Tips for “Fly and Ride” Motorcycle Vacations

Say you want to take a motorcycle vacation in another country? Or even just across the country, but you don’t want to waste half of your vacation riding to the place you actually want to experience? While motorcycle riding is about the journey, not the destination, once you’ve exhausted all of the journeys in your area, it may be time to start considering a “fly and ride” vacation. This way, you can spend more time enjoying new roads and the open air, than traveling to your newest ride.

Fly and Ride Motorcycle Vacations

Of course, unless you’re willing to spring for a private jet, you may not be able to take your beloved bike with you. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Before you get on the plane, research the motorcycle rental companies located at your destination. Find one that has a bike you are familiar with and a reasonable rate. You are likely going to want to reserve the motorcycle before you arrive, so that you are guaranteed a vehicle. Some companies even provide luggage storage services and may pick you up at the airport, so you don’t even have to worry about finding the company once you’ve arrived.

 

If you are adventurous, this might be the perfect time to check out a bike you’ve always wanted to test out but have never before had the chance. Many riders opt for the same model as they own, to make the transition smooth and easy. Before signing your contract, make sure you know the rental requirements, the local helmet and safety laws, and any insurance that needs to be filed.

 

Packing is probably the most difficult aspect of getting ready for a fly and ride motorcycle vacation. If you are planning on being gone for more than a week, you likely have a lot of gear you want to bring, no matter whether your climate is hot or cold. Unless you can find a way to carry all of that gear onto the plane, the best way to make sure it arrives at your destination safe and sound and on time, is to ship it.

 

Consider this: most airlines charge a steep fee for checking more than one bag (or even for checking a single bag). Those fees multiply exponentially if your bag is over the weight limit. And then there is the possibility that your bag or bags won’t actually make it to your destination, throwing a huge wrench into your plan. Instead of adding all of those costs and uncertainty into your trip, pack everything up a few days before you board the plane and ship it to your hotel.

 

To reduce space and keep your pack organized, try rolling your clothes instead of folding them and packing outfits together so you don’t have to dig to find what you are looking for. And have a safe flight and a great ride!

What You Should Know about Traveling by Motorcycle in Mexico

If you are considering taking a motorcycle trip through Mexico, the first thing you want to know is that it is going to be hot. If you are a lover of the desert, you are in for some fantastic vistas, windy roads, and incredible rides. Aside from the abundant wildlife and the unique, almost extraterrestrial environment, you may be concerned about how dangerous it may be to travel in Mexico. Others of you probably don’t care—motorcycle riding is already a dangerous pursuit, why not add a little more danger in?

Motorcycle in Mexico

In general, reports of Mexico’s danger have been largely exaggerated, especially if you are a smart traveler. Governments and media alike have disseminated not necessarily false, but inflated claims of violence against foreigners, especially “migrant” travelers, like motorcycle riders, who are constantly on the move and sometimes difficult for the government to track. Largely, these reports play into a fear that the public has already cultivated.

 

But, let’s be honest. There are bad people everywhere. There are likely parts of your own city or town that you avoid because you know only trouble waits there. Mexico is the same way. If you want to stay safe, there are some parts that you avoid. If you want to enjoy the sun, sand, and people, there are plenty of places in Mexico that are welcoming, friendly, and perfectly safe.

 

Every border in the world has seen some turmoil. Right now, the border between the U.S. and Mexico is experiencing a little bit of tension, but it’s nothing like, let’s say, the border between the Ukraine and Russia right now. If you are crossing the border on one of the major thoroughfares, going through border control, however, you’re not going to have any problems, just as the hundreds of thousands of people who do that every year have absolutely no problems.

 

One of the biggest lies that is told about Mexico is the high murder rate. The truth is that more people are killed in Washington D.C. each year than are killed in Mexico’s capital city. There is just as much gang activity in any large U.S. city as there is anywhere in Mexico. For some reason, people really enjoy talking up all of the dangers in Mexico when those same dangers exist in the U.S.

 Mexico motorcycle trips

The best way to get into Mexico is to cross the border in the morning. Stay somewhere close to the border the night before and cross as early in the morning as you can. Like any highway, driving at night can be dangerous and should be avoided. Be respectful, especially of police officers. If an officer tries to fine you on the spot, ask them to lead you to the nearest station, where you will be happy to pay a fine for any laws you have actually broken. Use your head and you’ll be perfectly safe!

Riding a Motorcycle in Severe Weather

Just because it’s not sunny doesn’t mean you have to keep the motorcycle in the garage. If you still want to go out and ride, even in bad weather, there are a few things you can do to make it easier and safer. Don’t let rain keep you from riding, but do be wary of the road conditions. As a general rule, if you wouldn’t want to drive a car through it, don’t ride your bike through it, either. 

riding a motorcycle in severe weather

If it’s just raining, you probably do not need to take too many precautions. If you don’t want to get wet, make sure you have a waterproof riding suit. Sometimes a motorcycle rain jacket is not enough, if you’re looking to stay dry. You are going to want long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and a collar that tucks under your helmet to ensure to water gets inside.

 

If this is the first rain of the season or the first rain for a couple of weeks, the road will likely be a little slippery. For experienced riders, this is neither a surprise nor a problem. Give the rain an hour or so to wash the oil and dirt of the asphalt. If there is lots of standing water or a thin layer of foam on the road, you know it will be slippery goings if you do try to ride. Keep in mind that the striping on a road can become especially slick during inclement weather, so plan accordingly.

 

If you’ve ever ridden a windy road, you know how forceful it can be. Wind can throw a car around, and it can do much worse to a motorcycle. This can make some riders very tense, as they are trying to compensation for the seeming loss of control. In fact, the best way to deal with strong winds on the road is to stay loose.

 

Not only will this prevent a large gust of wind from jolting your arms, it will also give you the necessary reflexes to handle any wind that pushes the bike. In general, if visibility is low and winds are high, it might be best just to pull off and wait for the storm to pass.

 

Most bikers decide up front not to ever ride in snow, but sometimes it is a necessity. If you are only a few miles from home and it starts to flake, getting him is probably the best option, rather than pulling off and waiting for it to stop. Fresh, un-flattened snow is the easiest to ride in, as it will not yet have tracks that can pull at your bike and cause you to slip.

 

If the snow has already been driven over, try to stay in the middle of the tracks, as driven-over snow is very slippery. Keep a safe distance between you and other riders and cars.