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Touring

This Great Roads section focuses on local and international motorcycle rides, roads and travel experiences from the editors of Rider magazine and our contributors. The articles have been broken down by region to help you find stories about a particular area more easily.

Just click on a portion of the map below to find articles about that specific region. The regions can then be broken down further by state if so desired.

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IMTBike’s Portugal & Southern Spain Tour

It’s one thing to read about the history and beauty of Spain and Portugal—such as the pueblo blanco of Arcos de la Frontera—but riding through these countries is another thing altogether, providing an intimate connection that touches your heart and lifts your soul. (Photos: the author)

Not all motorcycle tour companies are alike. Moreover, the tours offered by a single company typically differ dramatically in many ways. So, sitting in a hotel lobby in Málaga, Spain, I listened carefully as IMTBike guides Martin Cebrián and Chano Lorenzo welcomed our group of 14 and laid out the next two weeks. We were pioneering its brand-new Portugal and ...

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Cape Cod Cruising

Cape Cod Cruising

Most Americans have heard of Cape Cod, and a large number have been there. Much of the Cape is astonishingly beautiful, with great beaches along its 70 or so miles. I’ll begin with a bit of advice: Don’t go there between Memorial and Labor days. Too darned many people for comfort, and way too many vehicles on the few roads. ...

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2016 Yamaha FJR1300ES – Road Test Review

Although the FJR1300ES tips the scales at 670 pounds fully fueled, it feels nicely balanced and responds well to steering inputs. Among the FJR’s many options for adjustability are windscreen height, handlebar position, seat height and width of the the black lower fairing panels.

What do a state park, an international border crossing, a dirt road and a coastal highway have in common? Together they make up the four corners of California. Linking them together in a big loop covers 2,600 miles, which I shoehorned into a little more than three days, averaging 800 miles a day, for a challenging test of man and ...

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Riding The Shuswap Area of British Columbia, Canada

Group shot with Brian, Merridy, Nadine and Ben at the Salmon Arm Wharf, downtown Salmon Arm.

I am waiting at the border between the U.S. and Canada, mentally patting myself on the back. For one thing, despite the fact that I am in the Pacific Northwest, it is warm, the sky is blue and there is no rain in the forecast. For another, there is only one car between Customs and me. Most people crossover at ...

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Baja Enlightenment: Riding Mexico’s Lower California Peninsula

Highway 1 has no shoulders but is in mostly good shape throughout the Baja desert.

Our experience begins at the Tecate border crossing, a 45-minute ride east of San Diego. One by one we pull our motorcycles up to the border station, watch the light blink green—not red—then cautiously inch into Mexican territory. There’s a sense something is wrong. No official approaches to ask where we are going. No one stamps our passports. No one waves ...

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Overland Adventure to the Overland Expo

Schnebly Hill Road is not for the faint of heart or those with limited experience with big bikes off-road. It does, however, offer some of the best views of Sedona. Because of this, it can be crowded with tourists in Jeeps, so it’s best to take it slow and easy, and take plenty of breaks for water and photos!

There was a time not too long ago when I looked at riders on massive “adventure” bikes, loaded down with what appeared to be roughly a ton of hard luggage (usually covered in stickers), camping chairs, sleeping bags and enough bolt-on crash protection to mount three sets of auxiliary lights, and I just…didn’t…get it. My idea of riding off-road was ...

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Twisty Roads and Redwoods in Northern California

Route 36 through the coastal mountains. (Photos by the author)

On a warm summer morning, my wife and I departed on a four-day trip that would take us on some of the finest motorcycle roads in Northern California, most notably State Route 36 with its 140 miles of continuous twists and turns. Riding north from Sonoma County on U.S. Route 101 to its junction with State Route 128, we followed the ...

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Crossing Colorado

Crossing Colorado’s Great Plains heading west, the front range of the Rockies begins to appear about 50 miles away, and slowly gets taller and taller. (Photos: Clement Salvadori)

I was loafing along the two-lane U.S. Route 6 on the BMW R 1200 RT as the road crossed the low rolling hills of the Great Plains, when suddenly a sign popped up: WELCOME TO COLORFUL COLORADO, back dropped by a half-dozen grain bins. These big, corrugated contraptions are not terribly aesthetic, but practical, since they’re relatively inexpensive and keep ...

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Arkansas Getaway

The intersection of State Routes 272 and 88. I have no doubt the ride would be a wild one when icy.

I’d been looking forward to burning up some hills and curves in western Arkansas, but for the moment I was riding a stretch of U.S. Route 67 that lay in the state’s northeast corner. The region is known for rice production, not peg grinding, but the flat, straight road has an interesting story. Designated the Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway, the ...

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Riding Minnesota’s Historic Bluff Country Scenic Byway

Majestic churches like this one near Lanesboro, Minnesota, are as common a sight in rural Minnesota as Iowa. (Photos: Susan Benton)

Ah, autumn, mid-October. Cool mornings, mild midday temperatures, low winds—perfect. We set our sights on a new-to-us scenic byway in Minnesota. The route is not planned but because it is leaf-looking season, we reserve a room before heading out. I climb onto our Honda ST1300 behind my trusted pilot, my husband Mike. This co-pilot is bundled for the morning chill ...

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