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Progressive Ranks Best States to Ride

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
From Arizona’s Grand Canyon to New York’s Catskill Mountains, all 50 states offer unique, great places to ride. And more riders are hitting the road to take advantage of those scenic and thrilling rides: motorcycle and scooter sales rose 10.5 percent through the first quarter of 2011, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. So whether you’re a newbie or a lifelong biker, you can plan your next trip with this list of the best states to ride, courtesy of Progressive Insurance, the #1 insurer of motorcycles in the U.S.:

Progressive Insurance
Progressive’s list of best states to ride

1. Florida
2. Georgia
3. Arizona
4. South Carolina
5. Kansas
6. Mississippi
7. Oklahoma
8. Arkansas
9. North Carolina
10. Iowa
11. Alabama
12. Texas
13. New Mexico/West Virginia (tie)
14. Nebraska
15. Tennessee
16. Hawaii
17. Kentucky
18. Louisiana
19. Ohio
20. Utah

“American riding is as diverse as American riders—from the city rider to the country cruiser,” said Dan Kamionkowski, motorcycle product manager at Progressive. “Some states that you may consider obvious good places to ride were not included in the top 20 when all data were taken into account—but they’re still great options.”

For example:

Where the sun is always shining—While California ranks in the top 10 (#6) for number of good riding days, The Golden State didn’t make the top 20 due to higher accident frequency, population density, and gas prices; and low percentage of smoother riding roadways.

Aloha spirit—While the weather in Hawaii offers bikers the highest number of good riding days, it’s edged out of the top 10 in part due to its low percentage of smoother riding roadways and high population density.

Escape the big city—New York has many great rides but one reason it’s not in the overall top 20 is because of New York City’s high population density. New York makes it into the top 10 (#6, up from #44) if New York City is removed from the population density data.

“Based on our experience, we pulled together what we consider to be important data to help bikers make better riding decisions. It’s not the end-all-be-all list of variables, for sure, since preferences vary from rider to rider, but we hope it will help riders plan their next road trip,” continued Kamionkowski.

Progressive looked at the following data to determine its list of best states to ride:

• number of good riding days (based on temperature and precipitation);
• likelihood of getting into a motorcycle crash;
• percentage of smoother riding roadways;
• population density; and
• average price for a gallon of regular gasoline

Here’s how states rank by each data set:

Most number of good riding days:
1. Hawaii
2. Florida
3. Arizona
4. Texas
5. Louisiana
Lowest likelihood of getting into a motorcycle crash:
1. Hawaii
2. Mississippi
3. Florida
4. Arizona
5. South Carolina
Highest percentage of smoother riding roadways:
1. North Dakota
2. Georgia
3. Florida
4. Alaska
5. Kansas
Lowest average price for a gallon of regular gasoline:
1. Wyoming
2. Montana
3. Colorado
4. Utah
5. South Carolina
Lowest population density
1. Alaska
2. Wyoming
3. Montana
4. North Dakota
5. South Dakota

“As the number one motorcycle insurer in the country, we want to help bikers get the most out of their time on the road,” said Kamionkowski. “We hope this list offers them insight before they go full throttle on their next excursion.” 
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MCUSA Bart   July 1, 2011 10:12 AM
Folks, I couldn't agree more with your sentiments on the list. Please read my editorial blog about it at this link:


As to why we posted it? We thought it might generate some feedback and opinion...
TonyDee   July 1, 2011 07:55 AM
This reminds me of computer dating back in the '70s. You would just input your info into the machine and after a few minutes of clicks, buzzes, and beeps your perfect match would appear.....
wildpig   July 1, 2011 07:31 AM
ssalmons   July 1, 2011 06:15 AM
Kansas and Iowa are good places to ride if you like dual sport riding, lots of open dirt roads and trails to explore. BUT if you like riding twisty roads you better head elsewhere. I also want to know how they can say what states are less likely to get into an accident. Most motorcycle accidents are single vehicle accidents where a rider loses control usually with the help of alcohol, rain, darkness and a twisty road. Anybody can crash anytime and it may be out of their control. What a silly list, I am glad MCUSA posted this now we all know what a bunch of tools work at Progressive (and all insurance companies).
kmann   June 30, 2011 08:26 PM
Hey Motorcycle USA, you're based in Medford Oregon, near some of the best roads in the country. And for six months out of the year you can ride your heart out on twisty smooth roads with slim odds of getting a ticket. My question to you is, Why would you give Progressive the time of day with a story like this? Ohio, Florida?
DaveLives   June 30, 2011 06:36 PM
Florida, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Ohio, etc. Are they kidding? This list must be some sort of belated April Fool's prank. A good portion of this list are states with no vertical elevation changes to speak of, and where the vast portion of roads are straight with 90 degree corners. Who want's to ride on straight roads with no mountains or hills to go up and down? The rating criteria is completely out of touch with what real riders seek; it's all about good twisties and beautiful scenery. Who gives a crap about gas prices? Most bikes get great mileage. And percentage of sunny days? Really? It has to be sunny to ride? What's wrong with riding on a cloudy day, or even on a rainy day? I guess that's only a problem for the fringed chaps and Dew-rag crowd. How about population density? When I go for a ride, do I head into the city, or away from it? Again, ridiculous criteria. Progressive, you've lost some serious credibility with real riders here.
bikerrandy   June 30, 2011 03:54 PM
Northern California is the MECCA for fabulous scenery and curvy roads, most of which are not used that much. I lived there for 20 years. Live in Arizona now and the thing I miss most is close curvy MC roads. Going straight most the time takes most the fun out of riding for me. I like my Progressive Ins. but not this ridiculous list.
Mitch   June 30, 2011 10:05 AM
Calculating riding destinations the same way you would insurance rates doesn't seem to tally up for a very realistic ranking (at least not to bikers). I think Kansas being in the top 5 is good evidence that the math is sound but the results are flawed.
TonyDee   June 30, 2011 07:50 AM
Oh I forgot to mention Ohio ranks high for flies, winged ants, and beatles the size of quarters.
Maxx   June 30, 2011 07:33 AM
These are probably the states they make the most money off motorcycle insurance. Come on Motorcycle USA, you can find something better than this.
wildpig   June 30, 2011 07:01 AM
an incredubily stoopid poll/ranking if i have ever seen one -- proves once again that progressive is one DUMASS COMPANY.
jng1226   June 30, 2011 05:10 AM
Thewall67 nailed it. I live in FL and it is the WORST place to ride, unless your idea of "riding" is cruising down main street in Daytona, which in either case I'd rather be in a car or walk (or not do it at all). If you like to ride twisty roads at all, then I guarantee the best riding is GA/TN/NC/SC. The absolute BEST roads, the longest riding season, the least amount of traffic. This "study" is similar to their recent commercials claiming "they love to ride", showing how out of touch they are with actual riding. Yet another reason I'm glad to have switched to Geico!
TonyDee   June 29, 2011 07:37 PM
Ohio is the worst place for motorcycle's I've ever seen. The roads have more potholes than there are craters on the Moon. Despite General Motors telling them to f*** off when the shipped 350,000+ jobs to China, the whole state says if you don't ride(buy) American made motorcycles your a communist. And because there is No law enforcement due to the loss of jobs and tax cuts, the average car cutting you off on the highway does around 90mph.
vintagemxr   June 29, 2011 05:57 PM
I agree with Thewall67. Dumb list. I moved from CA to AZ 30 years ago and CA has it all over AZ for riding. When I plan a trip my first thought is "How quick can I get out of AZ before I melt in the 110° summer heat.
Thewall67   June 29, 2011 05:28 PM
Quite possibly the WORST ranking and ranking method ever for great places to ride motorcycles. I can go ride in flat, miserably hot, miserably straight, and miserably boring Florida or hilly, scenic, curvy, agreeable temperature, sunny California because gas is .50 cents cheaper! Dumb.