Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Best 15 Motorcycle Roadways in the USA

This month's issue of the American Motorcyclist magazine, published by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) ranks the top 15 scenic highways and byways across the USA, as chosen by AMA members. Four are in California but the most popular ride is Beartooth Highway through Montana and Wyoming.

* I have personally been on more than a half dozen of these scenic motorcycle roadways, including the North Pacific Coast Highway in California where this photo was taken at Big Sur. Other photos were also taken on vacation in California in 2009.

"When it comes to the best places in the country to ride motorcycles, no group of riders is more knowledgeable than AMA members," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "No group puts in more miles, samples more asphalt or rides more roads.

"By publicizing our favorite roads in American Motorcyclist magazine, AMA members will seek out these destinations and bring tourism dollars into local communities through the purchase of food, fuel, lodging and more," Dingman said.

The editors of American Motorcyclist magazine used the 230,000-member, non-profit association's website,, to accept nominations and tally votes for members' favorite roads. Nearly 100 roads made the ballot, and the magazine published the top 15 roads in the April issue as well as a list of "honorable mentions."

"Some of these roads are familiar to motorcyclists, and others may not be," said Managing Editor James Holter. "They all have one thing in common: They're the best roads in the country, as chosen by AMA members."

A countdown of the top 15 routes:

15. Washington Route 129 and Oregon Route 3, Clarkston, Wash., to Enterprise, Ore.
14. Ohio Route 170, Calcutta to Poland.
13. California Route 58, McKittrick to Santa Margarita.
12. U.S. Route 33, Harrisonburg, Va., to Seneca Rocks, W.Va.
11. Natchez Trace, from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn.
10. Angeles Crest Highway, California Route 2.
9. U.S. Route 12, Lolo Pass, Idaho and Montana.
8. California Route 36.
7. Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina and Tennessee.
6. Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana.
5. California Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway.
4. U.S. Route 550, from Ouray to Durango, Colo.
3. U.S. Route 129 -- The Tail of the Dragon -- on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.
1. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming.

Honorable mentions:
•Highway 12, Colorado
•Route 191, 180, 78, Arizona, New Mexico
•U.S. 191 (Alpine to Morenci) Arizona
•U.S. 16A (South Dakota)
•U.S. 50, Nevada
•Farm to Market 336, Texas

* We also loved everything about the scenic roadways in Tennessee, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada and West Virginia. Wyoming is our next place to visit.

Source: American Motorcyclist Magazine.