There’s a reason we call motorcycle riding a lifestyle rather than a hobby. You’re a rider; it’s something you are, not something you just do.
Because of that, the thrill of riding is always nearby. In fact, as a rider, you’ll find that thrill anyplace there’s a road and a bike. So as a motorcycle rider, no matter where you find yourself in the world, chances are you’re in a place where you can do what you enjoy the most. How many people can say that?
Best of all, because motorcycle riding is a passion of people all over the world, there’s a wealth of tour companies and guides that can help you get started. If you’re a first-timer in any country, this is definitely the way to go. A good touring company will recommend a route for your riding level, and you’ll be able to rent the right kind of bike too. Plus, you can never underestimate the value of having a local with you so you can be sure to truly immerse yourself in the country.
In that spirit, here’s a list of great rides on every continent except Antarctica (because that’s the only one where motorcycles are outnumbered by penguins).
A river is the last thing you expect to see in the desert, which makes the Orange River Canyon in Namibia such an amazing sight to see. The fantastic river waters are flanked on all sides by stunning golden desertscapes, making it an almost otherworldly place to visit.
Riders typically explore Orange River Canyon as part of a two- or three-day journey from the country’s Fish River Canyon, a national park and the largest canyon in Africa, to the Richtersveld, a dramatic desert in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.
All told it’s about a 400-mile journey. The river has campsites and plenty of water recreation, too.
No doubt the planet’s largest continent offers all kinds of options for life-changing rides. But for the ideal mash-up of scenic beauty and thrilling riding, it’s hard to beat Route 4036 on the Chanthaburi Coast in Thailand.
Tracing the ins and outs of this beautiful country’s eastern coast, Route 4036 will take you from Chat Makrut Junction to Chaloem Burapha Chonlathit Junction. Along the way, you’ll encounter beautiful beaches, serene temples and exotic tropical jungles.
It’s about a 60-mile ride, and it’s best enjoyed in the winter since summer temps can top out around 86 degrees with humidity hovering around 90%.
Traveling the Great Ocean Road along Australia’s southern coast opens up stunning mountain vistas and wide open ocean views. This is a family-friendly tour with multiple stops and lookouts along the way, giving ample opportunities to take in the view and experience the local flavor.
You’ll start out in Melbourne and then spend three days traveling the route. For those times when you want to get off the bike (if you ever have those times) you’ll also discover plenty of wildlife, hiking and surf spots along the way, too. One highlight: the 12 Apostles, a collection of towering limestone stacks standing resolutely in the ocean, just off the coast near Victoria.
Picture the fun, freedom and charm of Route 66. Now, transport that into the magic of old-world Europe. That’s what you get when you travel Portugal’s N2—literally’ known as “The Portuguese Route 66.”
This 458-mile journey takes about 10 to 15 days to properly enjoy, and it’s worth every moment. You can start in Faro from the south, or from Chaves in the north, and from there it’s nothing but quaint villages, quiet beaches, picturesque river valleys and countless local vineyards.
The rugged beauty of Canada’s Nova Scotia province can’t be overstated. Crashing Atlantic waters, ancient old-growth forests and dramatic rocky coastlines make for some of the most gorgeous terrain on Earth.
The Cabot Trail in the coastal area of the Cape Breton Highland National Park is a great way to experience it all. This 186-mile journey will take about 5 hours to traverse, but there’s all kinds of things to enjoy along the way. Hiking, camping, kayaking and whale watching all type the list for the summer. Ride up in the winter and you can take in some skiing and snowmobiling, too.
Here’s one you’ll want to tackle once you’re an advanced rider: The Cañón del Pato (which translates to “Duck Canyon”) in Peru.
This is a twisting, winding, hair-raising 28-mile white-knuckle ride at a towering 5,900 feet. Cutting right through the mountainside, this is a ride of sheer canyons and towering peaks. You’ll encounter about 50 tunnels along what is essentially a narrow mountain pass. This ride isn’t for the faint of heart, but then again, if you weren’t the adventurous type you probably wouldn’t be on a motorcycle in the first place.
So with apologies to Antarctica, there you have it — a bucket-list ride on just about every continent. Of course, maybe you feel like every ride is an epic ride, no matter where you are. If that’s the case, we couldn’t agree more.
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