motorcycle destinations

The Most Dangerous and Best Roads for Bikers

The Most Dangerous and Best Roads for Bikers

In compiling this list, one thing is sure. The best roads to bike are also the most dangerous and conversely, the most dangerous roads are also the best to ride! Huh? Well, the criteria in most bikers minds, when they envision the best kind of road to ride, would include curvy, narrow, rolling, mountainous and scenic. So while the best rides are exhilarating, they can also be dangerous.

Any road, anywhere, including your street can be the most dangerous if you are acting stupid. If you are willing to drive the speed limit, and always ride defensively, you will have some unforgettable journeys on these roads. I have only listed roads I have ridden on a motorcycle or driven in a car or truck. A few I have ridden on motorcycle adventures, others I have driven as an automotive journalist.

Here are a few of my five favorites –

1. Tunnel of Trees – Harbor Springs, Michigan

I lucked out on this one. I was visiting a friend in northern Michigan who doesn’t ride. His wife introduced me a friend who rode and asked me if I ever took on the M-119 Tunnel of Trees. When I told him no but I’d like to try, he hooked me up with his girlfriends (don’t laugh) Sportster. A ladies wheels were no big deal when a new road awaited.

Tunnel of Trees – Harbor Springs, Michigan

Short but oh so cool the Tunnel of Trees is only about 25 miles or so long, but what a short beautiful ride! The Tunnel takes you through a narrow and somewhat curvy road with big hardwood trees forming a canopy that borders both sides of the road. The trees open enough in spots to get some good views of the bluff leading down to Lake Michigan. Plenty of eats and souvenirs along the way during this short run.

2. Beartooth Highway – Montana

You know when you do something like skydive and say, “that was cool, but never again,” the same can be true for Beartooth. A great experience……once!

Beartooth Highway

I had the chance to ride this road right after a huge section was repaved about ten years ago. The steepest road I ever attempted, it takes you up to a nose bleeding 11,000 feet. The road is full of (I mean chock full of) zigzags, super curves, and switchbacks. You can also get a little wind battered. Is it worth the hair-raising aspects? You bet. Rocky Mountain high and some of the most scenic views in America add up to an incredible 70 miles.

3. Twisted Sisters – Texas

As a former Texan I road the Twisted Sisters many, many times and always enjoyed the ride. The Sisters are three Texas Hill Country roads (335,336,337). Kerrville is a good starting point. If you want to cover all three routes it adds up to around 220 miles. Each road is loosely interconnected. There is one stretch where through the hills you traverse an incredible 60 plus curves.

Twisted Sisters – Texas

If you want some real Texas scenery of ranches, beautiful valleys, and rolling hill take on the three roads of the Twisted Sisters.

4. Skyline Drive – Virginia

I drove this one, and my jealousy meter went into the red zone every time I saw a bike pass. The Drive is always listed as one of the most scenic rides in America.

Skyline Drive – Virginia 640

Around 100 miles it takes you through Shenandoah National Park along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The least dangerous on my list, with a speed limit of a creeping 35mph and 75 outlooks to take pictures of you and your motorcycle, this is a ride that is both exhilarating and chilling at the same time. Some neat curves and wildlife to view it is a motorcycle riders paradise.

5. Pacific Coast Highway

While PCH (as its commonly referred to in California) stretches down the majority of the Californian Pacific Coast there are various stretches that are just plain beautiful. I will go ahead and list all of PCH but won’t list a particular section or stretch since most if it is honestly beautiful. I have personally gone from Los Angeles to San Francisco and above several times on PCH and have always love it. If you’re ever nearby, give it a shot even if it’s only for a short ride, chances are you’ll fall in love with it as well.

Pacific Coast Highway

6. TOP RIDE – Tail of the Dragon – North Carolina/Tennessee

Alright, call me unoriginal, but the Tail of the Dragon is number one on almost everyone’s lists of best and or most dangerous motorcycle roads in America. It should be number one though. It’s the Holy Grail of rides. The one everyone wants to do and puts on their bucket list.

Tail of the Dragon

I have heard the speed limit was 55 at one time. When I took the ride in 2011, it was a measly 35mph but still packed a huge punch!

Only 11 miles it features an insane 318 curves of all skill levels. Tight turns, no cross roads or cutoffs anywhere and the amazing Smokey Mountains, the iconic Deal’s Gap is a ride I will never forget!

Did your favorite not make my list of favorites? Have you discovered a hidden gem? Let us know in the comments below.

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