Motorcycle touring is special. Those who take part in motorbike rides /tours know there is a magic to it that nothing else compares to. Robert Pirsig called it zen, maybe you call it something else, but it’s undeniably something special.
Even if you’re only going for a day ride, Europe has some of the best motorbike rides – both in terms of technical challenge and scenic magnificence.
Here we look at some of the best routes you might want to try, so stay safe and enjoy the ride!
Close to home
Want to explore European roads right on your doorstep? Try these routes a little closer to home.
• The cat and fiddle run in the North’s peak district is a sharp, steep path to a coffee shop filled with motorbikers who have just had an awesome run. There are few roads which are as hair-raising as this which are close to home! Bear in mind EuroRAP has given it a black rating so it is undeniably dangerous. Take care and keep to the well-enforced 50mph limit (police helicopters patrol when the mobile speed camera doesn’t).
• Northern Ireland’s Antrim coast road is a 60 mile long coastline-hugging road with the occasional scenic fishing village to punctuate your ride. Don’t be tempted to stop for a pint, though, as the drops only get steeper and the corners progressively tighter. Local legend claims TT hero William ‘Joey’ Dunlop honed his craft on this road so fans of TT racing and the late Dunlop consider it a spiritual home.
Once you’ve built up your experience on home-soil, try these routes a little further afield for a new challenge.
• The volcanic mountain paths of Spain’s Cabo de Gata coast road put you in touch with natural surroundings for an exhilarating ride.
• Transylvania’s disturbing Transfagarasan Highway is another well known European rider hotspot. Large parts of this course are free from barriers – which is all well and good until you consider the 1,000ft drop next to the edge of the road!
• For a longer trip, try the Bergen to Geiranger journey in Norway. A beautiful voyage that takes you over fjords, glaciers and through seemingly never ending tunnels, it’s a unique experience. The last stage of the journey sees you descend a tricky road towards the water, where you can take a ferry past some natural wonders and back to civilisation.