Motos in Moab: Ride Whatever, and Put Away Your Phone

Cruiser interviews the founder of America's next big motorcycle campout

Motos in Moab
It's that you ride, not what you rideMotos in Moab

Seeing a photo like the one above, you know someone if having more fun than you. There is an event that somewhere with 20 foot flames and motorcycles burning around in the dirt and I didn't know about it!? I love all those things. I want that.

Luckily for absolutely everyone, the person putting on that event is Juan Coles, a level headed good-timesman looking to bring people out of the hustle and bustle of the digital age and get away from it all for a few days. We sat down with Juan to talk a little about his new event, how it started and where it is going.

Motorcycle Cruiser: Hey Juan, let's just jump right in here with a little background from you- where are you from and how old are you?
Juan Coles: I am 34. I was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Live in the great state of Utah, where I have most of my life.

Cruiser: Right on, how did Motos in Moab get started?
Juan: The concept to be honest was just me putting together a group of friends, and it slowly grew. One afternoon after a weekend of riding, some of my friends were asking me about the trip and suggested doing a bigger one, where we can just hit one location instead of multiple points. Because it can be difficult for most people to do 8-10 hours of riding everyday and then stop off and camp and have fun. That sort of thing is more reserved for Iron Butts. I said "yeah, well maybe we can just do a four day trip all in one spot." So we started listing some of our favorite places in Utah: Zion, Bryce, and we settled on Moab. Within a couple weeks of sort of landing the plane and announcing where we were going we had a hundred people knocking on the door and saying that they wanted to be a part of it. And it's grown from there.

Last year was more of a campout. This year is more of an “event”. It’s already ten fold the first year, we’re expecting the same next year as well.

Motos in Moab
A variety of the metric bikes from last years campoutMotos in Moab

Cruiser: Yeah, it looks like it is going to be absolutely huge for being the first year as a public event. How many people are you expecting?
Juan: We have capped it at 1000 for this year, five thousand next year, and the year after that probably ten or more.

Cruiser: That's awesome, man. In all of the photos you will notice a wide variety of bikes. A lot of metrics, a lot of home customs and weirdo bikes, is that just your friend group or a part of the vision here?
Juan: I'm actually glad you picked up on that. That is my whole, I guess, motivation and inspiration to do it. As I mentioned before, I was born in a different country and I'm coming here and learning from different people and different cultures and realizing that we all have something to give, regardless of our background, what we look like, what we ride. And I don't like motorcycle gangs. I like inclusion. I want to build something that everyone can be a part of. Unlike something like Sturgis that is primarily Harley. I just think a little differently. If you bring it, if it's got wheels and a motor, you're welcome. The motivation behind it is to connect people, not to exclude. And I think that's why it's special and a little different.

If you bring it, if it’s got wheels and a motor, you’re welcome. The motivation behind it is to connect people, not to exclude. And I think that’s why it’s special and a little different.

Cruiser: I agree, and I think that has a lot to do with why it is growing so quickly and why it's been received so well. Looking at the pictures and the video, it's pretty obvious the diversity of bikes, even compared to something like Born Free, that's a lot more Harley heavy. But it's nice and refreshing to see something like this that is done in such a friendly and welcoming spirit.
Juan: Well thanks, man! That's what I'm trying to do!

Motos in Moab
Four days and three nights at the end of this month! Come out and ride with us!Motos in Moab

Cruiser: Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap up?
Juan: The main motivation behind the event is connecting people, and one of the main reasons we chose Moab is because there is zero cell service, and people are forced to connect the way that we were meant to-- eye to eye. You know, actually get to know one another instead of looking at your screen every couple minutes to see how many likes you have. At first it's like you're on cocaine and it's difficult. People want to go back into town and get their fix, but after a couple of hours, they enjoy it. They like the fact that their phones don't work, they put em away and it's a really cool experience. It's one of the few times when you're legit off the grid and can have a one on one with someone and have the chance to learn something.

We couldn't be more excited for this event coming up at the end of the month. For more information or to buy your tickets before they sell out, check out