Breathtaking views and sweeping curves, coupled with 469 stop sign- and traffic light-free miles, make the Blue Ridge Parkway a glorious ride for motorcyclists. The scenic road attracts hundred of thousands of motorcycle riders each year, and many riders consider the Parkway to be among the very best venues in the country. Basic motoring laws apply to motorcyclists on the Parkway: wear a helmet, observe the maximum 45 mph speed limit, and make sure your headlights are on after dark.
Motorcycle Safety Tips
No less than the beauty, riders come for the thrill of the curves, steep hills, and fast drops on many of the road’s edges. These qualities make the ride electrifying, but they also demand caution; motorcyclists must be aware that riding on the Parkway requires skill.
- Curves in the road get tighter as you ride through them, as opposed to standard roads, which have a curve radius that never changes.
- Many curves are blind – there may be almost no lead time to visually assess the section you are about to ride.
- Be watchful for slow-moving traffic, wildlife on the roadway, wet and slippery leaves in fall, and loose gravel after rain.
- Remember that the Parkway speed limit never exceeds 45 mph, and as it passes through more developed areas, the speed limit drops to 35 mph. Slower speeds give you the advantage when it comes to split-second decisions.
If you’re unfamiliar with the area, slow down even more. Use the overlooks to let traffic that backs up behind you pass. A large part of the draw for motorcycle riders in the area’s breathtaking natural beauty. Slow down and enjoy it.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Wearing protective gear is the first and most important step in keeping yourself safe on a motorcycle ride. In the mountains, riders must insulate themselves (and their skin) from pavement, rock, and cliff faces. Wear bright colors to make yourself visible on the roads. The curves are just as blind to drivers of cars.
Blue Ridge Motorcycling Book & Map Resources
Motorcycle-Friendly Businesses in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Motorcyclists are a special group of visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway with unique travel needs. We recommend the following motorcycle-friendly businesses to help plan your trip to the Parkway.
Cruise in to the Switzerland Inn and Diamondback Motorcycle Lodge on the Parkway at MP 334. Our full-service Chalet Restaurant and two patio bars welcome you to your home-away-from-home with ice-cold beer, wine, mixed beverages and chef-inspired specialties. Relax in our mountaintop swimming pool or soak in our hot tubs before retiring to the wide front porch of the Diamondback Motorcycle Lodge, our multi-bedroom cottage with covered parking. 72 mountain view rooms, suites and pet-friendly cabins.
PLAY HARD. RELAX HERE! 16 affordable rooms, continental breakfast included,great views, restaurant with full bar, Gem mining on site. Rock mineral & Jewelry shop on site. Wine & beer shop on site. Motorcycle friendly with covered parking. Pet friendly. Historic Inn located at MP 331 on Parkway. Built in 1940’s with moonshine money it has an interesting history with character to match. Purchased by Mike & Lynn Thrift in 2004 it has undergone major renovations to make it a premiere Parkway venue.
BlueRidgeMotorcycling.com is a website dedicated to motorcycling in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Blue Ridge area is considered by some to be a motorcycle mecca, a place where Riding gets capitalized in sentences out of respect for the area’s curves and beautiful scenery. The Blue Ridge truly takes Riding to a new level.
The website includes interactive motorcycle ride maps, recommendations for motorcycle-friendly travel destinations, motorcycle safety tips for your trip to the mountains, and “The Road Journal” motorcycling blog.
See more in the Virtual Blue Ridge Travel Directory