The Vancouver Island Motorcycle Guide

Canada’s Vancouver Island is an awesome place to ride a motorcycle. Serene, tranquil, brimming with stunning trails, thousands of bears and gorgeous fishing towns. Here’s everything you need to know about riding a motorcycle here…

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

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Motorcycle Travel in Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is an incredible place for a motorcycle adventure. The island off the west coast of Canada is brimming with jaw dropping nature, stunning roads, insanely fun off-road trails disappearing into deep forests, a ridiculous amount of wildlife from thousands of bears to wolves and eagles, gorgeous little fishing towns and awesome people. It’s a great place to ride and this guide will help you get the most out of your trip there. 

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

Where to ride on Vancouver Island?

We recommend checking out the Vancouver Island Grand Loop website for a brilliant riding loop of the island. There’s a downloadable map on there too so you can pick and choose what you have time for and want to see: vancouverislandgrandloop.com

Our route

Here’s a map including some of our favourite pin points and campsites on Vancouver Island.

How to get to Vancouver Island with a motorcycle?

We entered Vancouver Island using the ferry service from Prince Rupert. This took around 16 hours as it passed through all the islands, so its worth opting for a cabin. If you’re not coming from up north, your two likely options are from Little River to Lake Powell or from Nanaimo to Vancouver.

You’ll find the route info, map, prices and booking info on the BC Ferries website here.

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

What are the riding conditions like?

You have endless off-roading along gravel tracks and forest and logging roads. Or you can stick to tarmac and enjoy circumnavigating the island. You’ll definitely get more out of your ride here if you like a bit of the rough stuff though as it’s so beautiful and carves through the island. Without going off-road, you’ll miss so many little gems like Gold River and Bamfield for example.

Either way, the riding conditions are good for the most part. The only time you may come unstuck is if you find yourself on an off-road route that’s being graded as the gravel will be deep and very loose.

Also, bear in mind that logging roads have big, heavy and fast trucks flying down them. Be safe, take your time, concentrate and move out of their way.

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When is the best time to go?

June to August are the warmest months of the year in Vancouver Island, but also the busiest. March to May and September to October are reported to have cooler weather. Check before you go.

Where to stay?

Canada is not especially cheap and accommodation can be quite expensive – especially in touristy areas. Here’s our rundown.

Hotels

There are budget style hotel and motel rooms throughout the island, but in general, hotels and accommodation are expensive. You’ll find better deals outside of peak season and it depends on location and time of year. Booking.com is a good website for finding accommodation in towns and cities. AirBnB is also a good option and we used it often on our ride through Canada.

Here’s a Booking.com map centred on Vancouver Island so you can quickly gauge the current type of prices in and around the area.

Booking.com

Bunk a Biker

Try out the Bunk a Biker network. It’s a free resource for motorcycle travellers and there are more pins popping up on the island. 

Motorcycle camping on Vancouver Island

You can easily camp with your motorcycle on Vancouver Island. There are campsites all over the island, and some of them are stunningly beautiful. There’s also a bunch of free wild camping at Recreation Sites. But these are first come first serve and may be busy in peak seasons.

We highly recommend downloading the WikiCamps and iOverlander apps. WikiCamps especially as it displays all the campsites throughout Canada – including free spots

Also bear in mind that there are over 7,000 black bears on Vancouver Island, so take precautionary measures when camping.

READ MORE: Motorcycle Camping Guides

Adventure Motorcycle Travel Canada

Read more on motorcycle travel in Canada

Thanks for checking out The Vancouver Island Motorcycle Guide. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle travel in Canada that we recommend you read next. 

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Are you planning a motorcycle trip to Vancouver Island in Canada? Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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