Tag Archives: tourism

Free Tassie ferry fares may be coming soon

The Federal Government is soon expected to announce free or discounted ferry fares to Tasmania to promote tourism after the island closed down during the pandemic.

However, it is not clear whether motorcycles will be included in the tourism promotion.

The move was first mooted in May, but the borders have been closed for longer than expected.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin has been calling on the Federal Government to temporarily extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme that covers the gap between the true cost of taking a vehicle on the ferry and the ticket price.

That would make fares attractively cheap or even free.

The proposal has been supported by Premier Peter Gutwein and the Motorcycle Riders Association who had asked riders to email the Premier to show their support.

Hobart-based MRA spokesman Damien Codognotto says mainland and overseas motorcyclists have made “significant contributions to Tasmania’s economy”.

“Over a million Australians are licensed to ride. Encouraging riders to holiday on the Island by carrying motorcycles and scooters free on the ferries makes financial sense,” he says.

Damien says it would be foolish to exclude motorcycle riders from any fare promotional offers.

“On-board riders spend as much as tourists in cars, vans and recreational vehicles,” he says.
“Bikes weigh less and use less space and weigh less than cars, vans and RVs. You can fit four bikes in the space of a car.

“Touring bikes are often two up so a car space can yield up to eight spending tourists. A car can yield up to five tourists but mostly doesn’t.

“By not charging $238 return for bikes you encourage more riders to visit Tasmania. That means more dollars spent on food, drink, cinemas and souvenirs.

“The $238 saved will be spent on the holiday so per square metre, motorcycles are worth more than cars on the ferries.”

He also claims motorcycle riders are good tourists, travelling light and spending well on accommodation, bike hire, retail sales and services.

“Tourists on motorbikes spend more per kilometre than tourists in cars and RVs because they travel light,” he says.

“A bonus is their machines cause less wear and tear on our roads, kill less wildlife and pollute less, even less as electric motors replace petrol engines.”

Motorcycle tourists have often been claimed to be among the most desirable for local businesses, spending more than other motorists.

For example, Tourism Queensland estimates motorcycle tourists spend up to $160 a day in local communities on food, drink, accommodation, fuel and necessities, while caravaners are more self-contained and only spend about $40 a day.

“Hospitality businesses and attractions like MONA, Port Arthur, Bruny Island, the West Coast Railway and more benefit from rider spending,” Damien says.Free ferry fares to Tassie Tasmania

A Spirit of Tasmania spokesperson says the current motorbike fare starts at $69 each way in the low tourist season.

It can rise to $99 in the high season or $109 for a flexi fare. Sidecars and trailers can lift the price to as much as $139 each way.

A discount or free fare would encourage more riders. Not that riders need much encouragement to head to Tassie. Charley Boorman rates it one of his favourite riding destinations.

The Tasmanian Government loves to welcome visiting motorcyclists, but also promotes important road safety messages about roads and riding conditions in Tasmania.

They have produced a Tasmanian Motorcycle Travel Guide video which is given to all motorcyclists when they board the Spirit of Tasmania.

It is one of many motorcycle-oriented tourism videos they have released.

In 2015, they produced a video featuring multi-Australian Superbike Champion Malcolm Campbell and interstate motorcycle club member Lester Knowles riding around the state and pointing out the features and dangers.

Each year the video is updated.

Road safety billboards and posters are also displayed on popular riding routes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycle Rides You Should Try In Canada

Canada is the world’s second-largest country with a landmass of 9.1 million square kilometers. This country is located in North America and attracts millions of tourists every year. If you are a fan of coastlines, you will also come across the longest coastline in the world as it shares its borders with three oceans; the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific.

Canadians love fine things, and you can find them having fun on their coastline, trying their luck in an online casino, or observing various cultural events all year round. Canada is an attractive country for riders as it boasts of about 415,000 kilometers of paved blacktop. The following are some of the best motorcycle rides in the country.Canada

Ride Lake Superior

Everyone who wants to take a bike ride through Canada should include this route in their bucket list. Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake, and riding along it allows you to interact with nature at its best. The route is perfectly done and can accommodate different riding styles. The hotels along this route have parking spots for motorcycles, making it easy to catch your breath or have a quick bite. It is the best ride if you are looking for a long ride and something memorable.

Ice Fields Parkways/ Bow Valley

This ride along the Alberta’s Rocky Mountains is one of the destinations you cannot afford to miss. The 400km ride wades through stunning vistas, waterfalls, mountain views, the amazing Columbia Ice fields, and glacial lakes. You will also ride through the popular mountain towns of Lake-Louise, Jasper, and Banff.

The Cabot Trail-Nova Scotia

This 300km stretch is located in the Maritime province of Nova Scotia. The ride will end around the northern tip of Cape Breton Island. Some of the beautiful sceneries you will encounter when riding through the Cabot Trail include old-growth forests, stunning ocean vistas, and rock walls. If you are an adventurous person, you will enjoy curves within the rugged coastline and elevation changes.Canada

Ride the Edge

The ride is scenic, and the roads are in their best shape. The towns along this ride are friendly to tourists as they have all the foods you can dream about. You will come across Ontario’s cottage country, where McMansions are the dominant buildings that cover the lakeshores. You can use two routes; the Small Loop and Big Loop if you are coming from Vermont, New York State, Ohio, or the Golden Horseshoe.

The Haines Highway

It is the perfect ride for those who like to wade through a wild route. The 240km stretch follows the ancient routes used by the prospectors of the Klondike Gold Rush and Chilkat Tlingit traders. Expect to come across grand views of alpine tundra, coastal forests, and glaciated mountains as you ride through this route.

The Kananaskis Trail Alberta

It is one of the best trails if you want something scenic just outside the city of Calgary. The area is snowy during the winter months, which makes it unfit for riding. You will come across the Rocky Mountains, the Peter Lougheed provincial park, and the Kananaskis Range as you ride through this trail. You will also enjoy the views of crystal clear rivers, the emerald green lakes, wildlife, and snow-capped peaks.

The Confederation Bridge

This bridge links Northumberland Strait, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. The Confederation Bridge is the world’s longest bridge crossing over ice-covered waters. The smell of salty water is something that you will not forget as you go through its curves. You will also enjoy the view of fishing boats while riding through the ‘Fixed Link.’Canada

The Sea-to-Sky Highway

The ride is characterized by descents, climbs, and mountain and ocean views, which explains its name. Snow-covered peaks characterize the winter months. The ride will take you through Whistler, Squamish, Pemberton, and Lillooet. You will come across runway lanes and brake check pullouts as you ride through this amazing route.

The Pacific Rim Highway

The adventurous will enjoy blind corners, twistiness, beautiful forests, descents, and climbs. You can feel the breeze of the ocean from the Ucluelet and Tofino junction. You can explore the beach or even enjoy various camping grounds on this route.

We have not covered every motorcycle stretch in Canada, but the above are some of the best. You can stopover in various hotels, spin a few slots in a kaszino or, even go on a shopping spree as you cool down after a good ride. Familiarize yourself with the riding rules in this country to ensure that you are on the good side of the law.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Motorcycling Tours: A Brief Look at Locations in the UK

(Contributed post)

The United Kingdom is a truly unique land, and one that is perfect for touring year round. There are so many amazing places that you can visit, with a history that stretches back thousands of years. From mountain peaks to castles, and dense forests to picturesque lakes, the United Kingdom is simply beautiful.

The combination of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Island create a truly unique backdrop that is perfect for motorcycle tours, and is a location that has so many wonderful places to explore and experience. In this article, you will find information about some of the best places where you can enjoy a tour of the United Kingdom on your motorbike.

You can find everything when motorcycling around the UK such as castles, caves, valleys, mountain ranges, national parks, as well as lots of things to enjoy for entertainment such as restaurants, museums or cinemas. You can even make a stop at a local kaszino if you want to enjoy a night out on the poker tables with your friends. There will be something for everyone when you take a biking tour around the United Kingdom.

England

The largest of the countries that make up the United Kingdom, England is an amazing place. Home to famous cities and counties, it is a country that attracts visitors each year from all over the world. The historic capital of London is part of England that most people will visit, though that’s only just scratching at the surface.

There are so many great counties and regions to explore, that you can spend a lifetime in England and also find new places to visit and things to experience.

The north and eastern parts of the United Kingdom are packed full of great places to visit including the counties of Northumberland and Yorkshire, which are very interesting and beautiful parts of the country. Newcastle in the north east is a great city and one that many people will pass through when touring the eastern side of England.

The south-west coast of England is home to Dorset, which is one of the most beautiful counties in the United Kingdom and home to places such as Poole, Weymouth, Bournemouth and lots of other fascinating places. This part of the UK coast is known as the Jurassic Coast, and is easily one of the most beautiful in the country.

It’s a perfect place to travel around by motorcycle where you can make stops at all of the interesting towns and cities along the route. From there you can continue heading west until you reach Devon, which is a fantastic place to explore.

You can also tour around the north-west region of England, taking in places such as Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria, each of which are stunning counties with lots of great places to explore and seek out. There are great road networks around here, as well as the rest of the country, and the conditions are great for motorbike tours with family or friends.

From this part of the United Kingdom, you can then pass through Cheshire in the south-west part of that region, and head into Wales through Flintshire or Wrexham.Touring in the UK

Wales

Wales is the smallest of the countries in the United Kingdom, but is an extremely beautiful one, filled with mountains, valleys, and a wonderful coastline that stretches for miles and miles. It’s the perfect setting for bike tours and offers visitors the chance to enjoy the natural landscape and setting.

Some of the highlights of Wales include the magical Snowdonia National Park, Caernarfon Castle, Brecon Beacons National Park and Cardiff Castle. The landscape is dotted with castles amongst the lush green hills and valleys, and the scenery here is the perfect escape from the noise and stress of your daily inner-city life.

Scotland

Located in the north of the United Kingdom, Scotland is a country unlike any other. It’s dominating mountains, picturesque lochs and general natural beauty make it a popular holiday destination for travelers from all over the UK, as well as the rest of the world. From the majestic capital city of Edinburgh, to the stunning Highlands, Scotland is a fantastic place to tour, and with your motorbike, you can explore all of the hidden gems in this wonderful destination.

Some of the places in Scotland to visit during your motorcycle tour include the Highlands as well Inverness and the north coast of Scotland, which you have to see with your own eyes to believe.

The United Kingdom is a great place for holidays and travel throughout the year. There are great road networks, so taking a tour with your motorcycle is an excellent option, especially during the spring or summer months.

You’ll easily be able to find a good choice of cheap accommodation along your routes, with a good option being a bed and breakfast. If you are planning to spend a few days in a specific part of the country, then it will probably be a good idea to book yourself accommodation in advance, especially during the summer.

Most accommodation will have WiFi so you can always pop online to check your emails, or upload some photos from your travels. You can also pop onto a casino online and place a few bets on your football team if you fancy a wager.

The UK has so much history and places of interest that you could spend a lifetime touring around and visiting places and still not see everything there is on offer.

Before heading off on your motorcycle tours, it’s a good idea to spend a little time planning your destinations and the routes that you will take. There are lots of websites online that offer you a great choice of interesting and scenic routes that you can take to reach your destinations, rather than sticking to the mundane motorways.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Free ferry fares to Tassie after pandemic?

Tasmania wants to encourage domestic tourism with free or discounted fares for all vehicles including motorcycles on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry when the state reopens its borders after the pandemic closure.

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin has called in the Federal Government to temporarily extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme that covers the gap between the true cost of taking a vehicle on the ferry and the ticket price.

That would make fares attractively cheap or even free.

Ferry proposalFree ferry fares to Tassie Tasmania

The proposal has been supported by Premier Peter Gutwein and the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) in Victoria who asks riders to email the Premier to show their support.

Luke says tourists spend an average of $2400 in the local economy.

Motorcycle tourists should be among the most desirable for local businesses, spending more than other motorists.

For example, Tourism Queensland estimates motorcycle tourists spend up to $160 a day in local communities on food, drink, accommodation, fuel and necessities, while caravaners are more self-contained and only spend about $40 a day.

A Spirit of Tasmania spokesperson says the current motorbike fare starts at $69 each way in the low tourist season.

It can rise to $99 in the high season or $109 for a flexi fare. Sidecars and trailers can lift the price to as much as $139 each way.

A discount or free fare would encourage more riders. Not that riders need much encouragement to head to Tassie. Charley Boorman rates it one of his favourite riding destinations.

Safe travels

The Tasmanian Government loves to welcome visiting motorcyclists, but also promotes important road safety messages about roads and riding conditions in Tasmania.

They have produced a Tasmanian Motorcycle Travel Guide video which is given to all motorcyclists when they board the Spirit of Tasmania.

It is one of many motorcycle-oriented tourism videos they have released.

In 2015, they produced a video featuring multi-Australian Superbike Champion Malcolm Campbell and interstate motorcycle club member Lester Knowles riding around the state and pointing out the features and dangers.

Each year the video is updated.

Road safety billboards and posters are also displayed on popular riding routes.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

First weekend of eased travel restrictions

This is the first weekend that all states and territories have eased travel restrictions and we expect a lot of bikes out on the roads throughout Australia and the UK.

As we noted in our above meme a few weeks ago: “When the lockdown ends … You won’t see me for dust.”

The travel restrictions vary throughout the country. Click here for the latest details.

For example, in Queensland riders who were restricted to a 50km radius can now travel in a 150km radius (500km if you live in the outback), extending to 250km from June 12.

Coincidentally this weekend I pick a Harley-Davidson Road King for test which should be more than suitable for travelling 150km radius! 

150km radius from western Brisbane150km radius from Brisbane

Like many other riders, I am also planning a multi-day ride from June 12 when Queensland’s rules (and many other states) will allow tourist accommodation.

I will also be able to travel in a 250km radius and ride with a group of up to 20.

It looks like there will be seven of us and we plan to stay within the 250km radius which takes us southwest to the Granite Belt, west into the Darling Downs and north as far as Maryborough, an area that includes a host of great roads.

Unfortunately, the beckoning roads of northern NSW will have to wait until July 12.

TravelQueensland’s three-stage plan

We will also continue practising social distancing and safe hygiene.

That means:

  • Limiting stops along the way;
  • Carrying spare disposable gloves for refuelling, etc;
  • Paying by credit card, not cash;
  • Frequent hand washing and carrying my own sanitiser; and
  • Carrying a thermometer for a daily temperature check.

Official health sites

These are the official rules for your state or territory:

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Five countries that love motorcycles

By Anthony Joseph*

Motorcycles are iconic and versatile vehicles that are loved all over the world. To some, motorcycles equal recreation and fun, others utilise these vehicles for sport and competition. Some countries have even adopted motorcycles as their primary form of transportation in many cities and consider them essential to daily life. It’s fascinating to see how motorcycle culture has expanded around the world, with many areas developing a style that is completely unique and their own. Here are five countries that are known for their love for different types of motorcycles.  

Slovakia 

Slovakia is a country famous for its beautiful backroads and countryside. This terrain is perfect for motocross riders and races. This European country has many young riders that aspire to be a motocross champion. There is a deep rooted culture here for the sport, and many racing leagues that provide a place for these young riders to prove themselves before continuing on to international tournaments. With so much beautiful wilderness that makes up the country, from mountains to forest passes, what better way to experience the country than on a powerful off-roading machine like a dirt bike? 

 ItalyEnrico Grassi Hear the Road Motorcycle Tours Italy Tuscany and Umbria: Heart of Italy

It should come as no surprise that Italy has a love affair with two wheeled machines. The European country has a long history with motorcycles and scooters, with cities like Rome and Venice being famous for the prevalence of scooters there. The compact and agile machines are a favourite for cruising around the narrow and winding streets. Scooter rentals are also very popular among tourists, and there is even a green initiative, with electric scooters growing in use every year.  

Italy is also well respected for several major motorcycle brands that it has brought to the world. Ducati is a world famous luxury motorcycle manufacturer that was started here. With Italy being revered for their expensive and ultra-high performance vehicles like Lamborghini and Ferrari, of course there had to be a motorcycle equivalent, and this is just what Ducati is. The brand is headquartered in Borgo Panigale, Italy, and consistently makes some of the most beautiful and sought after motorcycles in the world. 

Of course, while Ducati is well respected outside of Italy, no motorcycle brand is more famous in  Italy than Vespa. The brand is owned by the vehicle manufacturer Piaggio, and has been creating these iconic scooters for over 75 years. These compact and sporty vehicles are well known for their rock solid construction, and are often attributed with being the first mass produced vehicle in Italy, meaning they are not only favoured for their performance and aesthetics, but were also incredibly important for the everyman. 

Japan

Some of the biggest two-wheeled vehicle brands in the world were born and raised in Japan, a country known for its groundbreaking manufacturing and designs across many different industries. All over Asia and indeed the world, brands like Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki are well known and respected. Japan is credited with creating some of the first truly high-performance motorcycles, a tradition that is carried on with motorcycles like the Suzuki Hayabusa that upon release in 1999 was considered the world’s fastest production motorcycle, with a top speed of 300-315kmh.

Japan is a country that loves racing and vehicles that are both agile and fast, and this is reflected in the manufacturing of the top motorcycle brands here. Aside from these sporty motorcycles, they also have popular lines of scooters, cafe racers, dirt bikes, and quads, making up an impressive lineup of machines that can suit any need.  

USAVictory touring USA America Sturgis motorcycle rally european boycott

The United States may possibly have the biggest population of motorcycle enthusiasts and recreational riders in the world. Here, the love affair with these powerful machines goes back to popular media that set the trend early in the 1950s. In a time before the internet and hundreds of television channels, film used to be immensely important and left a lasting impression on popular culture. Films like The Wild One starring the exceptional Marlon Brando brought a glamorised tale of motorcycle culture that influenced generations of new riders. Indeed, motorcycle culture is intertwined with the history of the United States, with some of the first motorcycle clubs being made up of soldiers that had come home from WW2 with an interest in pursuing their newfound love for these two wheeled beasts at home. 

When it comes to powerful motorcycles of the chopper variety, most of the styles, manufacturing and trends are attributed to the United States. Some of the most iconic chopper brands of all time were built in the USA, like Indian Motorcycles, Boss Hoss, and of course the Ubiquitous Harley-Davidson. 

Vietnam 

With millions of these small motorcycles dubbed “motorbikes” in the country, Vietnam has been bestowed the title of “motorbike capital of the world.” Visitors to this southeast Asian country are often taken back by the sheer volume of these vehicles and the seemingly chaotic nature of the roads in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Here, motorbikes are absolutely essential to daily life, with the entire infrastructure of Vietnam being built around these vehicles. City streets and highways were specifically constructed with these vehicles in mind, meaning they are normally narrow enough to allow just a few motorbikes or one big truck through at a time.

Many of the picturesque mountain passes that are essential to life for farmers and country folk are only wide enough to allow a single motorbike through. Historically, Vietnam has been completely dependent on motorbikes, and the influence of this can be seen in everything from paintings to popular film and the result is a society that is completely unique and independent from any other Asian culture.

*About the author: Anthony is a writer who enjoys riding motorcycles and motorbikes through foreign countries. When he’s not on the road, he spends his time researching emerging technology and the financial sector. Originally from the US, he has lived in several different places around the world and continues to travel.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Where will you ride when lockdown ends?

Riders may have to cool their engines for some time yet, but that doesn’t stop us dreaming of where we will go when the lockdown ends.

Protest groups around the world are demanding the lockdown ends now but we know that won’t be happening.

However, that doesn’t stop us dreaming of the day the travel bans are lifted and the borders are reopened.

Hopefully, you have hibernated your bike properly, had it on a trickle charger and have a full tank of very cheap petrol ready to go.

If you have, check this article to find out how to safely bring it out of hibernation.

Meanwhile, you can dream about where you are going to ride when the bans are lifted and how long you will be away.

Making ends meetHarley-Davidson FXST Softail Standard

I’m lucky enough to be able to continue to ride for my work, testing bikes (such as the Harley-Davidson Softail Standard above) and gear to make ends meet.

However, I have been responsible and limited my rides to short trips.

So my first ride after the lockdown will be a long trip with overnight stays … so long as that is allowed!

No doubt it will still be important to continue practising social distancing and safe hygiene.

That means:

  • Riding solo or in a small group;
  • Limiting stops along the way;
  • Carrying spare disposable gloves for refuelling, etc;
  • Paying by credit card, not cash;
  • Practising social distancing;
  • Maybe camping out rather than staying in hotels;
  • Eating takeaway or cooking my own meals; 
  • Frequent hand washing and carrying my own sanitiser; and
  • Carrying a thermometer for a daily temperature check.

Now I just have to stick a pin in a map of Australia and start planning the road trip.

No doubt anywhere will welcome the motorcycle tourism dollar after a tough period of drought, bushfires, floods and pandemic.

Where will you ride when lockdown ends? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

4 Most Dangerous Motorcycle Routes in The World

Contributed post (Image: Pamir Highway, Tajikistan)

Any two-wheeled journey needs to be treated with care. We all know the truism that statistically you are most likely to have an accident within a few miles of home. That said, some roads in the world need to be treated with much more respect than your mum on Mother’s Day. 

Below we are going to look at four of the most dangerous motorcycle routes in the world. Not the roads that are statistically most dangerous but the ones that that will reward you with life-changing views and experiences but could also lead to life-ending injuries should you get things slightly wrong.

The Canning Stock Route, Australia

Canning Stock Route dangerousCanning Stock Route

Stretching for 1,850 km from Wiluna to Hall’s Creek in the Kimberley Region, the Canning Stock route follows the historic trial of what was once the longest cattle driving route in the world. 

If you’re imaging cowboys driving cattle along dusty trails, then you have it exactly right. The Canning Stock route remains exactly that, only without the cattle or cowboys. It’s now just a dirt track through some of the most barren and unforgiving terrain Australia has to offer. 

Over two to three weeks of hard riding, the route passes through not one, but three, deserts, the Gibson, Little and Great Sandy. Don’t expect any roadside cafes on the way, the most you can hope for is that the century-old wells you need for survival won’t be dry when you arrive. 

With stretches without fuel as long as 665km this is not a route to tackle solo and not a route for the faint-hearted. It not only requires incredible bike-handling skills, but it also demands in-depth mechanical knowledge, a great deal of logistically nouse, a hell of a lot of mental fortitude and cojones, big ones.  

The Pamir Highway – Afghanistan, Tajikistan & Kyrgystan

Known officially as the M41, and colloquially as the “heroin highway”, the location of this road should be a bit of a giveaway as to why it’s so dangerous. Any road that weaves its merry way through Afghanistan and Tajikistan isn’t going to a walk in the park. And while kidnap, robbery and corrupt police and army officials are a big problem on the Pamir Highway, the biggest danger is the road itself.

The road has its roots in the millennia-old silk road that linked ancient China with Central Asia. It is the second-highest altitude international highway in the world, but calling it a “highway” probably gives it more credit than it’s due, for most of the route it is more pothole than road. 

This is definitely not one for beginner drivers, you guys have enough to worry about and these motorcycle safety tips can help you. 

Landslides, erosion, earthquakes and extreme cold are all factors any brave rider will have to contend with on the Pamir Highway. In return, however, motorcyclists are treated with some of the most mind-boggling vistas the world has to offer and the chances of meeting other tourists are almost zero.

North Yunguas Road, Bolivia 

Chances are you may know this road already or at least seen it on tv. It’s often referred to by the far catching and dramatic title of the “Bolivian Death Road”.

The North Yungas road connects the world’s highest capital city, La Paz (3,660 metres in altitude) with the low-lying Yungas region of the Amazonian Rainforest. The route itself is less than 70km long but by some estimates in its heyday it was claiming up to 300 lives a year. Eek! 

The road was build in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners of war and is a feat of spectacular engineering. The route, which at some points is only 3 metres wide, is cut into sheer rockface with drops of over 600metres into the rainforest below. If you suffer from even the slightest vertigo, this is one to avoid.

A newer, and thankfully safer highway was now been build that sees most of the regular Peruvian traffic but the Death Road is still open for any brave two-wheeled adventurer who wants to put their skills against one of the most notorious routes in the world. 

Manali-Leh Highway, IndiaRoyal Enfield Himalayan on test in the Himalayas

Open for just four months a year when the melted snow allows it, the Manali-Leh highway connects the historic capital of India’s Ladakh province with the state of Himachal Pradesh. Stretching for 490km the route can be tackled in as little as two or three days.

However, like the Pamir Highway, one of the unforeseen risks to many riders taking on the route to Leh is rapid changes in altitude. Going up and down too quickly when you are at an average altitude of 3,000 metres plus can lead to increased chances of altitude sickness. And feeling drowsy and struggling to breath whilst trying to drive a motorbike is no fun whatsoever. 

Road conditions vary from good to not so good, to very very not good. And getting a hang of the road surface is the ever-present danger of overloaded Indian buses and their less than orthodox driving style, which often involves overtaking on blind hairpin bends. 

Well, there you have it adrenaline fans, four of the most dangerous and rewarding motorcycle routes in the world. If you have conquered one of these roads then you can truly call yourself motorcycle adventurer. Enjoy and good luck!

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Nothing dead about this ‘dead end’

There is nothing dead about the amazing ‘dead-end” ride to O’Reilly’s and back on the Lamington National Park Rd in South East Queensland.

Despite the Gold Coast hinterland being ravaged by bushfires in September 2019, the scenery along this road is as spectacular and pristine as ever. You wouldn’t even know a bushfire had been through the region!

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endSpectaqcular views

That is not the case with the nearby Binna Burra Lodge which was sadly decimated in the bushfires and has closed the dead-end Binna Burra Rd south of Timbarra Drive.

However, Lamington National Park Rd is still open and is as challenging, varied and spectacular as any of the Alpine roads in NSW and Victoria.

In fact, massive roadworks over the past couple of years have made it even better.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endRoadworks and retaining walls make the road safer

However, the last few kilometres to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat are fairly bumpy.

It’s a virtual paradise for riders, yet it is relatively unknown by riders outside SEQ and little used compared with some of the other “motorcycle routes” in the region.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endPlenty of hairpins and twisties!

Maybe that’s because it’s a dead-end as some riders don’t like riding back and forth over the same stretch.

However, it feels substantially different going up to going down and you take different corner lines each way.

You also don’t look back over your shoulder when you ride, so the scenery is different each way.

And it’s such a great ride, that you will probably want to do it again and again!

Mountain road not dead

dead endLamington National Park Rd on the Gold Coast hinterland (Image: Google Maps)

The 35km dead-end road starts in Canungra which is a popular cafe stop for riders. Click here for the Google Map.

Riding south out of town into the beautiful valley you will notice O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard which is a great place to stop for lunch and wine tasting (pillions only!).

About 2km down the road, it crosses one of several metal cattle grids before ascending the mountain.

The cattle grids are often on blind corners and need to be taken at right angles to avoid slipping, especially in the wet.

They are among many other hazards such as narrow one-lane sections, blind corners, rock falls, dangling vines, foreign tourists in clapped-out vans, bumps, potholes, leaf litter, oblivious bushwalkers, occasional cyclists, and moss on the road edge and even in the centre!

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endWatch out for slippery hazards

Despite all those hazards, it is a great road for motorcyclists of all types, so long as you take it easy and/or do an exploratory run.

The speed limit is posted at 40km/h with some 10km/h advisory corner speeds.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endPlenty of hairpins

We have yet to see police on the road, but being caught for speeding is not the only reason to take care.

Weekdays are a lot less busy than weekends.

The old alpaca farm with its jaw-dropping valley views has now moved to the O’Reilly’s vineyard.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endOld alpaca farm is now closed

However, just down the road is a short detour to the postcard-perfect Kamarun Lookout. It’s well worth a photo stop!

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endKamarun Lookout

Adventure riders

It’s not a complete dead end for adventure riders as they can turn right just before O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat and descend into the next valley via the very rough and challenging Duck Creek Rd.

However, that road has been closed for several years due to flooding and is still closed, awaiting funding from the Scenic Rim Council. Let’s hope it opens again soon.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endDuck Creek Rd

O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat at the end of the road has a coffee shop, restaurant, clean toilets, paved parking, a bird feeding show and gift shop.

Lamington Park National Rd is no dead endFeed the birds at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat

Once you’ve rested up and refilled your tank (with food, not fuel), it’s time to head back down and enjoy the view from the other direction.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Top motorbike routes to explore in New Zealand

New Zealand offers some of the world’s best motorbike roads and a large number of postcard-worthy routes, begging you to explore on your motorbike.

While many people opt to explore these locations by car, we all know there is no better way to do it than on a motorbike. What more, many of these amazing motorbike routes take you to some of the most scenic campsite locations in New Zealand.

The country offers two main islands that feature a good number of zigzagging coastlines, tight twisters, high mountains, rolling farmlands and plenty of easy riding options, as you witness weather changes from subtropical to even snow in some regions. Let’s tell you about a few of these top motorbike routes worth exploring in New Zealand.

The Coromandel Loop

Undoubtedly the most popular motorcycle route in all of New Zealand, the Coromandel Loop is the favourite of riders everywhere as it offers some very challenging winding roads. These can be a little risky in certain regions, however are worthwhile if you wish to put your riding skills to test. It’s a stretch that is divided into two parts – Northern Loop which is 187.8km long and Southern Loop extending over 229.7km. Both offer easy access to the attractions and townships of Coromandel Peninsula.

Ride across Southern Alps

The photogenic highways and sublime landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island are what are rider’s dreams are made up of. You can explore these alpine gems in multiple ways, but if you wish to witness the best views of the contrasting vistas, you should go on a self-guided tour instead. There are certain organisations that offer GPS guided trips, enabling riders to explore the region on their own. The hand-picked route options involve various mountain passes, taking you through multiple local destinations like West Coast, Milford Sound and Queenstown.

Milford Sound RoadMilford Sound

Auckland to Clevedon Loop

Ask any local rider in New Zealand and they’d have a lot to tell about the beauty of rural Auckland. This specific route is based out of South Auckland, and provides some of the best views of Waikato River (of North Island) too. This trip takes you southwards through State Highway 1, before making you turn left at Karaka, taking a bridge that leads to Waiuku town, and then towards State Highway 2, eventually entering the Hunua Ranges and thus looping into Clevedon.Top motorbike routes to explore in New Zealand

Christchurch to Westport

This one’s an ideal route for riders interested in the ultimate TranzAlpine experience on a motorbike. As is the case with the well-known train ride, the journey from Christchurch to Westport takes you through the South Island’s eastern shores, into the West Coast’s rugged backdrops. The primary difference between the train ride and motorbike journey is that the train takes you to Greymouth, and being on two wheels will take you further upwards to the Westport town, through State Highway 7. Nelson Lakes National Park, Lake Sumner Forest Park and Hanmer Springs are some of the stopovers that are definitely worth considering along this route.

(Contributed post)

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com