Saddle Up and Take to the Road for the 10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA
It’s called a two-wheeled freedom machine for a reason. Riding through beautiful scenery and experiencing it first hand while enjoying the challenges of the road, are unparalleled.
You may be planning one of these routes as part of a road trip, or just blowing the cobwebs away on a weekend blast. Whatever the reason though, the USA has more scenic rides than you could complete in several lifetimes.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #1: Blue Ridge Parkway
Let’s start off with a good one and boy they don’t get much better. This route takes you through the beautiful unspoiled regions of Virginia and North Carolina.
At almost 500 miles, it’s more of a road trip than a day ride. With the lower section of the route (between Asheville and Cherokee) giving you some of the best mountain views on the Eastern Seaboard, it’s not a ride to rush.
There isn’t one traffic signal or stop sign along the entire route, but there are things to take into account. First and foremost is the rather pedestrian 45mph limit. Then there are the curves; a lot of them just keep getting tighter, and with adverse cambers and drop offs; it’s as exhilarating as it is challenging.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #2: San Juan Mountain Skyway, Colorado
This big looping road takes in the beautiful scenery of the Rocky Mountains. As it’s pretty much a circuit, you can get on the Skyway and head in any direction, knowing that eventually, you will get back to your start point.
On the way, try not to get too mesmerized by the 14,000ft peaks or you’ll miss the old mining towns, hot springs, ski resorts and stunning river valleys. Make the trip in May or early October to avoid the worst of the traffic and get the best riding weather.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #3: Pacific Coast Highway
It’s not possible to exclude this incredible stretch of blacktop; it’s had a starring role in more movies than Kevin Bacon. If you’ve ever seen aerial shots of this road, parts of it look like a brown ribbon blown against the cliffs. The route goes from Monterey, 140 miles south, through the central Californian coast to San Luis Obispo.
On the way, ride along swooping curves and peg scraping hairpins. Over vertigo inducing bridges, through towering redwood forests and past deserted beaches. All that and a host of cool watering holes along Big Sur, what more could anyone want?
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #4: The Dragon’s Tail
US129 as was, before becoming infamous, snakes between the Cherokee National Forest and the Great Smokey Mountains. With 318 curves along an 11-mile stretch, you’re not going to be upright until the moment you pull off and get a nice cup ‘o tea to soothe those nerves.
What makes it such a challenging ride, is the fact that along this stretch, there are no intersections or pullouts. Meaning that once you start rolling the only thing to stop for are the guys that over-cook it on the S- bends with reverse camber. Enjoy, but don’t go donating to the tree of shame.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #5: Needles Highway, Black Hills, South Dakota
So-called because the road meanders amongst the granite needles of the Black Hills. This route is one of the nicest routes to take to the Sturgis Rally, and it is worth allowing extra time because it really is picturesque.
On the way, pass through two tunnels blown through granite cliff walls and unless you fancy going handlebar to horn with the wildlife, take it easy. A full-grown Bison weighs around the same as a packed Harley.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #6: California State Route 58
This route ends in the same place as our Pacific Coast Highway route, San Luis Obispo. There’s nothing to stop you picking State Route 58 here and heading west to east, but the more favored ride is the other way around.
Start out in McKittrick and its paved roads with little traffic for the next 72 miles. Pass through the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley as well as the edge of the Mojave Desert and the Sierra Nevada. Ok, the scenery isn’t jaw dropping but the roller coaster ride and big sweepers more than make up for it.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #7: Beartooth Pass Wyoming
This one lies right in the north west of the state and runs close to Montana and Idaho, through the Beartooth Mountains. Due to its elevation and location, it is strictly a summer time ride, and even then it wouldn’t hurt to pack waterproofs.
For scenery lovers both rugged and breathtaking and thrill seekers who enjoy challenging roads, then this is the one to take. Hairpins, roller coaster drops and endless sweepers, it’s all there and being that close to Yellowstone, there’s wildlife in abundance.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #8: Natchez Trace Parkway Tennessee to Mississippi
I’m a massive fan of the south and this route packs in some of its best features. Following an old Buffalo migratory route, the road is a National Scenic Byway, and it’s easy to see why.
It runs for over 400 miles from Nashville Tennessee, south to Natchez on the banks of the Mississippi. It’s a well kept two lane asphalt, and it’s great to enjoy the ride knowing that there are no trucks or stop signs allowed. Just choose any stops wisely, as there are no commercial services.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #9: Coastal Route One New England
It’s about time the east coast made it on the list, and this route north from Brunswick is about as ‘New Englandy’ as it gets. The two-laner hugs the coast for well over 150 miles, and you’re never far from the beautiful rugged Atlantic Ocean.
This ride is one to take a lot of time over. Not only are there a myriad of quaint fishing villages along the way to explore, but heading further north, will put you in moose territory.
10 Best Motorcycle Rides in the USA #10: Grand Staircase Utah
Snake through the Grand Staircase Escalante National Park for over 125 miles of prime biking road. The route is a never-ending geology lesson too, thanks to the eroded rock formations.
Sunrise and sunsets are stunning in this part of the world, so plan on an overnighter to take full advantage.
According to the FHA, there are approximately 4.12 million miles of roads in the US. Many of them make their way through breathtaking scenery and offer technically challenging rides. So, what’s stopping you? Saddle up for the ten best motorcycle rides in the USA.