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Long-Distance Motorcycle Travel Tips for the Big Game

Added February 2, 2022
Two motorcycles riding on a rode

Are you going to take a big ride to the big game? We know we are. In February, riders from all over will be converging on Los Angeles for Super Bowl LVI.

The game is officially February 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium (home of the Rams and Chargers) in Inglewood, CA (right next to LAX).

The Super Bowl always has had a party atmosphere, but when you combine football with sunny Southern California, you have a recipe that's perfect for those of us who prefer to live life on two wheels.

Those coming from out of state will have some of the best motorcycle roads in the country to experience. There are canyons just out of the city, the Pacific Coast highway that twists up and down the state, and the high desert and mountains all within a short ride of the city. So, make a plan to hit these iconic rides with your friends to maximize your time in the area.

At Harley-Davidson, we want to see all motorcyclists arrive safely and on time because the party gets better with each addition.

We've put together a guide to what to expect as you arrive in Los Angeles and tips for long-distance riding that will never go out of style. So, whether this is your first motorcycle tour or your 100th, we have advice that's sure to make the big game even better.

Riding to the Super Bowl

Choosing to ride a long distance is a big undertaking, and for newer riders, it shouldn't be taken lightly. However, ride further than a short day trip, and you'll come up against some issues that don't happen when you stay on the roads close to home.

But this is also what makes it such a joy to set out on a journey with just your bike (and maybe some friends). It's an adventure, and with a destination like the Super Bowl, it means that you can enjoy the ride as well as what's waiting at the end.

We believe that motorcycle rides are best when shared, so see if any of your riding buddies are up for the challenge and make a vacation of it.

Once You Arrive in Los Angeles

Riding in Southern California is unlike a lot of places with great weather year-round and plenty of beautiful scenery.

Down there, riding a bike just makes sense. Here's our guide to riding right up to the big game.

Hotels

With the game being played in the center of one of the largest cities in the country (and five minutes from the airport), there's no shortage of great hotels to stay in that offer easy access to the SoFi Stadium. 

Unfortunately, the stadium does not allow camping, so a hotel is a must unless you are willing to ride in and out for the game.

Luckily shuttles from many nearby hotels will be running to the game. Check with the hotel you are scoping out before committing to see if they will have a shuttle to the game. 

Public transportation in Los Angeles is another option. 

Parking at SoFi Stadium

If you ask Angelenos where to park, they will almost uniformly answer that shuttles are the way to go for sporting events at SoFi.

Tickets for parking at the stadium have not yet been released; however, you can be assured that they will be expensive. It is the Super Bowl, after all.

Check here closer to the big game to get information on parking. Parking at SoFi typically opens four hours before an event, and gates open two to three hours before an event. Tailgating is not allowed on NFL-run parking lots, but more on that below.

*Note that a parking pass does not guarantee a spot, and it will not get you into the Super Bowl.

Keeping Your Bike Safe

As with any big city, it's important to think about how to keep your bike safe from being stolen or damaged. Some Harley-Davidson® motorcycles have alarms, but even if your bike doesn't, there are plenty of easy-to-follow steps to protect yourself in our article about how to prevent motorcycle theft.

If the worst should happen and your bike is stolen or damaged, a good insurance policy will get you back on the road as quickly as possible. At Harley-Davidson Insurance Services, we pride ourselves on taking care of riders.

Get a quote with one of our insurance specialists today to ensure that your bike is covered.

Tailgating At The Super Bowl

The standard NFL policy for the Super Bowl is that tailgating is not allowed in NFL-managed parking lots. This is because space is at a premium; however, don't fret. 

Next door to the SoFi stadium, the Hollywood Park Casino hosts the annual Players Tailgate featuring former NFL stars, food celebrities, and DJs. This year Guy Fieri will be serving up delicious bites to send you into the game happy.

Tips for Long-Distance Motorcycle Touring

If you've never taken a road trip on just your bike, there are a few things worth considering and ways to stay safe that are a little counterintuitive.

The most important tip we can offer to ensure that you get to your destination safely is to ride within your limits. Stopping might feel like you are losing time, but the dangers from fatigue are too serious when you are on a motorcycle. Take frequent breaks to stretch your legs, have a snack and some water, and focus on something other than riding.

The fatigue from long-distance riding is different from something like exercise. It's slow and wears you down without realizing it. The wind and noise can drain you, so knowing your limits and pulling off ahead of time is always the best way to stay safe.

Your Bike

If you consider riding to the Super Bowl, you need to know that your bike is up to the task. Not all motorcycles are made with touring in mind. It wouldn’t be practical (or comfortable) to ride a dirt bike across the country.

Long-distance tourers say the tipping point for power is around 750cc. Generally, any lower than that, and highway speeds can feel a bit dicey. You need the power to get out of the way of other vehicles on the interstate. Harley-Davidson has a full line of Grand American Touring bikes that eat highway miles for breakfast.

If your bike is smaller, don't worry; touring is still possible, but planning your route to minimize miles on the interstate will be more important. 

Friends

There's a reason why we meet up on the weekends: hitting the road with your buddies is a blast.

But, in addition to having fun with your friends, there is safety in numbers. Over long distances having others to help keep you alert and safe is crucial, so ride with friends if you can just remember these group riding best practices.

If you can't meet people at your destination, share your location with someone close to you and check in regularly.

Planning Your Ride

Having a destination (like the Super Bowl) is a great motivator to ride your motorcycle, but getting there is another story. Long-distance touring takes preparation mentally as well as physically. If you are on a smaller displacement bike, this is one of the most critical steps in your journey.

Every bike is different, so knowing what your ride can do is essential. Pre-loading maps to your phone, GPS, or other navigation devices will keep you on track. When and where you stop for fuel will depend on the size of your gas tank and your MPG.

We prepare for trips by taking longer than normal weekend rides with our touring gear and luggage loaded on the bike.

Riding Gear For Touring

Touring demands more of you than a leisurely ride does. 

Over hours and hours of riding at highway speed, your body will wear down without you realizing it. Even if you usually ride with an open-face helmet, we recommend a full helmet as well as earplugs to save you from the whipping wind and the noise of speed.

On a tour to Southern California (especially in February), you can conceivably hit every type of weather imaginable from rain to wind. So, bringing the right gear for the forecast is necessary, even if it takes up valuable luggage space. Maybe it's time to upgrade your panniers or install the back rack you've always wanted.

Other upgrades that make the long miles easier:

  • A touring windscreen (if you take yours off for looks, don't forget to put it back on before your trip, trust us on this one, we know from experience)
  • An upgraded tool kit with essentials
  • Heated grips and heated gear
  • A touring-specific seat designed to be comfortable over the long haul
  • Whatever clothing or camping gear you need if you plan on camping along the way

On The Bike

Remember to stretch, take frequent breaks, stay hydrated, and enjoy the ride. Your destination is just over the horizon.

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