TRIP COACH

Would You Take a Road Trip on a Motorcycle?

Believe it or not, riding high on a hog can be the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s how to pull off a motorcycle trip to remember.

Are there ways to get deals on rentals or tours?
The Hot Deals listed for different Eagle Rider locations can offer fantastic values—third day free, half-off rates during off-peak times, last-minute discounts on tours that depart soon, and one-way specials for bikes that need to be relocated. Individual rental outfits regularly post specials for certain bikes and pickup times too; California Motorcycle Adventures was recently renting a few older Harleys (2008 models) for $99 daily, compared to the usual $135. It's fairly standard to get a cheaper daily rate if you're renting for a longer time period, too, and if the company doesn't advertise such a discount, it's more than acceptable to ask for a price break (say, 15 percent) on rentals of seven or more days.

Do I have to wear a helmet?
Technically speaking, not always: It may come as a surprise, but there are no helmet laws in 30 states for riders over 20 years old. But still—is windblown hair really worth the risk? In 2006, some 65 percent of fatally injured motorcycle riders weren't wearing a helmet. So play it safe, and wear a helmet. Always. Your mother will sleep easier.

 

Two-Wheels, Three Ways: An outfitted motorcycle adventure for every skill set (and budget).

BEGINNER
Rent a scooter in Tuscany. They may be laughed off by hard-core bikers, but scooters are the ideal solution for travelers who want to rev their engines but don't have the experience—or license—required to ride a hog. Scooters are lighter and easier to operate than motorcycles (no shifting necessary), and in most parts of the world, you can rent one with a standard driver's license; they're especially popular in the Caribbean and Europe. A classic Vespa is perfect for exploring the rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy. tuscanyscooterrental.com, from $85 daily.

INTERMEDIATE
Take a guided tour of the Grand Canyon. Even after you've mastered the basics, you may have a few questions once you hit the open road. That's when it pays to have an experienced guide on hand. Edelweiss Bike Travel runs tours to every continent except Antarctica, including a fully guided eight-day trip around the Grand Canyon. The trip begins in Las Vegas, traces historic Route 66, visits the Hoover Dam, and takes in Monument Valley. edelweissbike.com, from $2,790 per person, with two people sharing a bike and hotels.

EXPERT
Go it alone in the Florida Keys. Besides renting bikes, Eagle Rider also runs tours. If you're a novice, you'll want to stick with their fully guided options—the extra assistance is worth the splurge. But if you're a competent rider with a bit of experience, their self-guided tours are a great fit. All the planning is taken care of, leaving you to simply enjoy the ride. Their seven-night tour through south Florida and the Keys includes bike and helmet rental, unlimited miles, and all accommodations. eaglerider.com, from $1,999 per person.

 

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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