World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides

As Henry Cole sets off on his American chopper once again, during his Travel Channel series, we chat to expert biker Robert Wicks about his top 10 motorcycle routes on the planet...

imagenotavailable1

Bikers unite; the UK’s Travel Channel is due to air its next bout of greasy eye-candy for gear heads and travellers alike. In this weekend’s World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides (3pm, June 29) presenter and rider Henry Cole tackles a gruelling 2100 mile journey on a custom chopper, along America’s longest highway from Boston to Washington DC. He experiences the New York, Philadelphia and North and South Carolina scenery along the way.

Advertisement

Inspired by the show, we’ve researched the best motorcycle rides in the world, with help from adventure junkie Robert Wicks – who’s been riding for 24 years and has written a series of Haynes books on motorcycling, including The World’s Great Adventure Motorcycle Routes.

“Motorcycles make the world far more accessible, they are less intimidating than big 4x4s and they represent the ultimate in flexibility and freedom,” says Wicks.

Follow our 10 best routes, across nearly every continent on the planet, right here…

1. Trans Americas, North and South America

Distance: 24,000 miles
Wicks says: “It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this. Twenty weeks, riding 24,000 miles from the top of the world to the bottom. It is the ultimate adventure through diverse terrain, cultures and peoples, bringing you the best balance of spectacular and challenging riding, with time to explore the countries that you are travelling through. Quite literally, it will change your life.”


Visit South America with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


2. Trans Africa, Africa

Distance: 7,000 miles
Wicks says: “The toughest adventure ride taking into consideration the climate, scarcity of food, road surfaces, potential for disease, ever-changing political situations and sometimes baffling red tape at borders. An extraordinary ride that needs to be approached with an open mind.”


Visit Africa with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


3. London to Beijing, Europe and Asia

Distance: 8,000 miles
Wicks says: “A ride of epic proportions crossing all of Europe, central Asia and the enigma that is China. Prepare yourself for high mountain passes and some of the world’s amazing sites.”


Visit China with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


4. Morocco, North Africa

Distance: Anywhere from 500 – 5,000 miles
Wicks says: “Easily accessible from southern Europe with the challenge of high altitude riding in the Atlas Mountains as well as the unforgiving Sahara.”


Visit Morocco with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


5. London to Timbuktu, West Africa

Distance: 4,000 miles
Wicks says: “Ride overland to Africa’s fabled city on the edge of the Sahara. Recent terrorist activity in the area has limited opportunities to undertake this route successfully.”

6. India’s Golden Triangle, India

Distance: 1,000+ miles
Wicks says: “It’s a land that entices and teases at the same time. It’s also likely to give you a full-on culture shock. It’s a huge subcontinent, which has the ability to surprise everyone including the hard-core overlander. Some of the off-road trails and the Golden Triangle Route in northern India arguably provides the best taste of this varied, exotic and mysterious land.”


Visit India with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


7. Siberia, Russia

Distance: 5,000+ miles
Wicks says: “Siberia, the great sleeping land, is the largest part of the largest country on earth. The name conjures up images of hardship and suffering, of exile and misery. Yet for today’s motorcycle traveller, it also represents some of the greatest adventures to be had on two wheels including the Trans-Siberian Highway, the Road of Bones, the Chuisky Trakt, the BAM Road, the Pole of Cold, Lake Baikal, and legendary cities like Vladivostok, Magadan and Yakutsk.”


Visit Russia with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


8. Canning Stock Route, Australia

Distance: 1,300 miles
Wicks says: “A ride across Australia’s outback on extremely remote and challenging tracks. Prepare yourself for some serious heat and lots of soft, red sand. This trip needs substantial planning including advance water and fuel drops.”


Visit Australia with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


9. A loop around Iceland, Iceland

Distance: 1,200 – 2,000 miles
Wicks says: “It’s a journey to the land of fire and ice with spectacular and diverse terrain concentrated in one place. Enjoy volcanoes, waterfalls, countless river crossings and long days in the saddle.”


Visit Iceland with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


10. Tran-Am Trail, USA

Distance: 5,000 miles
Wicks says: “The ‘trail’ is made up of a series of interconnecting routes using dirt roads, forest tracks, farm roads, dried-up creek beds and abandoned railroad grades in the outback of the rural USA, all of which have been scouted and mapped to form the route.”


Visit the USA with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details


Advertisement

Watch World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides at 3pm, June 29 on the Travel Channel and pick up a copy of The World’s Great Adventure Motorcycle from Haynes