Best Motorcycle Tours In The World
No matter if you are from Los Angeles, Paris or a small Asian village, we all live in our own little comfort zone with our own set of standards, values, beliefs and perception of what it means to live a good life. Riding around the world on a motorcycle allows you to escape your comfort zone to witness the most about the world. You experience new cultures instead of just reading about them in books or watching documentaries. You taste different cuisines, socialize with others, and get an overall insight into their perspective. It widens your horizon and you start to see the world in its entirety.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page”
This quote by Saint Augustine sums up the point we are trying to make pretty well. Traveling around the world is like a firework of emotions and there are just so many different things to do that will spark your interest.
So without any further ado, let us take a look at some of the best motorcycle tours around the world
Transfăgărășan is one hell of a road. The aerial view looks like all the greatest roads in the world were knitted together to create an automotive perfection. It was quoted as ‘one of the greatest driving roads’ by Jeremy Clarkson (former host of Top Gear).
Transfăgărășan is wonderful, beautiful, adventurous and challenging. It is believed that 6000 tons of dynamite was used to build this road and 40 lives were lost in the process. This road is everything you may have ever wanted in a road trip. And the best thing; you won’t find this road filled with tourists in a car or a bus. Moreover, there are lot of off-road adventure options themed around this area where you won’t find a single cop!
With limited number of cyclists, pedestrians, and cars covering this route, Transfagarasan is an ideal motorcycle route for adventure seekers to ride around the stretch of 151 kilometers. The highest peak of this road climbs to 2,042 meters (6,699 feet), making it the second highest mountain pass in Romania. Consequently, the road usually remains closed between the months of October and June due to heavy snowfall.
Romania is considerably cheap to travel and the people are really friendly. There are numerous options available for accommodation and we highly recommend this route to every biker out there looking for an adventure journey.
Grossglockener high alpine road is a famous mountain pass in Austria. It is a mountain pass that stretches for 48 kilometers and consists of 36 turns. It leads deep into the center of Austria’s largest national park that is covered in an area of 1,800 square kilometers and extends across the provinces of Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia. The highest peak of this mountain pass is around 2,500 meters (8,202 feet) above sea level. It allows for some interesting riding on a motorcycle and has quite interesting corners that are surely going to leave you spell bound.
The quality of road is good with plenty of cornering and a lot of interesting & beautiful landscapes to see. Once you reach the top, you will find some pretty good restaurants as well as a glacier that allows you to relax after completing your stretch and enjoy the view.
It is also one of the busiest as well as popular tourist destinations in Europe. So there is a slight possibility that you might get stuck behind a car or a truck for a while. Nevertheless, the environment is excellent mixed with leisure as well as adventure.
Tip: It is one of the roads in Austria that is constantly patrolled by police. Make sure you carry all your documents along while traveling on this beautiful road.
Stelvio Pass (Italy)
Stelvio Pass in Italy is just as famous as the Grossglockener in Austria. The reputation of the Stelvio clearly precedes it, making this one hell of a ride as well. The road stretches around 75 kilometers and boasts about 48 hairpin bends; these are 180° inclined hairpin bends making the ride quite technical.
It is not meant for beginners as this route is challenging and demanding. So it is probably best to ride some of the easy routes like Grossglockener before you head towards this route.
Due to its popularity, it is jam-packed with tourists and you will find buses, campers, cyclists, pedestrians and it is not a road that you can easily and freely ride. With oncoming cars to look out for every corner you’ve got to be careful as the turns are very sharp. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic road and you have to ride this once in your life and witness the beautiful picturesque natural scenery.
Tip: Do plan your ride in the nearby areas as well. While visiting Stelvio, make sure you ride towards Gavia Pass (Italian: Passo di Gavia). There are numerous hotels and villages surrounded by this mountain pass that will help you relax post your adventure.
Kangaroo Valley (Australia)
One of Australia’s hidden treasures located just two hours from Sydney on the south coast of New South Wales, Kangaroo Valley is a truly beautiful destination. You can discover a natural heritage and a quaint country lifestyle whilst surrounded by the most amazing scenery. And if you like to see places on foot you won’t be disappointed, you can choose from 25 bush walks and 8 hiking trails that lead towards magnificent waterfalls. This valley looks just like a lost world, you even have the option to hire canoes and explore the wonderful Kangaroo River.
Many generations of motorcycle riders have discovered the true nature’s secrets at this river. Just 25 minutes away a little further south, you get a chance to undertake an unforgettable experience with dolphins and whales in the crystal-clear waters of Jervis Bay Marine Park.
Being more than 250 million years old it is 12 times older than the Grand Canyon! Adrenaline seekers won’t be disappointed with the views, magical trees, ferns, and quiet lanes for family bike ride. With so much lush forests, the valley boasts over 150 species of birds, many of them you will hear when you take a stop to relax and refresh during your ride. The valley is filled with charming villages and resorts for an overnight stay where you can browse some excellent pottery shops and wood craft shops as well.
Ladakh (Indian Himalayas)
The union territory of Ladakh is one of the remotest regions in northern India and among the best motorcycle roads in India. It is a high altitude desert created naturally by the Himalayan rain shadow. Ladakh is known for its exotic scenic views and beautiful colors throughout the world. Its desert is also acclaimed to be the world’s coldest. Ladakh is one of the only places on the earth where you will feel the beauty of vastness and calmness at its best. An adventurous four hour ride towards eastern Ladakh will lead you to the endorheic lake of Pangong Tso. Situated at a height of 4,225 meters (13,861 feet), this lake is spread across 134 kilometers in area. In the middle of barren land, the blue color of Pangong Tso takes you to a different dimension of life.
On your way back to Ladakh you will have the chance to cross the mighty Himalayan pass of Khardung La. With an elevation of 5,359 meters (17,582 feet), it is one of the most extreme mountain passes in the World. Experiencing World’s most treacherous road is every rider’s dream especially for an adventure enthusiast. Life in Ladakh is completely different, with extreme atmospheric conditions, snowfalls, thin air, limited oxygen; it is truly the land of high passes.
Another fascinating destination to visit while in Ladakh is Kargil. The ride towards Kargil from Leh is incredibly engaging filled with landscapes, abundant architectures, religious settlements, and scenic vistas. There are numerous accommodations (hotels and homestays) available in this region portraying true Ladakhi hospitality. You can also visit the nearby Leh market to collect souvenirs for your loved ones. This market is one of the busiest and most colorful places in Leh. You can get everything you need from groceries to clothes, jewelries to local street food. Around the market there are many cafés and restaurants that serve exclusively to the travelers with a wide variety of cuisines (Indian / American / Chinese / Continental).
Pacific Coast Highway (USA)
The Pacific coast Scenic is a spectacular part of Oregon that traces the entire coastline along Highway 101 guiding you to the sea and away again to coastal towns, big and small low land marshes, and breathtaking overlooks. The 363 miles (584 kilometers) long byway stretches from the mouth of the Columbia River to the Californian border. It boasts some of the most unblemished awe inspiring seascapes you will ever find anywhere in the world. In addition to its designation as a Scenic Byway highway 101, it has also been acclaimed to be an all-American Road. This means when you come here, you will experience one of only 31 roads considered to be the best of the best roads in America. Riders visiting Oregon get really astonished by the sheer beauty of this highway. What separates it from many of the other places in North America is its untouched beauty including some of the wonderful state parks along the Scenic Byway that are perfect places to stop and relax.
Towards the highway you will come across Cannon Beach, which is home to one of Oregon’s most photographed natural wonders. Ride towards Ecola State Park and you will find 235-foot work of art. The picturesque small town is filled with art galleries, shops, and cafes. Ten miles to the south and you will witness the views from Cape Falcon (700 feet above the Pacific), here the Pacific Coast byway was carved out of Neahkahnie Mountain and held together by stone walls built in the 1930s. Descend further and you will come across Lincoln City which is one of the largest communities on the byway. It has a reputation for being windy and was recognized by kite lines magazine as the best place to fly a kite in North America. Incorporated from several small towns, this place offers sandy beach that is more than 7.5 miles long!
A number of small state parks nestled along the ocean between Lincoln City and Newport possess commanding views that are right next to your all-American road.
Namibia (Southern Africa)
Prepare yourself for the unexpected. This is where you challenge the world’s highest sand dunes and explore one of the deepest canyons in the world. Travel back in time and witness one of the richest rock art sites in Africa, watch them come to life against the backdrop of one of the most stunning lands on earth; this is Namibia.
A place where people are deeply connected to their past and excited about their future, Namibia is Africa at its best. It is the only place in the world where you will hear and experience the greatest African wildlife recovery story ever told.
Stretching nearly 1,000 miles from the Kootenay River in the north to the Orange River in the South, Namibia is the only continental country in the world where the entire coastline is protected. Some areas are set aside as core conservation areas while others allow for multiple uses. Its smart progressive conservation and adventure tourism are an impressive mix to the large landscape.
The Caprivi Strip is an integral part of Namibia and is a very important area that allows the free movement of elephants from country to country. So you will have a good chance to find wild elephants that migrated all the way from Botswana, Zambia and Angola.
France is known all around the world for its endless history and jaw-dropping scenery from the towering French Alps to the Mediterranean coast of the French Riviera. The picturesque city of Annecy is located at the foot of the Alps and is famous for its medieval old town. It’s nicknamed the Venice of the Alps thanks to its canals. The city is just absolutely magical but what you will love the most about the region is Lake Annecy, known as one of the cleanest lakes in all of Europe. You will just fall in love with the surrounding mountains and you won’t find a better place to enjoy on a hot summer day.
One of the crowning features of the area is the Château de Menthon-Saint-Bernard, this medieval castle was constructed back in the 13th century and it’s just hard to beat the view of this castle. The nearby French Alps are home to the incredibly massive Mont Blanc, which is the highest mountain in all the Alps at 4,808 meters (15,774 feet).
You also have the option to ride towards the Alsace region located in eastern France bordering Germany and Switzerland. This region is famous for its fairy-tale cities, wine, and rich history. Over the centuries the region has alternated between French and German control and today it represents a mix of those cultures. The capital of Alsace, Strasbourg is home to the formal seat of the European parliament. Another enchanting city to explore in the region is Colmar. It looks like something straight out of a Disney movie and is lined with medieval buildings and lovely canal that runs throughout the city. If you want to escape within the city, you can experience the Alsace’s wine route. It’s a 170 kilometer long route that passes through some of France’s greatest wine country and picturesque towns.
Essential Tips While Traveling Around the World
Let’s talk about some of the important things that need to be taken care of while on a motorcycle road trip around the world. These tips entail a certain amount of planning especially if you’re planning on a long distance motorcycle tour. So let us begin.
The biggest thing is packing your motorcycle and that’s kind of a really open-ended subject especially if you’ve never done it before, but it really depends on your style of bike. The design of a bike varies and so does the packing style. Obviously, something like an adventure touring bike is going to have much more capacity in bags, similarly cruisers like the Harley bagger have big square bags that work really well. A lot of times you can put these bags on your passenger seat and lean back on them if you do not have a passenger, however the best way to use one of these bags is to put it on a luggage rack behind the passenger.
When it comes to sports bike or naked bike, you can still pack those bikes down pretty good with the help of Cobra Rack. It is detachable and is a nice option to keep the big bags.
The nice thing about putting a small bag on the bike is you can put your valuables in there, throw a cell phone, extra cash, or if you have a camera you can put in there. In addition to the tank bag, you can install Kriega US30 or US20 that goes exceptionally well with the tank bag.
What to Pack for a Motorcycle Road Trip around the World?
Saddle Bag Essentials
- First off we’re going to start with the saddlebags and this is going to be where you want to pack all of the essential items that you want to access easily without having to unpack everything off from your bike. So the very first thing that needs to be placed in your saddle bag is your leather chaps. These are really good for keeping the bugs off; a common misconception about leather chaps and leather jackets is that they accumulate heat, but they actually keep you cool while riding.
- Second thing is to put your rain gear and an extra pair of thick gloves just in case it gets a little cold.
- Now on the other side of your saddlebag put extra bungee cords and toolkit for your bike.
- It is always good to have two cups, one for your coffee and other for ice cold drinks for when it’s hot.
Main Packing Essentials
- Always keep one pair of extra jeans, two t-shirts, two long sleeves and a crew neck for when it gets a little cold.
- Make sure to pack an extra pair of shoes and slippers for camping. In the front pouch you can put all of your underwear and socks.
- It’s good to keep a beanie in your bag just for those cold weathers and a small towel just in case you take a little dip in the river.
- Last but not the least to go in the main compartment, you can’t forget a toiletry. This is going to be for all of your conditioners, toothpaste, soaps, etc.
Camping Bag Essentials
- Make sure you put a sleeping bag and a little pot to boil some water especially if you want to make your coffee. Save yourself some space and put your little camping stove and fuel into the pot.
- Do not forget your utensils (plastic ones always work best). Just rinse them off wash them off and reuse them.
- Dehydrated meals are always good for on the go as well, they’re easy to fit in your bag and easy to make.
Handlebar Bag Essentials
- It’s always a good idea to keep an extra charger when you’re on the go.
- When you need that little extra energy, protein bars are always a good go too.
- You can never go wrong with putting a bandana in your bag too, because when it gets hot you can soak it to keep your head cool.
- Do pack some safety tools like a Swiss knife, torch and a wire cutter.
Head protection is the most important thing; we always recommend full face helmets that are DOT or CE approved. You can also purchase a Bluetooth helmet so that you can listen to music or make a phone call while riding and if you’re riding with a big group you can also connect anywhere between 4 to 12 riders.