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The 5 Best Motorcycle Roads in Hawaii

Here's what you need to know...
  • Motorcycles are popular in America for many reasons
  • Hawaii offers many worthwhile motorcycle roads such as Crater Rim Road
  • Drivers can stay safe on these roads by following safety tips like having the right gear and driving defensively

Over 1.5 billion miles are covered by motorcycles every year. One cannot drive a day on the American roads without usually seeing at least one motorcycle. These bikes have become ingrained into the American culture but what makes riding them so attractive?

  • Motorcycles make you look cool – Although some may not want to admit it, bikes are attractive on the basis that they make you look cool. Getting on a bike may not make you look like a movie star but it makes you look good in the fact that you appear to be on an adventure.
  • They offer a sense of freedom – All vehicles offer some sense of freedom. However, a motorcycle offers more than the typical car or truck. With its abilities for movement that are unlike larger vehicles, you can have more freedom to move about as you please.
  • They bring you into the biker community – Motorcyclists have many clubs and communities to belong to. Some are organized and some are not. Whether you choose to join a biking organization or not, you can still be a part of something that you would not be included it if you did not own a motorcycle.
  • They allow you to get closer to nature – Just like a motorcycle will move in ways other vehicles can’t, it also gets you out into nature like other vehicles can’t. You are physically closer to nature, you can feel the wind in your hair, the sunshine on your skin and even have a better view of what is around you.

What makes for a good motorcycle road?

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When you consider riding a motorcycle, you also need to consider where you want to ride it. While some roads may be boring, some lead to loads of adventure. Typically, an excellent motorcycle road features:

  • Twists and turns – Straight roads can make for a boring motorcycle ride. Most riders prefer roads that have a fair amount of twists and turns. This makes the road a bit more challenging and fun to drive on. With its lush and mountainous terrain, Hawaii offers plenty of these roads.
  • Scenic views – Especially in Hawaii, the scenery is what makes a motorcycle road a good one. Since motorcycles put you closer to nature, riding on a road that has a lot of eye candy can be even more enjoyable.
  • Free-Flowing terrain – Stoplights, heavy traffic, and junctions can be a motorcyclist worst nightmare when they just want to go out and enjoy their ride. Roads that offer free-flowing movement are better because they involve less stopping and slowing down.

Best Roads for Motorcycles

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#1 – Kaukonahua Road

Also known as Route 803, Kaukonahua Road is located on the island of Oahu. This 7-mile stretch of road has spectacular views no matter which direction you are traveling.

Due to its many twists and curves, this road is not ideal for group rides.

Motorcyclists should use extreme caution when traveling this road. Although very scenic with fescue and rolling hills, many accidents have occurred here.

#2 – Kolekole Road

With towering trees and lush green hills, Kolekole Road offers many stunning views.

This ride is also best done alone as it has many twists and curves. It is often raining here and sometimes the road can wash out so rider beware. Located in Oahu, Kolekole Road also features a lookout and very little traffic.

#3 – Tantalus Road & Round Top Drive

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Situated on a hillside the winding Honolulu road that connects Tantalus to Round Top will get you close to tropical foliage, lush green grasses, and possibly even wildlife.

Here you will also have stunning views of the city, Pearl Harbor, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This road is even on the National Register of Historic Places.

Due to its elevation, sharp quick turns, and pedestrian traffic, riders are better off doing single rides here. Riding this road in the morning is often recommended to avoid the common afternoon rain showers.

#4 – Crater Rim Drive

Crater Rim Drive runs through a lush and ancient Hawaiian Fern Forest as well as areas that are near the seaside. It offers unforgettable views of the cinder cone Pu’u Pua’i.

There are many places to pull over and fully appreciate the view. You will likely be able to see pools of steam and smoke venting from the ground. Evening rides here will allow you to see the glow from the lava. With less severe curves and twists, this road is better suited for group rides than the aforementioned ones.

#5 – Napoopoo Road

Located near Kaelakeua Bay, Napoopoo Road contains two lanes. Although it has many twists as it winds down the coast, the road conditions are ideal.If you travel at the right times, the road tends to be fairly deserted.

Riding this road is fun with a group or by yourself. You will have views of the coast and of the bay from nearly everywhere along the trip.

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Safety Tips for Motorcycle Trips

While having fun and enjoying the scenery are an important part of riding your motorcycle on these roads in Hawaii, safety is the top priority.

Making sure you have the right gear and that your bike is equipped with the right safety features will help ensure you have the safest ride possible.

Wear the right gear

When you’re riding your motorcycle, you have to be sure to wear the right gear:

  • Helmets – Helmets are truly a no-brainer. Not only are they required legally in many states for motorcycle riders but they are also one of the easiest pieces of equipment to purchase and wear. Your helmet should fit tightly but not pinch or cause pain.
  • Gloves – Gloves are an important piece of your safety on the road. This is because it is instinctual for us to try to brace our falls with our hands. Which means if you are in a crash, your hands stand a good chance of hitting the road first and sustaining some major road rash. A proper pair of motorcycle gloves will protect your hands from impact and from abrasion.
  • Other Gear – Other gear that covers your body such as jackets, pants, and suits are also a wise investment. At minimum, they should be able to protect you from abrasion. Heavier materials or stronger leather gear will provide additional protection at higher speeds.

Safety features

Making sure your bike is equipped with the latest safety features can help protect you and other drivers on the road.

  • Adaptive lights – Adaptive headlights go the extra step in helping you see in the dark. These headlights allow you to see what is around the following bend. Some even tilt in relation to the motorcycle’s angle.
  • Anti-lock breaks – Antilock brakes (ABS) have been on available on some motorcycles since 1988. They have the potential to reduce fatal motorcycle accidents by about 31 percent. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is recommending that all motorcycles be equipped with ABS going forward.
  • Airbags – Since 2006, some motorcycles have been equipped with air bags which protects the driver in the event of a head-on collision. Most advancements in this area have come from the makers of helmets, suits, and jackets and not from motorcycle manufacturers themselves.

– Drive Defensively

Just as when you drive other vehicles, you should always drive defensively on your motorcycle. You don’t need to prove yourself in the right, you should be more concerned with preventing an accident.

– Avoid Bad Weather

Whenever possible, do not ride your bike in poor weather. Even slightly wet road conditions can increase the chance of an accident.

– Look Out for Road Hazards

Always be on the lookout for various road hazards. From potholes to fallen trees, wildlife to downed power lines, you never know what you may come across. Anticipating these things can give you a safer ride.

Have the Right Motorcycle Insurance Coverage

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It is important to have coverage on your motorcycle, not only to meet legal requirements but also to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident or unexpected event. Motorcycle coverage basics are as follows:

  • Bodily injury and property damage liability (BI/PD) – This coverage will pay for damages you cause to other people’s property or vehicles. It will also cover medical expenses for other parties.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) – If you are involved in an accident with another driver who does not have insurance or who does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for your losses, this coverage can be used. It can also be used if you are the victim of a hit-and-run driver.
  • Comprehensive & collision – If your motorcycle is damaged or stolen or otherwise needs repairs from an accident, this type of coverage applies. You will select your coverage limits and deductible.
  • Medical Payments – This coverage will pay for the medical bills of you and your passengers if there are injuries in an accident.

If you are in the market for motorcycle insurance, be sure to shop online to find the right fit for you. You will be able to compare multiple policies at once, choose the perfect amount of coverage, and save money on your premiums.

In fact, you can get started shopping for insurance right now! Enter your zip code below to find the best motorcycle insurance for your needs!

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