Originally Posted by frankr
Looking for some technical rides outside LA. ( Long Beach). 2 to 4 hours in duration.
Part of my answer depends on when you will be here. If it is soon and the weather is still hot, then I would say that the most popular ride of all is:
Angeles Crest Highway
* Angeles Crest Highway appears to be closed east of Newcomb's Ranch due to rock and mudslides. I do not know whether this is short-term or long-term. Check:
* A loop from Long Beach incorporating this ride is more like 5 hours without significant stops. Think about riding Long Beach, Mt. Wilson, Newcomb's Ranch, and return.
* In the winter, it snows heavily on Angeles Crest highway, which is usually closed.
The Angeles Crest Highway takes you on a 50 mile twisty ride across the backbone of the San Gabriel Mountains. It is a two lane road with wonderful vistas. It is dangerous. There are frequent fatal motorcycle accidents, mostly because drivers and "riders" exceed their skills and cross the line or fail to stay on the road. Gravel patches and rocks on the road are common. Popular stops include:
* Mt. Wilson Observatory - Once the world's largest telescope (100 inches), still active. You can walk around the grounds and see the various telescopes and other exhibits. They have a "Cosmic Cafe" with outdoor seating (limited hours). Check their website for details:
* Newcomb's Ranch - Popular with motorcyclists. Reasonable quality food. Kick tires and hang out with all types of riders. Check their website for details:
* Chaparral Motorsports - This is a huge motorcycle store, at least as big as a Costco. Nothin' special, just a lot of motorcycle-related stuff, but not BMW.
Santa Monica, Muholland Highway, Rock Store, Neptune's Net, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, and the Santa Monica Mountains area
There are many great riding roads in the Santa Monica Mountains. Get a map and ask for advice. The Rock Store is the biker hangout of the stars (and a lot of ordinary folk). Kick tires, have some food, relax. Neptune's Net is a popular fish and chips place on the beach.
Ortega Highway, Hell's Kitchen, Lake Elsinore
Ortega Highway is another popular rider's road. Hell's Kitchen is yet another biker restaurant. The condiments are in a coffin, kinda cute.
There are lots of great riding roads further southeast - Palms to Pines Highway, Palomar, and more, but they are outside your limited time range.
Hilltop Park, Signal Hill
(next to Long Beach):
If you have a few minutes to spare in Long Beach, ride to Hilltop Park in Signal Hill and take in the 270 degree view of the mountains, downtown LA, Long Beach Harbor, the Queen Mary, Catalina Island, and much more. It is only 5 minutes from MotoQuest rental / Long Beach BMW. Bring a picnic lunch (I usually stop and pick up a Subway sandwich on the way).
General Note: Most of the highways listed above can be heavily enforced by the California Highway Patrol. Be sure you have your paperwork in order - valid motorcycle license, insurance, and registration - just in case there is a checkpoint (rare, but they happen).
I hope this helps!