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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to decide where to go for a week or so of great motorcycle riding. I did Colorado last year for 8 days and it was outstanding. Where have you been, or where would you like to go for a great week of riding? Somewhere where I can fly in, rent a bike at a dealership, go out for 8 days or so, return the bike to the dealership and fly out. Not international, but somewhere in the lower 48 states.
Thanks.
 

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Long way to Kaulifornia. How about Michigan. You can ride along about 3000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline. Come through Canada (Sarnia) to Port Huron unless you're really intent on seeing Detroit. From Port Huron, take 25 around the thumb to 13 in Bay City, which runs into 23 at Standish. 23 runs along the shore of Lake Huron all the way to Mackinaw City. Cross Mig Mac on I75 and stay on it about 50 miles to Sault St. Marie. See the Locks. Back down I75 a few miles to 28. West on 28 a few more miles to 221 through Brimley. Follow it along the coast of Lake Superior to 123 and then north to Paradise. If you want, head north out of Paradise to White Fish Point and the Great Lakes Shipwreck museum (very good). Back down to Paradise and west on 123 back to 28. West on 28 to Munising. That's a long, lonely ride. To break it up, stop in Seney (Dodge City of the North) and see the museum. In Munising, see the Pictured Rocks. Take 28 on to Marquette, biggest little city on Lake Superior (nice Harley dealer). Great shoreline views. From Marquette, take 41 to Houghton, 100 miles through the woods. From Houghton, take 26 to 45 to 2 and stay on 2 all the way back to Big Mac. Cross the straights again and take 31 to County 66 and on to 119 along Lake Michigan. 119 back to 31 in Petosky and on to Traverse City. In TC, get on 22 to tour the Leelenau Peninsula (wineries). 22 along Lake Michigan to 31 in Manistee. You can pick one of numerous routes back to the SE part of the state and on to NY. But to avoid the larger urban areas, I'd take 55 to Cadillac and 115 to Clare. From there you can choose which interstate you want depending on which way you want to return. Sorry to carry on.
 

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Michigans weather to unsettled this time of year...Try CA. fly into Oakland, I met a guy who rented his Harley for about 80 bucks a day. Go down to San Luis Obisbo and settle around that area. The weather is best this time of year. 65-72, and the rides to Santa Barbara, and North on hwy 1 is spectacular both ways. I just got back...what a Blast!!!! My .02
 

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HarleyComforts said:
Michigans weather to unsettled this time of year...Try CA. fly into Oakland, I met a guy who rented his Harley for about 80 bucks a day. Go down to San Luis Obisbo and settle around that area. The weather is best this time of year. 65-72, and the rides to Santa Barbara, and North on hwy 1 is spectacular both ways. I just got back...what a Blast!!!! My .02
For sure. Don't even think about riding Michigan this time of year. July/August is best for the route I described. And from NY, you can ride your own scooter. No rentals necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We're planning this ride for September, 2008. I do want to go somewhere where I don't have to worry about the weather. Don't mind a little rain or whatever, but for the most part would like good riding weather.
 

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There are a few books about california rides. I can't find mine right now, but there are more than 80 loops from different areas that the writer recommends. His info has always been good. Many of the serria passes are closed due to snow as late as the end of June. Calif is not all heat and sunshine.
 

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HarleyComforts said:
Michigans weather to unsettled this time of year...Try CA. fly into Oakland, I met a guy who rented his Harley for about 80 bucks a day. Go down to San Luis Obisbo and settle around that area. The weather is best this time of year. 65-72, and the rides to Santa Barbara, and North on hwy 1 is spectacular both ways. I just got back...what a Blast!!!! My .02
I'd agree. I have driven the Pacific Coast Highway from San Fran to LA and it is awesome. The Smokey Moutains are great too. You could rent a bike and ride the Blue Ridge Parkway North from there. Asheville, NC is a great place to eat and drink.
 

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I would not hesitate for a single moment to recommend Arkansas...yes, ARKANSAS! Made my first trip there back in August...spent a week, but could easily have spent a few more days. Way too many great roads to cover in a short time. I am specifically referring to the NW region..also known as The Ozarks. Beautiful country with endless amounts of scenic twisty and hilly roads...it's simply magnificent! Lots of great biker-friendly lodging available in the Eureka Springs area. Of course, lets not forget the AWESOME BBQ down there - McClard's BBQ in Hot Springs comes to mind. :) There is also the Talimena Scenic Byway a tad bit further south in Mena, AR. This is a fabulous, 54-mile road that winds through the Ouachita Nat'l Forest atop the Rich Mountains. Very little traffic (we saw 1 car and 2 bikes for the entire 54 miles), nice scenery with several overlooks for photo-ops...it's just a peaceful and serene ride into Talihina, OK. I highly recommend making the side trip to do this road. My other recommendations for top-notch roads in that area - Hwy 23 (the famous Pig Trail), Hwy 123, and of course, Scenic Hwy 7. Here is a fantasic link packed with helpful information about riding the Ozarks:

http://www.cruisetheozarks.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nscrbug:
Thanks for that suggestion. It looks like a great trip. And I love Barbecue! Right now I think we're heading to Montana/Wyoming/Idaho for around 8 or 9 days. That is the area we're concentrating on right now. But I'm going to look into Arkansas for next year.
I wonder how the weather is there in late June...? That is usually when we go.
 

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If I had to fathom a guess, I'd say that late June would be a pretty good time to go. We went in mid-August...during the extreme heat wave that was hitting those states. It was pretty toasty (near 100's), but coming from Chicago..where we have our share of hot and humid weather, it wasn't anything that we couldn't handle. The next time I head down that way, it would definitely be in either June or possibly Sept/Oct.

Linda
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, Linda.

I'm going to keep it in mind for the future. At this point we're concentrating on the Idaho/Montana/Wyoming area. Possibly start in Billings and do some type of 8 day loop.
Have you ever ridden out there?
 

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If you have not been to the mountains of Western North Carolina yet, you owe it to yourself! Take a ride on the Dragon, the Hellbender and dozens of other fine roads in the area. There is a place in Maggie Valley called Gryphon Cycles that will rent you the Harley......and be sure to visit Dale Walksler at Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum while you are there. The weather is usually great May-Oct.
 

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If your vacation days are flexible and you don't mind sleeping in a tent for a couple nights consider the Redwood Run in northern California. It is June 13, 14 and 15 this year and would make a great jump off point to tour the Pacific Coast Highway.
Rental bikes are in great demand for this weekend so you would need to confirm availability before buying run tickets.
 

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Arkansas is certainly a forgotten wonder. Many places to see and ride there.
Also, another great place is the Smokey mountains, lots of beautiful roads around them, and don't forget the Blue Ridge Parkway. Truly one of the most spectacular roads you will ever have ridden!
 
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