There is just something adventurous yet romantic about barreling down the interstate with the wind against your face while traveling on two wheels. Thanks to movies like Easy Rider, Biker Boyz and even Mad Max, cruising across the country on a motorcycle is the ultimate dream for many bike owners. Unlike in the movies however, planning a trip across the country with a motorcycle takes quite a bit of careful planning to ensure that everything will be handled safely. You will need to figure out which route to take, what you need to bring with you, how long everything will take and also, whether you should ride both ways or make plans to ship the bike at least part of the way. There are pros and cons to both riding, and shipping your bike.
Riding the Bike
- Riding Pros: Riding your bike across the country can have quite a few excellent advantages. If you are an avid rider, you know how your bike handles the road when you ride it. You most likely feel safe when you are riding and it’s unlikely that you’ll have anything that will unnecessarily shock you during the ride. Riding your bike is a great way to keep your cross country or vacation budget as low as possible. After all, it doesn’t take a lot of gas to fuel up a bike.
- Riding Cons: If you are planning to travel across the country either for fun or for a vacation, you will have to make sure you pace your time accordingly. Most people have anywhere from 3-7 days for a vacation and riding the bike the entire way can really take a bite out of the time you have allotted for fun and sightseeing once you arrive at your destination. Another issue you need to consider is the wear and tear on your motorcycle. Long rides mean more oil and possibly even wearing your tires out and added mileage that can really cut your bikes value down. One more thing to keep in mind is the terrain you will be traveling on. You need to make sure your bike is appropriate for the journey and that you won’t have issues due to the type of motorcycle you have. Some bikes are great for coastal travel while others are geared more towards the highways, mountains or other types of travel passages.
Before you even leave on a long distance trip across the country you need to make sure you have the bike properly maintenance to ensure that things like the oil, tires and battery are serviced and in excellent shape for a long ride. You will also want to make sure you have the space for a few extra tools as well as your regular gear, clothing for your trip and other accessories you may need once you arrive at your destination. Something you may want to have on the bike in case of an emergency is a CB radio. If your travels will take you through areas that are remote or may have no cell service, a CD radio can be a lifesaver.
If the trip will be a long one, you may want to consider the number of hours you will have to spend riding. Riding can be rough on the body after sitting for many hours and if you travel more than 1000 miles to reach your destination, you need to consider the time you will spend riding through town, through the mountains or by the sea once you get to where you plan to go. On top of that, you will have to factor in the long trip back home and how many hours that will take. If you only have a week or less to take your cross country trip, you may want to consider having your motorcycle shipped at least part of the way so you will have time to really enjoy the vacation.
Shipping the Bike
- Shipping Pros: Planning a cross country trip can be really exciting and most people want to enjoy as much as possible about the vacation spot they are visiting. One of the best ways to guarantee that you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the scenery while also being able to have fun with your motorcycle is to make plans to either ship the bike ahead of you or have it shipped back before you finish the vacation. This way, you can rest on a plane, boat or other travel option and then enjoy the bike during your stay. If you won’t want to rush to the area or rush to get back home, shipping the bike can be a great way to ensure that you enjoy the trip all the way around. A good motorcycle transport company will be able to offer a safe and secure option to get your bike delivered to or from the spot you choose to travel to or even both ways so you can make the most of your time.
- Shipping Cons: Shipping a motorcycle can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand. This will depend on the distance the bike is being shipped as well as the weight of the bike and the amount of insurance coverage. The other major con of shipping will be that you will need to ship the bike before you plan to leave so it will arrive in time for you to ride while on vacation or during your cross country travel adventure. In order to do this, you will find that you will not be able to ride your motorcycle for possibly two weeks before the trip if you choose to ship the bike ahead.
Keep in mind that vacations are short and planning ahead of time will help ensure that you get the best of your trip as well as the maximum fun out of your motorcycle. Have you always wanted to ride your bike down the coastline but never felt you had enough time to ride all the way across the country and still be able to find enough time to really get the most out of sightseeing and enjoying your stay? Shipping the bike can provide plenty of time for you to truly enjoy exploring the scenery and have lots of fun in the new area. No matter which way you choose to travel cross country, keep in mind that traveling safe and keeping your bike in well-maintained condition will go a far way to maximizing your cross country motorcycle adventures and making sure the memories are happy.
About The Author: Jason Mueller is an expat from Canada currently living in Costa Rica and diligently working for A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. He is an avid motorcycle enthusiast that spends his free time riding along the beautiful Costa Rica coastline as well as other adventure sports.
Image Credit: ciukes via flickr Creative Commons