PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Grand Tours, which allow riders to travel to destinations on their own schedule, are the perfect choice for motorcyclists who enjoy traveling solo or with a small group of family or friends.
Participants document their visits to tour destinations with a photo or a stamp in a travel log. For 2018, the American Motorcyclist Association is highlighting six AMA Grand Tour events.
"Grand Tours were added to the list of AMA-sanctioned events in 1975," said AMA Recreational Riding Manager Heather Wilson. "The tours are still as fun and relevant today as they were more than 40 years ago. Grand Tours also are a great complement to the AMA LongRider program, the AMA's mileage-recognition program for members."
2018 AMA Grand Tours Schedule
AMA District 2 Polar Bear Grand Tour: Jan. 7-Dec. 23
Residents in the Northeast can join riders starting in the winter season, when groups ride to points each Sunday in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Connecticut. Even though they start during winter, the rides continue throughout the year. The 2017-2018 tour marks the program's 40th year.
Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge: July 13-Aug. 13
Starting in Medicine Park, Okla., this route continues for nearly 10,000 miles, entirely within the lower 48 states, before returning to Medicine Park for the finish. The tour traverses scenic byways and passes through several National Parks and Native American reservations.
SCMA USA Four Corners Tour: Jan. 15-Dec. 15
This AMA Grand Tour offers two USA Four Corner Tours: the "Regular" and the "True X." The organizer provides a package containing the ride materials and reviews the completion of either ride when they receive the finisher's package.
SCMA USA 15 Best Roads Tour: Jan. 15-Dec. 15
This challenge started in the spring of 2011 after the AMA published a "Best 15 Roads" article in American Motorcyclist. Two riders took the challenge that year: Kathy and Larry Lamarche from Canada. Since then, many riders have accomplished the feat. The list was updated in 2016 with three replacement roads and a route change to an existing road group unit.
SCMA California Adventure Series: Jan. 15-Dec. 15
The California Parks Adventure challenges riders to visit all the national parks in California. There are 25 national park sites, stretching from Cabrillo National Monument on Point Loma in San Diego to the Lava Beds and Redwoods in northern California. The 25th and newest park, Caesar Chavez National Monument, was created in October 2012. The challenge is to ride to each park within a calendar year and document the visit with a photograph and a stamp from the visitor center in the SCMA Passport.
For the California Missions Tour, riders add a photo of themselves at each location in their passport book, purchased from SCMA, detailing all 21 locations. Riders submit the completed passport and attend an annual awards banquet, where SCMA presents them with a California Missions pin and plaque.
Tour of Honor: April 1-Oct. 31
In this unique AMA Grand Tour, riders take any route they wish to stop at seven memorial sites in each state. Riders can visit as many selected memorials as they choose, meaning they can complete one state or several. After registering and receiving their rally flag, riders travel to the sites and photograph the flag, alongside their motorcycles, at the memorial. Visit any seven memorial sites to receive a finisher's certificate.
The AMA Grand Tour series schedule and detailed information about the events can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/AMA-Grand-Tours.
Be sure to follow the series' official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AMAGrandTours. Share your photos from these events on social media using #AMAgrandtour or send email submissions.
For more details about the AMA LongRider program, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/AMA-Longrider-Program.