View Full Version : Motorcycle access

08-17-2010, 12:00 PM
Hello I am a 65 year old man in ill health, my doctor told me to do things I always wanted to do, in other words with the little time you have left.

I certainly can't hike but I do ride motorcycle at least for short trips. Tomorrow I have a room booked at a motel in Bethel, my plan is to get checked in and then ride to Mount Washington. I don't know much about it, but I have seen bumper stickers that said this car has been to the top of Mount Washington or words similar, so I am thinking if you can do it with a car you should be able to do it with a motorcycle.

Any helpful hints would be nice, I don't think I will check my email after about 9:00 am tomorrow. Yes it isn't that far to the motel a little over a hundred miles and then they say another 30 minutes to Mount Washington. My plan is to get to the motel about 1:00 and hopefully be able to check in, take a nap and then get to do the Mount Washington thing in and back before dark.


08-18-2010, 08:17 AM
Hi, I've ridden to the summit a few times. There is hottop for most of the 6 miles but there is some gravel near the summit. The road is windy and steep in some areas so slow speed and caution is important.

Across the street from the entrance to the auto road is the center where you can check the summit conditions.

Conditions are variable , a warm day at the base can be very different to the conditions on the summit. I'd check the weather conditions before you attempt riding up the road.

At the summit , you can park, go into the observatory, warm up and get something to eat, beside enjoying the incredible views.

You will also get a motorcycle sized bumper sticker stating "this motorcycle climbed Mt Washington".

Have fun and be safe.

08-18-2010, 08:24 AM
Motorcycles are used. Little cool on a bike though.

08-18-2010, 12:57 PM
In the times I've hiked it, there have always been motorcycles up top. I think there are some clubs that do group rides even.

One of these days I plan on taking mine with me on a trip up from VA just to ride the Auto Road on it. I can't pass along any tips on riding the mountain, other than ride safe, ride smart. When in a car, on the drive down you really need to watch your brakes to keep them from overheating. From spending a lot of time on race tracks, I know that overheating the brakes, leads to boiling of the brake fluid. Once the fluid starts to boil, you get serious brake fade and then full failure. Just put the bike in a low gear and coast it on down.

Great Guinness Ghost
08-18-2010, 08:15 PM
One of these days I plan on taking mine with me on a trip up from VA just to ride the Auto Road on it.

That sounds good to me! MeridenFF, my brother in law and I are already talking about trailering ours up for next years' STP! A three day traverse w/after party and a bike ride around the Whites and up MW. Sound like fun?? We'll work on it

08-19-2010, 04:49 PM
Barry, I hope you had a great ride.

Motorcycle traffic on the Auto Road is subject to a higher level of oversight to weather and road conditions than for cars.

MWAR will close to motorcycles when the wind is steady/gusting 60 MPH, when the gravel surfaces of the road are mushy or greasy or soft because of rain, resurfacing, or freeze-thaw cycles. MC Traffic will be curtailed or denied when the asphalt portions of road have been treated with sand or calcium chloride b/c of ice or snow, usually Spring and Fall, and can also be expected in late season when leaf drop creates a road hazard/slippery condition.

One can expect closure to MC in all of those conditions........ and other conditions do arise that push the closure button. We've seen it happen when there is a sharp temperature gradient at the cloud deck layer on the upper reaches of the road that IMMMEDIATELY fog glasses/goggles and full face shields. You can't ride blind, and we don't want riders to try.

We can, do, and will hold MC traffic if there is an active local thunderstorm cell, when cloud to ground lightning is present or imminent, or there is hail or freezing precip evident or expected.

Yep we take a lot of flak when we close to MC and still allow cars, but the folks who make those decisions have 30 years each on the AR, put three of those heads together and thats a lot of experience to argue.

Mt Washington is "Not Without Peril", no matter the method of approach. MWAR has a darn good safety record for 149 years of traffic.

Much to my dismay, Paul West ( 8-08-2009) didn't negotiate his way down safely on a totally benign , plu-perfect bluebird weather day.

Not Without Peril Period


08-20-2010, 11:37 AM
I do not ride a motorcycle (I have but...) and I see them going up and down the Auto Road all the time. On several different occasions I have seen motorcycle drivers struggle going up. The speed gets slow - they have to stop - the road is steep - and keeping balance when you know the road drops off on the side and there is no guardrail - they struggle with it - and in some cases lay the bike down. It is not a simple drive in my opinion.