How to Plan a Cross-Country Motorcycle Road Trip

Are you dreaming of a cross-country motorcycle road trip? Exploring the open roads, breath-taking scenery, and experiencing new cultures can be an adventure of a lifetime. However, planning such a trip can be a daunting task, but with careful preparation and attention to detail, you can make it an unforgettable experience.

A cross-country motorcycle road trip can be an unforgettable adventure that allows you to experience the thrill of the open road, explore new landscapes, and connect with different cultures and communities. Planning a cross-country motorcycle road trip requires careful research, preparation, and attention to detail. By taking the time to plan your route, accommodations, meals, safety gear, and motorcycle maintenance, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable adventure on the open road. Here are some tips on how to plan a cross-country motorcycle road trip.

Choose your Route:

Planning a cross-country motorcycle road trip can be an exciting and challenging experience, and one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is choosing your route. Your route will determine the destinations you visit, the roads you’ll take, the landscapes you’ll see, and the overall experience you’ll have. Here are some tips on how to choose your route to plan a successful cross-country motorcycle road trip:

·         Decide on your starting and ending points:

You’ll need to choose a starting and ending point for your trip, which will help you determine the overall direction of your route. You can choose to start and end in the same city, or you can choose to start and end in different locations.

·         Research road conditions:

Some roads may be better suited for motorcycles than others, so it’s important to research road conditions and find routes that offer smooth riding surfaces, minimal traffic, and scenic views.

·         Check for popular motorcycle routes:

There are many popular motorcycle routes across the country that are known for their scenic beauty and great riding experiences. Consider incorporating some of these routes into your trip or plan your route around them.

Determine Your Budget:

Once you’ve chosen your route, the next step is to determine your budget. Your budget should include all expenses, such as fuel, lodging, food, and other incidentals like motorcycle maintenance or souvenirs. The cost of the trip can vary depending on the duration, the number of days, and the distance you’ll cover. It is essential to budget and plan to avoid overspending and ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. Here are some tips to help you determine your budget for a cross-country motorcycle road trip:

·         Calculate accommodation expenses:

Accommodation expenses are a crucial factor to consider when planning your budget. Depending on your travel style and preferences, you may opt for camping, staying in hostels, or splurging on hotels. Research accommodation options along your route and estimate how much you’ll need to budget for lodging. This will probably be your most expensive expense.

·         Estimate the cost of fuel:

The second significant expense you’ll incur on a cross-country motorcycle road trip is fuel. Depending on the size of your bike, the fuel efficiency, and the price of gasoline, you can expect to spend anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars on fuel alone. Use a fuel cost calculator to get an estimate of how much you’ll need to budget for gas. You should probably over-estimate the cost of fuel so you don’t get caught off guard in places where gas is expensive, like California.

·         Plan for food and drink expenses:

On a road trip, you’ll need to budget for food and drink expenses. Depending on whether you plan to eat at restaurants, cook your meals, or a combination of both, the cost of food and drink can vary. Factor in daily food and drink expenses and multiply it by the number of days you’ll be on the road. Lot’s of motorcyclist tell us that they go to a local grocery store to reduce to costs of food. Some even order from the deli inside grocery stores because it’s way cheaper than going to a restaurant.

·         Consider motorcycle maintenance and repairs:

Before hitting the road, ensure your motorcycle is in good condition, with proper maintenance and repairs. It’s also important to budget for any potential repairs or unexpected maintenance expenses that may arise while on the road.

·         Calculate your motorcycle shipping expenses:

If you’re planning a 1-way cross-country trip, you’ll need to consider the cost of shipping your motorcycle. To calculate your motorcycle shipping expenses, there are several factors you need to consider. The first is the distance of your trip. The farther you need to ship your motorcycle, the more expensive it will be.

Use our motorcycle shipping calculator.

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Prepare your Motorcycle:

Preparing your motorcycle is an essential aspect of a cross-country road trip. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere because of a mechanical issue. Therefore, before setting out on your journey, ensure that your motorcycle is in top condition. Some essential maintenance checks include inspecting your tires, brakes, and fluids, and making sure all lights and signals are working correctly. You can also take your motorcycle for a full-service check-up to ensure that everything is in excellent working order. Here are some tips to help you prepare your motorcycle for a cross-country road trip:

  • Check the Tires
  • Change the Oil
  • Inspect the Brakes
  • Check the Chain
  • Test the Lights
  • Check the Fuel/Gas

Research Local Attractions:

Planning a cross-country motorcycle road trip can be an exciting and thrilling experience. One of the most important aspects of planning a successful trip is researching the local attractions. By doing this, you can ensure that you get the most out of your journey and see all the best sights along the way.

Some of the top attractions to look for when planning a motorcycle road trip include scenic routes, national parks, historic landmarks, local events and festivals, and popular restaurants or food spots. These attractions can add an extra level of excitement and adventure to your journey, making it more memorable and enjoyable.

When researching local attractions, it’s important to consider factors such as time of year, weather, and distance from your planned route. You should also factor in any entry fees or costs associated with visiting each attraction, as well as the time it will take to visit each one.

Pack Smart:

Packing for a cross-country motorcycle road trip can be challenging because of the limited space on your motorcycle. You need to pack wisely and only bring the essential items. Some crucial items include proper riding gear, such as a helmet, gloves, boots, and a jacket, a first aid kit, a map or GPS, a camera, a phone charger, and a tool kit. You should also pack clothing that is versatile, lightweight, and weather-appropriate, as well as toiletries and personal items. Remember, you’ll be on the road for an extended period, so pack only what you need to avoid a cluttered and uncomfortable ride. Here are some tips on how to pack smart and plan for a cross-country motorcycle road trip:

·         Make a list:

Start by making a list of all the essential items you will need for the trip, including clothing, toiletries, and motorcycle accessories. Having a list will help you ensure that you don’t forget anything important.

·         Pack light:

One of the most important things to keep in mind when packing for a motorcycle road trip is to pack light. Since space on a motorcycle is limited, it’s important to bring only the essentials. Avoid packing items that you might not use and try to find versatile items that can serve multiple purposes.

·         Pack emergency supplies:

It’s essential to pack emergency supplies such as a first-aid kit, a tire repair kit, and a flashlight. These supplies can be lifesavers in case of an emergency.


In conclusion, planning a cross-country motorcycle road trip can be an exciting and adventurous experience for riders. However, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. By following the steps outlined in this guide, riders can ensure that they have a well-planned route, suitable gear and equipment, and reliable motorcycle transport if necessary. With the right preparation and mindset, a cross-country motorcycle road trip can be an unforgettable experience that offers a unique perspective on the beauty of the open road. If you’re considering a cross-country trip, don’t hesitate to start planning and make your dream a reality. Just remember to stay safe, take your time, and enjoy the ride!