The true fall weather is slowly arriving in Virginia, bringing pleasantly cool temperatures and the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. If you are a motorcyclist visiting the Commonwealth, you might be interested in seeing the beauty of Virginia on two (or three) wheels. Our guide to motorcycle rental in Virginia will tell you what you need to know about rental companies in Virginia, the most popular routes, and important laws to be aware of.
Laws and Regulations
You should know the basics of motorcycle laws in Virginia before you book your rental. To rent or ride a motorcycle in Virginia, you will need an equivalent license from your home state or country verifying you are qualified to ride the type of motorcycle you want to rent. If you are not sure if your motorcycle will be accepted in Virginia, any of the rental companies will be able to advise you. You can also contact the Virginia DMV with questions.
Virginia law requires all motorcyclists to wear both a helmet and eye protection. The eye protection may be separate from the helmet or included in a full-face helmet. All helmets must meet the state’s safety standards. Consult your rental company if you are not sure about your helmet.
There are also some traffic laws to be aware of. Motorcycles are permitted to use all HOV lanes in Virginia. You can also ride side by side in one lane without issue.
Although you can obtain a motorcycle license in Virginia at the same age as a standard drivers license, rental companies may have age restrictions. Check with the company you are interested in to verify their age requirements.
There are several companies that rent motorcycles in Virginia with a number of locations throughout the state. Here are a few to consider. Once you choose your rental company, be sure to book early for the greatest availability and selection.
EagleRider Motorcycle Rentals and Tours
Location: Falls Church, Virginia
Website: EagleRider Rentals and Tours
With dozens of locations both in the US and abroad, EagleRider is a trusted name in motorcycle rental. Their Virginia location is in Falls Church, and you have the option of a one-way trip. So you can pick up or drop off at one of their other locations if you’re interested in a lengthy trip.
EagleRider offers many popular motorcycle brands for rental, including Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, BMW, Suzuki, Victory, and Triumph. Check the company website for a full list of available rentals. They also offer both guided and self-drive tours as well as many add-on services for your convenience.
Location: Portsmouth, Virginia
Website: Bayside Harley-Davidson Rentals
Bayside Harley-Davidson is a factory approved Harley rental location. They offer current model year Harley-Davidson motorcycles for rental. A helmet, raingear, and travel bag are included with all rentals free of charge. They also offer several add-on services.
Other Harley-Davidson Rental Locations
Location: Orange, Virginia
Website: Stonewall Harley-Davidson Rentals
Harley-Davidson of Quantico
Location: Dumfries, Virginia
Website: Harley-Davidson of Quantico Rentals
Location: Fairfax, Virginia
Website: Patriot Harley-Davidson Rentals
There are so many scenic drives in Virginia it can be hard to decide on your route. These are some popular rides across the commonwealth.
Blue Ridge Parkway
One of the most beautiful rides in the country, the Blue Ridge Parkway draws visitors from around the world. The full length of the Parkway is 469 miles, stretching from Shenandoah National Park in northern Virginia to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. You can choose to take on the full distance, or just a portion. Every part of the Blue Ridge Parkway is lovely and would make a good choice for a ride.
Skyline Drive connects to the northernmost end of the Blue Ridge Parkway and also offers some spectacular mountain views. This National Scenic Byway runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive is a wonderful choice for a fall ride to view the colorful changing leaves across the mountains.
Civil War Trails
History buffs may enjoy the Virginia Civil War Trails, which connect many notable Civil War sites throughout the state. In addition to their historic interest, the trails take you through many beautiful areas of Virginia that would make a wonderful ride.
If you’re visiting the Tidewater area, be sure to make time for this 23-mile ride through the Historic Triangle. The parkway is free from commercial development and connects several historic sites in the Williamsburg-Jamestown-Yorktown area.
Route 250 runs the width of Virginia and can offer a welcome alternative to interstate driving. The stretch between Staunton, Virginia and Elkins, West Virginia is a highly recommended ride for those who enjoy a challenge. This route takes you through the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with some tricky switchbacks and winding sections along the way.
Leesburg to Antietam National Battlefield
Another ride that would be of interest to Civil War buffs is the drive from Leesburg, Virginia to Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland. This short 40-mile ride takes you past Harpers Ferry and through some beautiful backcountry on your way to the battlefield. There are several possible routes, so you can take a different path on your way back for some variety.
Wherever you choose to visit in Virginia, you will find some beautiful rides. Be sure to ask your rental location for more recommendations.
What are your favorite Virginia rides? Don’t forget to share with friends and family!
Photo: Dana McMahan