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Motorcycle Traveling: Notable Pros and Cons

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Motorcycles are an enduring American symbol. You can find them in other countries, but there’s something that seems inherently patriotic about the heavily-tattooed biker in a leather vest flying down the highway on a Harley Davidson or Vincent Black Shadow.

Maybe you own a motorcycle, or perhaps you’re considering getting one. You might feel like taking a motorcycle trip sounds perfectly heavenly. Not everyone will wish to do it, but for some people who are wild at heart, it sounds like something they’ve waited for their whole life.

Are you the type of person who would like to travel this way, or does this sound dreadful? Let’s see what category of individual you are.

Vintage motorcycle cafe racer style.
Vintage motorcycle cafe racer style.

Motorcycles are Particularly Dangerous

Starting with the negatives, it’s hard to ignore how dangerous motorcycles are. They are so lethal because there’s no steel support structure around you like you get with the family station wagon. You can wear a helmet, pads, and other protective gear, but that’s only going to help you to some degree.

If you don’t mind that risk, you won’t let any of the crash stats deter you. It could be that if you have a family, though, and they won’t want you to take a motorcycle trip for that reason. The thought that you could end up in traction or sustain a traumatic brain injury might be too much for your significant other and kids to handle.

You can always call a motorcycle accident lawyer if a car hits you while you’re out on your journey, but that’s only if you live through the experience. You’re taking an inherent risk if you’re willing to travel on a motorcycle.

You Can’t Take the Whole Family with You

If you’re single, you have the freedom to do pretty much whatever you want. That means you can take a motorcycle trip if you own and know how to ride one. You can be on the road for weeks or months, assuming you don’t have a job that won’t give you the time off.

If you do have a family, though, they will not be able to go with you since motorcycles are one-person vehicles unless you have a sidecar or someone clinging to your back. If your family is okay with you taking some time away from them, you can still go through with this plan. Presumably, though, your familial responsibilities will keep you from being gone for too long.

You’ll Need to Find Someone to Watch the Animals

Maybe you don’t have a human family, but you have a dog or cat waiting for you back home. If you want to take off on your Harley for a few weeks, you will need someone to care of them.

Cats are pretty self-reliant, so probably all you’ll need is a family member or neighbor to stop by every few days to change the litter and give them fresh food and water. If you have a dog, you will need to board them. That can get expensive quickly, so a super-long road trip on your motorcycle doesn’t seem practical.

You Can Find Yourself

Three black motorcyle helmets
Three black motorcyle helmets

On the positive side of things, if you decide to take a motorcycle trip, that can be a way to rediscover yourself. Maybe you feel like you’re at a time in your life when you lack a clear purpose. Perhaps you are just getting out of a relationship, or you’re between jobs.

One thing the pandemic has done is to force many people to reexamine themselves and question what matters to them. That is not necessarily a bad thing.

You may find that over the next few months, you want to make some major life changes. Perhaps you’ll tell someone close to you how much you care about them. It could be that you decide to go back to college or start your own business.

A motorcycle trip can give you a chance to forget about your troubles for a time. During that trip, you might hit your brain’s reset button. When you see a blood-red sun going down over a barren desert wasteland, or a major city’s lights twinkling majestically in the distance, that might let you see your existence with newfound clarity.

Motorcycle trips will never be the sort of thing that everyone will love, but they do appeal to a particular breed of individual. Consider carefully whether you’re one of them, and act accordingly. As the saying goes, there’s no time like the present.

Blog post author: Susan Melony


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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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