An essential tool for motorcycle trip planning


Technology is everywhere- at our fingertips, on our wrists and in our bikes.  Silicon wafers have their proper place but one time they should be put away is during trip planning.  Here, old school is best.

As in maps, large maps, big sheets of two dimensional land spread across tables or floors, unfurled like a relentlessly expanding universe. These are what true planners use to fertilize their imagination and ripen plans of adventures to come.  Deep thinking riders hoard maps like greedy pirates and cling to them like treasure.  In the motorcycling world, Butler Maps have no equal.

Butler maps are motorcycle specific maps where roads in a state or region are graded according to pavement and scenery.  Roads with the best combination of twisty pavement and mouth dropping scenery are rated G1, then go down to G2 and G3, outlined in gold, red or orange for quick identification.  The maps are waterproof and tear proof but not knife stab proof.  Long story.  Twenty states have Butler Maps so far.

Noteworthy rides have their own descriptions, point to point mileage and elevation changes on the back of the map to give more detail and your brain even more fodder for trip planning.

Roads marked as “Paved Mountain Trails” have their own color coding and are roads with no center line, questionable pavement and uncertain conditions.  Pretend someone accidentally paved your favorite dirt road and you get the idea.  ADV riders thrive on these roads, whereas cruisers and sportbike riders might want to reconsider.  I love the adventure of PMTs and have done way too many miles of them on my 1998 VFR800, dragging along many grumbling travel companions.

Butler Maps also offers a collection of ten different “Backcountry Discovery Routes” for ADV or dual sport riders seeking out a dirt-only path across a state or region.  These routes are outlined with gas stations, stopping points and elevation changes, a perfect route guide packed in your saddle bag.

Better yet, Butler maps are just that: maps.  They need no batteries, no internet connection and no cell service, they never need to be charged, their screen never breaks and they don’t have annoying pop-up ads asking you to refinance your house.  In a world saturated with technology, Butler Maps are the antidote.  I own over a dozen Butler Maps and refuse to ride plan any other way.

Butler Maps cover most states west of the Continental Divide and many states in the east, offering them individually or in bundles for ultimate trip planning.  Move your furniture back accordingly.

Buy them individually at $14.95 each, or cheaper by the bundle, because they are worth every cent for the knowledge they contain.  So unplug and unfurl, spread multiple maps out on the floor and join them together like a giant jigsaw puzzle creating massive, dreamy sections of America like a pirate yearning for paved paradise.

Despite technology’s steady creep into our lives, there is a time to ditch the screen.


For more on Butler Motorcycle Maps, click here:

Butler Maps

Endless possibilities at my fingertips.


  1. Ted Brisbine

    The best part about a Butler map is the built-in, high-definition, omni-zoom feature. You can zoom all the way out to see the whole state and orient yourself geographically and still see the fine details of the route in question. I don’t know how they do it! These modern cartographers must be a clever bunch to pack in so many pixels onto a paper screen. Thumbs up to Butler Maps for making motorcycle heaven so easy to find.

    • Rob Brooks

      Paper pixels- new thought!


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