The California Motorbike Tour

California, famous for its stunning coastline, majestic mountains, and expansive deserts, is a paradise for motorbike enthusiasts. With its diverse landscapes and routes, the Golden State offers an unforgettable experience for riders.

Whether you’re a fan of legendary motorbike riders, a seasoned motorcyclist, or a casual rider looking for adventure, California’s motorbike tours are the best for thrilling rides and breathtaking views. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best motorbike tours across California and highlight key attractions, explaining why you should experience them. 

Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1)

One of California’s most iconic motorbike routes is the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1. This route stretches from the northern town of Leggett to the southern city of Dana Point, covering over 650 miles of breathtaking coastline.

Riders along this route enjoy sweeping ocean views, rugged cliffs, and picturesque beaches. Here are key stops along the way:

  • Big Sur: This spot is famous for its dramatic cliffs and beaches. It offers a perfect place for riders to take a break and soak in the natural beauty.
  • Monterey: Home to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and historic Cannery Row, this coastal town is a must-visit.
  • Santa Barbara: This city offers Mediterranean-style architecture and beautiful beaches, and it is often referred to as the American Riviera.
  • Malibu: Home to some of the most luxurious beachfront properties and celebrity residences, Malibu offers a unique glimpse into the glamorous side of California.

Route 66

Another legendary route spans from Chicago to Santa Monica; the California portion takes riders through diverse landscapes, from the vast Mojave Desert to the bustling streets of Los Angeles. Highlights along this route include:

  • Amboy Crater: This extinct volcano offers a unique opportunity for a short hike to stretch your legs and explore the unusual landscape.
  • Barstow: What’s more attractive than a classic Route 66 town with plenty of vintage motels, diners, and a rich history of the Mother Road? 
  • Santa Monica Pier: This is the iconic endpoint of Route 66. It is a perfect spot for riders to celebrate the completion of their journey with a stroll along the pier and a ride on the Ferris wheel.

Sierra Nevada Mountains

If you’re a fan of mountainous terrain, the Sierra Nevada offers some of California’s most challenging and rewarding rides. The winding roads and high-altitude passes provide an exhilarating experience for motorbike enthusiasts. Key routes to watch out for include:

  • Tioga Pass: At 9,943 feet, Tioga Pass is the highest highway pass in California. It offers stunning views of Yosemite National Park and the surrounding wilderness

  • Ebbetts Pass: This route takes riders through the heart of the Sierra Nevada, offering breathtaking views of alpine meadows, forests, and lakes.
  • Lake Tahoe Loop: Riders on this route can circle the largest alpine lake in North America. They enjoy spectacular views of the crystal-clear waters and surrounding mountains.

Redwood National and State Parks

These parks offer a ride through ancient forests and are home to some of the tallest trees on Earth, providing a majestic backdrop for motorbike tours. Highlights include:

  • Avenue of the Giants: This route cuts through towering redwoods, offering riders a chance to experience the beauty of these ancient trees.
  • Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park: Known for its lush forests and scenic drives, this park offers riders numerous trails and picnic spots.
  • Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park: This park features dense forests and rivers, making it a perfect destination for nature lovers.

Native American Casinos

As you ride across California’s landscape, you’ll often find yourself in Native American territories. These areas are home to various casinos, offering a chance to take a break and try their luck at the tables.

California has the most significant poker card rooms in the United States, a perfect hub providing numerous entertainment and relaxation opportunities. Here are a few casinos to look out for:

  • Pechanga Resort Casino: This is one of the largest casinos in California. The casino offers a wide range of gaming options and luxurious amenities. Enjoy over 5,000 slot machines, including the latest video reels and classic slots. Riders can also access about 150 table games, including Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, and Three Card Poker.

  • Thunder Valley Casino Resort: Located near Sacramento, this casino is designed to offer a variety of gaming options, live entertainment, and fine dining. It has over 3,400 slot machines and more than 100 table games.
  • Chumash Casino Resort: This is located in Santa Ynez and offers gaming on about 2,500 slot machines, featuring the latest games, progressive jackpots, and over 45 table games. 

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

What is the Most Time of Year to Take a Motorbike Tour in California?

You can enjoy touring coastal areas, such as the Pacific Coast, in the spring and fall. Mountainous regions are best visited in the summer and early fall, while desert areas, such as Death Valley and Joshua Tree, are best visited in the winter and early spring.

Are there Any Safety Tips for Motorbike Touring in California?

Here are some essential tips:

  • Always wear appropriate safety gear, gloves, and protective clothing.
  • Ensure your motorbike is in good condition and properly maintained before the trip.
  • Be aware of weather conditions, plan your route accordingly, and stay hydrated.

Can I Rent a Motorbike in California?

Yes, there are numerous rental services available throughout California that cater to motorbike rides and enthusiasts. Major cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego offer car rental options, from cruisers to sport bikes.

California: The Ultimate Biking Experience 

Biking in California creates opportunities for social connections. Cycling along popular routes and trails allows you to meet bikers with shared interests in cycling, local routes, or even environmental concerns, potentially blossoming into new friendships.  

Whether seeking adventure, natural beauty, or a glimpse into the state’s rich history, a motorbike tour in California is an unforgettable experience, so gear up, hit the road, and discover the Golden State from your bike saddle.