Ridemalibu Motorcycle Rentals & Tours – Los Angeles CA
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USA west coast bike tour advice needed

Discussion in '24-7 Lounge' started by fatal, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. fatal

    fatal Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    This is a request for some advice from our american friends on the forum.

    This coming september I shall be flying into San Francisco with three mates. We are each hiring a Harley and plan to ride south along the Pacific coast highway.

    Our propoosed route is something along these lines.
    We will have two night s including one full day in San Francisco before hiring the bikes.

    1: San Fran to monterey 118mls
    2: Monterey to Pismo Beach 152mls
    3: Pismo beach to just north of LA 220mls (we have no wish to enter LA, but one of our party wishes to visit Palm springs.)
    We need a suggestion for an overnight stop north and preferably eastwards of LA prior to visiting palm springs.
    4: LA (ish) to Palm Springs approx 200mls.
    5: palm springs to Laughlin 232mls
    6/7: laughlin to Grand canyon 245mls. we plan to have two nights in the area so we can have a full day around the canyon.
    8: Grand canyon to Monument valley 170mls
    9: monument Valley to Bryce canyon 340mls
    10: Bryce canyon to Las Vegas 250mls. Two night stay in Vegas
    11: in Las vegas
    12: Las vegas to Mammoth lake via Death Valley 315mls
    13: Mammoth Lake to El Portal via Yosemite Park 150mls
    14: El Portal to San Francisco 200mls

    We then plan to spend two nights in San Fran so we have another full day in the city prior to flying home.

    can anyone reccommend suitable routes, preferably not dual carriageway/very busy roads, any roads that should be particularly avoided. Also any special places of interest and good bars would be useful.


    Thanks, Fatal.
     
  2. Chuck in Indiana

    Chuck in Indiana Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Fatal.. try posting this to Wildguzzi I'll bet you get more information than you want. :D Sounds like a *wonderful* trip..
     
  3. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    I don't really have info to match your request but I will say I highly recommend heading north out of San Fran for at least a day or two. North of San Fran there is some old growth Redwood forests and a road that runs through them called the Avenue of the Giants.
    http://www.aveofthegiants.com/
    It is roughly 4 hours north of San Fran up 101, but to do it round trip really needs two days to take it in.
    I am sure there is some nice roads south of San Fran, but I have been to see the Avenue of the Giants and it was one of the most impressive things I have ever seen.
     
  4. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Chuck, I'm going to whack you with a newspaper next I see you. Fatal, happy to help you in every aspect... I happen to know the areas you speak of quite well. I can post all of the info below if you want me, to, or feel free to ping me direct e-mail; Todd at GuzziTech.com

    Awaiting your reply here or direct e-mail,
    Todd
     
  5. fatal

    fatal Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Thanks Todd, I will email you direct. Cheers, Alan (fatal)
     
  6. Roblatt

    Roblatt High Miler

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    I live in Australia and have no idea of American geography, so I have nothing to add for Fatal other than have a great trip.

    Todd, can you video the newspaper whack and post it? The mental image I have just about knocked me off my chair!

    Robert
     
  7. Chuck in Indiana

    Chuck in Indiana Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Sorry about that, Todd.. but WG *does* get more traffic, and is more suited to that kind of thing. I always send WG people over here for tech and tuning, suspension upgrades, etc.
    I'll be out to get my whacks :shock: in March..
     
  8. GTM®

    GTM® Administrator Staff Member GT di Razza Pura

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    Good, I'll be waiting in March. [​IMG]
    I appreciate the referrals Chuck, thanks for that.
    Otherwise, there's a BIG handful here that know the area in question quite well... and we even have a regional specific are to post it. No need diverting people away (please).
    I'll look for your e-mail Alan, and hopefully getting to meet you in person.

    Happy to. :whistle:
     
  9. DerekSolomon

    DerekSolomon Just got it firing!

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    Hey,

    Just a random suggestion: there's a website out there that had a lot of interesting information on California roads called pashnit.com. The guy even rides a Guzzi.

    http://www.pashnit.com/

    Unfortunately, it appears to have been locked down and become a subscription site. It might be worth the $20 to get a first hand account on some of the North/South roads that link San Fran to SoCal. Also, the yearly migration to Laguna Seca for the WSB or MotoGP means that there are tons of riders with opinions on the best roads to get back and forth on... My personal favorite is Highway 58, but you mentioned that you want to reach Pismo and then move on towards Palm Springs. Morro Bay (just north of Pismo) would be more optimal if you wanted to take Highway 58 more inland. You would then have to plan a route to bypass greater Los Angeles, which may put you out in the sticks for a long time...

    Good luck, and I'd love to see route suggestions from those in the know. My opinion would be to include the following segment:

    Highway 58 east from San Louis Obispo to the town of Taft.
    Highway 33 south from Taft to the town of Ojai.
    Highway 150 from Ojai to Santa Paula.
    Highway 126 east from Santa Paula to Santa Clarita.

    From there you can choose freeways (210) or a more interesting route through the San Gabriel mountains (Little Tujunga, Angeles Crest, etc.).

    Good luck!

    -Derek
     
  10. SgtCrump

    SgtCrump Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Famiglia

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    You don't say how you are getting from San Francisco to Monterrey. I would recommend a scenic route you may not have noticed.
    Get on Hwy 1 in San Francisco, and go south to Half Moon Bay. Take the 92 Hwy east to Skyline Blvd, Hwy 35. It goes south from there. You will find Alice's Restaurant by all the bikes gathered there. When you get to Hwy 9, take it towards Santa Cruz. Shortly after getting on 9 you will see Hwy 236, to Big Basin State Park. Take that road, and stop at the park headquarters. You can spend as much time there as you like. You can even walk a short trail to see some unbelievable trees.
    Continue south on 236, and it will take you back to Hwy 9. Follow that south to Santa Cruz, and it will cross Hwy 1, which you can then take to Monterrey.
     
  11. Daniel Kalal

    Daniel Kalal Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    1: San Fran to monterey 118mls

    Of course, you will be on the coast highway 1 from Pacifica and not 101. Unfortunately, some people don't realize there is a difference until it's too late.

    2: Monterey to Pismo Beach 152mls

    Stop at San Simeon. Some of the longer tours of the castle require reservations, but I think there are versions that you will be able to drop in and take. I wouldn't want to be riding down 1 with the idea that you MUST be at San Simeon by a certain time.

    3: Pismo beach to just north of LA 220mls (we have no wish to enter LA, but one of our party wishes to visit Palm springs.)

    Some of the more interesting roads in this area are the little coastal range roads that run inland. You might look for a couple of those. The towns along 1 are meant for tourists (which of course is what you are), but the little places just inland are going to be more natural.

    4: LA (ish) to Palm Springs approx 200mls.

    If it were me, I'd loop well north around the LA basin and come down to Palm Springs from the north.

    5: palm springs to Laughlin 232mls

    Laughlin? You must have a reason. Take a look at going through Yucca Valley and the loop through Joshuya Tree National Park before hitting Twentynine Palms. Then turn north to Amboy and catch old route 66 to Essex and beyond. Be sure to stop at any of these dried up towns for at least 30 minutes to get a feel for the place. Don't just blast through.

    6/7: laughlin to Grand canyon 245mls. we plan to have two nights in the area so we can have a full day around the canyon.

    Here's why I don't like the stop at Laughlin (even if you do have a reason). You need to take old 66 north from Toprock through Oatman and then to Kingman. Oatman is a must stop.


    consider leaving the bikes at Williams and taking the train to the south rim. It might be something different for you. Lots and lots of hotels in Williams, and it's pretty neat being pulled by a standard gauge steam engine. Anyway, you'll just be parking the bikes at South Rim anyway, and there's plenty of free and frequent bus transportation in the park. They're trying to reduce the amount of vehicle traffic.

    8: Grand canyon to Monument valley 170mls

    Yes; monument valley is in lots of movies. but, you might also look at taking 264 east out of Tuba City if you want to see classic indian country. Then take 191 north and pick up Canyon de Chelly. this is an incredible place. going north, you can still get to mmonument valley with no trouble.


    9: monument Valley to Bryce canyon 340mls

    Try, try to take the highway between Bryce Canyon and Torrey (Utah 12). This is one of the worlds's greatest roads, and perhaps the best road in Utah. You'll be so close. And, then somebody might actually be able to name the posted picture in the "name the road" thread...



    10: Bryce canyon to Las Vegas 250mls. Two night stay in Vegas

    Aim to run through Zion National Park. It's pretty much on the way, and should not be missed.

    11: in Las vegas
    12: Las vegas to Mammoth lake via Death Valley 315mls

    Enter Death Valley from south of Amargosa Valley, so you can pick up Bad Water (lowest point) and some really great views. In Lone Pine you'll see signs for a movie museum. Visit it. you will be amazed at the number of movies and television shows that have been filmed in this valley. Hundreds. And you'll have the best shot of Mount Whitney, as well.



    13: Mammoth Lake to El Portal via Yosemite Park 150mls

    So you are going over Tioga Pass? Good.


    14: El Portal to San Francisco 200mls

    However you do this, do not touch I-5. It will fry your brain. Might as well drop into Hollister if you are aware of Brando and the Wild One. some good roads around here.
     
  12. Chuck in Indiana

    Chuck in Indiana Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Good stuff there.. pay attention to Daniel, he's been there and done that many times.
     
  13. fatal

    fatal Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Thanks for the advice lads. We are now fine tuning the route and our itinery, this will be useful. By the way how much is petrol ( sorry, I mean gasoline :D )over there?
     
  14. DerekSolomon

    DerekSolomon Just got it firing!

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    Hey Fatal,

    http://www.californiagasprices.com/index.aspx

    Average price of gas is currently $3.50 to $4.00 per US gallon, based upon type (87, 89 or 91). CA gas is usually regarded as crappier than the rest of the country (lower octane and more ethanol), but I suppose it is cheaper than what you are probably paying now in Sunny Old.

    With all the crazy stuff going on around the world, the trend is certainly up. Have a great trip, and maybe you can summarize your route plans? Doesn't Google have some kind of waypoint / route system in My Maps?

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&tab=wl

    In any case, have fun planning you trip!

    -Derek
     
  15. fatal

    fatal Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Thanks Derek, fuel here is around £1.30 for 95 octane unleaded per litre which is about £5.85 per imperial gallon (4.5 ltrs approx per imp gall). So roughly about $4.50 per US gall ( is it 4 US qts to the gall? I think a qrt is slightly less than a litre, not too sure.)

    Thanks to everyone for their input.
     
  16. DerekSolomon

    DerekSolomon Just got it firing!

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    Hey Fatal,

    A quick search on Wiki, Answers, etc. led me to the following:

    An Imperial gallon is 1.2 US gallons.
    An Imperial gallon is 4.55 liters.

    A US gallon is 0.83 Imperial gallons.
    A US gallon is 3.79 liters.

    Pound Sterling to US dollar exchange is currently 1.63.

    So, your UK price of 5.85GBP per Imperial gallon / 1.2 = 4.88GBP per US gallon x 1.63 = $7.95USD per US gallon. You might be happy paying our price of about $3.50 for gas, even if it is watered down, lol.

    -Derek
     
  17. fatal

    fatal Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    I must admit to not knowing the current dollar sterling exchange rate, just a guess. It's a lot better than I thought. I just wish it was like it was when I was in New York a few years ago, about $1.90 to the pound. :)
    How on earth do you get vehicles to run right on that watered down stuff?
     
  18. pete roper

    pete roper GT Godfather!

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    My only advice is don't stay in Vegas. It's a stinking, vulgar, hole with nothing to recommend it. Spend an extra day in Utah somewhere, it's full of barmy Mormons and you can't get a drink in some places but the scenery is mind-blowingly spectacular.

    Pete
     
  19. Cat City Rider

    Cat City Rider Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Ditto for me. Bring your own Booze in Mormon country. Easy to buy liquor but clubbing may be weird. Be prepared for dry spells.
    Don't forget to buy "magic underwear" to save you from the devil. ;) :evil: ;)
    You'll have to Google that one for more information.
    Utah is fantastic! A must for any tour.
     
  20. Cat City Rider

    Cat City Rider Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Just to add. If you do Brice Canyon then Zion NP is a must as well. Personally I prefer it over Brice Canyon but that is just my opinion.
    Take the hike to the bottom of Brice canyon and you will find yourself in "Road Runner" country. Just remember that you will also have to hike back up as well.
    Nowhere in your life will you see anything as spectacular as Utah and what is called Red Rock Country.
    A lifetime of memories.
    Skip Las vegas and try to stay in Mesquite. Cheaper and at the gateway to Utah.
    Unless you are camping, Springdale is the place to stay. Just outside Zion NP. Have the Bumbleberry pie at the Bumbleberry inn. Stay elsewhere though.
    Don't expect "Gourmet dining" in Utah. Mormons can be "plain folk" and so is the food. Blah!
    I hope this is almost clear, but I just finished a huge Alsatian Choucroute meal and a lot of good German wine.
    Cheers.
     

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