So you’ve installed the best aftermarket parts for Touring motorcycles, taken your bike out for a few test rides, and are ready for something bigger. Where can you go to experience the true thrill of highway riding?
If you’re itching for a new trail to blaze, we’ve got a couple of California roads you have to experience at least once. Here are 14 of the best motorcycle rides in California you definitely need to add to your bucket list.
1. Pacific Coast Highway 1
If you’re down for a long trip, Pacific Coast Highway 1 is the ultimate journey. At 655 miles, this is a beast of a route, which means you’ll have a lot to brag about when you complete it.
If you’re a fan of seafood, there are several excellent restaurants where you can stop for a bite. You’ll also want to take your time on this ride to fully appreciate the amazing sightseeing spots:
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Bixby Creek Bridge
- Ventura beaches
- Halfmoon Bay
2. Conzelman Road
Sometimes you only have time for a short ride, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for anything less than amazing. Along Conzelman Road, you’ll pass by the Point Bonita Lighthouse, Bonita Cove and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The journey is only four miles, but it takes you right along the coast for a truly breath-taking experience.
3. Redwood Ride
In our opinion, there’s nothing quite as awe-inspiring as the Redwood Ride. This trip takes you through Jackson State Forest, the home of unique redwood trees. Since there are plenty of detours, you can make this route feel like new by taking a different path every time. This route is no small feat at 123 miles, but it’s an experience you can only have in California.
4. Woodlake Into Sequoia National Forest
Next up is a route that lets you experience the majesty of the giant sequoia. These one-of-a-kind trees grow so large they’re wider than most vehicles.
Even if you’re not impressed by the greenery, this road has some of the most exhilarating twists. You can enjoy hairpin turns and a variety of stops along this breath-taking highway.
5. Angeles Crest Highway
If you prefer mountains over beaches, the Angeles Crest Highway may be the perfect choice. This road covers 60 miles of Angeles National Forest wilderness with all sorts of activities along the way:
- Lunch at Grizzly Café
- Horseback riding
While LA is usually known for its bustling metropolis, these 700,000 acres prove that nature is alive and well outside the city limits.
6. Montezuma Valley Road
If you’re in the mood for sweeping landscapes fit for a postcard, then we recommend you check out Montezuma Valley Road. This route is a biker favorite due to the many sharp curves where you can put your riding skills to the test. The highway cuts through the desert, so be sure to bring water and stay hydrated as you enjoy the panoramic view.
7. Palomar Mountain Loop
Are you looking for a route with varied terrain and views? The Palomar Mountain Loop is an excellent choice for riders seeking something a little different. This 30 miles runs past Lake Henshaw Overlook, dense forest areas and rocky ledges carved high up on Palomar Mountain. If you want to make a day out of it, there are dozens of places you can stop for a picnic or quick hike.
8. Dantes View Road
Don’t let the name deter you; this route has views that you just can’t find anywhere else. The Dante’s View lookout is especially breath-taking, as it gives you the best view of several iconic natural landmarks:
- Funeral Mountains
- Badwater Basin
- Furnace Creek
- Owlshead Mountains
- Mount Whitney
This road is 13 miles of pure hardcore, so take care if you decide to ride.
9. Highway 74
Have you ever driven through California’s dunes? They’re a popular destination for all sorts of enthusiasts, and Highway 74 happens to go right through them. This 50-mile stretch offers enough twists to keep you on your toes the entire ride as you pass through San Bernardino National Forest and the Palm Desert.
10. Riverside Freeway
So far, all our recommendations have been primarily in rural areas, but what if you enjoy cruising through the city? Riverside Freeway offers 38 miles to please any fan of city riding. If you decide you want to add a little greenery to your journey, you can always take a detour at one of the state parks this route passes by.
11. Central Valley
One of the best things about hitting the highway is the openness, where you can see for miles and enjoy the empty expanse of sky. This route takes you through San Joaquin Valley for 55 miles of flat land. You’ll get to pass by acres of farmland; if you time it right, you may even get a glimpse of the colorful harvest.
12. Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway
Riders who prefer mountains are sure to love the Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway. This 70 miles of asphalt takes you through Sierra National Forest, where you’ll get great views of canyons and crystal blue waters.
13. Route 36
If you can set aside a couple hours, Route 36 is 140 miles of pure adrenaline. What it lacks in views it makes up for in thrills, as there are numerous patches of this road lack guard rails, as well as twists, turns and roller coaster-drops. Just be sure to ride with care so this outing won’t be your last.
14. Sonora Pass
Want the perfect summer route? Although it’s close during the winter, Sonora Pass offers 70 miles of some of the most gorgeous landscapes you’ll ever see, filled with waterfalls, meadows full of wildflowers and mountains capped with snow to complete the picturesque scene. This may be a great road to take with a significant other, as there are plenty of opportunities to share a special moment.
Each and every one of these, from Dantes View Road to Highway 74, is an unforgettable ride. You’re sure to be in your element from the moment your tires hit the asphalt. Which will you choose for your next adventure?