The Best Motorcycle Road Trips in the U.S. – Where to Go and How to Get There
Now that summer is in full swing, bikers across America are yearning for a road trip across the country. Fortunately, America has some famously fun roads that are perfectly paved for motorcycle riders. Travel only a few miles on these famous routes, or make a long journey out of your road trip; however you decide to travel, plan ahead and you’re sure to have fun.
From West Coast to Midwest: Route 66
Ever the road trip classic, Route 66 will take you from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California. Filled with old-school Americana, roadside kitsch, and plenty of bike-friendly hotels and stops, there’s a reason this road is an American classic.
Down the Pacific Coast: Highway 1
Highway 1 will take you all the way down the Pacific coast. Running from Astoria, Oregon, to San Juan Capistrano, California, this highway hugs the coastline for some truly beautiful landscapes and scenery ranging from sandy beaches to lush forests.
Down the East Coast: Atlantic Coast
If you’re looking for a seaside adventure, the Atlantic Coast route is the way to go. This road stretches from New York City to Key West, Florida, and is home to coastal sightseeing and detours into towns tucked away by the ocean.
From Coast to Coast: US-50
For the ultimate cross-country road trip, take U.S. Route 50 across 12 states. Beginning in San Francisco, California, and ending at the Chesapeake Bay in Ocean City, Maryland, this road trip is not for the faint of heart. However, with the right planning, bikers taking US-50 can enjoy just about every kind of American scenery, from the Bay Area to the Great Plains, to the urban Midwest, and to the coastal charm of the east coast.
Before You Hit the Road…
Preparing for a road trip takes some forethought. Before setting out on your great American adventure, you’ll need to do some motorcycle prep. Use this motorcycle road trip checklist and you’ll be ready to hit the road.
- Do some basic motorcycle maintenance. Check your fluid levels, tire pressure, battery life, controls, and chassis to make sure your whole motorcycle is road-ready.
- Plan your route. Get online or get out a trusty map and plot out exactly where you’re going. Find rest stops, attractions, and hotels or campsites. If you’re bringing a GPS or a smartphone with a map app, keep in mind that you might not always have reception or power at your disposal, so bring a portable battery and have a paper map available as backup.
- Review your motorcycle insurance policy. Make sure your insurance is up-to-date so you won’t have to worry about it when you’re driving through the Great Plains or down the coast of North Carolina. Motorcycle insurance bought in one state generally carries over to others, but it’s a good idea to check with your insurance agent to make sure your coverage will go where you go.
- Pack your bags with care. When you have a limited amount of space, it’s important to bring only what you really need. Check your bike’s cargo weight limits, distribute your weight carefully, pack light, and compare packing lists with other riders in your group to see if you can eliminate duplicate items.
- Prepare for emergencies. Put together a roadside emergency kit with supplies like some basic tools, basic replacement parts, first aid supplies, and a flashlight. If you don’t have a roadside assistance plan, consider getting one before your trip.
While it is important to plan your trip carefully and pack everything you need, the most important part of a U.S. motorcycle road trip is to have fun! Include time in your travel agenda for spontaneous stops for beautiful vistas, unusual roadside attractions, or spending time with folks you meet along the way. It’s the unexpected parts of cross-country rides that make the best memories.
Happy road tripping!