GREAT KENTUCKY MOTORCYCLE RIDES
The Best Roads Are Here
What Are The Best Motorcycle Rides In Kentucky?
- Morehead to Louisa (66 miles)
- Bedford to Burlington (67 miles)
- Red River & Nada Tunnel (31 miles)
- Salt River Road (32 miles)
- Kentucky Route 10 (58 miles)
- Russell Cave Rd (21 miles)
- Cumberland Falls Rd (20 miles)
- Irvine to Beatyville (26 miles)
Below is our detailed list for the best motorcycle rides in Kentucky! Kentucky is a beautiful state to ride a motorcycle. The Bluegrass State is brimming with forestry, rivers, lakes, wildlife, and an abundance of great motorcycle roads! Experience the 8 best Kentucky motorcycle rides below with our detailed route descriptions. Click on the Kentucky motorcycle map links for the direct Google Maps route.
Tips For Kentucky Motorcycle Rides
Kentucky offers great motorcycle riding virtually all year round. However, the winter months will be cooler, especially in the mountainous region, so all-weather riding gear is the best option for dressing appropriately. Warm weather jackets will be best for the hot summer months.
What is the Motorcycle Helmet Law in Kentucky?
Kentucky law requires all persons under 21 who operate or ride on a motorcycle to wear a helmet. Helmets are also required to be worn by those drivers who have a motorcycle instruction permit and those who have held their motorcycle operator's license for less than one year.
MOREHEAD TO LOUISA
DISTANCE: 66 miles
TIME: 1 hour 35 min
This 2-lane mountain road twists and curves through the forests of Eastern Kentucky, and stretches across open farmland. This Kentucky motorcycle route is usually very well maintained and is a great country road for riding, especially nice in the fall or spring. Riders will experience beautiful Kentucky mountaintop scenery, as well as of Yatesville Lake. With fast, sweeping curves, mountain twisties, and beautiful scenery, find out why many say motorcycles were invented for rides like Route 32!
BEDFORD TO BURLINGTON
Routes 18, 338, 42
DISTANCE: 67 miles
TIME: 1 hour 40 min
Much of this rural KY motorcycle route takes you along the Ohio River and Big Bone Lick State Park. Ride along some of Kentucky's beautiful horse farms, with winding country roads through the hills. Route 42 is a relaxing ride with nice views overlooking the river. Traffic is usually light on these roads, and there are some great twists and turns to enjoy while taking in the country road scenery through the Kentucky hills. (A short portion of US-42 is closed for landslide repairs as of 2022, but the detour roads around it are a nice ride as well.)
RED RIVER & NADA TUNNEL
Routes 77, Bert T. Combs Mtn Pkwy
DISTANCE: 31 miles
TIME: 1 hour
To experience one of the most unique motorcycle roads in Kentucky, take this route through the historic 900-foot long Nada Tunnel, located off of Route 77. Start this Kentucky motorcycle ride in Stanton on the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, and through the "tunnel" (take your sunglasses off first!). The road eventually turns into Sky Bridge Rd. There's beautiful scenery on this route, especially that of Kentucky's towering canyons and the Red River Gorge. In addition to being a great road with lots of elevation changes, you'll be following the twists and curves of the Red River. Be sure to take side trip through Natural Bridge State Park, as it has some fantastic lookouts.
W STATE HWY 22
West State Highway 22
DISTANCE: 30 miles
TIME: 1 hour
One of the more lesser known motorcycle rides in Kentucky is State Hwy 22, but it's one that you would not want to miss. It has clean pavement with tons of twisties. You'll ride along some beautiful countryside Kentucky scenery, all while honing your technical skills. This KY motorcycle route is from Willow to Williamstown, connecting briefly with US-27. It's only an hour ride, but it's definitely one of Kentucky's best motorcycle ride destinations.
SALT RIVER ROAD
DISTANCE: 32 miles
TIME: 45 mins
There's some great curves to be had on this 2-lane Kentucky motorcycle road just east of Elizabethtown. KY-920 is full of sweet corners, but the road can be a bit narrow at times. However, most of this motorcycle ride in Kentucky will be through open farmland and deep forests on this relaxing route.
DISTANCE: 58 miles
TIME: 1.5 hours
Route 10 offers picturesque country landscape of northern Kentucky. This motorcycle ride in KY is from Alexandria, just southeast from Cincinnati, Ohio. Ride alongside rows of cornfields, and rural scenery to Maysville, KY in the western side of this route. There's tons of curves to navigate punctuated by mostly short straightaways, winding through low-rolling hills. The landscape is open farm country with few trees, so visibility around these curves is generally good. Optionally veer west onto Route 22 into Falmouth and up KY-27 for a longer loop ride. This great motorcycle road in Kentucky is a favorite among motorcyclists, and will be an enjoyable ride through a mixture of farms and small towns and valleys.
RUSSELL CAVE ROAD
DISTANCE: 21 miles
TIME: 30 mins
Looking for a great Kentucky motorcycle ride to clear your head? This is the road for you! With 21 miles almost exclusively comprised of farmland, Russell Cave Road offers serene Kentucky motorcycle riding. A morning ride down Russell Road may be one of the most peaceful rides you ever experience in the state. Stop by Mt. Brilliant Farm to bask in the serenity of Lexington’s most treasured landmark, Russell Cave.
CUMBERLAND FALLS ROAD
DISTANCE: 20 miles
TIME: 30 mins
Route 90 through Cumberland Falls Highway takes riders through a small portion of the beauty Southern Kentucky has to offer. Starting in Parkers Lake, take Route 90 to U.S. 25W. It's a great KY motorcycle ride through the state's dense forests. Be sure to stop at Cumberland Falls State Park to check out a glimpse of Cumberland Falls, which sits right in the middle of this motorcycle route. For a longer loop ride, head down Route 27 and back east along Route 478. But whatever road you take in this area, the countryside is beautiful as you navigate the rolling hills in this part of the state.
IRVINE TO BEATYVILLE
DISTANCE: 26 miles
TIME: 45 mins
Kentucky Route 52 offers a motorcycle ride with gently rolling hills and delightful sweeping curves. You'll experience beautiful farmland country as you ride among Kentucky's hills. As you ride towards Beatyville, the road will feature climbs and switchbacks, all with views of sheer cliffs. With its close proximity to the Red Gorge area, optionally connect up to Furnace Junction Rd and up to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway. This area offers some of the best motorcycle rides in Kentucky!
For a longer ride east, continue onto KY-499 through Witt, KY for even more curves that winds beautifully through gentle country.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What do I need to ride a motorcycle in Kentucky?
In order to operate a motorcycle on any public roadway in Kentucky, a person must have a valid motor vehicle operator's license with a valid motorcycle operator's endorsement, a motorcycle license, or an instruction permit.
Can you ride a motorcycle year round in Kentucky?
Kentucky is situated in an ideal spot in the United States. You'll have neither the extreme heat of the south nor the bitter cold of the northern states. This means you can motorcycle in Kentucky year-long, but the more mountainous regions can be cooler.
Is lane splitting legal in Kentucky?
As of 2022, Kentucky does not mention lane splitting in any traffic laws. It is neither explicitly legal nor illegal.
Do you have to have turn signals on a motorcycle in Kentucky?
Turn signals are required if they were part of the factory equipment for your motorcycle model.