Top 5 BMW Motorcycles for a Self-Guided Tour of Riverside, California

Feb 18, 2022


BMW motorcycle ridden in Riverside, California.

Riverside, California is more than its name lets on. With a historic downtown brimming with activities and phenomenal views of the nearby mountain range, Riverside deserves mention alongside Los Angeles and San Diego as bastions of Southern California fun. Even better, palm tree-lined sidewalks and level roads make motorcycle cruising around Riverside an experience fit for the silver screen. Below, we’ve listed five BMW motorcycles and destinations to consider visiting on your next excursion to SoCal. Take full advantage of the mild Californian weather and book a BMW rental with Riders Share, a motorcycle rental platform that lets you rent directly from motorcyclists. Learn more by reading the How to Rent a Motorcycle in California article. 

1. The Riverside Festival of Lights

If you’re feeling festive and happen to be in the Inland Empire area between late November and the year’s end, make your way to downtown Riverside and the Mission Inn. This historic landmark features the kind of stunning Spanish Mission-style architecture that has made the American Southwest famous the world over. Twenty-twenty is the 28th consecutive year in which the Mission Inn will be hosting the much-celebrated Riverside Festival of Lights, where over 5,000,0000 lights will be lit for all to see. Typically, some 700,000 people will descend on the event to celebrate the switching-on ceremony and view the dazzling lights and fireworks.

What better way to visit brightly-lit Riverside than on an equally-shining example of BMW’s motorcycle craftsmanship? You’ll find a ride fit for this special occasion in the BMW R 1100 S. This motorcycle offers a fine balance between supersport and sport-touring, and also features a tool kit and saddlebag to boot.

2. California Citrus State Historic Park

Unbeknownst to many, Riverside is home to a 300-acre park and arguably one of the most important trees in California: the Parent Navel Orange tree. All navel oranges grown and eaten in California are a descendant of this tree. To get to California Citrus State Historic Park, cruise down CA-91 West, take exit 58 for Van Buren Boulevard, and then turn left—you’ll soon arrive at the park! If you would like a more scenic ride through Riverside, take Magnolia Avenue to cruise down a classic palm tree-lined street. After paying your respects to this impressive tree mentioned above, feel free to explore the visitor center to learn of its history, or take a gander inside the gift shop. Tastings are offered from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. There is a $5 parking fee, although entrance to the museum/visitor center itself is free.

For a smaller motorcycle better suited to a casual outing like this, we recommend the BMW F 700 GS. This BMW model is friendlier for new riders and features a tail bag and USB charging, so you can pack a lunch and enjoy an afternoon in Southern California greenery.

3. Mount Rubidoux

Exercise your legs and provide a feast for your eyes on Mount Rubidoux! A short four minute ride west of downtown Riverside, this conveniently-located network of trails is accessible all year round and perfect for amateur and professional hikers alike. At the mountain’s peak, you’ll get some unforgettable views of the city and the Santa Ana River. If hiking isn’t in the cards, head over to Fairmont Park/Lake Evans located just to the right of Mount Rubidoux. There, you can enjoy an afternoon of fishing or take a relaxing stroll around the park.

Make sure you’re fully equipped for this miniature adventure with the BMW F 800 S. With USB charging, a tool kit, and tank and saddlebags, nothing will stand in your way, whether you want to spend the day on the road or the mountain.

4. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park

There’s more than one park around Riverside, and the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park shouldn’t be omitted from your itinerary. About an eight minute ride east of downtown Riverside, this 1,500-acre park features breathtaking views and open fields extending as far as the eyes can see. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to take breathtaking photos at this location. Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park also boasts numerous trails, ranging from easy to difficult. Adjacent to Sycamore Canyon lies Sycamore Highland, known for its gorgeous green landscaping. It’s an ideal spot for viewing sunsets and breathing in fresh air untainted by the smog of the city.

For this ride, consider the BMW R nineT. This modern motorcycle is equipped with saddle and tail bags and features USB charging. It even comes with a phone mount, especially helpful for on-the-go park navigation.

5. Lake Perris Reservoir

If staying within the city isn’t your style, get away from the hustle and bustle and try camping at Lake Perris Reservoir. First, take CA-91 East/State Highway 91 East from 9th Street, and then take I-215 South. Look for Exit 22 from I-215 South, and continue onto Ramona Expy until you reach the artificial body of water surrounded by small mountains. The Lake Perris Reservoir is a temperate 70-degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Here you can enjoy numerous water-related activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing. This lake also features several campsite styles, each of them packed with basic amenities. Bring a picnic basket along with you and take advantage of the various hiking trails surrounding the lake.

For this trip, we recommend the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure. Fear not—this powerful BMW motorcycle is the ideal companion. Not only does it handle any terrain with ease, but it also boasts maximum comfort in the form of heated seats and extensive storage capacity for all your belongings. Without a doubt, this motorcycle is an unbeatable choice in terms of touring suitability.

Whether you prefer to stay within city limits or travel further out, there is something for everyone to experience in the ‘King of Inland Empire’ known as Riverside, California. For all your BMW motorcycle rental needs, Riders Share has you covered. All you have to do is choose the optimal motorcycle model online and arrange a safe pickup from the owner. Once you’re equipped with the right ride, nothing can stop you from a vacation jam-packed with energizing hikes and relaxing getaways in beautiful Riverside.