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Bikers love to ride, plain and simple. Regardless of the weather or time of year, it’s hard to not want to jump on your motorcycle and take a road trip. Riding a motorcycle in winter is a very different experience than riding in any other season. Weather conditions can be hazardous, and the cold wind […] The post 10 Important Tips for Safely Riding Your Motorcycle in Winter appeared first on Biker...
Bikers love to ride, plain and simple. Regardless of the weather or time of year, it’s hard to not want to jump on your motorcycle and take a road trip. Riding a motorcycle in winter is a very different experience than riding in any other season. Weather conditions can be hazardous, and the cold wind in your face is brutal.
If you’re still willing to tough it out and hit the road, let’s look at a few tips you’ll need to know to make your winter ride as safe and fun as possible.
If you’ve ever spent any time riding in the cold, you know that cold tires result in limited traction. Having the right tires can make the difference between an enjoyable ride or total disaster. So make sure you have motorcycle snow tires that are designed to handle cold weather conditions.
If you don’t have the money for an extra set of tires, at least make sure that your tires have adequate tread that can handle cold surfaces. It’s also important to increase the heat in your tires. The simplest and safest way to do this is to accelerate and decelerate quickly for a few minutes at the start of the ride each day.
Wearing the right gear is everything when it comes to the cold. And this means from the inside-out. Start with underwear. Visit your local bike shop and check out their wide range of thermal underwear. Keep in mind that a layer of high-quality thermal undies can help limit the bulky clothes you have to wear to keep warm. Modern riding gear is made with materials that keep you warm yet reduce bulk in order to increase your range of motion.
Remember that you get what you pay for. Invest in quality textile gear. After all, a nice leather jacket might look cool and help cut the wind, but it also gets cold and stiff. The next factor to be aware of is your neck and ankles. You’ll want gear that closes off these areas to keep the cold out and the warmth in. This means having good thermal socks, boots, and winter riding pants. And invest in a good neck warmer or scarf to keep the chilly breeze from sneaking down the back of your neck.
Getting your bike ready to ride in the winter is mostly about protecting your body from the frigid elements. Riding in the cold is a million times more pleasant when you outfit your bike with handguards, a windscreen, and wind guards to shield your legs from the wind.
We recommend investing in heated grips. This might seem like an extra expense, but it makes riding in the chill a pure delight, and installation is…well…a breeze.
Another thing to consider is your motor. If your motorcycle is water-cooled, make sure the antifreeze is fresh and properly mixed. Check the condition of all the hoses and plugs, and go ahead and change the motor oil.
When conditions are cold, a smart rider knows to stop often and stretch your legs. This is key to keeping your blood circulating properly. Long rides in near-freezing temperatures will make your fingers and toes numb. That’s dangerous not only for you but for anyone else on the road.
Whenever possible, pull over and warm up with a hot drink. Give your extremities time to thaw. Use public restrooms to get out of the wind and warm your hands at the hand dryers mounted on the wall; nothing makes a ride less comfortable than stiff, frozen fingers.
And if you find yourself constantly shivering while riding, pull to the side of the road and walk around for a few minutes until your blood starts pumping again. This not only helps keep you comfortable, but it’s also healthier for your extremities.
Believe it or not, your metabolism is an important factor in your ability to stay warm. The higher your metabolism is running, the warmer your body will be. Thus, when you get hungry and your metabolism slows, you’ll start to shiver in an effort to generate heat. One of the keys to staying toasty is to load up on foods packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and carbs. Soup, fruits, and spicy foods are awesome for this. Hot foods instantly warm you from the inside-out, and fruit is surprisingly every bit as effective.
Another thing to not overlook is the importance of staying hydrated. The wind in your face can be incredibly dehydrating, which can result in fatigue. So always keep plenty of water within reach while on the road. Keep in mind that coffee and alcohol might go down nice and warm, yet they can actually be a danger in the cold. Coffee increases blood flow to the skin but causes you to lose valuable body heat, and alcohol impairs judgment.
When it comes to enjoying the safest possible ride during cold weather, one of the simplest tips is to slow down. This might sound a bit obvious, but many riders are in such a hurry to move on down the road that they often sacrifice safety for speed. It’s vital to remember that during cold weather, everything is different. This includes the way your motorcycle moves and reacts. It won’t brake as smoothly or quickly; it will also corner, swerve, and accelerate differently. Our advice is to slow down and take it easy so that you can live to ride another day.
Accidents are called accidents for a reason; they always happen when least expect it. And that’s when you are going to need a tow service to come to the rescue. A smart motorcycle rider will research reliable towing services in the area who can get to them in a hurry. We recommend becoming a member of the American Motorcycle Association and taking advantage of the organization’s Roadside Assistance.
Whatever service you decide to use, make sure they’re outfitted to properly transport your bike; otherwise, it might up on its side in the back of a flatbed.
One of the primary hazards of riding during the winter is decreased visibility. Whether it’s fog, wind, rain or snow, a lack of visibility is a significant danger to anyone navigating the road on a motorcycle.
Proper visibility allows you to see a potential threat well in advance so that you have time to react. A potential threat could be anything from on-coming traffic and ice to standing water or any other obstacle lurking in the road. Ideally, you need to be able to see at least 15 seconds ahead. Thus, when visibility is low, you’ll have time to reduce the speed.
And when it comes to following the traffic, it’s a good idea to maintain a few car lengths between you and the driver ahead of you. After all, things can happen in a flash, and you need to be able to react. Follow too closely, and you could end up eating someone’s bumper.
When road conditions are poor, you’ll be forced to deal with any number of variables. This includes road salt and black ice. It doesn’t matter if it’s man-made or produced by Mother Nature, anything in the road is a serious hazard. Road salt is every bit as dangerous to ride on as ice because it will impair your ability to properly brake, swerve, turn or accelerate.
When you notice something in the road, the first thing you’ll want to do is slow down. Then try to find a safe way around the hazard. Resist the urge to let your ego get the best of you and drive through it; otherwise, you just might end up in the back of that flatbed next to your motorcycle.
The most important advice we can offer for riding in winter weather is this: don’t be an idiot. If it starts to snow, go home. Road conditions can turn bad in the blink of an eye, and you definitely don’t want to get stuck out in that mess. Keep an eye on the forecast. If there’s a chance of snow, think twice about leaving the house. Better safe than sorry.
Taking out your motorcycle in winter can be a lot of fun. It’s a matter of being prepared and taking certain safety precautions. Winter motorcycle rides are often the most scenic and beautiful of any time of year, so don’t let the cold stop you. Prepare your bike, get yourself outfitted in warm gear, and head out on an adventure!
Have you ever taken an epic winter road trip? Tell us about it in the comments!
The post 10 Important Tips for Safely Riding Your Motorcycle in Winter appeared first on Biker Report.
Have you been keeping up with motorcycle trends? The motorcycle industry is in an exciting period of flux. Millions of people are riding, including more women than ever before. Manufacturers are well aware of the need to evolve with the times. This is why they continue to push boundaries with new releases and updated models every […] The post 11 of 2019’s Hottest New Motorcycle Models appeared first on Biker...
Have you been keeping up with motorcycle trends? The motorcycle industry is in an exciting period of flux. Millions of people are riding, including more women than ever before. Manufacturers are well aware of the need to evolve with the times. This is why they continue to push boundaries with new releases and updated models every year. 2019 will be no exception.
If you’re looking to start riding for the first time, sell your old motorcycle, or just purchase a new motorcycle to add to an existing collection, it helps to have a rundown of what’s up next in the pipeline. And lucky for you, that’s exactly what this article will let you know. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the most exciting new and updated motorcycles on the market in 2019.
Some of these bikes reflect a change in riders’ concerns. See the electric models we mention as examples of the increased interest in environmental friendliness. Other entries are purely aesthetic or power updates to existing models for those who just want to stay on the cutting edge. Whatever your priorities in shopping for the latest motorcycle models, we think you’ll find something you like below. Take a look for yourself.
Ducati is bringing heightened aesthetics, a cornering anti-lock brake system, and better ergonomics to its 2019 line of Scramblers. The full line of Scramblers that will receive these updates include the Icon, the Full Throttle, Cafe Racer, and Desert Sled.
They all feature the following:
The differences between these specific bikes are function and formal inspiration. The Full Throttle is a bike with a dirt-track competition vibe thanks to its funky paint scheme, low-slung handlebar, and dual-silencer exhaust. The Cafe Racer is more of a sports bike, with sleek silver and blue accents that scream speed. This motorcycle also takes inspiration from the classic 1960s bikes found in Great Britain, with its 17-inch spoked wheels and aluminum bar-end mirrors.
The Desert Sled taps into the lineage of American off-road bikes. It even includes an Off-Road Riding Mode in which the rider can disengage the anti-lock brake system to really dig into the dirt on off-road trails. These bikes range in price from just under $10,000 for the Icon to just under $12,000 for the Desert Sled and Cafe Racer, with the Full Throttle splitting the difference at just under $11,000.
These are the first updates to the Ninja ZX-10R line since 2016. Jonathan Rea won the Superbike World Championship on variations of these bikes. He rode the ZX-10R to glory in 2015 and 2016 and the ZX-10RR in 2017 and 2018. With its speed bona fides in the books, Kawasaki is refusing to sit on its laurels by choosing to update these bikes for 2019. One of these changes is finger-follower valve actuation designed by engineers at World Superbike. Another is a new cylinder head, which will increase high-RPM performance by providing clearance for high-lift racing cams. The ZX-10R and ZX-10RR both come in the classic lime green colorway. The former also offers models with gray and black accents.
Here are a couple of other Scrambler models from a different, no-less-classic company, Triumph. While the company is traditionally an aesthetics-first brand in the minds of consumers, the updates to these Scramblers put a priority on performance. The XE is the dirtbike of the two, but both of these new Scrambler 1200 models will feature re-tuned 1200cc engines capable of creating 7400 rpm. They will also include fully adjustable rear suspension from Ohlins with piggyback reservoirs.
These bikes include five separate riding modes: Road, Off-Road, Sport, Rain, and Rider. Each mode has a different throttle, traction control, and brake setting. The XE adds a sixth mode, Off-Road Pro, that turns off the anti-lock brakes.
Here are a few other highlights of these updated Triumph Scrambler 1200 models:
The looks of these bikes are classy, with blacks and greens dominating the color palette.
Ducati isn’t the only company on our list to get two entries, but it is the one that appears first. We’ve talked so much about racing bikes and off-roaders that we wanted to get a multipurpose motorcycle in as early as possible. Like many of the bikes on our list, the Multistrada features an engine update. This one comes courtesy of the all-new 1260 Testastretta Ducati Variable Timing, or DVT, engine. It is designed to give a smoother and stronger ride across the entire rev range of the bike.
Some of the Multistrada’s standard electronic components include:
The three bikes in this line include the MT-10, MT-09, and MT-07. These three MT, or “Masters of Torque,” bikes leave their engines intact in the 2019 models. Their major updates come in the form of cosmetic changes, which are no less impressive. Yamaha chose to strengthen the brand identity of these bikes with an Ice Fluo color scheme available for each. The color scheme includes an “ice-gray” body, bright red wheels, and black engine, forks, frame, and headlamp. This Ice Fluo color scheme, designed to symbolize the edginess of street riding with the aggressiveness of racers, is available exclusively for this Hyper Naked MT lineup.
We combine these two models together because they both represent the trend toward electric vehicles. The difference is that Vespa is an established company, while Arc is a much newer company. Both are looking toward the future with these new models.It might sound like cheating to include a Vespa on our list, but cafe racers and scooters are part of the two-wheeled landscape too.
The Elettrica is a purely electric vehicle rather than the graduated hybrid model some expected from the company. True to Vespa form, it zips through standard city traffic with ease. The Arc Vector is perhaps the more revolutionary of the two bikes. Early images were shrouded in shadow and darkness, but the design is anything but fly-by-night. Engineers and backers have been working on it for years.
Most impressive about the Vector is its HMI, or Human Machine Interface. This technology places sensors in jackets, helmets, boots, and gloves that allow the rider to interact with the bike and the environment. The future is now.
Honda is going bold with this 2019 dual-sport model. The company offers one trim level and one color because it believes fully in the power of this bike. The CRF450L’s peak performance is just under 40 horsepower and over 7,000 rpm. With that much power underneath riders, Honda expects the bike to sell itself. We do too.
This Suzuki 2019 model is a few thousand dollars less expensive than the Honda update at just under $9,000 as opposed to almost $11,000. However, its power numbers are even more impressive than Honda’s. The RM-Z450 Dyno produces over 50 horsepower at peak performance, with more than 8,000 rpm.
Some readers may hate us for including this limited edition bike, but it’s too tasty to pass up. The bad news is it’s limited to an edition of just 50 bikes. The more bad news is that it’s one of the most expensive bikes on our list at the equivalent of more than $20,000. The reason for the price has to do with the rare beauty of the bike. It’s a classic 1970 street bike with a smooth ride and a sleek-yet-tasteful black finish with copper-colored accents. It would be the perfect bike to see the world.
This superbike from BMW is blowing up social media – for good reason. When BMW unveiled this bike initially, it shocked the world with its speed and design. BMW is continuing to push the envelope by making a bike with more than 200 horsepower. We’ll just let that sink in for a second. The manufacturer is also updating its lopsided headlights in favor of a more symmetrical look. We suspect riders will accept any aesthetic change if it comes on top of that much power.
Our final entry is the second from Triumph. Fittingly, it’s the update to just one of Triumph’s biggest sellers.
The new Street Twin features an updated engine, with new dead shafts, balance shafts, and crankshaft plus an updated clutch cover and a magnesium cam cover.
Along with these changes, Triumph has added new riding modes, Road and Rain, both of which alter traction control and throttle mapping. The bike also features new tech features, like a USB charger and LED lights.
There are plenty of motorcycle models to get excited about in 2019. These are just a dozen of the ones we wanted to highlight. We hope this has made your search for a new motorcycle easier and not harder. Once you’ve got your new bike picked out, take a look at the events and rallies you can ride it to.
There are few things in life more exhilarating than scenic motorcycle trips. The call of the open road is hard to ignore. As the seasons begin to change and the colors of autumn arrive, there’s no better time to break out the map in search of an exciting destination. If you love fall scenery, you […] The post The Best Motorcycle Trips for Viewing Stunning Fall Foliage appeared first on Biker...
There are few things in life more exhilarating than scenic motorcycle trips. The call of the open road is hard to ignore. As the seasons begin to change and the colors of autumn arrive, there’s no better time to break out the map in search of an exciting destination.
If you love fall scenery, you are probably looking for the best routes for motorcycle trips this time of year. Let’s take a look at a few that you won’t want to pass up.
It’s hard to beat motorcycle trips where you can soak in the gorgeous colors of the fall foliage. Here are some of the best destinations for autumn rides.
Beartooth Pass starts in the town of Red Lodge, Montana and takes motorcyclists on a journey across 68 miles into Wyoming and the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. This is one of the most popular stretches of paved road in the Rocky Mountains among motorcycle enthusiasts. It offers stunning vistas and steep switchbacks, glacier-laden peaks, waterfalls, and expansive forests. This twisting, beautiful journey through the Rockies takes riders up to 10, 974 feet, and should definitely be added to every rider’s top 10 list.
The northwestern section of Arkansas is known by many riders as the mother load of awesome motorcycle roads. At the top of the heap is a 19-mile stretch of pavement called Pig Trail. It follows Arkansas 23 and passes through a twisting tunnel of foliage in the Ozark and Boston Mountains. Among the highlights of the Pig Trail is the charming Victorian town of Eureka Springs, with tons of shops, restaurants, and lodging to take advantage of. Riders love the exhilarating hairpin turns and breath-taking scenery, so we recommend that you head to the Ozarks sooner rather than later.
This ride is only 11 miles long, but features 318 curves. It’s a stretch of U.S. Highway 129 that borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee before dipping into North Carolina. Although it’s the shortest ride on this list, its thrilling curves with names like Wheelie Hell, Brake or Bust Bend, and Copperhead Corner will challenge your riding skills and the fall colors will inspire you.
This iconic ride along the spine of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains actually connects Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina with Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. It’s a long 469-mile ride that is often referred to as “America’s Favorite Drive”. It boasts amazing views with plenty of places to stop, along with a diverse variety of wildlife and foliage to enjoy as you motor along in the laid-back atmosphere.
Often referred to as Twisted Sisters, this 100-mile loop through the Texas Hill country might just change your preconceptions of the Lone Star State. Three Sisters takes riders up jagged hills, through canyons, and provides ample wide open views from multiple vistas. This ride is best taken during autumn when the temperature is cooler and the trees have begun to change colors. This is as good as it gets, with clear rivers and twisty mountain curves, allowing you to experience Texas at its most beautiful. Just be aware that there aren’t many places to stop so you’ll need to gas up before hitting the road.
PCH is really the quintessential American road trip. If this dream-like ride isn’t already on your bucket list, add it immediately. It stretches for 655 miles from Seattle to San Diego, California, and is truly some of the most beautiful scenery in the country. Autumn is the ultimate time to experience this ride, as the winding pavement takes you through forests ablaze with vibrant red and orange of changing leaves. You certainly don’t want to miss the 123 mile stretch of PCH between Monterey and Morro Bay, where riders will pass through Big Sur and Carmel-by-the-Sea, as well as the historic Hearst Castle. With the sun on your back and a warm breeze in your face, it’s hard to beat a trip down the PCH.
If you’re looking for a ride that offers the ultimate scenery, the Colorado Rocky Mountains rank second-to-none, and the San Juan Mountain Skyway is considered the best of the best. This circular 236-mile path will take you through the southwestern Colorado mountain towns of Telluride, Ouray, Silverton, and Durango. The road climbs to an elevation of 14,000 feet, passing through red rock canyons, hot springs, and historic mining towns, with inspiring mountain views along the entire route. Mesa Verde National Park and Rocky Mountain National Park are especially glorious as the colors of fall arrive.
Located in the western portion of North Carolina, the Cherohala Skyway extends all the way into remote parts of Eastern Tennessee. This route doesn’t offer the extreme twists and turns of the nearby Tail of the Dragon. But considering that it’s four times longer, it’s actually preferred by most riders planning a trip in North Carolina. This easy ride is 45 miles long, making it a joy to see during the beautiful autumn months.
This one takes us through Wisconsin. Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive curves through sloping hills, steep ridges, and beautiful lakes. Kettle Moraine’s incredible views were created by glacial movement millions of years ago. The route boasts amazing foliage in fall, and the plentiful variety of restaurants and shops we give you tons to do as you enjoy the brilliant colors.
Built in the 1930s, this route unfurls for 444 miles from Nashville, Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. Before becoming the Natchez Trace Parkway, it served as a migratory trail for Native Americans and buffalo. The ride will take you past Civil War battle sites and ghost towns, as well as parts of the original Natchez Trace Indian Trail. Don’t worry about stops signs (there aren’t any) or trucks (they are not allowed) as you make the journey from state to state.
This ride might be a mere 60 miles long, but it combines plenty of sensational twists with some of the most astounding scenery you’ll find on the planet. The mountain vistas will dazzle you as the road crests the Continental Divide in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park. The valleys are glacier-cut and the switchbacks meander through thick forests to alpine meadows ablaze with colors from a Monet painting.
Peak to Peak extends north along Highways 72 and 7, then drops down to Estes Park. There’s plenty of wildlife to see there, including elk and moose. So keep to a safe speed, because hitting one of these huge animals will definitely ruin your day. We suggest packing your hiking books so that you can take a break from riding and walk a scenic trail inside the park. Or even take along some camping gear for weekend motorcycle trips.
U.S. Route 1 in Maine, from Brunswick to Machias is a quintessential New England experience. It’s 167 miles of paved two-lane that winds through picturesque seaside villages and a landscape dotted with historic lighthouses. The road features both sweeping curves and long open sections. Just beware of moose and other wildlife that can appear out of nowhere.
This motorcycle paradise is ranked among the Midwest’s most scenic roads. Located in Michigan, The Tunnel of Trees is part of the M-119, and winds under a canopy of leafy trees that burst into incredible colors in the fall. It starts in Harbor Springs and runs for 20 miles along a spectacular bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan, and features some especially sharp twists at Horseshoe Curve and Devil’s Elbow. Be sure to treat yourself to the unique food and shops along the way.
This highway is also known as the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. It treats riders to a scenic tour of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The ride from Olympia to the Oregon border is about 350 miles, and from there the road continues down the Pacific coast. You’ll get to enjoy the colors of the season as well as the colorful ocean tide pools, ancient forests, and alpine meadows, all part of the region’s diverse ecosystem.
Autumn is the time of year when Mother Nature is at her best. The experience of motorcycle trips in the fall is like no other. As temperatures get cooler and colors change, you’ll be inspired to pack your gear and head out to the best places to ride motorcycles.
We encourage you to take advantage of the beauty of the autumn and set out on the road to adventure. No matter where on this list you choose to explore, you’ll be making memories with family and friends that will last a lifetime. Never been on a big ride before? We’ve got you covered with 10 tips for your first cross country motorcycle trip.
The post The Best Motorcycle Trips for Viewing Stunning Fall Foliage appeared first on Biker Report.
Motorcycle movies have been on the scene for over half a century. They range from films about biker gangs full of hardened and violent criminals to films about 1960s counterculture and Americana. If you can’t be on your motorcycle all of the time, why not take in a classic motorcycle movie. We’ve compiled a list of the […] The post The 13 Greatest Motorcycle Movies of All Time appeared first on Biker...
Motorcycle movies have been on the scene for over half a century. They range from films about biker gangs full of hardened and violent criminals to films about 1960s counterculture and Americana. If you can’t be on your motorcycle all of the time, why not take in a classic motorcycle movie. We’ve compiled a list of the top 13 motorcycle movies of all time to help you jump-start your biker film education.
“Wild Hogs” is a relatively recent entry into the biker movie genre. It stars Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy as a group of middle-aged friends who are tired of their day-to-day routines and want to cross their dream of traveling across the country on their bikes off their bucket list. Hilarity ensues when the four men, who are better at making permanent dents on the couch than riding their motorcycles, set out on their journey and encounter unexpected challenges and surprises. “Wild Hogs” is probably the least critically acclaimed movie on this list. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a measly 14% score. Regardless, it gets a spot here for its light-hearted humor and for the nostalgia that so many feel for youthful days spent out riding the open road.
Named after the iconic Harley-Davidson Electra Glide motorcycle ridden by motorcycle cops across the country, this film is a 70’s classic. It stars controversial actor Robert Blake and Billy “Green” Bush as motorcycle cops John Wintergreen and his partner Zipper in sunny Arizona. Wintergreen is gunning to transition to homicide and finds his chance with the apparent suicide of an old man. Wintergreen teams up with seasoned homicide detective Harvey Poole (Mitchell Ryan) to investigate but quickly finds that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Blake received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. The film also features music from Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention.
Richard Rush’s 1967 entry into the biker film genre stars Adam Roarke, Jack Nicolson, and Sabrina Scharf. “Hells Angels on Wheels” is an exploitation film that tracks the rise and fall of a gas station attendant’s friendship with his local gang of Hells Angels. Lauded for the quality of its photography, “Hells Angels on Wheels” features beautiful landscapes and shots of Hells Angels riding down long winding highways. It even features actual Hells Angels members as extras.
Based on the memoir of the same name by Ernesto “Che” Guevara, “The Motorcycle Diaries” is a Spanish language film starring Gael Garcia Bernal as Che Guevara. The film tracks medical student Guevara’s travels across South America with his friend Alberto Granado which began on an old 1939 Norton 500 they named ‘The Mighty One.’ Following the breakdown of their bike halfway through their trip, the pair is forced out of isolation and begin meeting and learning more about the hardships and economic despair the locals face in the areas through which they are traveling. These relationships were the catalyst for Guevara’s revolutionary actions later in life. “The Motorcycle Diaries” features stunning cinematography of South American landscapes. It was critically acclaimed, and the recipient of many awards including an Oscar for Jorge Drexler’s original song “Al otro lado del rio.”
Everyone knows Peter Fonda for his legendary role in Easy Rider, but Fonda honed his Harley-Davidson motorcycle riding skills in Roger Corman’s “The Wild Angels.” In the film, Fonda plays the role of Heavenly Blues, the president of the San Pedro faction of the Hells Angels. The film also features Nancy Sinatra as Blues’ girlfriend Mike, and Bruce Dern as Loser. The film follows the San Pedro Hells Angels disastrous attempt to retrieve Loser’s stolen motorcycle from another gang. Blues and Loser’s actions result in multiple instances of outlaw violence that typified the Hells Angels stereotypes at the time of filming. “The Wild Angels” cast real members of the Hells Angels and Coffin Cheaters as extras in the film. Trashy for sure, but a worthwhile watch for any motorcycle aficionado.
Great Britain’s “The Girl on a Motorcycle” is this list’s only biker movie with a female lead. This 1960s psychedelic film features Marianne Faithfull as Rebecca, and Alain Delon as her lover, Daniel. Anxious to escape the confines of her newly married life, Rebecca takes off one night while her husband is sleeping to meet her lover, a university professor. Decked out in a full body leather suit, Rebecca makes the journey to Daniel on her Harley Davidson motorcycle — clearly not a beginner’s motorcycle. The film doesn’t contain much dialogue but has plenty of psychedelic special effects that ought to please any psychedelic film fan.
Before Mad Max there was the Australian film, “Stone”. “Stone” features Ken Shorter as Stone, an undercover policeman who is tasked with running around with Kawasaki Z1 900 riding satanic outlaw biker gang, the Gravediggers. As if joining a satanic biker gang isn’t dangerous enough, it turns out that members of the gang are being picked off one by one, and Stone must discover who is killing the members before he becomes a victim himself. “Stone” may be a low budget film, but its spectacular stunt work made the film a huge hit when it opened in Australia. Several of its actors went on to star in 1979’s Mad Max.
“Come with me if you want to live.” Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator, Robert Patrick as T-1000, and Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” is a massive blockbuster hit that no motorcycle movie list is complete without. Schwarzenegger is iconic in his leather jacket and sunglasses atop a Harley Davidson Fatboy. “Terminator 2” follows up 1984’s “Terminator” and recasts Schwarzenegger as a cyborg tasked with protecting, instead of killing, Sarah Connor, who is now being hunted by a more powerful cyborg, T-1000. If for no other reason, “Terminator 2” features gratuitous white-knuckle motorcycle chase scenes that make it a worthwhile watch.
This dystopian Australian film features a heroic police officer who has lost his mind and is out for stone cold revenge following the murders of his partner, wife, and baby at the hands of an evil motorcycle gang. Starring a then-unknown Mel Gibson as Max, “Mad Max” portrays the madness of a man set on stopping the motorcycle gang from harming anyone else, no matter the consequence. The result is a film filled with all the car and bike chases you could possibly want.
The first in a series of four films starring Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack, a half-Indian, former Green Beret who has tasked himself with protecting the California counterculture. The film is inspired by the arrest of members of the Hells Angels in 1964 for allegedly raping two teenage girls in Monterey, California. Trouble ensues when a biker gang launches a series of attacks on the residents of a California town and retaliates against victims who cooperate with police. Billy Jack is sucked into the conflict when he inadvertently begins protecting Vicky (Elizabeth James) from the gang. The film features members of the San Fernando motorcycle club The Devil’s Disciples as extras.
“The Wild One” is required on every list of motorcycle movies for one main reason: it’s the original outlaw biker movie. Starring Marlon Brando as the iconic Johnny Strabler, “The Wild One” is a critically acclaimed film about the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, led by Strabler, and their conflicts with a rival gang as they terrorize small California towns. The film starred real bikers, and dialogue from real life conversations with the bikers was incorporated into the script. Marlon Brando drives a 1950 Triumph Thunderbird in the movie, which has subsequently become an incredibly valuable piece of movie memorabilia.
Not all big-time motorcycle movies need rival biker gangs to make an impact on the collective conscience of motorcycle aficionados. Academy Award-nominated documentary film “On Any Sunday” puts motorcycle racers and enthusiasts under the microscope. “On Any Sunday” is narrated by motorcycle enthusiast Steve McQueen, who also appears throughout the film. The end result is a film that brings to light the spirit of motorcycling so that even outsiders could understand biking’s magnetic attraction.The film features motorcycles from Triumph, Montesa, Husqvarna, Harley Davidson, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, BSA, Bultaco, and Hodaka. It is lauded as the most important motorcycle documentary ever made.
Unsurprisingly, “Easy Rider” is at the top of the list. The 1969 Dennis Hopper film is the most iconic motorcycle movie of all time. The film stars Dennis Hopper as Billy, and Peter Fonda as Wyatt, two bikers who set out to bike from Los Angeles to New Orleans on their second-hand Harley Davidson. The film is rich in Americana and sees the pair of bikers experience everything from small towns, to dirt roads and farmers, and eventually a liberal alcoholic lawyer played by Jack Nicholson, for which he received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. This film is synonymous with everything motorcycle, Americana, and Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild.”
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There’s nothing like the feel of the wind on your face while driving down the road in the summertime. But better yet is the view when you’re riding down a scenic drive, be it coast or inland. Riders can take all their favorite accessories around the world and explore long and short trails alike, challenging […] The post 11 of the Best Motorcycle Rides in the World appeared first on Biker...
There’s nothing like the feel of the wind on your face while driving down the road in the summertime. But better yet is the view when you’re riding down a scenic drive, be it coast or inland. Riders can take all their favorite accessories around the world and explore long and short trails alike, challenging their riding skills and taking in spectacular views. It’s hard to know where to start when looking for a new drive to take, but this list encompasses some of the best drives all over the world.
Historically, motorcycles do great on tours, and adventure bike rentals have gone up in the last few years. It’s important for a rider to be prepared for international travel. If a rider wants to take an international trip with their motorcycle, it’s a good idea to have an international driver’s license. There is more information here about how to obtain one. Several states, including Maine, have laws prohibiting wheelies, or “raising wheel.” It’s a good idea to check international laws before embarking on a trip overseas with a bike.
You got the motorcycle, you’ve got the gear, now all you need is somewhere to ride. We take a look at 11 of the best motorcycle rides on the planet; rides that every motorcycle enthusiast should try once in their lifetime:
Traveling down both coasts and inland by motorcycle enables the rider to truly see the island. These trips are fairly short, only taking a couple hours at most to reach the end, but short trips mean riders can lengthen their tour with fun stops along the way. To tour the eastern coast of Sardinia, start in Olbia and follow SS125 south toward Tortoli. With good pavement, the breathtaking views of the coast are interspersed with tiny villages and even a castle! Along the way, there is a town called Genna Silana to stop for coffee. Tourists will find some great hiking trails, too, if riders want to stretch their legs. To tour Central Sardinia, take SS 198 from Tortoli toward Lanusei. Keep following that road through Gairo Vecchia and Osini, then follow the signs for Scala di San Giorgio. The last part of the trip to the top of the mountain is a tough ride in a forest, but worth the five minutes of roughness for the view at the end.There are few places to stop along the way, so make sure to fill up and have a bite to eat before leaving Tortoli. To tour western Sardinia, take SP 105 from Alghero to Bosa. This part of the trail is only 28 miles, but there are huge cliffs and perfect views all along the way. The road is clean and clear of traffic most of the time, too.
One of the shorter trips on the list, traveling along 51 is about a 30-40 minute drive. The landscape is beautiful, and tourists will begin at what has been heralded as the most beautiful city in the world, San Miguel de Allende. When riders reach Dolores Hidalgo, the site of the beginning of Mexico’s independence, they will have plenty of sightseeing opportunity. Visit the church, the museums, and the monument, and then have lunch or dinner and a siesta.
This trail is 187 miles long, with all the curves a motorcyclist could want. It’s almost a complete circle along the coast of Cape Breton Island, starting at Buckwheat Corner and traveling west. The trail goes through tiny sea towns and fishing villages, looping north, east, and back south, finishing at St. Ann’s. There are so many places to stop along the way, with Celtic music and heritage to explore and wonderful hiking trails. The ocean is never far from view, and the road is generally in good condition.
This trail curves from Melbourne to Peterborough and was built in the 1920s. The best way to travel the road is over several days, although the trip is possible in only one. The seacoast and amazing landscape are visible, including Shipwreck Coast, and there are many beaches where riders could take a break for surfing. Riders can view the limestone rock formations, and they should make sure to stop at a pub along the way.
In order to cover the 1050 miles on this circuit, the riders start north along the western coast of South Africa, before heading east. The loop back to Cape Town can be completed in one or two weeks, depending on how much riders want to tour the area. Take the trail all the way to Addo National Park, and find some great curves and turns along Route 62. Don’t forget your camera, and pick up some South African wine as you head back to Cape Town. Riders will want to fit in some tourism when they get back to the city, including a hike up Table Mountain (take a cable car back down). For a taste of Irish cuisine, visit The Dubliner downtown, and visit the colorful houses in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, along with the market.
This is a very short drive, but there are over 300 curves in the short distance (11 miles!) of trail. Riders will travel the border of the Great Smoky Mountains on US 129, starting in North Carolina and ending in Tennessee. The mountains offer scenic views and beautiful forests, and along the way, you can find the Tree of Shame, covered in smashed up parts from motorcycles that were damaged on their tours of the Tail of the Dragon.
In the 60 miles of road from the Kipahulu Forest in Hana to Kahului, there are over 600 turns. Experienced riders should also watch out for the 60-some bridges with only one lane, but the gorgeous views and greenery is all worth it. Hana is isolated and not very developed, so the tropical paradise mostly remains untouched. Along the way, stop at the Hasegawa General Store, built in 1910 and featured in 1961 in the song by Paul Weston.
This is one of the longest permanent race tracks (although one of the shorter routes listed here) in the world, known worldwide as The Green Hell. Riders travel 12.8 miles with no speed limit and one-way traffic. Riders can pay a toll and drive around Nurburg and the castle there. The route is difficult, but the mountain views along the way are worth it. Sounds like a blast!
Starting in La Paz around 12,000 feet, the road climbs to 15,000 feet before descending to Coroico. It was built in the 1930s and is one of the only ways to get from La Paz, one of the nation’s capitals and the government seat, down to the foothills. Years ago, hundreds of people died on this trail every year because of the gravel and the hairpin turns cliff side without guardrails. This is what gave the treacherous road its nickname, “The Death Road.” Since 2008, the road has been paved, making it less dangerous, but still nerve-wracking to twist along the mountain unprotected. Before leaving La Paz, riders can do some sightseeing at the many museums and cathedrals.
This is a section of one of 40 border crossings between Argentina and Chile, and probably the most dangerous. The Paso de los Libertadores is full of switchbacks down the mountain, and there is always a lot of traffic. It is wise to travel slowly and safely. That is where the pass gets its name; Los Caracoles means “the snails.” Along the way, view the magnificent statue Cristo Redentor de los Andes, a statue erected to commemorate the peace finally reached between the two countries.
Traveling the 270 miles from Kendal to Whitney is a one-day trip, but riders could stretch this into a longer excursion with tourist stops. Enjoying a pint after a long day’s ride at a pub in northern England sounds like the perfect way to finish the drive. Along the way, visit Hawes, a small market town and the home of the Wensleydale Creamery. Leeds is also nearby (with Leeds Castle), Ripon, and the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
These are some fantastic places to visit. Riders have a ready-made bucket list now, with the advice to enjoy them in the sunniest of weather. These roads take travelers around the world, with short and long trips, tons of curves and straightaways, and the best vistas the world has to offer. Ready for the best motorcycle rides in the world? Zoom, Zoom!
Are you one of the many motorcycle enthusiasts who dream of riding across the country on Route 66? This iconic ride is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. But the question remains: What do you do when you finally reach the Pacific Coast? Don’t worry. Your epic ride doesn’t have to […] The post Beyond Route 66: The Best Motorcycle Routes on the West Coast appeared first on Biker...
Are you one of the many motorcycle enthusiasts who dream of riding across the country on Route 66? This iconic ride is something everyone should do at least once in their lifetime. But the question remains: What do you do when you finally reach the Pacific Coast? Don’t worry. Your epic ride doesn’t have to end when you see the ocean. In fact, some of the best motorcycle routes in the country are scattered throughout the western United States. Are you ready to gear up and ride off into the sunset? Whether you’re riding with your significant other, your closest friends, or making a solo journey, we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll reveal the best motorcycle rides in each of the three west coast states–California, Oregon, and Washington.
Did you know that California has almost double the number of motorcycles of any other state? With over 842,000 registered motorcycles, you know the riding options have got to be good! Here’s our pick for the five best riding routes in the Golden State.
California’s Pacific Coast Highway is another bucket list for many motorcyclists. If you’re going to spend any time on the west coast, it would be a crime not to include at least part of this stretch on your itinerary. Stretching over 650 miles along the California coast (and into Oregon), you can’t beat the views on this epic oceanfront highway. Crashing surf, breathtaking cliffs, and beaches lined with seals and other wildlife await you. What if you don’t have time to ride the whole highway? We recommend the Big Sur stretch from Carmel to Morro Bay (120 miles). Or, if you’re a bridge enthusiast, start in Santa Cruz at the beautiful Bixby Creek Bridge. Head north 138 miles and complete your ride by crossing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
You may envision nothing but wasteland and vultures when you hear “Death Valley.” But the reality is that this national park offers some of the most unique scenery on the planet. Imagine hour after hour of cloudless blue skies and barren desert mountains. You won’t find any forests or water here–just a few hearty bushes and a burst of wildflowers in the springtime. You’ve got a few different options for reaching Death Valley:
Highway 395 (from the east)
I-15 (from the south)
Off NV 95 (from the north)
Because summertime temperatures can be extreme, we recommend riding through Death Valley during the fall, winter, or spring.
What if you’re more into mountains than deserts or coastal roads? This ride is sure to satisfy you!Great if you have limited time but still want fabulous scenery, this ride is only about 60 miles out of San Bernardino. It winds through the delightful San Bernardino National Forest, passing several scenic overlooks along the way. The final leg of the journey winds around Sugarloaf Mountain and dumps you out at pristine Big Bear Lake. To make the return trip, take Highway 18 back towards LA and enjoy the spectacular drop-offs along the way.
This is another short ride that’s well worth your time if you’re in the area. Start in Ranchita and head east through the stark but beautiful Montezuma Valley. Desert panoramas and endless blue skies await as you traverse the 13 miles across the valley. You’ll descend over 3,000 feet in elevation along the way, with plenty of tight turns to keep you on your toes. Keep your eye out for the Borrego bighorn sheep that like cling to the rocky mountainsides.
For more hairpin turns–and the world’s largest trees–plot a route towards Sequoia National Forest. Start your ride in Woodlake, about 50 miles southeast of Fresno. Take Highway 245 into the park until it merges with Highway 180. Enjoy the scenery as the desert landscape gives way to majestic Redwood forests. Be sure to include a stop at General Sherman, the world’s largest tree (by volume). This 2,000-year old giant stands a staggering 275 feet high and has a base diameter of more than 36 feet!
Oregon may not be as big or as popular as California, but it has plenty to offer in the way of scenic motorcycle routes.
If you’re riding the Pacific Coast Highway north out of California, you’ll end up on US 101–Oregon’s coastal gem. From Cannon Beach to Florence (158 miles), this oceanfront road offers spectacular views and much less traffic than its southern counterpart. Enjoy the massive sand dunes and windswept landscape of Nehalem Bay State Park–a perfect spot to camp for the night. Don’t miss the iconic Haystack Rock, too, a prehistoric monolith that towers 235 feet over Cannon Beach.
Remote mountain roads, high scenic ridges, and thick temperate forests await you on the Blue Mountain Scenic Byway. Stretching between the towns of Baker City and Condon, this 186-mile stretch of road is perfect for those who want to get away from it all. On the way, you’ll ride along a ridge that sits 2,000 feet higher than the surrounding landscape. There’s also a historic steam train and old gold mines if you feel the urge to stop and explore.
This highway makes a big loop around Mount Hood, offering amazing vistas from all sides. Our favorite part of the ride, though, is the 26-mile cut-through between Highway 26 and Highway 97. The road is kept in pristine condition and is fairly straight, with just a few gentles turns along the way. You’ll marvel at the changes in scenery in such a short amount of time. Thick conifer and pines forests give way to the very different look of sage and juniper trees in the high desert plateau.
With “outback” and “scenic” in its name, you know this highway has a lot to offer any motorcycle enthusiast.This 175-mile ride begins in the charming town of La Pine, Oregon. Take Route 31 south until you hit Highway 395. If you like, you can follow this road down into California and end up at Goose Lake State Recreation Area. Because it’s located on the “dry” side of Oregon, expect good-quality roads and plenty of high desert scenery. Keep an eye out for antelope, turkey, deer, and even wild horses.
If you can’t get enough high desert scenery, take the road from Shaniko to Fossil. This 48-mile stretch passes through land riddled with sagebrush, antelope, and deserted “ghost towns.” You’ll also be surprised to see some red rock formations and hidden green valleys reminisce of New Mexico or Arizona.
If you’ve made it all the way to the Great Pacific Northwest, welcome! You’re sure to find delight in exploring these scenic routes.
This is an 87-mile stretch of road between the towns of Marblemount and Winthrop. You’ll find the starting point about 100 miles northeast of Seattle. This is a very twisty, winding mountain road best suited for experienced riders. As you pass through North Cascade National Park, you’ll gradually climb from sea level to well above 8,000 feet. One important note: This pass is only open from April to October.
This 70-mile ride will bring you up close and personal with the impressive peak of Mount Rainier.Start in the town of Elbe and head east, following the signs for Sunrise Park. Enjoy the spectacular views of the 14,411-foot peak to your north as the road winds past thick forests and glacial lakes. Although the roads are well-maintained, this ride is best enjoyed in the summer to avoid potentially icy conditions.
If you’re in the coastal town of Bellingham, hop on WA Route 542 and follow it east. Enjoy the view of Mount Baker rising in front of you as you ride the 57-mile stretch of highway. Eventually, you’ll pass north of Mount Baker and end up at a scenic overlook near Mount Shuksan. Aside from the beautiful scenery, experienced riders will enjoy all the hairpin turns along this sweeping route.
There’s nothing like the freedom of the open road. If you’re used to the crowded roadways of the east coast, you’re in for a real treat when you head west. Endless sunshine, salty sea air, and miles of unspoiled scenery await you on these scenic west coast motorcycle routes. But why stop at the west coast? There’s a huge world out there waiting to be discovered–and one of the best ways to do so is from the back of a motorcycle.
Check out our recent post on the world’s best motorcycle routes. From Australia to Norway and Nepal to South Africa, there’s a riding adventure out there with your name on it. Which destination will call out to you?
The post Beyond Route 66: The Best Motorcycle Routes on the West Coast appeared first on Biker Report.
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