The Best Roads Are Here

What Are The 7 Best Motorcycle Rides in Illinois?

- Rockford to Dixon (42 miles)
- Oswego to Jonesville (51 miles)
- Mt Carroll to Scales Mound (38 miles)
- Carbondale Loop (46 miles)
- Alton to Havana (140 miles)
- Peoria Loop (96 miles)
- Kankakee River (50 miles)

Motorcycle Rides Near Me In Illinois

Below is our detailed list for the best Illinois motorcycle rides! As you meander your way through rolling hills and wetlands, or around the shores of Lake Michigan, these great motorcycle rides around the state will offer some excellent variety and spectacular scenery. Click on the Illinois motorcycle map links for the direct Google Maps route. Your adventure begins here!

Tips For Illinois Motorcycle Rides

Looking for motorcycle routes near me in Illinois? The spring in Illinois can be warm and rainy, while autumn will bring cooler temps for riders. Motorcyclists riding in summers will find the heat and humidity a factor. Winter will bring cold and windy days (as Chicago is well known for!), but there are occasional milder days where brave motorcyclists can be found on the roads in the colder months.

Do I Need A Motorcycle Helmet In Illinois? 

While you're discovering places to ride motorcycles in Illinois, you may be wondering if you are required to wear a helmet. As of 2023, you will not find any reference to motorcycle helmets in Illinois law. Illinois does not have any laws in place regarding helmet use for riders.


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Route 2
DISTANCE: 42 miles
TIME: 1 hour

This Illinois motorcycle road has some great views as it follows the Rock River through heavily wooded areas, rock wall cliffs, scenic farmland and quaint country towns. Castle Rock State Park is a great place to stop and check out the spectacular view of the Rock River Valley. If you're looking for a nice motorcycle ride in Illinois, this is one of the state's best. Enjoy this motorcycle ride in Illinois along the river and check out the rock formations and ravines along the way.



Route 71
DISTANCE: 51 miles
TIME: 1 hour 10 min

There's some nice, open stretches on the northern side of this Illinois motorcycle route, with views of the state's countryside farms most of the way. Riding along near Ottawa, the river views are exceptional. The road gets more hilly, and there are some tight curves to navigate towards the Starved Rock area. Some of the curves may take you by surprise, so newcomers may want to take these with caution. Heavier traffic has been noted more so on weekends in this area. But overall, this is a pleasurable ride as most of road is well paved, making it one of the best motorcycle roads in Illinois.



Elizabeth Rd, S Derinda Rd, Route 4
DISTANCE: 38 miles
TIME: 1 hour

This little known gem is a great motorcycle road in Illinois with perfect views, great pavement quality and almost no vehicle traffic. Motorcyclists will enjoy this roller coaster ride - there's lots of hills, turns and curves from beginning to end and top notch scenery throughout. This Illinois motorcycle route has a few route changes, but from Mt. Carroll, just follow the signs to Elizabeth and after IL-20, head north for more great riding to Scales Mound, IL. Just click on the map link for the direct Google maps route!



Routes 127, Old Hwy 51, 51
DISTANCE: 46 miles
TIME: 1 hour

This Illinois motorcycle route gives motorcyclists a great ride along the Trail of Tears State Forest with tree-lined roads that cascade down into panoramic views of the rolling countryside. Start in Murphysboro, south to Anna, and back up north to Carbondale. There are many hills and curves, and Old US Hwy 51 has several sharp curves riders will thoroughly enjoy, making this one of the best motorcycle roads in IL.



Routes 100, 61
DISTANCE: 140 miles
TIME: 2 hour 45 min

Just north of St. Louis is this route on the western side of Illinois. There's some great views of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, along with some excellent countryside and farmland scenery. In Alton, there's a popular motorcyclist's stop, Fast Eddies, for some good fun and food. The road surface of this Illinois motorcycle ride is generally smooth throughout, and there's some gently sweeping corners to navigate. Autumn may be one of the best seasons to ride here, as the foliage colors are fantastic on this route.



IL-26, IL-89
DISTANCE: 96 miles
TIME: 2 hours

If you're looking for the best motorcycle rides in central Illinois, be sure to check out the Peoria Loop ride. It's just less than 100 miles to do the entire loop, and can be done in about 2 hours. This route can be started in Peoria, IL and head north on IL-26. Route 26 rides along the Illinois River up to Hennepin, IL. The road is very tree lined and shady, and offers a nice, country road that will offer regular glimpses of the river. Connect over to IL-89 and head back south through the countryside. The route can be combined with a visit to Starved Rock State Park. The park has amazing seasonal waterfalls, especially in the springtime. This side of the Illinois River is much less congested than on IL-29 on the west side of the river.



IL-102, IL-113, IL-85
DISTANCE: 50 miles
TIME: 1 hour 15 min

This ride follows IL-102 on the East side of the Kankakee River, and then IL-113 on the West side of the river. The map link provided below will take you on a figure-eight with the bridge over the river at IL-85. The loop is between Kankakee and Wilmington, where you can get a taste of Route-66 and see the “Gemini Giant” in Wilmington IL. Plus you have the Kankakee River State Park along IL-102. The ride has beautiful, sweeping bends that are tree lined and provide shade with views of the river from both sides. This great motorcycle road in Illinois is about 50 miles and the loop will take just over an hour to ride.


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where Can I Find Illinois Motorcycle Events?

Visit our friends at to find local IL Motorcycle Rallies and all scheduled bike shows happening in Illinois!

Where can I ride my motorcycle near Chicago?

IL-71 from Oswego is a great ride approximately 45 miles southwest of Chicago. Take this route south to Jonesville. Sheridan Rd near Chicago Botanic Garden is another good short ride just north of the city. Just over the Indiana state line is US HWY 12 through the Indiana Dunes, and is about an hour east of Chicago.

What is the best season to ride a motorcycle in Illinois?

Due to its northern location in the United States, summer is the best season to ride a motorcycle in Illinois. June, July and August offer great scenery among the tall prairie grasses and farmlands.

What Are the Best Motorcycle Roads Near Chicago? is the best place to find great motorcycle routes near me in Chicago. Discover more great motorcycle rides in states near Illinois with our route descriptions and Google Maps links!

Motorcycle Routes Near Me In Illinois

Please note: Any routes and recommendations are based solely on our opinions and are meant for informational purposes only. To use information contained on this site is to do so at your own risk. is not responsible for the information contained in these pages. We assume no liability for decisions made as a result of the information provided here. You are responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety.