What’s Your Favorite Motorcycle Road?

Motorcycle RoadROADS ARE THE INTERNATIONAL PLAYGROUND FOR MOTORCYCLE RIDERS. Curvy roads, scenic roads, mountain roads, river roads, ocean roads, desert roads, canyon roads, fast roads, slow roads, paved roads, dirt roads, gravel roads, sand roads, bad roads, high roads, low roads…they’re all places for motorcycle adventure, amusement, camaraderie, solitude, contemplation, exhilaration, relaxation, and the freedom that is the heart of riding.

Some of the simplest pleasures in life include the sublime enjoyment of riding along scenic, rural roads with the engine pulsing a relaxing note of harmony with the surrounding world and a rider’s soul.

My favorite roads include ribbons of asphalt and/or dirt through National Parks in the United States and Canada, as well as byways that head through U.S. National Forests all over this great land, and plenty of lesser known roads that were merely squiggly little lines on various maps throughout North America that summoned my acquaintance.

Of course all the roads that comprise the National Scenic Byway system are at the top of my favorite riding experiences.

It’s very difficult, at least for me, to isolate any one favorite road, but since I tend to visit local roads more regularly than those on the other side of the continent, I’m quite fond to re-visit again and again Pacific coastal roads, including Pacific Coast Highway 1 through the Big Sur region of California, as well as the various California central-coastal region roads that wander through mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, all in addition to the ocean. Having said that, the road that I get to enjoy the most, because it is so close to where I live, is California Route 33: Ongoing Motorbike Marriage, and the network of roads that cross it.

However, I’m more interested in YOUR favorite roads! Add your favorite roads below. (And if I haven’t ridden your favorite one yet, I’m going to contemplate it for my future, and I bet others who read this will, too).

84 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Motorcycle Road?

  • Hwy 1 California, Yosemite NP, Glacier NP, Trail Ridge rd. Co., Independace Pass near Aspen, Million Dollar Hwy north of Durano up to Ouray, Co., Zion NP Utah, 3 Sisters Ranch Roads 335,336 & 337 near Leakey, Texas. Canada’s Scenic Hwy from Hope to Banf along the Thompson River, Salmon Arm.

  • Highway 135, starting in Salem Indiana, and ending in little Nashville Indiana, nice and twisty for miles with slight elevation changes. nice country side. Just watch out for deer.

  • I lived and traveled through the Pacific Northwest for many years. Many memorable roads and rides but the very best (in my opinion) is in British Columbia between Kaslo and New Denver.

  • My favorite ride is between Granby Colorado, and Estes Park Colorado know as Trail Ridge Road, http://www.rmnp.com/RMNP-Areas-TrailRidge.HTML You always hear talk about talk about Beartooth pass http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beartooth_Highway, but in my opinion Trail Ridge Road is a real bikers ride, you reach altitudes of over 12,000 feet and can see half of Colorado from up there. You just haven’t road the high country until you have road Trail Ridge Road.

  • A couple from my riding experiences mirror several others including the OP. Highway 1, the coast road from San Luis Obispo to Humboldt County in California surely ranks right up there, but Oregon 101’s continuation to Florence is nearly as good.

    The Angeles Crest Highway, state highway 2, going from La Canada/Flintridge up to Wrightwood, CA is one of the more accessible and properly cambered twisty roads that also has some pretty breathtaking scenery. Going further, you enter the San Gabriel/San Bernardino Mountain ranges, that takes one all the way to Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead.

    The Coquihalla Highway from Vancouver, British Columbia to Banff, Alberta is simply a stunner, tunnels being carved right out of the mountains with continuing scenic views when going through them…almost like Glacier Park’s Going to the Sun but far longer.

    Colorado’s highway going through Independence Pass and the Continental Divide at nearly 12,000 feet is another one.

    Yosemite’s ride from Oakhurst, CA through its south entrance to the tunnel leading to the awe-inspiring view of the Valley, El Capitan, and Half Dome would be another one not to be missed, except perhaps in high summer tourist season.

    For solitude, the leeward side of Vancouver Island all the way north to Malcolm Island ferry puts one into a land that time nearly forgot. You can feel your blood pressure fall.

    Mostly though, nearly all the reasons the OP talked about in his introduction to this discussion means, to me at least, that a good Sport Touring bike that allows you comfort, handling, over 200 mile range, weather protection, and ability to pack camping and photography gear allows one to travel incomparably well over any of the roads he lists.

  • Great rides everyone!

    My absolute favourite (Canadian eh) is Highway 99 (Sea to Sky) North from Vancouver BC to Lillooet. On leaving Vancouver, the views of Howe Sound, the Gulf Islands, and the Coastal Mountains are spectacular. The road starts out as a 4 lane divided with excellent twists, then turns into a 2 lane and passes through Garibaldi and Stein Valley Provincial Parks where you ride through mountain passes, along rivers and beside lakes.

    In Lillooet, turn South on Highway 12 and you ride above the Fraser River for 70 KM on a narrow, twisty, and stunning ride where you realize how tiny you really are.

    In Lytton, get onto Highway 1 and ride down the Fraser Canyon along the Fraser River, past Hells Gate, through Spuzzum and Yale and then get into Hope. Here you have 2 choices. Continue on 1, get onto 7 (beautiful, twisty, scenic) and end up back in Vancouver either way. A challenging 1 day trip, but best over 2 days and make a side trip to Spencer Bridge, but that’s another great ride!

  • Deals Gap # 1 and The Snake # 2. Deals Gap gets the publicity but The road of 421 in Tennessee near South Holston Lake was closer so I ran it more often. Little country store at the beginning in Shady Valley is great for good biker food and cold beer and seeing upwards of over a hundred bikes on any given Sunday. Ride a 97 HD Heritage Softail.

  • Lake Erie Circle Tour (around Lake Erie into Canada and back into the states)
    Rt. 62 in Southern Ohio

  • Or go east of Cottonwood, up into Shingletown. Mt Lassen,– Ash creek Rd to Dirsch Dd, to SR44 to 89 – to 299

  • SR 36 out of Red Bluff Ca to SR 3 into Hayfork.( If you are really daring, you can take NF3 through Wildwood instead)– Make sure you start out with a full tank & watch for livestock & deer. Little store in Platina is a good place to stop for something to drink. NF3 is very narrow & lots of sharp curves. Take it to 299 & then ride 299 back to Redding. Good road with lots of sweepers & switchbacks!! — enjoy!!!!

  • I’ve traveled a lot of roads in the United States and my two most memorable are Beartooth Highway which crosses from Wyoming to Montana and The Going to the Sun Road at Glacier National Park in Montana. Best Roads Ever!!

  • Take your Dualsport up 410 east from Sumner Wasington to Greenwater,turn on RD.70 & end up at Little Naches & take a break at W/Jacks. Go back the same way, or take 410 back to Sumner. Nice ride !!

  • Great suggestions all.
    I have a few favorites I would like to share with those of you riding the US byways. Just about all of Highway 1/101 from above San Francisco to the top of the Olympic Peninsula it great for twisties and spectacular coastal, forest, and mountain scenery. Locally I ride west out of Fort Collins, Colorado on Hwy 14 up the Poudre Canyon and over Cameron Pass to North Park where you’ll find 100 mile vistas of national forest, huge expanses of alpine agriculture, and the continental divide, then turning south over Willow Creek pass (and the continental divide again) to Granby. Next we turn back east on Hwy 34 over Trail Ridge Road (14000+ ft and the continental divide a third time) and down through Rocky Mountain National Park followed by the Big Thompson Canyon to home. 8+ hours of remote two laners, mountains, canyons, vast open spaces, and snow lined passes…it just doesn’t get much better than that my friends.
    I also really enjoy the ultra mellow rollers of the Blue Ridge Parkway…you can go all day without touching the brakes…very nice indeed. I have ridden, and agree with, a few of the other favorites mentioned and will note the ones I haven’t on my bucket list. More international roads are in my future, New Zealand is coming soon.
    Ride Long and Prosper.

  • Pretty much any road in New Zealand that does not involve a motorway! This place is simply motorcycling nirvana. A particular favorite is the Coromandel Loop, but I really enjoy the multitude of coastal roads we have to choose from. I am ashamed to say I have not yet had the pleasure of riding in the South Island, which is rumoured to have been created just for bikers, but it is on my bucket list to do, especially now that i have a new FJR so i am looking forward to doing some bigger miles. New Zealand is without doubt full of some of the best motorcycling roads in the world.

  • Deals Gap. NC, TN state line. Any mountain roads. Any paved roads. (I don’t like to ride on gravel unless I have too.) I like to ride on roads that I never been on before. Two lane roads are better than four lane roads. Riding my motorcycle I feel as if I have no problems in the world. Ride just ride.

  • Deals Gap. Any mountain roads. Strainge roads that I never been before. Two lane roads. Just riding my motorcycle on any pave road. (I would rather not ride on gravel roads.) Ride just ride. I have no problems in the world when I ride my motorcycle.

  • I agree with Anirban: the road from Manali to Leh is the ultimate experience for any serious biker. Calling it a ‘highway’ is perhaps – for an American public – somewhat misleading: a good part of it is either unsurfaced, potholed, and/or full of river crossings (and I mean without a bridge). BRO (the Indian Border Roads Organisation) is doing a terrific job though, but with the road accessible for only a few months each year, and dramatic damage done by the extreme weather conditions all year through, it’s a constant battle to keep the road open. And laying asphalt at +15,000 ft, where even in mid-summer the snowing doesn’t stop, is a nearly impossible task. That said, it’s a 400+ km piece of driving experience you’ll never forget, and, making it is already a top achievement.

  • As I,m a new rider I like Route 40 between Springfield Ohio and Hall rd both are two lane with hall rd being more raul and having some farms on it with animals and not too much traffic .

  • Alpine passes are definitely my favourite roads. One of the best long fast roads in the Route Napoleon in France. Running from Grasse up to Grenoble – N85. For higher mountain passes two of my favourites are the Furkapasse, Switzerland – read our pass report here – http://www.passporttours.co.uk/page34/blog-11/files/0c8ab82d30e26d4f5d310e4a9fe21050-4.html and also Col du Mont Cenis – read our pass report here http://www.passporttours.co.uk/page34/blog-11/files/c3eaf47af7c23b0b4fbeb9ce7cab5949-5.html.

    Let us know if you’ve ridden them by leaving comments. Cheers Chris

  • My favorite road? The one I happen to be on at the moment, usually two lane secondary roads.

  • Box hill “Zig Zag” road in Surrey, UK is about as exciting as it gets for me commuting to work every day! Of course it will be closed in a few weeks for those pesky olympic cycle races! ¬_¬

  • Highway 14 running from Vancouver Washington to goldendale Washington. Sheer cliffs. Waterfalls. High toll bridges. Deer. Buffalo. Museums. Vineyards. But best of all the up and downhill twisties.

  • Alpine passes are definitely my favourite roads. One of the best long fast roads in the Route Napoleon in France. Running from Grasse up to Grenoble – N85. For higher mountain passes two of my favourites are the Furkapasse, Switzerland – read our pass report here – http://www.passporttours.co.uk/page34/blog-11/files/0c8ab82d30e26d4f5d310e4a9fe21050-4.html and also Col du Mont Cenis – read our pass report here http://www.passporttours.co.uk/page34/blog-11/files/c3eaf47af7c23b0b4fbeb9ce7cab5949-5.html.

    Let us know if you’ve ridden them by leaving comments. Cheers Chris

  • The Manali to Leh/Ladakh Highway in India crossing some of the highest mountain passes in the world, including Rohtang Pass, Baralacha Pass, Lachulung Pass and Taglang Pass has always been the pilgrimage for all Motorcyclists, not just in India but throughout the World.

    Not to mention the adventure experience while riding this road / or THESE roads for there isn’t a single ashphalt way always; mud, loose rocks, snow, black ice, icy stream crossing, broken down make-shift bridges, high-altitude sickness & desolate chilling mountains; it still has those STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL LANDSCAPES to fill your memory or your photo album whichever you prefer, with snaps of a lifetime.

    Diehards like us take this road every year on an annual pilgrimage ending at K’Top (Khardungla) & each year come back with new experiences.

    We in India call it GETTING LEY’D !!

    This road is open only between start-June and mid-September when the snow is cleared from the road by the Border Roads Organisation. The Highway was designed, built, constructed and maintained in its entirety by the Indian Army.

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