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Discussion Starter #1
I'm coming to California in a couple of weeks for a ten day riding holiday.
I'll be renting a K1300GT in San Francisco and will be heading off on a circular road trip to LA and back.

All and any advice will be greatfully received...

Where to stay?
What's unmissable?
What are your favourite roads?
What to avoid?
etc.

Thanks in advance,

John.
 

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In winter sadly the best of the best in California's M/C roads are under snow leaving the lower elevation routes south to north threw the valley areas or along the coast.
Now that said ... California's coast highway 1 is a MUST DO and even is so every few years for us who live here 365 days a year. From SF go south to around Big Sir for a stop over, then about Cambria visiting the world renowned HEARST CASTLE, then stay over perhaps in San Luis Obispo and onward into LA.

Return loop head towards the east running the high desert areas near Victorville then stay on the valley side towards Fresno ultimately picking up Californias historic Highway 49 near Sonora taking it north far as your loop trek allows.

Lots and I mean LOTS of excellent side roads and adventures to be found ... all you need is time.
 

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Let us know when and how much time you plan on spending the People Republic of CA. Lots of great roads/rides. Will you be going as far south as San Diego? As mentioned previously the Coast Hwy, US 1 is a must. You may want to consider US395 for your northbound leg. It's a little boring till you get north of Bishop. This time of year you could run into Snow @ Mammoth and on I-80 @ Donner Summit going east to SF. Once we know your itinerary we can provide more suggestions and try to arrange a meet & greet with the guys from So Cal. .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much, Motörhead and Doug,

I arrive on 16th Feb and fly back out on 28th Feb, so although I don't have a huge amount of time, I'll be able to cover quite a bit of ground.

I think I can easily get as far south as San Diego. how far north of San Francisco would you suggest?

In England I own and love my R1200RT so the rented K1300GT will make an interesting change!

John.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The US395 up through Yosemite looks like a great idea. Is it likely to be free from snow, or is that a dumb question?
 

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Your coming to the United States for a ten day riding holiday and you pick commyfornia? Better familiarize yourself with "THE LAW".
 

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jrsound said:
The US395 up through Yosemite looks like a great idea. Is it likely to be free from snow, or is that a dumb question?
Would NOT suggest doing Hwy 395 in winter. Once on it your stuck on it all the way to Garderville Nevada, in winter ALL the pass's south of hwy 88 near south lake tahoe are closed for the winter. Hwy 120 up tioga pass into Yosemite also closed, where as suggested going north on the valley side of the Sierra nevada mountain range using Hwy 49 you CAN get into Yosemite NP and view the valley. And If open ? ... Glacier Point is a MUST DO !

As for NORTH of San Francisco, That stretch of Hwy 1 ellipses the southern route for scenic beauty from about Jenner all the way to Westport .... But again because of the ruralness of the area and distance/ distractions you will have, a few days up and back at minimum. Again tho, given the time a MUST DO. That northern section of Hwy 1 is known as one of the most spectacular sections of coastal road in the world !


Here is some reading ... GOOD reading !
http://search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A0oGdSDRAUJN49kAQllXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE1aXU5a3I0BHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA3NrMQR2dGlkA1NNRTAyN18xOTA-/SIG=11kuc2g3e/EXP=1296200273/**http://pashnit.com/motoroads.htm
 

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If you have time to ride to Death Valley, you would not regret it. I prefer going toward Palm Springs, then through 29 Palms and pass by Amboy, then over to Baker and Death Valley.
 

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DigDug68 said:
Your coming to the United States for a ten day riding holiday and you pick commyfornia? Better familiarize yourself with "THE LAW".
JRSound, you picked the only state that allows lane splitting, just as you are used to in Europe, so you will feel right at home. And weather-wise you couldn't have picked a better state for that time of year.
I am sure you will enjoy the variety of roads and beautiful scenery, from ocean views to mountain roads to desert.:thumb:
 

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Go north of SF on Hwy 1 - excellent riding. One of my favorite roads is the Skaggs Springs/Stewarts Point Road. 40 miles of twisty heaven. Takes you from Stewarts Point (about 50 miles south of Ft. Bragg) to Geyserville, CA. From Geyserville, you have many choices. Go north on 101, and cruise to the Avenue of the Giants, to see some of the largest trees in the world. Northern CA is a great choice for riding!

Or, do the ride in reverse - head to Geyserville, and take the road out to the coast. Either way is a can't miss.
 

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Glad your here and riding safely .... sad you here visiting in the MIDDLE of our winter season. Had it been 3 months later or @ September your impressions would be truly life long.
guess you need to come back and go north with escort with one of the locals who can get you lost in the wild back country roads of epic Northern California !!

Be safe, this weeks been pretty crazy weather wise.
 

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Hey John,

Sorry about the weather, but we did want to make you feel at home. :)

You're about 150 miles from my place. If you keep heading south down Hwy 1 tomorrow, give me a shout. 805-302-9122
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sorry for not checking in earlier.

I popped over the border to Mexico this morning and I'm now back in San Diego, waiting for a tow truck to fix my back tyre. My only souvenir from Tijuana is a pesky nail!

Any suggest a good route from San Diego to Palm Springs in time for thus afternoon's trip?

John :bmw:
 

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jrsound said:
I arrive on 16th Feb and fly back out on 28th Feb
John,

Sorry to read about the nail. How else is it going? Where have you been? What other questions do you have now? I don't know the good routes from SD to PS.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Calls made California Motorcycle Adventures who rented me the bike who sent the tow truck (San Diego Motorcycle Recovery) - brilliant.
Took me to San Diego BMW - brilliant.
All fixed and back on the road in about 3 hours.

San Diego BMW suggested a great route:
Highway 67 past Poway to Ramona
Highway 78 to Santa Ysabel
Highway 79 to Highway 371 - a bit snowy still up there!
And finally Highway 74 down into Palm Desert.

A fabulous run this afternoon.

I'll post a couple of snaps on my blog:

http://motorcyclemarathon.blogspot.com/

John. :bmw:
 

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Yeah, SD BMW is a good shop. Glad they could take care of you.

And yes, their route suggestion is spot-on.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Today was spent on my trip from Barstow to Bakersfield up the 395 and then over to Lake Isabella and on down the 178 to Bakersfield.

Strong winds on some of the exposed stretches of road, but no too bad.

Stunning riding across Sequoia National Park and down through the river gorge.

http://motorcyclemarathon.blogspot.com/

What do you all think the weather is going to be like over the next couple of days for my trip back up from Bakersfield to Hollister and then on to Mountain View? I keep hearing all kinds of nasty stories of snow!

John
:bmw:
 
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