Why My Next Adventuremobile Will Be A Motorcycle

Explore the open road on two wheels.

By: Cameron Gardner
April 28, 2016

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Motorcycles are pretty badass just on their own. To live off and travel from one just takes it up another notch. I had my first experience and glance into this new world with some friends on a trip to Death Valley a couple years ago and learned a thing or two about what makes two wheels the best way to explore.

Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground | Photo: Cameron Gardner

1. The Ultimate Feeling of Freedom

I’ve only personally ridden on the back of a friend’s motorcycle and photographed the rest of the group, but man was it exhilarating! The feeling of how strong the wind is against you is something else. I can imagine being the one in control of the bike is even more of a rush. Nothing is holding you back, just jump on your bike whenever you want to go for a ride. The open road is always there waiting for you.

Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground | Photo: Cameron Gardner

2. Price Point

There are a ton of options when it comes to picking and choosing a bike. Obviously there are both ends of the price spectrum like anything else. Compared to vans, camper rigs, and other adventuremobiles, motorcycles are a bargain. Being influenced by friends and just the general badass factor, the bike I would choose would be a Harley Davidson Sportster. I’ve heard around 1993 to anything newer and you can’t go wrong. Entry point is anywhere from $2,500 to $8,000. You would probably be fine around the lower end though. I would look for a bike that is mostly original stock so that I can customize it myself.

Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground | Photo: Cameron Gardner

3. Simplicity

This is the best part about traveling on a motorcycle, you have to keep it simple! Aside from the initial purchase of the bike, you can customize your rig like any other adventuremobile. Add a larger gas tank, different wheels, handle bars, etc. It can be just to your liking and personal budget. You can only fit so much camping gear, you are forced to just bring the essentials with you.

Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground | Photo: Cameron Gardner

4. Campsite Selection

Being on a motorcycle, you are much more stealthy than a large camper van or car, aside from their loudness factor. Obviously motorcycles are a lot smaller and are able to fit in areas others rides can’t. It seems that you could get away with camping for free much easier. Although if you are going to do this make sure you do some research first on the areas you are in. Always be respectful of nature, don’t go destroying nature or scenery in any harmful ways.

Camp at Death Valley’s Wildrose Campground | Photo: Cameron Gardner

5. Community

Where there’re wheels there’s a community. That’s how I saw my first glance into this world a couple years ago. We had 5 guys on bikes and one full car load. Since then, their group has grown exponentially. They are heading out to Death Valley again this weekend and have over 10 bikes going. With community also comes knowledge. It’s easy to get out on the road by yourself but it’s also great to have a friend around when a break down happens. Getting started seems a bit intimidating, but I urge you to just find a community and start asking questions. Everyone is usually stoked to help out.

Cover photo: Cameron Gardner

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.