There’s nothing quite like planning epic motorcycle trips into new territory. All the gear, mapping, preparing, and practicing leading up to one of the most immersive and thrilling ways to explore a new place on two wheels.
If you’re looking for your next adventure but aren’t sure where to begin your journey, we’ve got you covered with nine of the best motorcycle trips in the world. From the breezy coasts of Central California to the vast wilderness of Russia’s Trans-Siberian Highway — these routes are pre-planned and ready to go, so you can maximize the fun, memories!
The Best Motorcycle Routes, Worldwide
The list that follows includes our favorite routes for every type of two-wheeled travel. Whether you’re a summertime cruiser or an off-road fanatic, you’ll find inspiration here for your next adventure.
Route 1: Alaska Highway, From Anchorage to Whitehorse
Image Credit: Motoquest.com
You know you’ve found a pristine wilderness when you’re sharing the road with free-range buffalo!
This motorcycle trip starts in Anchorage before setting out east via the Alaska Highway (AK-1) along the Matanuska River. From there it cuts through the vast Hayes Mountain range into Tanana Valley and the town of Tok (Population: 1,300).
It’s all quiet two-lane blacktop and picturesque mountain valleys from here as you make your way back down south, eventually crossing over onto the Yukon highway and into Canada.
Technically this 700-mile (1,127 km) journey ends in the Yukon capital of Whitehorse, but if you chose to just keep on going (or turn around and do it all again), we certainly wouldn’t blame you.
Route 2: The Pyrenees Loop, Covering France & Spain
Image Credit: Madornomad.com
The Pyrenees Loop is an incredible 1,500-mile (2,414 km) trek linking the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean through a network of winding mountain roads and coastal stretches.
Highlights include Spain’s N260 highway as well as France’s D117 highway, both of which consist of about 90% curves that snake through opposite sides of the Pyrenees mountain range.
In-between these two incredible roads the route follows along the Mediterranean Sea through a series of coastal towns. Spend a day or two on the beach in the resort town of Le Barcares or try your hand at windsurfing in Argeles Plage before headed back toward the Atlantic.
This loop ends in Biarritz, which is a perfect destination to give your butt a rest after a couple of days in the mountains. There’s something for everyone here from sandy beaches to luxurious oceanfront casinos.
Route 3: The Pacific Coast Highway, California USA
Image Credit: Motoquest.com
Technically California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway runs over 790 (1,271 km) miles from San Diego California straight through to the Oregon border.
For an amazing motorcycle trip, however, we recommend you focus on the 250-mile (402 km) stretch between Morro Bay and San Francisco. It goes almost without saying that Los Angeles traffic should be avoided at all costs (both for your sake, and your bikes!).
Here you’ll climb from sea level in San Luis Obispo up to the statuesque cliffs of Big Sur. These are considered by many to be the best coastal views in the entire United States.
After that, spend a night or two camping in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park before continuing north into the quaint beach town of Carmel-By-The-Sea. After that take some time to explore the world-famous boardwalks of Santa Cruz before jumping back on two wheels.
From there you’ll have time to enjoy the sweeping coastal views until you cross the Golden Gate Bridge for a few fun nights in San Francisco.
Route 4: Ceuta to Marrakesh Loop, Morocco
Image Credit: Motorcycle-diaries.com
Most riders will begin this epic journey in Algeciras Spain and then take a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar into Ceuta, which is an autonomous territory of Spain at the northernmost point of Morocco.
From there you’ll gain elevation quickly, climbing into the Rif mountain range before descending again into the city of Fes. After Fes it’s back into the mountains, this time climbing up into the impressive Atlas range before dropping down into the oasis town of Erfoud in the Sahara Desert.
From here the elevation and scenery changes don’t stop! You can get your fill of the desert before turning west and riding between the towering walls of Todra Gorge back toward the ocean.
At the ocean, turn right at the water (unless you plan to stop for a swim), where you’ll enjoy coastal views all the way up to the legendary city of Casablanca. Take some time to soak up the sun and Moroccan culture for a few days before completing this loop with a 200-mile (322 km) stretch snaking back up the coast into Ceuta.
Route 5: M58 Through Siberia, Russia
Image Credit: Rusmototravel.com
The popular TV series “Long Way Around” made the M58 famous as the single longest stretch of the rugged Tran-Siberian Highway.
People and places are few and far between here, which makes motorcycle trips along this route best suited for endurance riders, nature lovers, and risk-takers.
Be warned though, you’ll be crossing through sections of Russia that are best known for both their bear and wolf populations, so it might be a good idea to keep plenty of fuel in the tank unless you want to try your luck against both on foot.
Route 6: Great Ocean Road, Australia
Image Credit: Bikesrepublic.com
No trip to Australia is complete without a tour of Great Ocean Road!
This 150-mile (241 km) stretch of coastal highway runs along the Victoria coast from Torquay to Allansford, passing beside striking cliffs, unique limestone formations, and ever-changing ocean views.
It’s all smooth two-lane blacktop from start to finish, and the speed limit never breaks 60 mph (97 kmh). Combine that with more scenic viewing areas and photo opportunities than you can count, and you’ve got the perfect road for a big comfortable touring bike.
Take your time meandering along the cliffs, explore Grampians National Park, and check off all the incredible geologic features one at a time from the Twelve Apostles to the Island Archway. This one won’t disappoint.
Route 7: Phong Nien To Quang Binh, Vietnam
Image Credit: Mensjournal.com
If you’re looking to experience the rugged beauty of the Vietnam countryside, this 500-mile (805 km) motorcycle trip delivers the full experience.
The route connecting the Phone Nien commune to the Quang Binh province starts high in the mountains, winding its way down occasionally paved roads as it meanders through various old-world settlements along the Red River.
Whether you opt to pass through the capital of Hanoi and slide down along the coast or stick to the mountains along route QL21A is up to you. Both routes eventually converge in the town of Dien Yen before continuing south for the final 150-mile (241 km) stretch of quiet coastal views of the East Vietnam Sea.
Route 8: The Swartberg Pass
Image Credit: YouTube HonchoExtreme
While a seventeen-mile-long stretch of road might not sound like a bucket list motorcycle trip, you’ve got to see the Swartberg Pass to believe it.
You’ll have plenty of options to link other scenic routes around the Western Cape to this challenging mountain pass, but whatever you do, don’t leave it off your list. The road is almost entirely unpaved, but you’ll be thankful to find short stretches of tarmac in the steepest sections of the route.
Ultimately this pass is best attempted on an adventure or dual-sport machine due to its challenging terrain, but the payoff is well worth the work you’ll put in on the footpegs.
Sweeping views of both Little Karoo to the south and the Great Karoo to the north are on offer from the uppermost point of the road, and 700-meter-high cliffs of red rock and quartzite wait to be discovered at Swartberg’s northern terminus.
Route 9: Khardung La Pass, India
Image Credit: Ridetrueadv.com
Topping out at over 17,500 feet (5,334 meters) of elevation, the Khardung pass is one of the highest passable roads on the planet.
We say “passable” because while it is technically possible, you probably wouldn’t want to take your Goldwing up this unpaved stretch of blind corners, bottomless potholes, and regularly falling rocks.
We’ll reserve this one for the ADV crowd, but if you’ve got knobby tires and the stomach for vertigo-inducing cliffside dropoffs, you’ll have a chance to buy a t-shirt at the top to let everyone know where you’ve been.
Final Thoughts On Planning Motorcycle Trips
A lot of preparation goes into planning good motorcycle trips. That means setting aside money for flights, accommodations, food, souvenirs, rentals, and gear — plus spending time plotting the perfect route, finding places to stop along the way, and researching all the travel requirements and restrictions in areas you’ll visit.
Yet even on some of the 10-day long-distance treks we’ve outlined here, these incredible trips can seem like a blur just days after you get back home.
For that reason, our final recommendation is that you document your adventures. Smartphone photos of stops along the way are great, but if you’re traveling by motorcycle, video is king.
Bringing a high-quality motorcycle camera or even a collision prevention system like the Ride Vision 1 along for the ride not only ensures you’ll be as safe as possible on your journey, but also allows you to shoot full HD video of your route (both front and rear) without having to interrupt any beautiful moments or challenging sections you want to share with the world.
Cameras like this even include apps for your smartphone allowing you to save and edit videos on the go, map your route, and capture ride statistics like speed and elevation.
With that being said, all that’s left is to have fun, ride safe, and start checking these motorcycle trips off your bucket list!