Will keep your pro tip in mind when I head to the rock next season...how’s the riding on the Rock ?
I'm loving it here, but a lot of the roads are crap. [Big island surrounded by salt water ... probably not surprising.]
The Trans-Canada Highway (TCH) / Highway 1 east of Lewisporte (more or less where I have been staying) all the way to St. John's is quite nice, both in terms of the quality of the road and in terms of the scenery. TCH west of Lewisporte to Port aux Basques is also gorgeous, but has a lot more damaged / pot-holed sections and construction.
[Edit: Just returned from Lewisporte to Port aux Basque. Looks like the construction is complete. May be my imagination but the eastbound lanes coming in from Port aux Basque seemed to be in worse shape than the westbound lanes going back.]
The road north from Lewisporte to Twillingate is pretty rough in many spots. Road North from Gander to Musgrave Harbour is pretty good (I didn't have time to complete the loop around from Musgrave Harbour).
Make sure you book plenty of time for the trip ... the island is big!
There's one Motorrad dealership on the Island, Avalon Motorrad aka "The Toy Box" in Mount Pearl (St. John's), about 11 hours of riding from the Port aux Basques ferry.
Haven't done as much riding as I'd like, partly because we're here visiting people and partly because my buddy's bike broke down and had to be taken to Mount Pearl (also home to the Island's only H-D shop) for repairs.
If you want a berth on either ferry (Port aux Basques ferry is a ~7 hour ride, Argentia is ~15 hrs) you need to book probably 2-3 months in advance. That may depend on time of the year but 2-3 weeks in advance was not enough for us to book berths on either of our Port aux Basque ferries in early and mid August.
The ferries provide tie-downs so no need to bring your own (not sure if the ferry provided tie-downs are mandatory or if you can use your own). The ferry provided tie-downs are pretty grimy, but they also provide ropes so you can loop the rope around your attachment points and then attach the tie-downs to the ropes if you like. Staff will assist if needed.
If you do end up in a chair on an overnight ferry, seriously do consider booking one of the hotels in Port aux Basques (or something in Argentia if you are going that way) and take a day off. I mean, unless you're capable of getting a decent sleep in a chair. We just rode on to our destination and we really shouldn't have. Likewise on the way back ... just stay in North Sydney / Sydney. Or find some place for a nap!
If you're coming for lobster, you'll want to be here earlier in the season. We were able to get some but you're picking over the dregs by the first week of August.
The weather can of course be all over the place, but I've been in my gore-tex Klim suit the whole time I've been here (arrived on August 6th) with a thin fleece underneath, vents usually closed up, and I was still a bit cool in places. My mesh gear has been packed.
If you are riding up through Cape Breton, and fancy a pint along the way, check out Big Spruce brewing: https://goo.gl/maps/p3scFM75MXG2
If you are doing the Cabot Trail, there is apparently a lot of construction and gravel along its norther stretch.