Top U.S. Road Trip Routes for Motorcycling

Graham Zahoruiko Routes in US

Planning for an epic road trip across the United States on the back of a motorcycle? Nothing is more liberating than traveling through America on a motorcycle as you experience that thrilling sensation course through your veins and the open winds on your face. Here are the top recommended bike routes and destinations that you’ll enjoy as you map out your next big adventure.

Nature’s Wonders: Beartooth Highway

Feeling overwhelmed by the rigors of your daily routines? Take a breather and spare a couple of hours to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature as you weave your way through the curvaceous bends of Beartooth Highway’s rugged terrains on your bike. The 68-mile scenic route begins at Red Lodge in Montana, leading you through the iconic Custer and Shoshone National Parks as you ride up the 10,947 foot-long Beartooth Pass and end at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

The Journey of a Lifetime: Route 66

A biker’s ultimate dream: the chance to embark on the 2,200-mile, Chicago-to-Los Angeles journey, navigating your way across six states via one of the nation’s original highways. Make a pit-stop at one of the numerous biker-friendly sites along Route 66 and replenish your energy with delicious pies and Route 66 highway nostalgia.

Defy the Odds: Tail of the Dragon

An iconic landmark, U.S. 129, aka Tail of the Dragon, has cemented its place at the pinnacle of biking destinations within the United States. The Tail of the Dragon comprises of a whooping 318 hairpin curves within an 11-mile intersection that spans between North Carolina and Tennessee. This route is a paradise for daredevil bikers and inquisitive tourists seeking to challenge their riding abilities.

Are you Ready For It? Going-to-the-Sun Road: Montana

Theme parks are so overrated when you can experience a similar rush of adrenaline as you escape from the reality on this thrill-seeking biking adventure. Disclaimer: like a tumultuous, topsy-turvy rollercoaster. This route is definitely not for the faint-hearted as this unpredictable route brims with more sharp-turns than the average Hollywood melodrama as it continuously winds you up to the 6,646 foot summit at Logan Pass in Montana. It should be noted that Going-to-the-Sun Road is only available during the summer and you should always check weather conditions before venturing out on this path.

Planning to embark on a biking expedition may seem somewhat unconventional, but hey, you only live once right? Of course, it is of utmost importance that you ensure necessary safety precautions are taken to prevent unwanted incidents from occurring. But don’t let unknown possibilities deter you from experiencing life’s infinite possibilities on a classic motorcycle adventure.

Female Riders United: Eastern Canada’s First Female Rally Proves Successful

Women Bikers Increase at Canada’s First Female Rally
Many bikers feel compelled to ride and honor the lives of those who rode with them. The love of motorcycles in Canada and the U.S. has increased, specifically the female biker demographic. Not only are more women riding, more pro-female motorcycle rallies are taking place. One rally, the Backroad Ball, was the first rally by this name held in New Brunswick. Many females showed up in support, so this will likely be the first of many Backroad Balls.

The women of Penobsquis in New Brunswick celebrated their love of bikes over a weekend in June. The event, titled Backroad Ball, was also attended by ladies from the United States. There were at least 100 people that showed up in attendance between June 17-19, 2016. Women riders are up 6% since 1998. According to a survey conducted by the Motorcycle Industry Council, 14% of total motorcycle riders are female. This may seem like a small percentage, but 1.2 million riders are nothing to scoff at. Women are being included in more marketing materials as consumers that enjoy riding bikes as opposed to being an onlooker. It’s worth noting that most female riders are younger than men. The average age of a female rider is 39, for men, it’s 48. About 48% of female riders choose cruiser style bikes, scooters are at 33%, and sports bikes are at 10%.

The event successfully brought together women who love motorcycles across Canada and the U.S. The event was designed to be another version of female biker events such as Babe’s Ride Out and The Dream Roll. In line with the theme of safety, the Safety Service staff gave a speech about proper clothing, keeping your passenger safe, as well as other important topics. New Brunswick claimed 4 casualties due to biker accidents in 2016.

So the awareness of safety was definitely a major topic at the event. Some of the attendees have lost friends in motorcycle accidents, so the theme of safety was not overdone but welcomed. Despite the tragedies that have occurred, women still love to ride and that was the entire purpose of the rally. These attendees ride on in honor of their lost friends and family. These women are not discouraged from riding because of the simple and powerful feeling of total freedom. Lives were honored at the rally with a “minute of thunder”, particularly the life of Erin Robertson.

Guide to Riding Route 66

36f9a3fef4bf4f0042f544d7e119499fRoute 66 is one of the original highways in the United States highway system. The road originally ran from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California and became possibly the most well-known road in the entire country. Eventually, it was overshadowed by the Interstate Highway System and now Route 66 is no longer considered a highway. Many parts of it have been bypassed by the more recent highway system. Though, it’s still as popular as ever and is a great trip for bikers, due to its rich history; not to mention its stretches of flat road that are perfect for cruising and its reputation as a top item on the biker bucket list! Here’s some advice to keep in mind if you choose to ride Route 66.

 

  • Get the right bike

 

Unless you already own a cruiser that you feel comfortable riding on for hours at a time for a few weeks, you’ll probably want to rent a bike in Chicago. There are various places you can choose from and even some guided tours that will offer suggestions on what bike to take. If you don’t feel like planning out your entire trip, go for the guided tour of Route 66. Or, just find the proper bike and get ready for your journey.

 

  • Know where you’re going

 

Route 66 has a complicated history of being bypassed by the Interstate Highways and having various sections constantly realigned or completely renovated. You need to know exactly what part of the route you intend to follow (maybe all of it) and then carefully map out where you’ll be going. Sometimes you’ll come across multiple signs, all showing Route 66, so it’s important you know what route you’re following or where you’ll detour off of Route 66 (if you want to do so). It can get complicated and rough, so make sure you know where you’re going!

 

  • Give yourself time

 

Biking Route 66 is going to take a while; it goes across most of the country, after all! Give yourself at least two weeks to travel this road, though adding an extra week would be good, so you can account for any accidental detours or time you may decide to spend in one area. You’ll give yourself freedom to take your time and really enjoy the trip. It’s also important to be mindful of what time of year you’re going. Many people feel that September is the best time to travel Route 66, but anywhere between the middle of May to October should be fine.

 

  • Talk to people!

 

When you stop for food or to rest for the night, make sure you talk to the locals. There’s an endless amount of towns along Route 66, with many family-owned businesses and people who have lived there for generations. Take time to get to know these people and hear their stories. You’ll end up learning more about the history of the route than you could have ever imagined.

 

  • Pick out places to stop

 

Much like planning your route ahead of time, also plan where you’ll stop. Know what landmarks you’d like to see, where you’ll spend the night, and what towns are worth stopping in. There are lots of great places to get food, almost always for an affordable price. Take a look at this list to get some ideas of where you’d like to go while riding Route 66. Also, take along proper clothes that’ll leave you prepared for any weather!

Fact or Fiction: Common Motorcycle Myths Explored

Owning a motorcycle is one of the most empowering and free feelings that you ever have. It doesn’t matter what kind of bike you own, crotch rocket, tourer, cruiser, sportster, or what kind of biker that you are 1%er, weekend warrior, or daily rider, having a bike is the ultimate in independence. They’re a lot of myths, legends, and old wives’ tales that come from motorcycle ownership, however. Some of these are outlandish, some are based on misconceptions, and some are outright dangerous. Many are true, most are not. You have probably heard a lot of them yourself in your time of motorcycle ownership. Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones and whether they are fact or fiction.

Sport Tires Make a Bike Go Faster
This is FICTION: Racing tires are designed to be sticky and have a better grip on racing surfaces, but this effect only takes place once the tires reach a certain operating temperature. The truth is that you will more than lily never attain this temperature when you are using your bike for daily riding such as to and from work, or around your local area. While you might get a slight performance increase when you are on long highway trips, the advantage you may gain will not even be remotely close enough to warrant the effort of changing your tires out for the road trip.

In addition, racing tires are not designed for the rough surface of roads and highways. They are meant for the relatively smooth surface of racetracks. The limited tread on the tires and the lack of steel belting will make them wear out faster than regular tires. A lot of money put out, no real benefit gained.

Use of High Octane Fuel Increases a Bike’s Performance
FICTION: High-performance bikes are designed for high octane fuel since the engines are tuned in such a manner that a larger amount of energy is able to be extracted from the fuel. Regular motorcycle engines are not designed for such high compression extraction of energy and as such cannot truly benefit from the use of high octane fuel. The only real advantage of using high octane in your regular motorcycle engine is that there are more cleaning agents and engine boosters in the fuel which may help your engine run better on average. The truth is, though, that you can get the same effect by using a bottle of fuel booster with every fill up of your tank for less than the cost of a gallon of regular unleaded. Save your money and use a high-quality regular gas in your bike and every week drop a bottle of STP into the tank.

By Going Faster, You Can Decrease Front Wheel Wobble
FICTION: This is based partly in truth, however. The truth part is that due to a motorcycles two-wheel design the front wheel, which is thinner than the rear wheel, wobbles naturally. When you hit a bump or some other obstruction the wheel wobble seems to be more pronounced, but then when you speed up it corrects itself. Now for the fiction part and why…wheel wobble can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including issues with your tires or you from the wheel being out of alignment. If your wobble is significant you should get your bike into a service center and have it looked at but at all costs do not try to correct the wobble by riding faster. You could suddenly lose control of the bike and end up in a very bad way.

A Fast-Moving Motorcycle Is Small Enough Not to Register on a Speed Trap
This is FICTION: While your bike may be smaller in size than a car or truck, the truth is that the laser or radar beam that detects your speed is only the size on average as the lead from a mechanical pencil. You get the idea, you may be smaller but there is still enough of you to have the beam hit and there is no way to ride fast enough to beat the speed of light, which is what you are effectively racing against when trying to beat a speed trap.

Lay Down a Motorcycle If You Are Going to Crash
FICTION: This is not only massively fiction, this is also massively stupid, and massively dangerous. Are you trying to lose an arm or a leg, or to totally destroy your $25,000 investment in your bike? Why would you deliberately want to lay down your beloved machine to have it turned into highway hash browns? Back in the old days when bikes were less advanced and most riders had more balls than brains they idea of stopping a bike in an emergency situation was at least plausibly to lay it down and take the side, but today’s bikes are much more advantaged, they go a hell of a lot faster and there are more drivers on the road. The advent of ABS, disk brakes, computer stabilization, and other advancements have made it a lot easier to stop the bike quickly and under control. If you are in an emergency, then it’s best to just apply both brakes hard and controlled and try your best to maintain a vertical position using your feet. Remember, it’s cheaper and easier to replace a pair of biker boots and deal with at worst a sprained ankle than to destroy your bike and perhaps yourself in the process.

Now that you have seen some of these myths settled you are better informed and prepared to ride your motorcycle for many years to come. While there are a lot of myths and wives tales about motorcycles that have some truth to them, the ones that we have discussed here are fully debunked. Now go forth a ride!

Daredevil Robbie Maddison and His Famous Oceanic Motorcycle Ride

The daredevil Robbie Maddison had been involved in a variety of stunts but the most original and crazy stunt was riding his motorcycle on water. A video was made of Robbie showing him and his motorcycle riding the waves of Tahiti.

Other Amazing Stunts Robbie Maddison Has Performed

Other stunts he has previously accomplished include back flipping the Tower Bridge in London while it was open, making a 300 foot leap across Greece’s Corinth Canal, a nearly 400 foot jump over a San Diego Bay boat inlet, and a 351 foot jump over the F1 Track in Melbourne. His most famous stunt was in Las Vegas when he jumped onto a replica of France’s Arc de Triomphe then jumping back down.

How This Stunt Was Done

The motorcycle water ride was accomplished using ski-like devices that were attached around the wheels of the bike. Maddison came up with these devices himself with the front ski in the shape of a snowboard, while the back was shaped like a surfboard.

Practice Runs

The filming of the stunt took three weeks on two separate surf breaks. Prior to filming, he made a test run on Mission Bay in San Diego. He completed three laps totaling seven and a half miles. When him and his crew got to Tahiti, it was challenging changing from the cold freshwater he had rode on before and the warm salt water there.

Preparation

He went through a total of six different bikes that were rebirthed ten times a piece. Everything on the bikes had to be sealed tightly so no gas or oil was leaked into the ocean. During the final day of filming, he wiped out on a wave twenty-five foot high.

Combining Surfing and Motorcycles

Maddison grew up surfing in Australia and just had to bring his two favorite pastimes together for this stunt. He used the fundamentals of aquaplaning to help him and his bike ride on the surface of the water. Both the customizations he made to the bike and a very high rate of speed helped him to remain on the top of the water for such a long period of time.

You can watch a clip of the video here. Robbie Maddison is an amazing daredevil who has successfully performed some truly dangerous and exciting stunts. This new addition to his stunt history will be talked about for years to come.

7 Motorcycle Rides in the Wild, Wild, West

Feeling the wind on your face, blowing your hair, the feeling of flying. These are the feelings of riding a motorcycle. There is nothing like cursing over the road, being part of the world. You can’t get these feelings being inside a car. To be part of it you have to ride a motorcycle. There is no better place to enjoys the joys than in the West. Mountains, valleys, twist and turns the West has it all.

Here are some of the best routes to check it out on your bike.

1) Pacific Coast Highway, Carmel to Morro Bay, in California
This part of the Pacific Coast Highway runs for 120 miles. You’ll see crashing surf, towering redwood trees, acres of curves and beaches covered with seals. The Highway has many turnouts that allow you to take in the sights.

2) Peak to Peak Highway in Colorado
This highway runs only 60 miles but it’s worth it. Peak to Peak extends north along highway 72 and 7 before dropping to Estes Park. The highway runs through Rocky Mountain vistas and through the National Park. Moose and elk can be seen so be careful if you choose to ride.

3) Beartooth Highway through Montana and Wyoming
This ride runs for 68 miles of Highway 212, starting at the Red Lodge in Montana and ending at the northern gateway of Yellowstone National Park. Ride through above tree line tundra and high alpine meadows.

4)Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana
This ride is only available in summer and goes for 50 miles but it’s worth it. Ride up and down and through twist and turns. 3,000 ft above Lake McDonald and 6,646 summit at Logan Pass. If you look closely you can see big horn sheep and mountain goats.

5) Grand Staircase- The Escalante National Monument Ride in Utah
Includes spectacular views of Eroded scenery and runs through Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef National Parts, and Petrified Forest State Park. The trail is 115 miles long follows the Rio Grand between Candelaria and Presidio Texas.

6) San Juan Mountain Skyway in Colorado
You can start anywhere on this route and go in any direction, you wont be disappointed. Ride over 14,000 foot mountain peaks and view red rock canyons, amazing river valleys, and hot springs.

7) The Three Sisters (aka The Twisted Sisters) in Texas
This 131 mile route starts in Media Texas. The ride views clear rivers and twisty like mountain curves around real J.R. Ewing Texas style ranches. Plan time for fishing as the Nueces River is home to large and small mouth bass and the native Guadalupe bass but watch out for gators.

Riding the open road, feeling the wind, and being part of the country is part of motorcycling. The west has royal views throughout the expansive range to enjoy.

Motorist Confessions: What You Don’t Know About Riding A Motorcycle

Everyone wants to ride a motorcycle, but they never really understand all of the things that go into owning and riding a motorcycle. From experience, I had friends who would come up to me and say “that looks so easy, I can ride that thing”, when in all actuality they had no idea of the technique and knowledge that a person needs when deciding to be a motorist.

Here I wanted to confess not only to my friends but to every other person the hidden truths and responsibilities that come along with riding on the open road. If you’re still tempted to be a part of the “bike life” after reading this, then you have what it takes to be a part of the motorcycle community.

 

  • We Drive Way too Fast

Yes, this is true, many of us who take on the challenge of riding a motorcycle can admit that at times we drive way too fast (especially on open roads)

  • Other Drivers Hate Us

Maybe it’s because we can squeeze into compact spaces or cut them off in the middle of the road, but drivers just seem to hate us motorist.

  • Wearing Protective Gear is Important

You may see it time and time again, people riding on a motorcycle without wearing the proper equipment. This should never! Wearing protective gear protects your from any debris or potential harm that can be done while riding.

  • It is NOT Like Riding A Bicycle

This has to be my favorite misconception of motorcycle riding! It is not like riding a bike and should be taken seriously! Before I rode my first motorcycle I had to learn the gears, shifts, and changes. It is not as simple as pushing your legs and keeping upright.
Interested in knowing more about riding motorcycles? Check out my website for more insight and motorcycle related blogs.

Great Motorcycle Rides

Best Motorcycle Rides (1)

There is no better feeling than experiencing the freedom of the open road, which is best felt on the seat of a motorcycle. A motorcycle puts you right within the elements of the environment you are traveling through making it a unparalleled feel. It is great (and fairly common) to hop on a motorcycle and ride wherever the road takes you with no destination in mind. But that should not stop you from planning a trip to some of the great roads within throughout the world. There are some amazing rides out there that feel as though they were built solely for a motorcycle and you should make it a point to check them out for yourselves.

Check out the collection of great motorcycle rides below for some ideas of where you and your bike should travel next. Each ride offers a unique experience that you will be sure to remember for years to come.

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Great North America Motorcycle Rides

Best Motorcycle Rides (1)

This is the perfect time of the year to hit the open road and experience the outdoors. We are in the thick of summer, with amazing weather, allowing for us to soak in the sun. Not to mention, autumn is fast approaching, when the colors begin to change and literally transform the nature that surrounds us.

Taking a roadtrip in a car is fun, but nothing can compare to the feeling of flying down the road on a motorcycle. A bike ride provides a great sense of freedom and places you within the surrounding landscape with no obstructions. If you are looking to plan your next ride, here are three awesome locations to consider in North America.

 

3) Needles Highway, Black Hills, South Dakota

Needles Highway leads to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place every August. This ride was basically made for motorcycles. The landscape is amazing, providing for views difficult to find on any other road. The highway actually passes through two sheer granite wall tunnels (Iron Creek Tunnel and Needles Eye Tunnel). In addition to the landscape, you may even find yourself up close to some wildlife as well, including bison, deer, and antelope.

 

 

2) Route 50, The George Washington Highway, West Virginia

Motorcycles are made for twits and turns; they make for a truly exhilarating ride. On the George Washington Highway in West Virginia you will find just that. Not to mention the breathtaking mountains, rivers, and scenery. This ride is just north of the Monongahela National Forest and travels right past Cathedral State Park along the way.

 

 

 

 

1) Tail of the Dragon, Deal’s Gap, North Carolina

Similar to Route 50, Tail of the Dragon has an enormous number of turns providing for a fun bike ride as well. In fact, this route has 318 curves in 11 miles! The road borders the southeastern portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park providing spectacular views. The views have made it a fan favorite for featured films and television shows, with appearances in The Fugitive and Top Gear. If you are able to make it on this ride, make sure you check out the “Tree of Shame,” a monument to those who have crashed their bikes on the Trail of the Dragon. The unfortunate riders who have let this ride get the best of them have nailed bike parts to the tree and dangle them from the branches.

 

So get out there and experience the world around you… on a bike. Stay tuned for some more great locations to ride and let me know if you have any suggestions for great rides in your area!