When you hop on your motorcycle, you should feel the thrill of adventure. So why keep riding the same old routes? Take your two-wheeled passion international—or at least across the state border. Go ahead and add these 9 amazing rides to your bucket list.
THE GREAT RIVER ROAD
This byway snakes through the United States from the Minnesota-Canada border down to New Orleans. Several sections have been nationally recognized as scenic routes, and the journey gets especially picturesque in Louisiana, where it’s flanked by Spanish moss and some of the state’s most grandiose antebellum architecture.
THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS
The meandering trails through the Smoky Mountains are the perfect proving grounds for your bike-handling skills. You can find famous, challenging trails like the incredibly twisty Tail of the Dragon (it has more than 300 turns over the course of just 11 miles). The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway through Virginia and North Carolina provides a longer, more laid back experience with plenty of mountain views.
BAJA TO VANCOUVER
This picturesque trip will take you through a good chunk of North America’s Pacific Coast, from the Mexican desert to the California redwoods to rainy Washington State. Make sure to get in as many miles as possible on the Pacific Coast Highway, a winding route with spectacular ocean views. If you’ve got a little time on the way, take a swing through national parks like Yosemite, Oregon’s Crater Lake, or the Hoh Rainforest in Washington.
ALPS TO THE ADRIATIC
As you wind down from the Italian Alps into Slovenia and Croatia, you’ll get spectacular Mediterranean views, national parks with incredible waterfalls and lakes, breathtaking valleys—and of course, a chance to refuel with some delicious Mediterranean food at the end of the day.
NEW ZEALAND’S SOUTH ISLAND
New Zealand’s incredible South Island is filled with mountains, glaciers, and lakes that are a blast to ride through. The terrain is varied and the roads aren’t too crowded. If you’re coming from another hemisphere, just make sure to get over your jet lag before you set out on your bike. And of course, be prepared to drive on the left side of the road.
Especially adventurous riders will revel in the challenges of riding from London to Vladivostok, on Russia’s east coast. The journey passes through Scandinavia (yes, you’ll need to hop a ferry) into Russia, Mongolia, and other remote countries, taking Russia’s 6800-mile highway network across Siberia. The roads might get a little rough, but you’ll come away with an eye-opening peek into life on the steppes.
Explore the Andes as well as the steppes, volcanoes, glaciers, and all of the other natural wonders Patagonia has to offer. Starting from Santiago, Chile, you can travel from the Pacific to the Atlantic along southern Patagonia, hitting up Tierra del Fuego, or explore the remote, wild northern end of the region.
CAPE TOWN TO KILIMANJARO
This intense ride starts at the tip of South Africa in Cape Town and goes through the sand dunes of the Namib desert, the Serengeti, offering plenty of variation in scenery and terrain before ending up at the world’s tallest free-standing mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Southeast Asia is ideal if you’re looking to design your own motorcycle tour. You can pick up a bike for cheap there, then sell it after you’ve reached your final destination. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are equally popular places to start a journey, and if you want to stick to Vietnam, the trip between the two cities takes about a month. Since the cost of buying a used bike there is only a few hundred dollars, it’s easy enough to tweak your itinerary to fit your personal goals and time frame.
Hitting the open road this summer? GEICO Motorcycle insurance can cover you and your bike wherever you roam in the U.S.
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