The Ultimate American West Motorcycle Tour

This short guide has a downloadable Google map of our full motorcycle route through the American West. We reckon this is the ultimate Western USA motorcycle tour…

Motorcycle Travel USA

The Ultimate American West Motorcycle Tour

After six years of riding east from the UK, we finally made it to the USA. We were blown away by just how incredible this country is – especially for riding. Each state is like it’s own unique little country and the sights, roads and routes are stunning. 

Everyone we spoke to and everything we read pointed us towards riding in the American West as that’s where the best road and off-road routes are. It’s less populated and the scenery is more unique and mountainous – perfect for motorcycling. 

So, we plotted our route through the ‘Mountain States’ – specifically, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Arizona. If we had more time we would have liked to ride in Colorado too. 

This guide plots out and explains our entire route through the country. Hopefully you can use the roads and points we covered to plot your own brilliant ride through the USA. We recommend checking out our Best Western USA Motorcycle Routes guides and Wild West Travel Blog after so you can tie this route in together and save the areas you’re most interested in riding. 

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American West Motorcycle Tour Downloadable Map

American West motorcycle tour route explained

We rode this route between early August and late September 2023. As the route takes on the Mountain States, some of the passes are at very high altitude and closed during the winter months (they were all open during Aug/Sep). However, because they’re closed in winter, if we use ‘directions’ on Google Maps, it detours the route away from the closed passes if you’re reading this article in the winter months. So instead, we’ve simply plotted the major stops as blue points. And we placed them close enough so that you can decipher which roads we’ve taken. 

The purple points are places we did not ride because we ran out of time or wanted to spend more time elsewhere, but are worth you looking into if you fancy it.

What are the best motorcycle routes on this tour?

We wrote a dedicated guide to answer this question in more detail. The guide has Google Maps of specific routes and what makes them so brilliant. Here’s the link.

READ MORE: The Best Motorcycle Routes in the Western USA

How long does this tour take?

This ride took us just over four weeks at a leisurely pace. Note that we rode this route on two Honda CRF300Ls, so we were riding very slow. And we stopped very often to explore and visit the attractions. This route can probably be done in half the time. 

When is the best time to ride?

We rode between August and September and found the weather to be excellent and the roads not too busy. Bear in mind that Phoenix (where we ended this section) was swelteringly hot though at 46C. 

How to ride this route in the Western US

You have a few options here. You can ship your own motorcycle to the USA, fly in and rent a motorcycle, join an organised or self-guided tour, buy a bike there – or you could be from the States and already have your own motorcycle in there. 

If you’re not from the USA and are travelling there, then shipping your personal bike in makes sense if you are here for a long period of time (but your foreign bike must leave the States within 12 months), or if you’re on a round the world trip etc.

For info on how to do this, visit our Motorcycle Travel Guide for the USA and check out the shipping section.

Renting a bike is a great option if you’re planning a short tour of the States. And joining an organised tour takes all the stress out of plotting a route if you’re strapped for time or want to ride with others. You’ll find a selection of companies below.

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Motorcycle Travel USA

Read more on motorcycle travel in the USA

Thanks for checking out our Ultimate American West Motorcycle Tour. We hope you enjoyed it! Here’s a few more articles on motorcycle travel in the USA and North America that we recommend you read next. 

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Are you planning a motorcycle tour in the USA? Do you have any questions, tips or suggestions? Let us know in the comments below. 

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