If driving the open road is symbolic or our love of freedom in this country, then riding a motorcycle is at the very heart of it. Whether you ride near home, by yourself or with fellow bikers, the spirit of adventure that’s within us all fuels us to find the ultimate ride. Here’s a quick look at the five friendliest motorcycle cities and routes in the U.S.
New York City, NY
You might not think of NYC as one of the friendliest motorcycle cities, but it’s the perfect place to kick off this list. Yes, there’s the traffic, but early in the morning or even late at night, you can catch a ride down NYC’s famous 5th Avenue and treat yourself to some serious riding fun.
Start in Harlem with a trip around Duke Ellington Circle before heading south along Central Park, where you’ll pass a number of museums and famous landmarks. When you get downtown, open up the throttle to hear and feel the sound ricochet off some of the tallest building on the East Coast.
Any bike enthusiast who’s worth his or her salt will enjoy a trip through York, PA, home to America’s legendary motorcycle manufacturer, Harley Davidson. While you can make similar treks to HD’s other factories, York is where the most iconic Harley’s, including the Softail and Touring model families, are made. Inside, you’ll get to learn how their bikes are built, walk the factory floor and see some of the greatest American road machines come to life.
This city makes the list because from here, bikers can head west, traveling down the famous Route 66. The classic American highway offers 2,200 miles worth of views and road stories all the way from Chicago, IL, to Santa Monica, CA. If you’ve got a couple weeks vacation that you’re willing to commit to the trek, you’ll be met with one of the U.S.’s most legendary roads, not to mention countless roadside attractions, stunning scenery and one of the most beautiful parts of the Pacific coast. For bikers, Route 66 isn’t just a road; it’s a journey.
Elkins, WV, is yet another city that’s great for bike enthusiasts because of its access to a major highway. There’s no two ways about it; motorcycles were made to be enjoyed on the twisting, turning roads. Route 50, otherwise know as the George Washington Highway, is all about twists and turns. This stunning ride passes through some of the most scenic woods in the south, including Monongahela National Forest and Cathedral State Park. The best part of the GW Highway is riding by Virginia’s Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway, which will take you through the beautiful blue mountains of Shenandoah National Park.
Thousand Oaks, CA
For motorcycle movie buffs, this one’s a no-brainer. Thousand Oaks is famous for being the location of the opening scene of Marlon Brando’s 1953 classic film, “The Wild One.” One of the most famous motorcycle flicks of all time, “The Wild One” features Brando as the leader of the infamous Black Rebels. The opening scene has driven many to go out and buy their first motorcycle.
The U.S. is filled with great places to ride and that remind us of what we fell in love with motorcycles in the first place. So, what are you waiting for? Hit the road, and remember to always ride safe.
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Erich Reichert has been an editor and on-air personality in the radio control car hobby for 12 years. A certified car nut since birth, he has written for internationally published titles such as RC Car Action, RC Driver and Xtreme RC Cars, as well as Stuff Magazine, Road and Track and Super Street. He's covered everything from product reviews and tech articles to high-profile lifestyle pieces and celebrity interviews. Erich found his passion for writing after a successful career as an art director, working with brands such as Pepsico, NASCAR, MTV, Nintendo, WWE, Cannondale Bicycles and HBO. He's also a father, an avid hockey fan and an FIA race license holder who enjoys hiking, playing drums and movies.