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Motorcycle Paradise

The top 10 Motorcycle tours in the world

Update. Since I wrote this a lot has changed and I have set out to ride the world. Please have a look at my new article "50 rides to do before you die" Original post below with updates.
 
 
Have you ever thought about all the great places that exist to ride a motorcycle around the world.
 
I do, quite often. Much of my international travel has not involved a motorcycle however I have noted when travelling many places with excellent roads. TV travel shows and books and online forums like Adventure rider with the many people riding around the world really get the imagination going.
 
I have put together a top 10 list of places as of writing I would like to ride in the world. I do so as the first step to actually riding the list. They say if you think about something enough then it can happen!

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1. Europe Alps. Probably no surprise but the alps have been attracting riders for as long as motorcycles have existed. So many options here that where to start is a difficult choice. There are a number of motorcycle tour companies offering fully escorted tours which will make this an easy introduction to riding in a new location.
 
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2. North West states North America. Perhaps not as popular as riding route 66 but sure a lot more fun on a motorcycle. Starting in California there is so many options, The Pacific coast or Yosemite national park. Heading north you can string together great roads all the way to the Going to the Sun road Montana pictured above. 
 
 
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3. Japan. A place still largely unexplored by riders from other countries yet boasting alps as big as Europe with no expense spared perfect roads and amazing scenery. I just got the April edition of BikeJin Japanese rider magazine with the top Japanese motorcycle roads as voted by their readers. Here is a countdown for your information:

10. Chirihama Nagisa Driveway
9. Aso Panorama Line
8. Kouya Ryuujin Skyline
8. (tie) Shimanami-kaido
6. Shiretoko Oudan Road
5. Izu Skyline
4. Shiga Kusatsu Road
3. Yamanami Highway
2. Venus Line
1. Bandai Azuma Skyline
 
 
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4. Spain and the Pyrenees. Said to be a paradise for riders offering the mountain passes of the alpine regions but minus the cars and cops. Every time I see the tour de France on the TV I want to go here. And then into Spain where the roads are said to be perfect. Andalucía is another destination that I’d like to see but it perhaps is a separate tour being so far apart from here.  
 
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5. New Zealand. What an amazing place New Zealand is to ride. Jaw dropping scenery, friendly people and some of the best motorcycle roads on the planet. It is a long way for most people to travel, as far as Patagonia and as exotic in its climate however if you live in Australasia then you have one of the best riding locations within easy reach. Above photo from an amazing photographer who toured NZ.
 
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6. North America. Yes more in the USA because the East coast is a separate trip being so far away from the West. I’d like to ride from North Carolina to Nova Scotia. See the famous roads like tail of the dragon, the fall colours on the Blue Ridge Parkway and then the much talked about great motorcycle riding roads of Nova Scotia.  
 
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7. Norway. Another destination that is a long way to travel and also one with a limited riding season of just June and July however anyone who has seen the photos of the fiords and the roads snaking there way along the mountains will feel a desire to see the same from a motorcycle.
 
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8. Corsica, Sardinia & Sicily. These 3 islands are claimed to hold some incredible roads that have riders consistently rating as some of the best riding to be found anywhere in the world. Corsica in particular is rated the next best riding destination after the alps in Europe. Not so easy to get to but can be reached by overnight ferries from Italy and France.

TargaTasmania2009

9. Australia. Tasmania. One of the places many Australian riders want to go to but never make it. Always reported as having the best motorcycle roads in the country it is neither a small, simple or cheap journey to get yourself and a motorcycle down there. But watch the Targa that draws famous drivers and their cars from around the world each year say what a wonderful place it is for motoring and you know it must be special indeed.  

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10. South Africa. The riding is just part of the reason I would like to go here. There is Cape Town and the famous mountain back drop, the roads hugging the coast, being able to go to the cape itself then at the other end of the country excellent safari parks to make this a special tour.

Update – this was my initial attempt to list some good ride destinations. I have since started to tick these off as you can see in the rides listed in the side menu. With hindsight I would add Thailand to the above list as a must ride. Then looking at things closer I have compiled a top 50 ride list that expands information on popular areas and adds many more options.