Have you ever wanted to go to California to drive Highway 1 on a motorcycle but don’t want to make the cross country drive to get there? Rent one! We rent cars all the time and renting a motorcycle is just as easy to borrow for an exciting getaway to the sprawling coast or mountain switchbacks. Read our top roads to travel on a rented motorcycle and local places you can rent to get you cruisin’ the roads in no time.
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1. East Maui Loop, Hawaii
Starts in Paia on route 36/360, also called the Hana Highway, in a 112-miles loop down the bottom of the island, through the upcountry of Maui. The road to Hana is one of the most scenic drives in Maui and will allow you to see every form of natural landscape, from ocean cliffs to rain forest, to farmland. This ride offers riders more than 600 twists and turns and has over 50 one-lane bridges. The natural landscape changes on this 112-mile loop may be a tricky ride for beginners. Many of the roads can be slippery when wet, which may pose a problem for less-skilled motorcycle riders.
This all-day ride includes the road to Hana, which is a popular tourist destination, so it would be a good idea to get an early start if you want to get in some quality road time before the traffic gets too bad. If you are making the full loop instead of just the drive to Hana, you should have open roads after riding through the town. The road to Hana offers scenic overlooks to stop and enjoy lunch if you packed one, but sometimes you can find fruit stands and food carts in this area so you can enjoy the local cuisine. Past Hana town, you can find the Seven Sacred Pools, which offers some hiking trails to enjoy. The rest of the drive will give you oceanfront cliffs, mountains, and rolling ranges. Watch out for crossing cows on the last leg on this drive!
Where to rent
- If you are more into cruisers or touring bikes, Eagle Rider can offer you a selection of Harley Davidson, Suzuki, and Honda motorcycles to fit your style. It’s located in Lahaina, which means you’ll get some extra, scenic, drivetime along the coast.
- If dual-sport bikes are your thing, Maui Dual Sport offers a variety of bike rentals for you to conquer the loop, and maybe even with a little off-roading.
2. California’s Highway 1
Highway 1 in California is an icon among icons. Movies, shows, books, you name it have all made reference to this beautiful, 656-mile stretch of highways along coastal cliffs and through towering Redwood Forests. Highway 1 starts in Orange County and ends in Leggett, with diverse scenery in between. It goes without saying that this is a multi-day, even multi-week, trip depending on how long you want to travel, what you want to see, and how far you want to go. As you can imagine, the amount of stops you can make in 656 miles through major cities and tourist towns is pretty limitless. Highway 1 is a popular destination for drivers of cars and motorcycles as it offers twists and turns on the edge of some fairly nerve racking cliffs.
The long drive will offer you A+ views of the pacific ocean that you’ll never be able to forget. Seafood lovers will love this road trip because regardless of where you start or stop, you will enjoy some of the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted. If you start in Orange County; spending time in Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco is a must. Once crossing over the Golden Gate Bridge, you’ll get more into the relaxed part of the drive. Just outside of San Francisco, you can pull off at Point Reyes National Seashore to be closer to nature, or enjoy the many wineries and unique towns that Sonoma County has to offer.
Highway 1 turns into Highway 101 in Leggett, California, but there is no reason to go home. Continuing your drive on Highway 1010 will take you deep into the Redwood forests and even more unique, small towns. A drive through the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a must-see. Riding with giant sequoia redwoods on either side of you, and sometimes riding directly through them, is a magnificent site you won’t ever forget. If you are feeling adventurous, you can take 101 all the way up the coast through Oregon and end with a tour around Olympic National Park.
Where to rent
- Renting from large companies, like Hertz, allows you to pick up in one location, tour at your leisure, and return your bike at a different drop-off point. Hertz will have locations in major airports as well as free-standing buildings.
3. Black Hills, South Dakota
If you are reading this blog, I’m going to assume you already know about the Sturgis Rally that happens every year. For newbies, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world, usually attracting around 500,000 attendees in pre-covid years, with a record of 700,000 attendees. The rally typically sees a large amount of Harley-Davidsons, but all bikes are welcome. The festival is a 10-day party, complete with concerts, bike shows, races, and everything else you’d expect from a massive, multi-day, motorcycle rally. It has something for everyone and is an event you have to experience first-hand
The city of Sturgis is close to so much natural beauty that finding a route that isn’t scenic is nearly impossible. The most popular riding in the area is going to the Black Hills. Needles Highway, which is an iconic, narrow, highway, will take you through Custer State Park, where you can see wild buffalo and get great views of Mount Rushmore among the Black Hills. While you are in the area, going to BadLands National Park and riding the scenic byway is a must. A short ride from South Dakota into Wyoming will bring you to the nation’s first national monument, Devil’s Tower.
Where to rent
- If you decide to fly in for Sturgis instead of riding your bike, fear not, there are places to rent in the area. Midwest Motorcycle Rental has different Harleys to get you rally-ready.
4. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah
It’s no secret that Utah offers stunning landscapes that you can’t find anywhere else in the United States, which is why we couldn’t miss putting it on our list of must-see drives. The 130-mile tour starts in Panguitch and shortly after starting your drive you’ll see Red Canyon, which gets its name from the towering, rusty-red hoodoos that span for miles. Bryce Canyon is a bit up the road, which offers endless views of Hoodoos or natural stone spires. You’ll be able to stop and refuel in the town of Bryce before continuing on to Torrey.
This ride is best done over 2 days because you won’t want to miss the sun rising and setting on these cliffs, hoodoos, and mesas, which stretch as far as the eye can see. New riders beware; high winds and cliffs can make this ride dangerous in some areas.
Where to rent
- Twisted Road is a motorcycle sharing company that allows owners to rent out their bikes for people to rent all over the country. This means that you’ll most likely be able to find your desired ride close to where you are, even if it’s in a remote area of the USA.
5. Bath to Calais, Maine
Did you know the jagged, Maine coastline is 3,478 miles long? The rugged coast of Maine makes for an excellent motorcycle ride. You’ll ride along the coast on 228 miles of highway and will take you about 5 hours to complete, which is completely doable in a day. If you wanted to stretch this trip into a multi-day trip, that would be easy with the countless number of small beach towns and all the lobster rolls you can dream of eating. Stay alert during this ride because you might encounter a moose crossing in front of you.
Where to rent Finding a motorcycle to rent on the coast could prove to be a little hard, depending on the time of the year and area. Twisted Road is a good place to start and allows riders some freedom to choose when it comes to motorcycle rentals along the coast of Maine
Now that you see how easy it is to rent a motorcycle and ride whatever destination you want, there is no excuse not to get up and go. With a network of companies and dealerships, renting a motorcycle is easier than ever and you’ll never have to be without 2 wheels. Check out a list of the best motorcycle roads in the US for some amazing ride inspo!
What location is on your riding bucket list?