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Do You Ride After a Beer or Two?

Do you ride after a beer or two?
Credit: Arrive Alive

First things first, riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is not okay nor do we condone it. Riding a motorcycle takes skill, intuition, and focus at all times. Riding on anything but the “top of your game” is never a smart idea.

Though you may be able to legally ride a motorcycle after having a couple of beers, it impairs your reaction time and raises the likelihood of an accident.

With that said, we won’t be naive and pretend that people don’t stop for a cold beer while riding on a hot summer day.

We wanted to know what the most common practices were when it came to having an adult beverage while out on two wheels. In the name of gathering real data, we asked 100 riders from all over the globe what their practices were when it came to having adult beverages and riding a motorcycle.

Below are our questions along with the data we collected. Disclaimer: The answers from this survey were given freely and anonymously.

Do You Ride After Having a Drink?

Survey responses on how many riders choose to ride after having an alcoholic beverage


The data collected came back very promising. The 57% majority of riders said they do not ride after having a drink and we commend those riders. These riders are far less likely to be involved in an accident as their reflexes and brain functions will not be impaired.

The riders who do not ride after drinking usually plan ahead. They plan to either not drink or find a ride home if the festivities turn into an all-night event.

Being in control while riding is the key to have a safe and enjoyable ride. Having one drink can dull your cognitive and physical reaction while riding putting you at risk while on a motorcycle.

As for the 43% of riders who said they ride after having a drink, they continued on to the next question of our survey.

How Many Drinks do You Feel You are “Okay” to Have?

Survey responses on how many riders feel okay to ride after drinks

Most places have laws surrounding the maximum BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) someone can have while operating a motor vehicle. Depending on where you live, the consequences for driving/riding while under the influence can range from a cash fine to vehicle impoundment, but even worse, lead to an accident causing injury or death. These may seem like obvious facts, but in an article such as this one, they are necessary to add. If you’re caught driving under the influence, you’ll likely want to contact a DUI attorney such as David Aylor, a firm located in Myrtle Beach.

When out for a ride on a hot summer day, it’s nice to stop for a nice cold beverage. This starts with riding with a few friends then stopping for a bite to eat and ordering a cold one to wash it all down.

When it comes to the 43 riders who do “indulge” in our survey, 53.5% of them deemed to have a one-drink maximum if out on the bike. The second-largest percentage in the survey said they were “okay” to have two drinks before getting on the saddle.

Alcohol affects everyone differently and is dependent on many factors. Drinking alcohol while on an empty stomach, while dehydrated, or while tired are all going to hinder your ability to ride a motorcycle safely. These factors all play a role in brain function, alertness, and reflexes – which are all crucial when it comes to riding a bike.

Do You Wait Before Jumping on the Bike After Having a Beer?

Survey results on how many riders choose to ride after having an alcoholic beverage

If you do decide to ride after having a drink, it’s best to follow the “one-hour” rule.  Waiting for one full hour to pass after having a beer can allow the effects of alcohol to dissipate. This common rule is based on one 12 ounce beer at 5% alcohol content – like a Budweiser (Not sponsored).

When it came to the data we collected, the majority always waits before hopping back on the bike to ride. If you have a drink, this will help ensure you are under the legal BAC limit but more importantly, you allow your cognitive ability to return to its most effective state – sober.

How Long do You Wait After Having a Cold One?

Survey results on how long riders wait after having a beer before riding

Running this small survey told me a lot about the true statistics of riders that drink and ride. It tells me the majority of riders choose not to drink and ride. But if they do, it’s no more than 2 beers – with the exception of two riders who said 3 or 4 drinks.

The majority who do indulge said they wait between one and two hours before jumping back on the bike – this is comforting news considering the effects alcohol has on your crucial riding skills.

If you plan to take anything away from our small survey, it is this – bikes and booze DO NOT mix. If you find yourself enjoying a cold beer while out on the bike, ensure it’s with food and allow at least one hour to pass before hopping back on the saddle. Better yet, “I’ll take lemon water” works just fine too.

  1. Nope. But I’m in Bangkok and traffic here is crazy enough sober. Half a second hesitation or being too forceful/sloppy is easily death.

    1. At 75, I’ve been riding since my first ride on a BSA 250 back around 1959-60- really can’t remember but I do know where. I’ve never been a big drinker, especially beer, although I know friends who love it and see nothing wrong with having a few and riding off. With so many needing to have a beer or two, it’ll probably continue to exist until an accident ensues and ends a life.

  2. I don’t have many “hard” rules in life, but this is one. Absolutely will not drink if on two wheels.

  3. It’s shocking to me that some Harley dealerships in the USA apparently offer beer on tap. Drinking and riding is a big no for me too.

  4. I do not ride after having any alcohol, period. In fact, I will not ride with anyone who has had any alcohol before the ride. Motorcycle accident data indicate that roughly 50% of motorcyclist who died while riding had alcohol in their blood.
    I have no interest in picking up the pieces of a motorcycle and its rider after a crash, and alcohol consumption tremendously increases the probability of a crash. Worse yet, my wife is a nurse, and on the rare occasions when she accompanies, me I refuse to put her in a situation where she has to try to save the life of someone who is so inconsiderate of others that (s)he consumes alcohol ( or other controlled substances) before riding.

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