Unless this is your first time opening a MotoQuest e-newsletter (if so, welcome!), you’re probably well aware that we offer a myriad of tours in the United States as well as abroad. But, today we’re focusing on sharing our favorite West Coast adventure planning resources for the folks who want to create their own D.I.Y. experience whether on their personal bike or ours.
The entire MotoQuest staff is passionate about riding and enjoy helping folks renting our motorcycles with complimentary route planning consultations, so continue reading to view the cheat sheet we’ve made for you.
Let’s dig into the fun planning stuff:
Butler maps should be in every motorcyclist’s arsenal. They highlight the best roads to ride and give great information about viewpoints and gas stations. Since we have rental facilities up and down the west coast, we frequently use and recommend these particular maps:
- Butler Alaska Motorcycle Map
- Butler Washington Motorcycle Map
- Butler Oregon Motorcycle Map
- Butler Northern California Motorcycle Map
- Butler Southern California Motorcycle Map
The forums on ADVRider.com are a valuable resource to gather information about road conditions from other riders, ask questions, and share your own triumphs and learning experiences.
One of our rental agents told us they like to use MotorcycleRoads.com to get ideas for their own routes.
Want to check out the road quality or get latitude and longitude coordinates for your waypoints? Good ol’ Google Maps on a full size monitor or laptop screen is our go-to. If you’re planning to use this app to guide you using your phone, you can pre-download your maps to your phone so you can navigate while in airplane mode or while traveling outside of your service area.
Another great phone mapping option is Maps.me. We like it because it often works in places where Google might have limited information. You can also upload the routes you create in BaseCamp software like you would if you were using a GPS specific device.
If you refuse to use a smartphone and need a new GPS device, we can tell you that our guides use BMW Motorrad Navigator VI units and we have cobbled together a cradle-to-handlebar mounting system with RAM hardware which works well for us.
Weather Apps are crucial. One of our rental agents is all about this NOAA phone app. It’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into day by day so you can plan your layers accordingly.
“This shows in real time thunderstorms that are directly in my path and this allows me to ‘re-plan’ my route as needed. After some bad experiences, I have learned some detailed insight on weather is valuable as storms are almost a certainty on a long trip,“ said Scot from our Portland facility.
Here are a few gadgets our team members use on their own bikes and on our fleet rigs:
Some staff members recommend riders who use their phones for directions to bring a RAM handlebar mount.
Personally, this author likes to use the RAM X-grip with this Tough Claw Medium Clamp Base so I can easily swap mine from one motorcycle to another and never have to carry an 11mm socket.
Another staff member prefers this phone mount.
If you are looking for an extra power outlet, and you’ve got a Battery Tender harness on your bike (we have one on all of ours) get yourself a Battery Tender USB Plug. It attaches to the quick disconnect plug on any motorcycle in our fleet, so you can use it to charge your phone, GPS, or other doodads you’re hauling.
If you’re planning to ride a BMW motorcycle, you may want to pick up this weatherproof 5 volt USB charger. It has two USB outlets, which are always better than one.
Portable Air compressor:
Great if you’re adjusting air pressure for traction or dealing with a roadside tire puncture repair. Just make sure to have your own tire pressure gauge. We’ve rarely seen one on a portable compressor that is accurate.
Rope style tire repair kit:
The T-shaped handles of the tools in this kit won’t rip your hands up while you’re trying to solve a problem, and it even includes a handy pressure gauge.
We’ve tried the mushroom style plugs, but they aren’t as effective as this rope style.
One of the perks of working for a motorcycle rental company is that we are encouraged to ride all of the models we offer. Tank bags with locking rings and magnetic bags for bikes with plastic tanks just don’t make sense when you’re
For maximum versatility, our crew uses their own strap-down style tank bags and dry bags from these manufacturers:
If you’re shopping for the best deals before heading out on your next MotoQuest adventure, it’s worth mentioning that anyone joining a MotoQuest tour or renting a motorcycle from us can request a one-time use discount code to be used at RevZilla which gives you 20% off your entire order.
The catch: we’re only giving them out after you put down a deposit on your ride with us. Let your tour or rental agent know if you’re interested in one of these codes.