Road-Trip the West on Vintage-Inspired Motorcycles

The Roadery’s fleet of light and easy-to-handle motorcycles makes for perfectly tuned touring

Jun 15, 2015
Outside Magazine
Road-Trip the West on Vintage-Inspired Motorcycles

If you have a motorcycle license, the Roadery’s tours let you ride the West in style.    Photo: Scott G. Toepfer/The Roadery

Problem: You want to motorbike the epic asphalt out west, but you live east of Pacific Standard Time and don’t have the vacation days needed to roll cross-country first.

Solution: The Roadery

The Los Angeles–based touring company, founded in 2013, offers vintage-inspired bikes and 12 self-guided itineraries (and innumerable custom trip ideas) that hit the West’s most scenic highways. Routes are tailored for all skill levels, as long as you have a motorcycle license, and start in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, or San Francisco. They range from two-day jaunts to 11-day excursions.

The biggest difference between the Roadery and other motorcycle-touring companies is that in place of more commonly rented Harley-Davidson-style hogs, you can choose from a trove of more agile, vintage-inspired models, like the Harley-Davidson Sportster, Iron, and Nightster, as well as the Triumph Bonneville and Thruxton, two nimble British bikes with racing pedigrees.

Tours are unsupported and private, so there’s no hand-holding or being grouped with unskilled strangers. Instead of a guide, the Roadery gives you a written travel manual detailing must-see roadside attractions. You’ll ride approximately 200 miles per day before spending the night at one of the hotels (from historic motels to upscale boutique lodges) that have been prearranged for you. 

The Trips

  Photo: Scott G. Toepfer/The Roadery

Beginners should choose the eight-day Vegas, Route 66, and National Parks loop from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon National Park via Route 66, through Monument Valley on US-163 to Zion National Park, and back to Las Vegas. Roads are flat, straight, and light on traffic.

Those with a little more experience could tackle the six-day Vegas, Yosemite, San Francisco tour that includes the legendary blacktop of Yosemite’s Tioga Pass, Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, and the windy roads of the Sierra Nevada; the three-day Best of Southern California loop, where you’ll navigate the curvy roads in the San Gabriel Mountains, descend into Joshua Tree National Park, and glide past Palm Springs with views of the Coachella Valley; or the five-day Portland Paradise tour that has you cliff-hugging Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast and maneuvering up the peaks of Crater Lake National Park.

The most capable riders should attempt the mother of all coastal concrete: California’s Highway 1 on the three-day Beautiful Pacific Coast tour starting in San Francisco, traveling through Big Sur, and ending in Los Angles.

More Info

  Photo: Scott G. Toepfer/The Roadery

Experience Needed: You’ll need a motorcycle license (find a motorcycle training course near you). Tours leaving from Las Vegas tend to be easier for their quicker access to flat, traffic-free roads.

Packing: With no support vehicle to hold your luggage, pack what you need in a backpack and optional saddlebags. For riders on one-way routes, the Roadery can ship your bulk luggage to your final destination for $50 per bag.

Tip: Many Roadery road trips are one way (to maximize ground covered and avoid seeing the same scenery twice), so consider tagging on a few extra days at the end of your trip in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Portland, or San Francisco.

Price: $289 to $3,692; includes motorcycle rental, accommodations, detailed itinerary, unlimited mileage, helmet, and one-way bike transfer for one-way tours. Fuel is not included.

Filed To: Scout, Travel

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