Top 5 Motorcycle Routes near Honolulu in Oahu, HI

Nov 28, 2023


motorcycle routes in honolulu; group goes on motorcycle ride together with Riders Share

They don’t call Hawaii the “Aloha State” for nothing. Honolulu greets visitors with modern high-rises, thousands of hotel rooms, and dozens of prestigious institutions vital to preserving Hawaiian culture. Over half of all visitors to Hawaii arrive in Honolulu. It's the main gateway to the other islands within the state, including Hawaii (the “Big Island”) and Maui.

This “Paradise of the Pacific” is as much a paradise for vacationers as it is for motorcycle riders. From trying new motorcycle routes in Maui to joining in on the fun of a Hawaii Motorcycle club, the options are endless. 

Hawaii’s third biggest island, Oahu, where the city of Honolulu resides, features coastal highways and fun inland roads where you’ll be surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and lush rainforest vegetation at all times. Waterfalls, lava fields, and coastal cliffs add to the thrill of exploring Hawaii by street bike.

5 Motorcycle Routes Near Honolulu, Oahu

The island of Oahu has an adventure for every person, but especially for motorcyclists looking for a great ride. Honolulu motorcycle routes are incredibly sought-after, being that the location is so popular. Below are five incredible motorcycle routes on the island of Oahu, near the city of Honolulu. 

1. Tantalus

motorcycle route honolulu oahu hawaii - tantalus map

One-day trip — 5 miles

Start this ride in Honolulu at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, 10 minutes from the city center. The Tantalus will take you up, down, and around a hill, so you’ll see gorgeous views of Oahu and Honolulu. 

The Tantalus isn’t only a feast for the eyes—it’ll be a test of your skill, too, as you tackle plenty of zig-zags, S-curves, and sharp turns. Elevation changes are sudden, too. All said, expect to do some highly technical riding.

Despite its foreboding name, the Tantalus is generally hazard-free. It’s well-paved, though some areas show wear and tear. Keep your eyes on the road when you have to, and exercise caution. 

Take this ride for its natural beauty—it’s pretty short. You can find gas and grub down in Honolulu before starting your ascent.

2. Auloa Rd.

Auloa road motorcycle route honolulu hawaii

One-day trip — 2 miles of twisted roads

If you don’t have the time or inclination to hit the other islands for some riding, Auloa Rd. is a quick and easy route on Oahu worth repeated riding.

To start this route, you’ll need to drive 15 minutes or about nine miles outside of Honolulu and Waikiki. This route will give you the standard Hawaiian island scenic fare—greenery, greenery, and more greenery. 

The chief reason you’ll be riding Auloa Road is for its sharp turns. You’ll see sportbikes constantly zipping back and forth. It’s so short you’re practically obligated to ride it a couple of times or combine it with some other road or highway. 

If you’re riding after a good rain, tread carefully along wet and slippery portions. You won’t need to worry about finding amenities. You can find those in Honolulu or elsewhere on the island. 

3. Round Top Drive

round top drive motorcycle route map in honolulu hawaii

One-day trip — 10 miles

This route can be accessed from Waikiki, though the recommended starting point is Ala Wai Blvd. You’ll need to make a right onto Kalakaua Avenue, then take a left onto S. Beretania. Continue to Keeaumoku and cross over the H-1, then make a right onto Wilder and a left onto Makiki until you reach Round Top Drive. Use these directions. 

The route is around 8 miles long, and it’s uphill for about half of the way. The best part about this Honolulu motorcycle route isn’t engaging twists and turns, but instead, the panoramic views you’ll get every step of the way, stretching from Ala Wai Canal to several state parks, with the vast blue ocean serving as a beautiful backdrop.

There are some scenic lookout points along the way, the most notable being at Pu'u Ualaka'a State Park, which offers views all the way to Diamond Head in the east, Honolulu International Airport, and Pearl Harbor in the west. These attractions are sure to make any rest stop that much more enjoyable. 

4. The Pali Highway (HI-61)

pali highway hi-61 motorcycle route honolulu hawaii

One-day trip — 10.8 miles

Start your adventure on the Pali Highway, Route 61, in Honolulu. This route takes you from cityscapes to serene island views, with a noteworthy shift at the Nu'uanu Pali tunnels. Watch out here, though; the road gets twisty!

Your journey will start at the southern end of the Pali Highway, near the intersection with the H-1 freeway. The first two miles will include gentle curves and rich greenery to take in. These first few miles offer a smoother ride, providing the perfect warm-up for what’s to come.

The Nuuanu Pali Lookout is a must-stop destination during your ride. Park your motorcycle and take in the views of the Koolau Mountain Range and Windward Coast. This is the perfect spot to capture memories and enjoy the cool Hawaiian breeze!

As you near the end of the route, the descent to the Windward Side begins. Navigate the twists and turns as the landscape transforms, offering a unique perspective of the island. 

This route will finish off at the northern end of the Pali highway in the quaint town of Maunawili, home to beautiful waterfalls (which are currently closed for renovation as of 2023). Once you’re done, you’ll see that it was not just an ordinary, scenic route but a dive into Hawaii's beauty and heritage. The Pali Highway is perfect for those craving a challenging ride alongside Oahu's stunning backdrops!

5. Kalanianaole Highway

kalanianaole highway motorcycle route map honolulu hawaii

One-day trip – 18.5 miles

Get ready to ooh and ahh on the journey along Oahu's southeastern shores on the Kalanianaole Highway. From Hawaii Kai to Waimanalo, this road snakes through sea cliffs, offering grand ocean vistas. You can spot Koko Head Crater as you ride, which is a striking Oahu landmark that’s hard to miss.

Though Hanauma Bay is close, it stays hidden from the highway. Instead, the ride offers a mix of coastal ruggedness and diverse landscapes. It begins near Kahala Mall, winds past residential zones and Waialae Country Club, then hugs the coastline. You'll pass through 'Āina Haina and over streams, heading towards Hawai'i Kai and Koko Crater.

Known as Route 72, it starts at Interstate H-1's eastern end in Honolulu, ending at Maunawili, where it meets Kamehameha and Pali Highways.

Riding the Kalanianaole Highway is a visual feast. Carved through ancient volcanic rocks, it showcases where waves meet cliffs, blending blue Pacific with black lava. As you near the windward side, volcanic cliffs transition to white sand beaches. This southern Oahu route, with its broad curves, offers a distinct experience from the island's rich, tropical greenery.

Motorcycle Rentals near Honolulu

Want to venture on one of these great routes but don’t own a motorcycle of your own? Don’t worry, Riders Share has you covered! We’re your go-to for premium motorcycle rentals in Honolulu. We work to offer the perfect ride for your exploration of the top five routes we've handpicked for you. Unleash the thrill of the open road alongside the stunning scenery of O'ahu, HI. Riders Share is your ticket to an unforgettable adventure!

Embracing the Ride

These top five routes offer a thrilling adventure through coastal highways, rich rainforests, and historical landmarks. Each route offers a unique blend of natural wonders, making your motorcycle journey in the Aloha State truly exceptional. Gear up for an unforgettable experience, embracing the freedom of the open road and the enchanting landscapes that make O'ahu a paradise for riders!