders to have a valid driver’s license along with insurance, in some states riders and passengers must wear a DOT approved helmet. See the image to the right for a quick reference for Helmet laws. 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
In a Construction zone, it is the law to slow down to the posted speed limit, 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.
This is known as the Move Over Law.

Riding around the United States, Prepare for any type of weather

Temperatures through out the USA can be extreme from one degree to another, from heat to rain, from wind gusts to tornados, from the perfect blue sky sunshiny day to hail storms… be prepared for all types of weather.

Always Pack your Rain Gear – Depending on the State 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 Southern states and West coast being a longer season. Weather can change in a heart beat, be prepared and have your rain gear easy accessible.

Temperatures are measured in Fahrenheit, quick little conversion to remember

  • 20C = 68F
  • 25C = 77F
  • 30C = 86F
  • 35C = 95F
  • 40C = 104F

In the heat of the summer, temperatures can rise to well above normal, this can lead to dehydration and fatigue.

However… if you are riding in the United States you probably have your sunscreen, water, bug spray and rain gear packed. We discuss seasonal riding and weather conditions in the USA in our post.
read about Seasonal Riding in the USA

What Are The Roads Like in the USA to ride on?

You will agree the roads in the United States are by far some of the best to ride on, from the Interstates, to the secondary roads to the side roads. It is great to see the roads in fine condition and the construction that you may ride through is minor. We asked other riders what they thought of the roads in the United States:

  • “Some of the best black top we have rode on”
  • “I have yet to ride on any gravel roads, knock on wood”
  • “I enjoy the secondary roads, less traffic and great pavement”
  • “Riding in the Northern States can be tricky after a cold winter”
  • “Sometimes that black top is so hot your kickstand sinks when you stop”
  • “yes Sir they are really good roads”

Click the button below for more info

Great information about Roads in the USA

Speed limits and Distances, Imperial System used in the United States

fuel by the gallon in the USAMajority of the world is on the Metric System, if you are coming to tour around the United States, you will want to educate yourself on the Imperial System. All signs stating distance are in miles, the speed limits are miles per hour so make sure you are aware of this for fuel estimations.

Miles to Kilometres
1 Mile = 1.6KM is the standard conversion, example 60 miles is 100 kilometres, which is good to know for speed limits and distances from “A” to “B”.
Speed Limits
The highest speed limits are generally 75 mph (121 km/hr) in western states and 70 mph (113 km/hr) in eastern states. Although some states have faster speed limits, this is the average.
Buy Gas by the Gallon
1 Gallon = 3.79 Litres is the standard conversion.
Pulling up to the gas pumps your fuel is in gallons, a 4.75 gallon tank is converted to about 18 litres of fuel.
Prices vary from State to State, City to City, town to town.

National Parks, so much natural beauty

national park Shenandoah virginiaThere are 58 National Parks in the United States, not every state is blessed with one where California and Alaska have the most. If you are riding by one of the National Parks and you have time, stop in and check out some of the amazing natural beauty.

10 Most Popular National Parks

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee
  2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  3. Yosemite National Park, California
  4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana
  5. Olympic National Park, Washington
  6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
  7. Zion National Park, Utah
  8. Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio
  9. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (just 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park)
  10. Acadia National Park, Maine

Alberta, Canada, Ride Stop n Go, Troy & Ang’s home Province

read more about Motorcycling in Alberta

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