Route 66 - yes or no? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 04:51 AM Thread Starter
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Route 66 - yes or no?

Seriously contemplating a trip to the good ol US of A and wonder if the route 66 tours are worth it? Anyone try it? There are various packages available taking up to 2 weeks where they cover as much of the traditional road as possible. Would it be mostly just a boring 200 miles per day with the occasional place of interest or is it a daily adventure?

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 07:30 AM
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There are some cool sites on Route 66, but there are much better roads in the US to ride. Not sure if I would come to the states specifically for 66, but if I hit it while here it would be cool. If you are a history buff then it would be worth it.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 09:04 AM
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I think it will all depend if it is an adventure on if you are planning the trip your self or what touring group you are going to be using. If your looking for sight seeing yes 66 would be great, If looking for twisties mountain roads then nope 66 is a sight seeing tour.

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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 09:26 AM
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You may also be dissapointed in some major lengths of the real route 66. Since the building of the super slabs, there are many areas of the true and original route 66 that are a deplorable, unkempt, abandoned and plain unsafe to travel on. From my investigations, Tour groups tend to focus only on the sections where touristy places still or have magically appeared since the Good Old Days. I did the trip myself a few years ago and found myself on the SS much more than I wanted and when I could find proper markers for some sections of the real Route 66, there wasn't always the pleasant picture we are lead to believe existed. Lot's of areas have deteriorated over time and lack of use. I remember one section, in OK, where the pavement was so rough and beaten up, that I turned around and went back to the SS intentionally. So, do you want historical reality as it exists today or the candied, pre-packaged tourist view. JMHO

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 11:06 AM
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Route 66 is mostly expressways these days. It's 2400 miles of extremely flat, fast, and boring. Especially from Chicago to the western side of New Mexico. From Albuquerque to L.A. there's more elevation and landscape changes.
Check this site:

Personally, I think the Pacific Coast Highway / US-101 is a more interesting ride. L.A. to Seattle is about 1500 mi.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 08:44 PM
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Rt. 66 is a historic highway, or what's left of it. So what it's worth to you as a tour depends on what you want to get out of it. There is the nostalgia thing, I guess, but there's not much left of the original road, most of it now being interstates. The best section to ride is in Arizona, for about 200 miles. Otherwise, I think you will be disappointed.

I agree, Hwy 101/PCH is a good ride, but there is a lot of traffic and it goes through a lot of urban and suburban areas, with lots of traffic lights along the southern-most section, from San Diego to just north of L.A. Best bet, IMO, would be to pick up 101 through San Francisco, go over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, then pick up Hwy 1 to the coast. You'll be in for some great twisty roads and a nice ride up the coast. You can take Hwy 1 for a long distance, but just north of Ft. Bragg, CA, it joins up with Hwy 101. You don't want to miss riding through the Avenue of the Giants Redwoods park. It's amazing.

At Eureka, you can pick up Hwy 299 and go east to Redding, CA. I can't say that Redding is that much of a destination, but 299 is a great ride. Besides, east of Redding you can continue on 299 and visit Lassen Volcanic Nat'l Park. Amazing roads and scenery there. You can double back and come out at Mt. Shasta and then exit at Weed, riding up U.S. 97 through Klamath Falls, OR. You won't want to miss riding up to Crater Lake. And while you're up there that far, you can continue your ride up toward Portland and ride the Columbia Gorge. Even on I-84 it's a great ride.

I guess there's lots of good roads to ride, and I could go on and on, but the the end result is that while Rt. 66 is a historic ride, it's not "all that" anymore.

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-14-2013, 10:50 PM
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What Route 66 will give you is a view of America. Unfortunately much of what was once on Route 66 is long gone. So you don't get to see much of the old town America we drove through in 1960 when we moved from Seattle to Cocoa Beach, FL by way of Las Vegas then across Arizona, New Mexico, etc. Still, parts are still around and a lot of scenery is very definitely around. For a motorcycle, the part from Seligman to Needles is very much worth the ride, especially over the Black Mountains to Oatman. Parts are completely gone, but that stretch is all there. Wave as you go past my office.

You will get as much out of the trip as you decide to put into it. If you take side roads it will be even better.

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:16 AM
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I agree with the distinguished gentleman from Kingman, AZ. A lot of Route 66 is completely gone. So the tours of it have to go on "Superslabs" because there just isn't any old highway to ride on or it is so overgrown you would need a dual sport to ride it.

If you want to tour the U.S., you might try a number of other tour packages that take you through portions of the U.S. I am partial to the West Coast as I live here and love the scenery, but if you are not from the U.S., I think I would recommend a tour that takes you through the East Coast states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and that area. There is so much history of our country there. You can come back and do the Western states.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 12:31 AM
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I have to agree, most of 66 is gone. In California whats left is in pretty bad shape. My vote is PCH (Hwy 1) from Santa Barbara all the way up thru Oregon (Pismo Beach, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Redwoods, etc). You could spend a couple weeks, see some beautiful country and great roads to ride.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-15-2013, 04:43 AM Thread Starter
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Some great tips. Thanks guys.

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