Cover image by Pierce Martin under Creative Commons license.
Revved up and ready to hit the road? Weve rounded up six of the worlds best motorcycle routes to inspire you for your next biking adventure.
Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route
For some motorcycle enthusiasts, theres just no fun in riding on ordinary roads, so if dirt tracks are for you, the Colorado Backcountry Discovery Route is a dream come true. Leading from New Mexico to Wyoming, its 675 miles of pure off-road action, passing through the entire length of Colorado on some of the USAs most rugged unpaved roads. Youll hit up some breathtaking scenery too, from the height of the states majestic mountain ranges to the depths of its historic mines.
Stelvio Pass, Northern Italy
Image by Sunny under Creative Commons license.
With spectacular scenery at every turn and enough hairpin bends to make even the most intrepid travellers head spin, Italys Stelvio Pass is a thrilling ride for any motorist - but bikers get the best deal, being better able to navigate the tight corners and narrow roads. At 2,757 meters its the highest paved mountain pass in the whole of the Alps, so youll want to plan in plenty of time for pit-stops and photo ops en route.
Silk Road, China
Image by Maria Ly under Creative Commons license.
The ancient Silk Road winds its way from Europe to Asia, and still serves as one of the most important East-West trade routes today. Theres arguably no better way to explore every inch of this ancient thoroughfare than by motorbike, but this is an epic excursion by any mode of transport: if youre up for the full 2000 km trek, you might want to buddy up with some other bikers or consider booking a specialist package.
Moto Explorers is one firm that offers self-ride packages for bikers wanting to make the journey from Turkey to China by road. As part of the deal youll benefit from pre-booked lodgings on route, GPS coordinates to keep you on track, and even help with visas and other paperwork issues from reps based in each country.
Che Guevaras route
Bikers in Buenos Aires by Juanedc under Creative Commons license.
Che Guevaras motorcycle diaries documented an important chapter in South American history, as the epic 9-month journey shaped Guevaras views on Latin America as a single entity rather than a collection of nations. Modern day motorcyclists dont have to saddle up for the entire 18.8 thousand kilometre route from San Francisco to Buenos Aires, but you can get a taste of this historic trail by exploring key sections - and youll get to enjoy some of the best stateside scenery en route.
There are some intrepid bikers who attempt the full stretch, however: to get inspired, check out Texan motorcycle enthusiast Alex Chacons amazing 503-day solo adventure across the Americas. His incredible photos might just persuade you to find sixteen months in your schedule to attempt the same trip!
Furka Pass, Switzerland
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With its sheer drops and snaking, criss-cross roads, this is another mountain pass thats not for the faint-hearted. Bikers have almost exclusive access to the highest points of Furkas crazy road system, as a narrow tunnel make it difficult for larger vehicles to pass through to the summit, which stands at a lofty 2,100 metres. Watch out for ice, particularly in winter when regular snowfall adds an extra element of risk.
The Cat-and-Fiddle run, UK
Image by Phillip Halling under Creative Commons license.
The route from Buxton to Macclesfield has long been considered a rite of passage for British bikers, thanks to its notorious twists and turns, and if you take to this stretch of road today youll almost certainly be joined by many more motorcycle enthusiasts making the same petrolhead pilgrimage. Bikers generally congregate at the Cat-and-Fiddle pub for coffee, before taking to the road en masse. Youll need to have your wits about you, however: this stretch has been voted Britains most dangerous road by the RAC.Top