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Amazing Motorcycle Trips

Amazing Motorcycle Trips
Acadia Byway, Maine
Thomas Northcut/Getty Images

The world is full of bike-friendly locations--spots with big curves, little to no traffic and boundless adventure. Motorcycle tourism can be a great way to indulge your riding habit and see some of the most beautiful places on the planet.


Starting off our list of the world's 10 most stunning locales for ramping up your riding skill is Vietnam. Due to import taxes of 90%, it's rare to find luxury motorcycles for hire there. But with the national speed limit hovering at 60 kph (80 kph on a few major highways), you'll hardly need anything hardier than the ubiquitous Minsks (Russian motorbikes) or Honda 175 cc's to tackle the otherworldly mountain terrain of terraced rice paddies and stilt house villages in Vietnam's north. Hanoi-based Offroad Vietnam arranges custom tours for groups or individuals. Homestays with local Hmong people add cultural immersion to the equation.

Brewster, Cape Cod, MA
Brewster, Cape Cod, MA

The Lot Region, France

For some of France's most wide open roads and diverse riding terrain, the Lot region in the country's wild southwest is a motorcycle-lover's must. Highlights of the region include the fairytale hilltop village of Rocamadour, the Millau Viaduct (the world's highest vehicular bridge) and the Gorges du Tarn--a dramatic limestone gorge with hairpin turns and steep descents. At Bikers-Lot--a bike-friendly bed and breakfast run by a British couple in the small village of Latronquiere--multi-course meals and unlimited guided tours of the region are included in the room rate (arrive on your own bike or rent one in Toulouse or Rodez).

Brewster, Cape Cod, MA
Brewster, Cape Cod, MA

Gobi Desert, Mongolia

For utter solitude in the land of Genghis Khan, no place compares with the isolation and exoticism of a motorcycle trek in Mongolia's Gobi Desert. Ulaanbaatar-based Tenuun Tour Co., Ltd supplies riders with motorbikes and a support vehicle complete with a mechanic and all-important gas, food and sleeping provisions. The ride-through views encompass sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, grasslands, volcanic lakes and wide-open desert steppes. Homestays with nomadic families in yurts can also be arranged.

Brewster, Cape Cod, MA
Brewster, Cape Cod, MA

Rajasthan, India

Join a tour group or depart solo from Delhi and head southeast to reach the land of the former Maharajas. The riding terrain is fairly flat and low-key, but summertime ventures should be avoided as high temperatures threaten to melt your tires to the asphalt. Texas-based tour operator Moto Discovery offers 14-day trips through Rajasthan that include side trips for tiger viewing at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve as well as an overnight in Agra to see the Taj Mahal. Prefer to go solo? Motorcycle rentals can easily be arranged in myriad shops in Delhi.

Brewster, Cape Cod, MA
Brewster, Cape Cod, MA

New Zealand

Forget bungee jumping and jet boat rides. The biggest thrill in the land of the long white cloud is taking to its lightly trafficked roads on a motorcycle tour or solo mission (top-notch bikes are available for rent in major cities on the north and south islands). Edelweiss Bike Travel offers 14-day jaunts of up to 2,430 miles, leaving from Christchurch on the South Island and circumnavigating the country's highlights before finishing in Auckland on the North Island. Roads are mostly of the tight-gripping-asphalt variety and suitable for beginner riders (although getting used to driving on the 'other side' is another animal entirely).


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