There’s nothing quite like the excitement of being on a motorcycle with the open road ahead of you and the sound of your exhaust pipe filling the air. With the weather getting warmer, thousands of riders across the country are tuning up their bikes and buying new motorcycle parts in preparation for the next epic road trip.
The best rides are all about incredible scenery, pristine roads, and putting your bike through its paces. If you’re planning your dream road trip or want to add a few more routes to your plans, consider these bucket list motorcycle destinations.
- Stelvio Pass, Italy
There’s a reason British automotive TV show Top Gear named the Stelvio Pass one of Europe’s greatest driving roads. As the second-highest paved mountain pass in the Alps (at 9,045 feet above sea level, it’s just 23 feet lower than Col de l’Iseran in France), the Stelvio Pass is legendary for its 46 hairpin turns and mesmerizing views of the Alps. The road spans around 30 miles and connects the towns of Bormio and Prato allo Stelvio.
A word of caution: the mountain pass is usually only open from May to October and is for intermediate and advanced riders.
- Salmon River Scenic Byway, Idaho USA
Go back in time and take the fabled path Lewis and Clark traveled two hundred years ago by taking your bike along Idaho’s Salmon River Scenic Byway. This epic 161-mile route follows the Salmon River, taking you from the Montana border, through the Salmon-Challis National Forest, and on to Stanley on Idaho 75.
Marvel at Idaho’s beautiful backcountry as you travel parallel to the swift Salmon River and cut through a forested gorge lined with granite walls. Take a detour at Yankee Fork Road, and you’ll find the ghost towns of Bonanza and Custer, built during the gold rush in the 1870s.
It’s not unusual to see deer, elk, and moose crossing the road, so keep your eyes peeled, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Copper Canyon, Mexico
Traversing Copper Canyon is a dream road trip for those longing for a monster road trip down to Mexico.
This network of canyons in northwestern Mexico is deeper and longer than the Grand Canyon and affords majestic views of stunning rock formations. The 100-mile journey from the town of Creel to Urique takes you on a thrilling descent down the canyon, making the more famous one in Arizona seem like a cakewalk by comparison.
Most riders will ride down to the small town of Batopilas and use it as a turnaround point. But for a true adventure, you can ford two rivers and ride to Urique.
- Cape Breton, Canada
Head north, then all the way east to Nova Scotia. Here you will find the farthest point you can travel by land in North America: Cape Breton Island.
While most people traveling to Nova Scotia will end their journey at Halifax before turning back, adventurous motorcyclists will make another three-hour drive to Port Hawkesbury and another one and a half hours to Margaree Harbour. This is the starting point of the island’s scenic Cabot Trail, which boasts beautiful, well-marked winding roads — perfect for lazy cruising.
- The Highlands, Scotland
Let’s go back to Europe — to Scotland this time around. The Highlands have a mystical quality to them. Perhaps it’s the sense of isolation or the foggy roads that cut through ethereal valleys (or what the Scots call glens).
If you want to avoid the bustling cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, you can begin your road trip in the village of Crocketford and take the A712, A713, and A78 to Greenock. From here, take the ferry to Dunoon and the A815 to Inveraray.
Be sure to pack your rain gear as this part of the country is notorious for its unpredictable weather.