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A first ride on the 2024 Harley-Davidson® Road Glide® through California’s Lost Coast.

Words by Scott G. Toepfer

Photography by Aaron Brimhall, John Ryan Hebert, Steven Richards, Buddy Will

Civilization continues to grow and creep into the most remote parts of our country, but for now northern California’s Lost Coast remains untouched– an idyllic setting for a father-son ride on all-new 2024 Harley-Davidson® Road Glide motorcycles.  

Somewhere along this 60-mile stretch of ancient and virgin forests, uncombed black sand beaches with massive wave breaks, and small towns dotted with modest lodgings, campgrounds, and the occasional casino, we come across Cory Tran and his father, Trung. 

“Riding and seeing my dad behind me, it just brings me back to childhood, and it's just such a special thing to see him supporting me,” Cory says, turning to his father with a smile. Trung has not ridden much over the past few years, and the roads through Redwood National and State Parks are fast and tight. Still, the 2024 Harley-Davidson Road Glide is lighter and more responsive than its predecessor, which gives him added confidence while reacclimating to life on the road. “I had never been on the West Coast,” Trung says, “with giant trees and the coastline— beautiful.” 

South on Highway 101 sits the coastal city of Eureka, one of the hardest-working port cities on the West Coast of the United States. While Eureka doesn’t top the Internet’s tourism lists, it serves as a hub for just about every adventure you can take in Northern California, and as such father and son decide to call it a night on the peninsula, sitting fireside to the tunes of acoustic guitar, watching as the fog rolls overhead and cloaks them from the outside world. 

In the morning, in the sleepy Victorian town of Ferndale, Cory and Trung stop at a local coffee spot, Mind’s Eye, which is not only a café but also a shared workshop for local craftspeople. Walking through the shop, they are dazed by the display of handmade boats and other projects, and in conversation with locals about their father-son adventure comes a warning: the preferred route is dangerous due to road washouts and poor conditions. 

Even still, the multi-generational riders make it to Mendocino, enjoy clean corners and flowing stretches of highway together for hours. The Road Glide motorcycles were made for this mix of riding styles and allowed for the entire experience to be at the forefront of our minds. Cory says, “This trip has been special because it has truly been years and years since we've gotten together like this, traveled together, ridden together.” 


The benchmark for long-haul touring bikes, the Road Glide has been reimagined. A newly sculpted fairing with seamless LED lighting, revolutionary technology, and reduced weight makes for an entirely new Grand American Touring experience.

The Route We Rode

Starting from Crescent City, California, ride south through the interconnected web of Redwood parks until you hit the coast. Open views of heavy surf alternate with technical corners all the way into Eureka. After an overnight stay, take 101 South toward Leggett, then hop over to the coastal Highway 1, passing small coastal villages from Fort Bragg to Mendocino. 

The Riders

Trung Tran

Born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam, Trung Tran grew up on scooters and motorcycles as a means of transportation. He bought his first motorcycle in the United States in 1984, at which point riding became an outlet of limitless fun—a passion he was able to share with his son, Cory.  

Cory Tran

Adventure photographer and content creator Cory Tran has traveled the world capturing eye-catching images, and often spent his journeys on two wheels. His first forays into motorcycles involved “borrowing” his father’s motorcycle and replacing it exactly where he found it. From India and Peru to El Mirage and the Eastern Sierras, Cory is someone to watch, if you can catch him. 

Pack it: Zephyr 2.0 Mesh Riding Jacket

To keep cool and comfortable on cross-country rides, consider the Zephyr 2.0 Mesh Riding Jacket. With rugged mesh construction and lining, a split mandarin collar, ample pocket space, and lightweight D3O® Ghost armor for impact protection, the Zephyr 2.0 Mesh Riding Jacket is as handsome as it is functional.

Eat. Sleep. Drink. 


Sea Pal | Fort Bragg, CA: Authentic fish ‘n’ chips on the harbor, just off downtown’s main drag.

Hole in the Wall Great Sandwiches | Arcata, CA: Roadside stop for handmade sandwiches without any fuss.  

Trillium Café | Mendocino, CA: Well-plated and locally sourced entrees and desserts in an intimate setting. 



Humboldt Bay Social Club | Samoa Peninsula, CA:  Suites for overnight stays and beautifully decorated extended-stay cabins. 

Elk Prairie Campground | Orick, CA: A state-run campground with tent sites and an elk viewing area near the entrance gate.  

The Inn at Newport Ranch | Fort Bragg, CA: Rustic, luxury comfort nestled on the rugged edge of the coastline. 



North Coast Brewing | Fort Bragg, CA: A coastal mainstay of the craft beer movement since the 1980s. 

Mind’s Eye Manufactory | Ferndale, CA: A cozy coffee stop and artisan workshop in a foggy, Victorian town.  

Dick’s Place | Mendocino, CA: An easy-going local haunt found in historic and charming downtown.