Not all vehicles with two wheels are bicycles. Motorcycles and their related motorized cousins scooters are an alternate form of navigating Davis. The local motorcycling enthusiast club are the 530 Riders, while scooter enthusiasts can find a home with the Davis Scooter Club.

For commutes and travels outside of Davis, motorcycles are a great option... never get stuck in a traffic jam again by lane splitting. Scooters are also a great vehicle for Davis. Faster than a bicycle, much cheaper to own, operate, and maintain than motorcycles, and can be parked nearly everywhere. The DMV classification of scooters varies according to who you're talking to. Broken down more simply: technically you either stand on a "scooter" (which most people know as gopeds), or it's electrically powered, not being able to top speeds of 25mph. Those guys can be ridden without any special license or insurance. Mopeds, and similar vehicles that have normal pedals are also fine and legal. The majority of the scooters people see and refer to around Davis are gas powered in the "50cc class" (such as the ever-common Honda Metropolitan - despite most all of them actually being 49.XX cc). The 50cc class typically top speed around the mid-30's, and only seat one. You have to jump up to the 125cc model or higher for other uses. These all require a motorcycle permit/license as of 2010. (The Honda Met II is excluded, it's weakened on purpose to get around that.)

The only motorcycle shop in Davis appears to be Davis Motorsports. There are dealers in Dixon, Sacramento, Vacaville, and Woodland. SteveLambert notes that the shops in Woodland mainly deal in dirtbikes, but Stowes Cycle of Woodland, a dealer on Kentucky Ave near West has around 4 or 5 sport bikes. Tim Gilbert adds that the Powersports Dealer in Dixon and Woodland has merged to one store located in Davis. The Woodland resources that continue are Bachman's Customs Cycles (Harley service and Customs, Davis Police Harleys & BMWs) on Road 102 just north of I-5 past AM/PM, and Woodland Powersports (Yamaha, dirt bikes and ATV/UTV) at Kentucky just east of West Street.

1Up Motorsports is a motorcycle shop in Dixon. They specialize in service, repair, parts, and accessories for street, dirt, and ATV's. They are located approximately 8 miles from Davis at 529 North Adams St. Unit C. From Davis take Interstate 80 West. Exit on SR113 South/1st street. Continue on 113/1st street, veer to right at North Adams St. Continue through the stop sign, two blocks. Located on the right next to Fisk's Bicycle shop. Hours are Mon-Sat 930am to 6:00pm. Phone 707-678-9900.

PCP Motorsports is a bit of a trip outside of Davis (~20 miles) but they carry EVERYTHING. They sell parts, accessories, service all bikes, and sell new and used bikes of all kinds. Take interstate 80 east towards Sacramento and then take the 99 south freeway. Exit at Florin Road East and they'll be on the right hand side past the first traffic light. Hours are Mon-Fri 9:00am to 6:00pm. Phone 916-428-4040.


  • 3rd Street and A Street - "cheap" a.k.a. free
  • Behind the Art building
  • The lot west of MRAK
  • Corner of 3rd Street and E Street (just north of Baskin Robins)
  • The lot north of 3rd Street between E and F has several motorcycle spaces that are not bothered by the pesky 2-hour limit the car spaces have
  • The lot south of 3rd Street between E and F (now a metered/pay lot for cars, but I think the motorcycle spots are still free)
  • A bunch of random 3-4 bike spaces on downtown corner streets

Any one know any more?

Parking on UC Davis Campus

According to Taps "motorcycle parking permits are available to all UCD faculty, staff, and commuting students. Valid for display on motorcycles and motor scooters/mopeds only. Valid only in areas designated as "M". Motorcycles may not park in regular vehicle parking spaces."

The following is TAPS' list of all lots with a M designation:

  • 3, 5, 6, 15, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 35, 41, 42, 43, 43B, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 54, 81, 82, 83

As of 2006, motorcycle parking permit costs; annual $228, semester $105, quarter $67, and monthly $19-$24. For some reason, daily rates are the same as cars at $6. Note that a motorcycle permit costs more than a carpool permit, despite the fact that 3-5 motorcycles can fit in a car space and motorcycles average over twice the fuel efficiency of cars. But most motorcycle riders are used to these kinds of inequities.

If you own both a car and a motorcycle, you can use your A or C parking permit for your car on your motorcycle as well. TAPS sells a permit holder that will lock to your bike so it won't get stolen.

Learning to Ride

Those learning to ride should consider the California Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Rider Course. The closest location is in Woodland- call (530) 662-0798 for more info. It costs $230, or $150 for those under 21. Some advantages to the class are:

  • the MSF provides motorcycles
  • it teaches you basic riding skills
  • only takes 15 hours
  • many insurance companies provide discounts to people who have finished the class
  • The DMV skills test (driving test) is waived for those who take the course

Some find the most important reason in the 1981 study of motorcycle accident cause factors by Harry Hurt at USC (aka the Hurt Study). "The motorcycle riders involved in accidents are essentially without training; 92% were self-taught or learned from family or friends. Motorcycle rider training experience reduces accident involvement and is related to reduced injuries in the event of accidents."

Great Rides Near Davis

If a great ride entails great curves and beautiful scenery, don't expect much right outside of town. You either need to ride for about a half-an-hour to get to good roads, or cross the causeway. Big sky, however, is available throughout the valley.

Old River Road If you are looking for the quickest ride from Davis with good scenery, take the first exit after you cross the I-80 Causeway (Enterprise Blvd), take a left, and follow West Capital Ave. until you take a left on Harbor Blvd. Harbor will become Sunset which becomes Old River Road. As you follow the west side of the Sacramento River, you'll get about 15 miles of very nice pavement with great views and broad, easy curves. Eventually, you hit I-5, where you can either turn around or cross the river and return south on the Garden Highway, which runs along the other side of the river (check the map before you go or bring a smartphone to see how to get to it). You also have the option of extending the ride by heading further north on the Garden Highway. If you just take Old River Road up and back without any stops, you can do the whole trip from Davis in about an hour (but why rush it?).

South River Road Also close, but a bit more of a pain to reach than Old River Road is South River Road. It goes down and past Clarksburg, which is a tourist destination for its wineries. This road is going to be more fun for experienced riders than Old River Road, as the curves are better, but the shoulders can be tight and the road imperfect. To get there, go over the I-80 Causeway, but stay on Highway 50/Business 80 until you reach Harbor Blvd. Exit Harbor and go right, then take a left on Industrial Blvd. Follow Industrial until you take a right on Jefferson, then go left on Linden, which will take you to South River Road.

Winters - Berryessa - Napa - Winters This ride is nice because the roads are exciting, it goes through very different terrain from forest to California chaparral, and it cuts into the Napa Valley. From Winters, take Grant Ave./Hwy 128 up to Lake Berryessa. Follow along the Berryessa shoreline until you reach Pope Canyon Road take the left. At the T intersection, go right on Chiles Pope Valley Road. In Pope Valley, take Howell Mountain Road down to the Napa Valley to the Silverado Trail or continue to Hwy 129/28 and take a left. Go south until you reach the 129 turn and go left. Follow it back to Winters. This ride will take all morning, plus whatever you add on in Napa. There are no service stations at the lake, so be sure you are fueled up in Winters. Also, these roads are twisty and generally in good condition, but they have their issues. In the afternoon, particularly on weekends, it gets jammed with boaters, motorcyclists and other tourists, so for maximum enjoyment and safety, go in the morning. The return trip on 128 is much less demanding than the Berryessa/Pope Canyon Road. Consider bringing a map in case you don't have smartphone reception—I've simplified the route for the important turns. Also, even one drink greatly increases your chance of having a motorcycle accident, so this is not advisable as a wine-tasting tour.

Also just a quick note: On your way to winters, you can take Russell Blvd or West Covell. Russell will have more initial twisty roads but they are pretty rough and terriby paved. West Covell has nicer roads but is straight as an arrow.


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2007-02-03 21:42:07   I see motorcycles parked across the street from EOP/Yummy Cafe by the SSH building. Are those motorcycle spots free? or you need a permit? —KaiWan

2007-02-12 20:39:39   The parking on 3rd by A is free and unlimited for motorcycles. —BenjaminPickett

2007-02-24 04:23:16   where else near campus can you park for free? —KaiWan

2007-06-08 05:23:03   What's the general opinion on bikes parking on sidewalks..? i.e. the divider by the ATM at the U Mall? —TrishAng

2010-01-30 23:16:07   Yeah, is 3rd and A the only place to park your bike for free? And can we get away with parking on the sidewalks? Especially by like silo-ish, which would be a long walk. —MattCorey

2010-03-16 17:27:17   I often park on campus, out of plain sight and out of any possible pedestrian or work path. I suggest treading lightly and avoiding bicycle herding times if riding/parking unofficially on campus and you have a reasonable chance of not getting towed or ticketed. One pissed off person is all it would take to call TAPS or worse, mess with your bike. I wouldn't recommend the silo since it's such a heavy traffic area, but there are a lot of nooks and crannies elsewhere and I see bikes in them once in a while. Smaller and quieter bikes will get more leeway, but I would still recommend parking anything plated away from as many eyes as possible.

As for parking on sidewalks - I've stopped doing this downtown but not for fear of tickets. I'm more worried about drunk or angry people sitting on or vandalizing the bike. If you want to risk it, minimizing your douche factor will get you far - dont block anyone's path, ramps, and especially handicapped unloading zones. —CharlesWinkelmann

2011-12-22 00:32:09   Are there current Davis-ites on and around this page? I've got a brand new class M1 license and there are no MSF-approved campuses in Norcal that offer street riding training. I'm hoping to get a bike this year, but I want to make sure I can ride it. Anyone up for teaching a newbie? —staacy

2012-02-27 16:58:45   Hey Davis Motorcyclist! The UC Davis Triathlon Team is in desperate need of motorcyclist and their motorcycle for our UC Davis Sprint Triathlon. We will provide breakfast, lunch and a free t-shirt for anyone who can help us out. Call me at (916) 549-3215 or email at racing@ucdtri.comWilliamDiaz

2012-03-12 21:32:09   Does anyone know CA vehicle codes regarding a motorcycle "running" a red light? I know there are several signal lights in Davis that do not detect my motorcycle and therefore do not turn green and I am stuck waiting. Normally this isn't a problem, I just wait a minute till another car comes along. However, I have been working the graveyard shift recently when there are absolutely no cars on the road and can no longer just wait for another car to come by. So my question whether or not it would be "run" these signal lights if they don't activate for my bike? I know there is a vehicle code that allows for you to treat non operating signal lights as a stop sign, just don't know if this qualifies.... —RickEhlert

  • Can't legally run them, California doesn't allow it. We're basically stuck. (I end up running them when I'm positive there's no police nearby...) he law is California AB 1581, signed into law in 2008. Here's what we do have: AB 1581, Fuller. Traffic-actuated signals: bicycles: motorcycles. (1) Existing law provides for official traffic control devices.

This bill would include as an official traffic control device a traffic-actuated signal that displays one or more of its indications in response to the presence of traffic detected by mechanical, visual, electrical, or other means. Upon the first placement of a traffic-actuated signal or replacement of the loop detector of a traffic-actuated signal, the signal would have to be installed and maintained, to the extent feasible and in conformance with professional engineering practices, so as to detect lawful bicycle or motorcycle traffic on the roadway. Cities and counties would not be required to comply with those requirements until the Department of Transportation has established uniform standards, specifications, and guidelines for the detection of bicycles and motorcycles by traffic-actuated signals and related signal timing. The Commission on State Mandates would be required to consult with the Department of Transportation regarding mandate claims relating to these provisions. This bill would provide that its provisions would remain in effect until January 1, 2018, and would be repealed on that date. Quoting the wrong source, but it gets the point across. Anything with a sensor *should* be able to pick up not only motorcycles, but even bicycles. Contact the city and report any light that won't. I've printed the actual bill and put it next to my buddy got pulled over for running a red, and he whipped his copy of the bill out and told the cop he had no choice, and asked if the cop would help him by reporting the light. Cop didn't ticket him... that's what I'm planning to do if I get caught on a crappy red. -ES

  • This is an issue for me as well. I've emailed the city about a couple lights and not received a response. -M

2012-08-06 08:59:41   Motorcycle/ATV/Scooter Repair 8 miles west of Davis. 1Up Motorsports is dedicated to giving exemplary customer care, a dynamic selection of parts and accessories, and high quality low cost service repairs and maintenance. We Service Motorcycles and ATV’s. We also have a selection of parts and accessories for road or off road. http://www.1upmotorpsorts.org1upmotorsports

2013-01-04 15:41:23   The left turn light from B Street to Russel BLVD Does not pick up on motorcycles. I was stuck there for a while at night. —StevenTaste