6 of the best routes for motorcycling

Plus belles routes de moto, Route 66, Etats-Unis

These superb or mythical roads are best visited by motorcycle if you love getting on two wheels.

There are a few qualities that make a road easy to ride and offer an unforgettable experience. A smooth surface is one of the most important factors: unless they prefer off-roading, motorcyclists appreciate tarmac! Superb scenery is an added bonus. Beautiful winding roads are always a favorite: leaning into curves is a real pleasure, and one of the reasons why people choose to drive a motorcycle rather than a car.

The beauty of nature seems so much closer from the saddle of a motorcycle. No wonder motorcycle adventure travel has grown massively in the last decade. The TV documentary series Long Way Round in 2004 and Long Way Down in 2007 (starring both Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman on the world’s roads) helped trigger this trend.

These six routes are the best for motorcycling, although the destinations are great too!

The Stelvio Pass in Italy

Le col du Stelvio, Italie

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Virrage Images

The highest road pass in the Italian Alps at 2,758 meters, this route is not for the faint-hearted. Indeed, the 60 hairpin bends that make the ascent thrilling and the 14% gradients scare many. But you’re guaranteed a spectacular view of the mountains.

Go preferably in September to ensure the best experience. The pass is likely to be less crowded and the weather should still be decent. However, this route should be avoided on rainy days.

Watch this video of the last 10 minutes of the ascent of the Col du Stelvio :

Adriatic Highway – Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina

L'autoroute Adriatique – Croatie, Monténégro, Bosnie-Herzégovine

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Tamisclao

The majority of the freeway includes the Croatian D8. The turquoise waters of the Croatian coast and the mountainous landscape make this one of Europe’s most picturesque routes. The total length of the road through Croatia is 643 km, stretching from Zadar to Dubrovnik and continuing south into Montenegro. It’s impossible to get bored, as there are many twists and turns and a variety of landscapes: you’ll be climbing cliffs and descending to sea level along the way.

The Trollstigen or Troll Route, Norway

La Trollstigen

Photo credit: Shutterstock – terekhov igor

Steep 9% gradients and 11 tight hairpin bends make this mountain pass a challenging but beautiful ride. Any vehicle over 12.4 m in length is not allowed to drive on this road, so you won’t have to worry about trucks or buses getting in the way.

Spanish national road N-240, Spain

Route nationale espagnole N-240, Espagne

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Sasha64f

A true paradise for the less adventurous who don’t like hairpin bends, this road takes you through panoramic curves revealing every corner of the magnificent Pyrenean landscape. Expect lakes, valleys and hills, and be prepared to stop often for photos!

The Isle of Man Tourist Trophy circuit, United Kingdom

Le circuit du Tourist Troph

Photo credit: Shutterstock – JazzyGeoff

Home to the world-famous Tourist Trophy motorcycle race, the most dangerous of its kind in the world, this route is on the list of roads every biker wants to take at least once in their life.

The 60 km of public roads through small villages and over mountains turn into a racetrack at least twice a year (in June and August). So avoid them if you want to have access. At any other time of year, it’s simply a series of normal roads… with no speed limits for much of the mountain route.

Route 66 in the United States

Route 66

Photo credit: Shutterstock – Edwin Verin

This mythical road is on this list because you’ll wish you’d done it. With songs and films made about it, there’s no doubt that the (now historic) Route 66 is one of the most iconic journeys in the world.

There are also festivals, shows and car markets along the way. So there’s plenty of entertainment all year round. Finally, some of America’s great natural sites are found along the way, such as the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest National Park. There are also original attractions such as the Cadillac Ranch.

Bonus: other routes worth a motorcycle trip

To name just 6 was torture. So here’s a list of other roads on which motorcycling is a treat!

  • Loop from Ceuta to Marrakech (2,570 kilometers) ;
  • Pyrenees Loop (2,410 kilometers from Bilbao to Biarritz) ;
  • Australia’s Great Ocean Road (290 kilometers);
  • Around Cape Town, South Africa (1,690 kilometers) ;
  • The Pacific Coast Highway in California (320 kilometers from San Luis Obispo to San Francisco);
  • In the footsteps of Che, Cuba (2,000 kilometers) ;
  • Istanbul to Anatolia, Turkey (2,980 kilometers);
  • Moving on to the Paso Internacional Los Libertadores between Chile and Argentina;
  • The Transfăgăraș Route, Romania (100 kilometers);
  • The entire Amalfi Coast, Italy;
  • The Hāna Highway in Hawaii (109 kilometers);
  • The spectacular twists and turns of the Serra do Rio do Rastro, in Brazil’s Santa Catarina state.

Do you know of any other spectacular routes for motorcycling?