I'm planning a biker trip for a group of six motorcycle riders (ages ranging from late 30s to mid 60s, including two female riders). Currently the only thing sure is that we're going to arrive in Chicago by mid-september and that we'll have about 11 days for exploring the country side.
We want to rent HD motorcycles in (or close to) Chicago and explore Illinois and/or neighboring states. Our main interests are nature, meeting people and maybe seeing historical places.
If possible, we'd like to visit an HD factory, but it appears the only ones being interesting might be Kansas City,MO and York,PA. Those might both be too far.
Having never been to the US before, I'm pretty unsure about the daily mileage we might be able to do before dropping dead from the bike. In Germany, I'd say more than 300-350km (180-220mi) per day on smaller roads would be too much. I'd expect this to be the same for this trip as we want to stay away from major roads whenever possible.
So here's a couple of questions running through our minds:
- Can sbd. recommend a decent place to rent HDs in or close to Chicago? So far, we only found EagleRider, which seem to be quite expensive (>$2000 for 11 days).
- How much time would you recommend for circling Lake Michigan? Would we be needing camping equipment for not exceeding ~200mi/day? Would that be advisible to do in late september?
- In case we choose to ride to Kansas City (HD factory), we'd like to use some scenic roads. What we found so far is Joliet to Bloomington (old route 66) and then to St.Louis via Havana, Beardstown and Alton might fit our profile. Does this seem reasonable?
- Are there other places we should be going to instead of the mentioned ones?
Thanks in advance for your help,