With long winter nights in the rearview and spring just around the bend, many states are gearing up for motorcycle season. But since some parts of the U.S. are still buried in snow, we wondered which states are the most conducive to 2 wheels.
To figure it out, we scaled mountains of motorcycle stats, looking at everything from weather and safety to theft and helmet laws. In the end, we determined that all states have their motorcycling merits (and drawbacks), but here are a few specifics.
|*Safest||*Least safe||**Most stolen bikes|
|1. Rhode Island (7)||1. Texas (358)||1. California (5,927)|
|2. Alaska (8)||2. California (318)||2. Texas (3,950)|
|3. Vermont/Wyoming (11)||3. Florida (287)||3. Florida (3,927)|
|4. Delaware (15)||4. Pennsylvania (184)||4. North Carolina (2,446)|
|5. North Dakota (16)||5. New York/Ohio (150)||5. Indiana (2,114)|
Of course, weather also plays a big part in determining the motorcycle-friendliness of a state. It comes as no surprise that states with higher motorcycle theft rates also have warmer year-round temperatures, hence more riding opportunities.
|Warmest temps (annual avg. °F)||Most rainy days: (annual avg. inches)|
|1. Florida (70.7)||1. Hawaii (63.7)|
|2. Hawaii (70.0)||2. Louisiana (60.1)|
|3. Louisiana (66.4)||3. Mississippi (59.0)|
|4. Texas (64.8)||4. Alabama (58.3)|
|5. Georgia (63.5)||5. Florida (54.5)|
Though Florida may offer some of the best riding weather and California the prettiest routes, they also have higher fatality and theft rates. Similarly, Hawaii and Louisiana are warm year round, but you might have to brave wet roads and occasional downpours.
The bottom line
Rain or shine, Texas or North Dakota, Harley Davidson or Yamaha, always remember your helmet. According to recent studies, helmets are estimated to reduce fatalities among motorcycle riders by 37 percent and among passengers by 41 percent. So whether or not helmets are required by law in your state, be smart and wear one anyway. And check out our motorcycle safety tips for even more ways to stay safe on your bike.
Wherever you go, enjoy the ride! And remember, if you’re looking for motorcycle insurance, Esurance can help. We now offer motorcycle coverage in Wisconsin and Illinois (as well as other states through our partners).
Get a motorcycle quote.
*Based on reported fatalities Jan-Sep 2012 (PDF)
**According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau