If you plan to cruise the highways and drive a motorcycle in Canada the following information will be useful to consider both for your own safety, and for your own piece of mind.
Canadian Highways and Rural Roadways
Whether you decide to rent a motorcycle or drive your own, Canada has a massive system of well managed city streets and highways which will bring you just about anywhere you want to go.
The main highway throughout Canada is the Trans-Canada Highway, which goes coast to coast. The distance from the east coast to the west coast is about 8000 km or around 4,900 miles. You could go on a Canadian motorcycle ride for weeks and never get to see everything.
Renting a motorcycle in Canada may be something you want to consider. Canada has several motorcycle rental companies found near the major cities and towns. Rates vary depending on the season, type of motorcycle and length of rental. The minimum age to rent a vehicle in Canada is usually anywhere from 21-25 years old. If you plan to travel through the western provinces on your motorcycle you might want to look into the many popular tourist attractions, and the great roads to travel.
In order to rent in most cases you will need to have a major credit card. Requirements may vary from each province. Be sure to reserve your motorcycle ahead of time during peak travel times, which are usually from mid May to November.
Camping With Your Motorcycle
Most Canadian provincial and national parks, private campgrounds and other conservation areas allow you to camp with your motorcycle.
All of the Canadian provinces have a government agency that is responsible for tourism. You should check their websites or call for information to get get maps, and possible promotional offers, and maybe even some more Canadian motorcycle information. If you plan to stay in a campground near a popular park like Banff, Whistler, and Fundy National Park you should book in advance.
Driving Laws- Canadian Motorcycle Driving
In Canada the road laws are very similar to the rules in most US states. Most road safety laws and regulations are determined at the provincial and territorial level, so make sure you know the particular rules for the province you plan to be visiting. One rule for motorcyclists throughout all Canadian Provinces is that you must wear a motorcycle helmet if you are driving a motorcycle in Canada.
Other things to consider while driving throughout all the Canadian provinces on a motorcycle are that you are allowed to make a right turn on red lights in most cities throughout the country after coming to a complete stop. Be careful though because in some areas of Quebec you are not allowed to do this. For more information, check with the Government of Quebec’s website.
In all Canadian provinces pedestrians have the right-of-way and you must yield to pedestrians at crosswalks. The speed limit on the most rural highways is usually around 90-100 km/hr or about 55-65 mph. Speed limits are enforced mainly by the RCMP in rural areas, and municipal police in most major cities throughout Canada.
If you are pulled over by a police officer you must provide proof of insurance, driver’s license and registration.
Many people who are not from Canada picture the country as having vast piles of snow and snowmobiles as the main mode of transportation. Nothing could be more false. In most provinces you can ride a motorcycle 8-9 months out of the year. In Vancouver British Columbia and other western cities and towns, people drive year round. The summer months can get very humid in Canada, and there are many Canadian motorcycle events held across the country on an annual basis.
Motorcycle Insurance Canada, Driver’s License and Permit
If you plan a ride a motorcycle through Canada and you are from the United States., your driver’s license is valid in Canada. Be sure to bring proof of motorcycle insurance by talking to your insurance company for a free Non-resident Inter Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card before you leave, or carry your policy itself.
If you’re driving a borrowed motorcycle, you should bring a letter signed by the owner that says you are allowed. Also for a rented motorcycle, carry a copy of the rental contract.