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California Motorcycle Rides

Dual-Sporting in Northern California on the Kawasaki KLR650 New Edition

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Adventures are good. They don’t have to be big adventures, like crossing the Sahara Desert or Panama’s Darien Gap, but can be quite small and equally pleasurable. Like California’s Lost Coast. I am especially fond of Usal Road through the Sinkyone Wilderness, 25 miles of steep, twisty, bumpy, sandy, rocky and rain-rutted dirt road. First and second gear the whole ...

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Sierra Nevada Three-Pass Motorcycle Ride

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Our ride with the Sacramento Road Cruisers today starts in Folsom, California, and heads out of town via Latrobe Road through rural Sacramento County, past cattle ranches and oak woodlands. From there, State Route 49 take us south, twisting and turning for 300 miles through the foothills of California’s Gold Country, with the northern end passing over the Sierra Nevada ...

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Caffeinate Your Ride at the Black Lightning Motorcycle Café

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Far northern California is an ideal motorcycling destination for many reasons, from the rugged coastal scenery to the majestic redwoods to the hidden backroads with almost no traffic. Now there’s another reason, a new moto-centric gathering place called the Black Lightning Motorcycle Café. Read our redwoods motorcycle tour story,  “Riding Among Giants” The café, which opened in October 2013, is ...

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Sierra Nevadas: Three Days and Three Rides in California's Motorcycle Playground

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For most motorcyclists, riding the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California means cruising over passes like Ebbetts, Carson, Monitor, Sonora or Tioga, or visiting the great national parks like Yosemite and Sequoia/Kings Canyon. Preferring less-traveled roads, my trio of Sierra rides covers some of the overlooked mountain roads on the western side of the central and southern Sierras. In the late ...

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Down To Downieville: Rural California Motorcycle Ride

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My machine had been idle too long during a busy summer, occupied by matters far less important than riding, so I said to Cookie (Gwen’s father called her that and it stuck and I like it), “Let’s blow out of here on an overnighter to Downieville.” We’re fortunate to live in a place called Big Valley in the northeast corner ...

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The Long Way to Monterey and Morro Bay, California

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It’s 6 a.m. on a Wednesday as I head out of Port Hueneme, California, north to Monterey—the long way! There are so many fantastic back roads through this remote and pristine Central-Coast countryside that every trip is a unique and rewarding adventure. Today, riding my BMW R 1100 R, I catch Highway 33 and head up what seems like a ...

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