Why We Ride
We rode out at Red Rock Canyon National Park, Nevada
FUN ON TWO WHEELS
Getting on two wheels opens you up to whole other worlds of fun, adventure and possibilities. It changes your relationship with the road, with your commute, with your travels. Many riders tell us that their rides move them – not just physically, but in a much deeper way. When traveling by motorcycle, you engage all your senses. You feel the air temperatures change, you smell the world around you, you move with the turns – all these things would be missed if you were in a car, bus, train, plane or other mode of transportation.
We all ride for different reasons, and sometimes for all the reasons: fun, adventure, to bond with friends, to save fuel, to relax, as a moving meditation, to make the commute more interesting, to get through traffic easier, to accomplish goals. The reasons are infinite.
TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE
Two wheels can take you almost anywhere in the world, and there are a few places in the world where only two wheels can take you. Some of our favorite destinations mix paved roads and dirt roads, and if you have a dual-sport motorcycle, you can transition from one to another seamlessly.
Death Valley is one such place, where you can take in beautiful scenery on paved roads, then have some off-road fun on Titus Canyon Road, Racetrack Playa and more. And there are many more trails and off-road areas that are only accessible by single-track vehicles.
Many riders also enjoy motorcycle camping. Traveling and living with the bare essentials can be a fun challenge and a very freeing feeling. You can truly leave all your baggage behind.
Motorcycling is an activity that takes movement and focus from a rider. It’s not a passive activity, so learning proper riding techniques and ensuring safety is a priority is important.
For some amazing motorcycle road trip ideas, check out this feature in Traveler magazine:
Many motorcycles and scooters get great fuel efficiency, from 45 miles per gallon to 60 miles per gallon or more. Motorcycles and scooters are also easy to park as they take up very little space. Some cities even offer free parking for two-wheelers.
Two wheels can make the commute itself more enjoyable. You’re actively engaged in the ride and moving with your bike. For some, it’s also a great way to decompress from the stress of the work day.
One of the best ways to bond with family and friends is to share in a day of riding.
Dirt bikes can be a great way for families and their kids, ages 6 and up, to explore and share in new experiences. Riding is also a great way for parents to introduce their kids to safety and responsibility, because riding is serious fun. One of the best ways to families to start riding together is to take a family class in DirtBike School. To find one near you, click here.
Planning group rides with friends is always fun. It can turn an ordinary weekend into a mini-vacation as you plan on where and what time to meet, where you’ll go, the routes you’ll take, stops for coffee and meal breaks and, if it’s overnight, where you’ll stop for the evening and unwind. Motorcyclists will tell you how much fun it is to recount a day of riding with their riding partners, and how, although everyone may be riding the same route, everyone’s experience is different. You may ride together, but you always ride your own ride.
Riding with a Passenger
Not everyone who loves motorcycles is always the one up front. Motorcycle rides for a passenger can be just as exhilarating, and for couples, there’s a special intimacy when riding together. (In fact, we dare you not to cry when reading Joyce Maynard’s On Love, Motorcycles and the Art of Being a Passenger). Bluetooth communicators allow for easy conversation, but many also enjoy communicating without talking.
If you’re taking a passenger for the first time, check out this tip sheet from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Guidelines for Riding With a Passenger.
Some riders enjoy the excitement of fine-tuning their skills with speed, and track days are a perfect way for motorcyclists to do so. There are many schools and organizations that riders can register with to do a track day. Often, these schools or groups will have coaches to help riders learn the path they should ride, how to take corners faster, proper body position and other techniques. The track is a closed course, and many safety precautions are taken, including having flaggers monitor each turn and having medics and ambulances at the ready. Proper gear must be worn, and all bikes go through a tech and safety inspection before they are allowed on the track.
Not all track days are on paved roads. Rich Oliver’s Mystery School can teach riders how to slide through turns, and the best way to do this is on dirt. And techniques you learn on the dirt can be used on paved roads, too.