Las Vegas is truly a paradise for motorcycle riders. For starters, you do not need to pack a rain suit when you ride in the Las Vegas area. It simply never rains there, evidence of that fact being the rapid, continuing drop in the level of Lake Mead which is the city’s main source of water. But the endlessly clear blue skies make perfect riding conditions for all but the hottest summer months.
Motorcycles make excellent marketing tools; heads always turn at the sight of a cool, beautiful, or unusual motorcycle. Las Vegas takes full advantage of this fact. The Luxor hotel, for example, had some of Chris Angel’s customized bikes under glass all around the main floor area.
Even Treasure Island hotel had a very piratesque custom bike right at the entrance. The cases protecting these bikes from the groping hands of the uninitiated made for less than ideal photographic conditions, but it’s always better to see these priceless works of art up close and personal anyway.
You will want to check out at least one of the local Harley Davidson dealerships while you’re in town. Las Vegas Harley Davidson makes this particularly easy for you; you can simply take their shuttle from your hotel if you want to leave your own bike in valet parking for the day (since Happy Hour is all day in this town…). On the other side of town, almost walking distance (ok, a long walk…) from dealership to dealership is Red Rock Harley Davidson. You simply cannot avoid the bar and shield in this town; it’s everywhere.
Virtually every major hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has a Harley Davidson store inside. All of these stores have an impressive variety of Harley Davidson branded stuff, from poker chip sets to Monopoly games to coffee mugs, everything you find in Harley Davidson dealerships and more. The selection of tshirts and jackets is incredible, so you can’t possibly say that you couldn’t find Harley Vegas clothing that fit your size and taste, because that couldn’t possibly be true. Every Harley store also features at least a couple of very distinct bikes, usually older models that are in absolutely pristine condition.
You will, of course, have to visit the Harley Davidson Cafe on the Strip. You can’t miss it, really you can’t; it’s the building with a huge Softail front end erupting from the wall above the entrance. Real Harleys are mounted on the walls inside. The theme runs through everything, from menus to settings. Taking pride of place in the restaurant, directly in front of you as you walk in, is a replica of Captain America, seated on which will be… you. And you’ll have to buy the picture that they take of you as well.
Riding in the Las Vegas area in November and December is usually ideal. The temperature hovers around the high teens (Celsius) most days at that time of year. The crowds are virtually nonexistent, so rooms are more plentiful and cheap. Accessibility to everything else (shows, restaurants, etc.) is also much easier and less expensive.
The roads arounds Vegas snake through Red Rock Canyon in one direction, and that is a ride that you absolutely have to fit into your schedule between sessions at the blackjack tables. Twists and turns, incredible views, colours that you recognize from the interiors of countless homes and establishments across the continent, all make this ride truly memorable.
There are endless, extremely enticing destinations within riding distance of Las Vegas as well. Los Angeles, for example, is a mere three hour ride away. Your options at this point become many; do you stay over in Los Angeles, continue on up the Pacific Coast, move on to one of many California destinations such as the Napa Valley, San Francisco or San Diego? At this point the only factors that limit your choices are what your preferences, time and money constraints, and the game-changing aspects of discoveries along the way. Small wonder that the highways in the Southwest United States are well populated with touring and cruising motorcycles.
The Grand Canyon National Park is more like a five hour ride from Las Vegas, so the best strategy for this one is to leave early and stay over for at least one night depending on how much time you want to spend at this magnificent geographical wonder. Make sure you have lots of memory space on your camera, because the views are even better than you can imagine. Weatherwise, if you ride this route in December, you need to be aware that there’s a good chance that there will be snow on the ground around the Grand Canyon area, even though Vegas is a clear, dry 20 degree Celsius range.
Now, what to do in Las Vegas. Ok, we’ll keep this specific to motorcycles. If you’re in town on January 12, 2012, you will certainly want to consider checking out the inaugural Las Vegas Premier Motorcycle Auction. With over 400 collectible motorcycles up for bids, this event will have a Wow factor that only Vegas can deliver.
So what else is there to do? Trust us, you’ll find it, no matter what it is…