Motorcycle Rides

Best Motorcycle Roads and Destinations in Oklahoma, United States

Best Motorcycle Roads and Destinations in Oklahoma, United States

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Referred to as “the Sooner State” to reflect the residents’ pride, progressivism, and energetic, can-do spirit, Oklahoma is ideal for motorcyclists with adventurous spirits who are looking to spend time on their motorcycles. Oklahoma’s topography is full of cypress swamps, tallgrass prairies, and pine-covered mountains. Because this state has plenty of changes in elevation, beautiful scenery, and diverse terrain, the routes motorcyclists can travel provide both majestic views to admire and winding paths to keep them engaged.

Considering Oklahoma is such a large Southern state, it might be difficult to figure out where you would like to go. Luckily, Oklahoma has a list of notable routes and locations that are popular amongst motorcyclists. The variety of options guarantees that there is always a motorcycle road or destination in Oklahoma that will suit your preferences in terms of distance, difficulty, and enjoyment.

This article will hopefully give you helpful suggestions on the best motorcycle roads and destinations in Oklahoma along with supplementary information on this state’s motorcycle laws and possible luggage options.

2. Roads and Destinations in Oklahoma

2.1 Talimena National Scenic Byway

Distance: 60 miles
Time: 1 hour 26 minutes
Start: Talihina, OK
End: Mena, AR

This route passes through both the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas. Within the heart of the Choctaw Country, this route takes you along the ridgeline shared by the Winding Stair and the Rich Mountains. As you continue along, you will reach the highest point of the route between the Appalachians and the Rockies.

Aside from mountains, you can also admire the forested areas you pass along the way including the Talimena State Park, the Ouachita National Forest, and the Cedar Lake Recreation Center.

It is recommended you visit this scenic byway during either the fall or spring as the leafy foliage provides a beautiful spectacle either when the leaves are changing color or provide a thick green shade from the sun.

2.2 Railroad Bridge Road

Distance: 77 miles
Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Start: Noble
End: Noble

When you start in Noble, go and visit the Timberlake Rose Rock Museum to see the handcrafted rock formations with their floral designs.

As you head eastward towards Tribbey, your surroundings should be full of rolling hills with sharp weaving curves full of sudden turns. The scenery will begin to change as you get closer to Wanette as the sides of the road will be lined with forests.

Between Wanette and Byars, the rows of trees along the sides of the route seem to curve inward and almost form a natural tunnel of greenery. You will cross over the South Canadian River by going over a bridge that was originally repurposed from an old railroad.

2.3 Edmond-Stillwater Circuit

Distance: 115 miles
Time: 2 hours 23 minutes
Start: Edmond
End: Edmond

As you turn northward, you will arrive in Guthrie, a city rich in historical buildings. There is an establishment suited to a different taste such as the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum, the Oklahoma Sports Museum, and the Art Glass Emporium.

Upon making it to Stillwater, there are places where you can admire wildlife or enjoy some peace and quiet. You can visit the Lost Creek Safari and get to see exotic animals. Or you can stroll through Boomer Lake Park and the Botanic Garden.

As you head to Guthrie, most of your surroundings will be open country and flat fields which should make for a leisurely ride. Continuing to Stillwater, you will navigate both long, sweeping, and tight but fun curves.

2.4 The Indian Trail Freeway

Distance: 21 miles
Time: 30 minutes
Start: Honobia
End: Talhinia

As you head northward, you will be able to catch sight of the Kiamichi Mountain in the distance. You will also pass close to the Ouachita National Forest. You can use the area to do camping, hiking, or have lunch at a picnic area.

Due to passing through untamed wilderness, much of the road will have twists, turns, and rolling hills for you to traverse.

When you get to Talhinia, you can explore the Talimena State Park or grab some food at the Legend’s Bar & Grill.

2.5 The “77’s” Around Lake Murray

Distance: 23 miles
Time: 38 minutes
Start: Ardmore
End: Dickson

Before you leave Ardmore, you should explore all that this city has to offer. You can browse the interesting items in stock at the Ardmore Emporium Antiques. You can learn about Oklahoma’s past by spending time at the Greater Southwest Historical Museum. You technically could begin your journey here since it overlooks Lake Murray.

As you travel along Lake Murray’s coast, you can admire the lakefront by going to the Tucker Tower Nature Center. If you wish to hike around and admire the forests, you can go to Lake Murray State Park.

2.6 Where The Red Fern Grows Run

Distance: 72 miles
Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Start: Tahlequah
End: Tahlequah

Named after the famous children’s novel by Wilson Rawls, this route travels alongside the Illinois River. If you keep your eyes peeled, you can pull off to the side of the road towards any small docks. You can try your hand at canoeing or rowboats depending on where you are along the length of the Illinois River.

Before or near the end of your journey, you can spend time enjoying the sights in Tahlequah. You can visit the Cherokee National Prison Museum or the Cherokee National History Museum.

During the return trip, you will pass through the town of Westville. You can tour Lincoln Lake City Park, Siloam Springs Kayak Park, and Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park. If you are looking for a hot meal after completing a long ride, head to the Double R & P Gas and Grill.

2.7 The Road to Honobia

Distance: 60 miles
Time: 1 hour 6 minutes
Start: Broken Bow
End: Honobia

As you leave Broken Bow behind, you will pass by the Horseshoe Mountain, East High Peak, and Carter Mountain. Be cautious when traveling up the sudden rises and falls as the rocky terrain can take you by surprise. If you look to your right, you can just make out the Broken Bow Reservoir in the distance.

Upon entering the Ouachita National Forest, there will be fast sweepers to be careful of as you ascend the mountains. This stretch of the route can be treacherous yet exciting due to how many blind hills there are. Take it slow as you reach the top as you have no idea which direction the road will go.

If you choose to take a rest in Smithville, you may want to meet up with other motorcyclists at the bar known as Jim’s Red Barn.

2.8 Rural Lake Keystone Ride

Distance: 41 miles
Time: 49 minutes
Start: Tulsa
End: Cleveland

Cruise through the streets of Tulsa and you may find attractions that will pique your interest. You can look inside the bizarrely structured Cave House, see the exotic wildlife at the Tulsa Zoo, and see the statue of an archer in front of the Gilcrease Museum.

You start out traveling on curvy roads that travel over rolling hills which eventually get high enough so that you can see Lake Keystone. As you descend and continue to wind around the lakefront, the terrain alternates between flat and sparse to hilly and wooded.

When you reach Cleveland, you can meet up with other motorcyclists and rest up from your trip to the Buffalo Tavern West.

2.9 The Keystone Lake to Skiatook Lake Run

Distance: 52 miles
Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Start: Osage
End: Tulsa

Take a gander through Osage Point Park before you set out on the open highway then travel on the New Prue Road. When you come across the town of Hominy, you may catch sight of Native American warriors on horseback. Do not be alarmed, they are just statues called the New Territory.

As you head southeast, you will cross over Skiatook Lake and get close to the Skiatook Lake Dam. You will eventually come across the appropriately named Lake Road that will take you to the Tall Chief Cove.

Except for the area around Skiatook Lake which is mainly covered in dense forests, most of your surroundings during the ride will be stretches of high plains with plenty of curvy roads and rolling hills.

2.10 Kenwood Road

Distance: 24 miles
Time: 33 minutes
Start: Salina
End: Jay

While you are still near Salina, you can relax and rest your feet at Blue Hole Park. You can wade in the shallow lagoon, hike into the woods nearby, or take your motorcycle alongside the limestone bluffs.

The path towards the end of Kenwood Road stays the course and heads eastward. However, the road is not as straightforward or flat as it seems on a map. Most of the natural scenery will be valleys, cliffs, and clear streams along the road. You will have to stay on your toes as there are sharp 90 degree turns, narrow blindspots, and sudden twists.

2.11 The Lake Thunderbird Run

Distance: 26 miles
Time: 45 minutes
Start: Norman
End: Norman

Moving away from the untamed wilderness of Oklahoma, you take your motorcycle on an urban adventure. You will follow Alameda Road until you cross the bridge over Lake Thunderbird. At Lake Thunderbird, you can engage in fishing, hiking, or look for the famous Lake Monster.

As you loop back upward towards Franklin Road, you can pass by the home of the famous American singer, Toby Keith. If you are looking for a souvenir, seek out the classic Hollywood Corners store.

3. Motorcycle Laws in Oklahoma

3.1 Motorcycle Helmet Laws

It is illegal for motorcyclists under the age of 18 to operate their vehicles without wearing an approved motorcycle helmet. If you are a legal adult, you can choose not to have protective headgear on when on the road. However, you are better off always wearing a motorcycle helmet since it can save your life and prevent severe or fatal injury to your head.

When choosing an approved motorcycle helmet, make sure it was made of materials provided by the Snell Memorial Foundation. It must also satisfy the safety parameters laid out by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The two types of motorcycle helmets that provide both protection and visibility are the three-quarter and full-face helmets. Listed below are the requirements and features that your motorcycle helmet must have in Oklahoma:

  • Has a Department of Transportation (DOT) sticker
  • Can be fitted around your head snugly
  • No visible signs of damage
  • Has a face shield with no scratches (Full-face helmet only)
  • Requires separate eye protection with no scratches (Three-quarter helmet only)
  • Has a hard and durable outer shell that is shatter-resistant
  • Gives you a clear, peripheral view
  • Can be fastened with a neck- or chin-strap
  • Allows airflow without fogging up
  • Can allow you to wear sunglasses or goggles underneath

3.2 Motorcycle Passenger Laws

While Oklahoma does not have a minimum age requirement for motorcycle passengers, some criteria must be met before it can be deemed safe for you to transport another person on your motorcycle. If your passenger is under the age of 18, he/she is required to wear an approved motorcycle helmet similar to yours.

Since there is no age restriction in place, you must use your best judgment to determine who can ride atop your motorcycle. Criteria to look for in a motorcycle passenger is someone who can easily reach the footrests, comprehend your directions, and promptly follow your movements. For their safety, it is best to not have young children or elderly folk seated with you.

Your motorcycle must have a designated passenger seat, footrests, and handholds installed before you can legally carry a passenger. The passenger seat can either be part of the driver’s seat if it is large enough, a separate saddle positioned to the rear, or fixed to the side as a sidecar.

3.3 Required Safety Features

A responsibility that motorcyclists tend to forget is to conduct examinations on their vehicles to check for any damage to the machinery. While it is better to look over your motorcycle while it is still parked before every ride, you should at least inspect it periodically every few weeks. Identifying any faulty equipment and applying the necessary repairs will save you from getting into an accident in Oklahoma.

For your motorcycle to be considered street legal in Oklahoma, it must have the following features kept in good working condition and given proper maintenance:

  • Horn
  • Wheels
  • Fenders
  • Tires
  • Handlebars
  • Brake system
  • Controls
  • Headlight
  • Taillight
  • Brake light
  • Reflector
  • Exhaust system
  • Muffler
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Turn signals
  • Windshield

3.4 Lane Splitting Laws

It is illegal for motorcyclists to engage in lane splitting while in Oklahoma. This means motorcyclists are forbidden from attempting any form of lane splitting such as lane filtering and lane sharing.

You cannot ride on top of the dividing lines or in between traffic even if other vehicles are slowed or stopped. You are also not allowed to overtake or ride side-by-side with another vehicle while both of you are in the same lane.

4. Motorcycle Luggage for Oklahoma Motorcycle Tour

With a motorcycle, you do not have the luxury of a built-in trunk to safely store your belongings like with a car or van. Yet you should have a reliable means of storage fixed to your motorcycle for the duration of the trip. Since most of your journey through Oklahoma will involve spending hours on the road and crossing hundreds of miles, you may not have access to gas stations, supply stores, etc. Having motorcycle luggage ensures the essentials are within reach for convenience or during emergencies.

Listed below are examples of motorcycle luggage that each differs from one another based on color, size, shape, and functionality. Pick the motorcycle luggage that suits your style or can fit the number of items you are bringing:

5. Parting Words

If you have a love for exploring the world on wheels or putting your riding skills to the test, then Oklahoma is the place you and your motorcycle need to be. Planning out your route is integral if you want to make your motorcycle trip through Oklahoma a success. However, you should also take your time with the other preparations. Becoming familiar with Oklahoma’s motorcycle laws will help keep you and other drivers safe. Picking the motorcycle luggage suited to your vehicle’s model will prevent your things from being swept away by the wind.

Regarding Oklahoma’s roads and destinations, this article has provided brief descriptions plus predicted ETA’s and distances. But these just scratch the surface of what attractions, activities, and other wonders you may encounter during your journey. Rather than just focusing on getting from one point to the next, take your time to appreciate the natural scenery, local businesses, and small towns along the route. You may discover surprises that very few other motorcyclists know.

Take the knowledge you have gained and venture forth on your motorcycle trip through Oklahoma. Remember to enjoy the experience and ride safe!

Reading next

Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for Wisconsin, United States
Motorcycle Laws & Licensing for Oklahoma, United States

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.