35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides

We all have a bucket list of motorcycle roads we’d like to ride before we highside off this mortal coil. Here are 35 recommended by Clement Salvadori, arranged alphabetically by state or country.

1. Arizona

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
1. Arizona: Angel Delgadillo stands in front of his Seligman barbershop. (Photos by the author)

The longest stretch of genuine old U.S. Route 66 is in western Arizona, running 90 lonely miles from Seligman to Kingman alongside the tracks of the Burlington-Northern-Santa Fe. Railroads came in the late 19th century, and automotive roads followed in the early 20th. In Seligman lives Angel Delgadillo, who was born there 88 years ago and has been instrumental in preserving the legend of old 66.

2. Arkansas

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
2. Arkansas: Clem took the picture, tested the depth, and rode across.

The riding around the Buffalo National River in the Ozark Mountains provides endless amusement, and many chances to wash the dust off your wheels. The Newton County seat of Jasper, on State Route 7, provides a focal point, and little roads go off in every direction, including through the Ozark National Forest. A word to the wise: If you are faced with fording a river, best to walk the distance first, just so you don’t end up with a flooded bike.

3. California

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3. California: Looking north toward Bixby Bridge from Hurricane Point.

The Big Sur Highway, carved out of the coast along the Santa Lucia Range for a hundred miles between Cambria and Carmel, is my own favorite road, being almost in my backyard. It’s an all-year ride, presuming that winter rains do not cause landslides. Two lanes with an uncountable number of curves, the mountains on one side, the surf frothing along the short on the other. Don’t try sightseeing from the moving motorcycle; stop and then look, it’s safer.

4. Canada

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
4. Canada: A beautiful day on the Cabot Trail, with the Gulf of St. Lawrence off to the left.

Go way, way east to Nova Scotia, and there at the tip of Cape Breton Island is Cape North, the farthest you can ride on the North American continent, 3,922 Mapquest miles from San Diego. The road looping around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park is called the Cabot Trail (after the 15th-century explorer John Cabot), and in good weather the 135-mile loop is one of the more divine rides on the continent. Bad weather? Don’t go.

5. Colorado

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5. Colorado: Crossing the rickety bridge over the Crystal River.

Schofield Pass (10,707 feet) is not for the faint of heart, being one of the toughest rides in the Rocky Mountains. Back in the 1880s, when silver was king, the 5-mile Gothic Road was built between the mining sites in Marble and Crested Butte, much of it merely a shelf blasted out of the mountainside that just drops straight down into the Crystal River Canyon. It’s a dangerous ride, and only the really, really competent should try it (according to Wikipedia, the pass has claimed 12 lives).

Related Story: Riding 60 Paved Colorado Passes in Nine Days

6. Georgia

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6. Georgia: Beautiful forest, thousands of curves—who could ask for more?

The Chattahoochee National Forest is one of the great motorcycle playgrounds, and the Two Wheels of Suches Motorcycle Campground & Lodge is the place to stay. Founded in the early 1980s by Frank and Jeanie Cheek, the original Two Wheels Only (T.W.O.) Motorcycle Resort hosted well over half a million motorcyclists. T.W.O. closed down in 2011, and the property was later purchased by motorcycle enthusiast and local resident Bill Johnston, who expanded and renovated the facility. It re-opened as Two Wheels of Suches in 2014. There are hundreds of miles of two-lane roads to ride, including the Georgia Triangle: diabolically twisty Wolf Pen Gap Road (State Route 180), State Route 60 and U.S. Route 129, to name but a few.

7. Hawaii

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
7. Hawaii: Waimea Canyon Drive is a great ride with great views.

For my money, the most fun and least populated island in the archipelago/state of Hawaii is Kauai—and motorcycle rentals are available. There are only about a hundred miles of paved road on the island, which covers some 550 square miles. However, the 20-mile run up Waimea Canyon Drive to the 4,000-foot Kalalau Lookout in the Kokee State Park makes at least one day’s rental essential. The ride is best done early in the morning, before the tourist get out.

Related Story: Moto Aloha: Motorcycle Touring on Oahu

8. Idaho

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8. Idaho: If I had a fishing permit and a rod I could probably catch supper.

The 160-mile Salmon River Scenic Byway runs along State Route 75 and U.S. Route 93 from the southern terminus of Stanley, in the Sawtooth Mountains, up the Continental Divide crossing at 7,014-foot Lost Trail Pass on the Idaho/Montana state line. The river is this great north-flowing cascade of water, paralleling much of the route, shared by fisherfolk and rafters. The forests are full of moose and elk and deer, so best be wary, especially at dawn and dusk.

Related Story: Riding the Alps of Idaho

9. Italy

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9. Italy: Looking down the northeast side of Stelvio Pass—very twisty.

The 9,045-foot Stelvio Pass may be the most famous pass in the Alps for motorcyclists, with 48 hairpin turns on the northeast side and a lot of curves and tunnels on the southwest slope. The road from Bormio to Prato alla Stelvio is about 30 miles, and was built back in the 1820s to enhance trade. Nowadays it caters mainly to motorcyclists and bicyclists (a hardy lot), with some cars and a few tour busses.

Related Story: The Ultimate Alps with Edelweiss Bike Travel

10. Kansas

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10. Kansas: U.S Route 36 passes close by the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states.

If you want to take a 1950s trip across the Great Plains, take U.S. Route 36 across Kansas, about 400 miles from the Missouri River to St. Francis as the eagle flies. Back 150 years ago, much of this road was a major route for wagon trains and even, briefly, the Pony Express. Nowadays it offers the best of small-town America, with friendly folk serving up eggs and homemade sausage in the cafés, and clean and inexpensive motels when you need to sleep.

Related Story: Solitude and Scenery: Riding West Kansas

11. Maine

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11. Maine: Up close with a moose in Boothbay.

U.S. Route 1/State Route 3 from Bath to Bar Harbor is only about 120 miles, but if you ride along all the little side roads the trip could take you a week. A dozen or more peninsulas reach south into the Atlantic Ocean from the main road, and they all have roads that are well worth exploration, whether it is to Boothbay or Port Clyde or Stonington. Good people will greet you, and the food is excellent—presuming you like fish and lobster.

Related Story: Riding Maine’s Rugged, Winding Coast

12. Massachusetts

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12. Massachusetts: Looking down on the town of Adams from the top of Mount Greylock.

The Mohawk Trail, otherwise known as State Route 2, runs 40 miles west from Greenfield across the Berkshire Mountains to Williamstown. This is a short ride, but the trail has dozens of little side routes to places like the 5-mile Hoosac railroad tunnel, an engineering marvel in the 1870s, or to the top of Mount Greylock, which at 3,491 feet is the highest point in the state, offering stunning views.

Related Story: Dead Reckoning | Touring Western Massachusetts

13. Mexico

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13. Mexico: If it has rained recently, be prepared for some wet crossings.

Copper Canyon figures large in the minds of those who want to take a trip to Mexico—and it should, as it is a lot larger than the Grand Canyon. The independent travelers can take a ride on their own down to the colonial mining town of Batopilas, or one can opt for a guided tour with a vehicle to carry the baggage. Most riders use Batopilas as a turnaround point, but the truly adventurous can leave the canyon by fording two big rivers on their way to Urique.

14. Mississippi

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14. Mississippi doesn’t allow gambling on dry land, but on a riverboat it’s OK.

The Natchez Trace Parkway runs 450 miles from Natchez, Mississippi, to Nashville, Tennessee, and the most fun is down where it starts alongside the Mississippi River. There is gambling and drinking and all sorts of goings-on down on Silver Street, just like 150 years ago when the riverboat fellows would get paid off and go and have a good time before making the long walk home up the Trace.

15. Missouri

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
15. Missouri: The Gateway Arch in St. Louis stands 630 feet high, and 630 feet across at the base.

A hundred-mile portion of the Great River Road runs on the west side of the Mississippi River from St. Louis northwest to Hannibal, and it is a cheerfully slow road to ride. St. Louis is a big, bustling city, but as soon as you turn onto State Route 79 that is all left behind. You can ride out to see three of the river’s dams and locks, browse through some 50 antique stores and art galleries along the way, and end up in Tom Sawyer’s hometown.

16. Montana

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
16. Montana: Up on top of Glacier National Park at Logan Pass.

The 50 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Highway in Glacier National Park is best tackled early in the morning before the motorhomers get up and clog the road. And the quasi-inevitable construction crews start their work, as they have a short season to keep the road in good repair. From Logan Pass and the Continental Divide, at 6,647 feet, are great views from 10,052-foot Mount Jackson in the south to 10,479-foot Mount Cleveland in the north.

Related Story: Motorcycle Tour of Glacier, Yellowstone and Teton National Parks

17. Nevada

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17. Nevada: Looking east 15 miles from the town of Tonopah to the Monitor Range.

U.S. Route 6 through the Silver State is the true loneliest road—U.S. Route 50 has probably five times more traffic. U.S. 6 runs roughly 250 miles from Montgomery Pass near the California border to the town of Ely, over in the eastern part of Nevada. It’s all high desert, over 6,000 feet, as the road crosses the Great Basin, with hardly a curve to be found. Once you get to Ely you can continue on U.S. 6 all the way to Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod.

Related Story: Nevada’s Loneliest Road…and it isn’t U.S. 50

18. New Hampshire

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
18. New Hampshire: A fun ride…if the weather is cooperating.

Every motorcycle rider should run up the Mount Washington Auto Road at least once—though one might have to try several times as the road is closed when the weather is acting up. Which it often does; it took me three tries to get to the top of the 6,288-foot mountain. The 7.6-mile road first opened in 1861, and the toll-ticket (in 2015) is $16 for a motorcycle and operator, plus another $8 for a passenger. In June, two “Ride to the Sky” days are offered—for motorcyclists only.

Related Story: Riding the Best of the White Mountains in New Hampshire

19. New Mexico

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
19. New Mexico: If you don’t mind a little dirt-road riding you can see Shiprock up close.

Taking the back way from the town of Shiprock, New Mexico, to Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona along Indian Route 13 is a beautiful ride. Out there in the middle of the desert is Shiprock itself, named by the emigrants with the 8-mile-a-day Conestoga wagons because it looked, from a distance, like a ship at full sail, as it reaches nearly 1,600 feet above the desert floor.

Related Story: Riding Central New Mexico

20. New York

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20. New York: It’s a hazy day, but that is Lake Champlain in the distance.

The run up Whiteface Mountain is an absolute must. State Route 431 is a short 8-mile road, off State Route 48, with a toll to get in, but the rewards are tremendous, especially if you make the effort to walk, or take the elevator (I kid you not), to the very top, giving you a view across hundreds of square miles of upstate New York, all the way to Lake Champlain. This is at the north end of the Adirondack Park, easily accessible from Lake Placid or Saranac Lake.

Related Story: History, Horses and Heavenly Roads: Touring Upstate New York

21. New Zealand

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
21. New Zealand: Clem making a bungee jump at the Kawarau Bridge near Queenstown.

Two big islands make up this country, and I find that the South Island can provide me with endless motorcycling pleasure. There are few people, little traffic and great roads through great scenery—the New Zealand Alps, Milford Sound and the ever-entertaining resort town of Queenstown, where you can jetboat or bungee jump. Being on the same southerly latitudes as the United States is northerly, it’s a great place for a winter vacation.

Related Story: Motorcycle Travel in New Zealand with Edelweiss Bike Travel

22. North Carolina

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
22. North Carolina: Down on Ocrakoke Island, sandy lanes go off to deserted beaches.

Taking State Route 12 the 90 miles from Kitty Hawk to Ocracoke includes a couple of ferries, which is all to the good. Most of the real estate falls in the purview of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, so habitations are few. Most tourists congregate around the northern towns, like Kill Devil Hills, where the Wright brothers flew their airplane in 1903, so I advise the motorcyclist to go south, where there are unimpeded roads and views.

Related Story: Riding ‘Shine Country: The Tail of the Dragon and North Carolina’s Moonshiner 28

23. Oregon

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
23. Oregon: Up near Crown Point, with Interstate 84 and the river below.

The Historic Columbia River Highway is a class ride; this old road (and it is old, being built between 1913 and 1922) runs for 15 miles between Corbett and Dodson. It was built to attract all those folk who drove a Model T or rode an Indian PowerPlus, winding up to 700 feet at Crown Point. Today the trucks and motorhomes are all down on Interstate 84, whereas this original has been well-maintained as a scenic route.

Related Story: Riding the Cascades and the Coast in Oregon

24. Pennsylvania

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24. Pennsylvania: You may never get another chance to ride ferry like this.

The Millersburg Ferry is certainly an old-fashioned way to cross the Susquehanna River. Ferry service began operation in 1807, with the stern-wheel paddle ferryboat coming along about a hundred years later. This contraption conveys people and vehicles across the river from Millersburg to near Liverpool, with a motorcyclist paying $7 for himself and machine, an additional $3 if there is a passenger (in 2015). This is a fine piece of living history.

Related Story: The Pennsylvania Wilds

25. Peru

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
25. Peru: Dropping down the east side of the Andes Mountains into the Amazon basin.

South America is a big place, and for my money Peru is the most interesting country to go to, with stupendous geography and fascinating history. To ride east from Pisco (home to the Pisco sour) on the coast through to Cusco high in the Andes and back down to Manu National Park in the Amazon basin is more than 700 rugged miles. Sorry, no road goes to the fabled Macchu Pichu; from Cusco, it’s a walk, take a train, or go by helicopter.

Related Story: Where the Road Ends: Alaska to Argentina Via the Darien Gap

26. Portugal

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
26. Portugal: Porto’s docks are on the south side of the river, the city on the north.

Following the Douro River the hundred miles from Peso de Regua to Porto, on the Atlantic Ocean, is to relish the past. Roads run along either side of the river, often high up, and little cafés offering tripe dishes are in every town—as is the famous port wine, a sweetish wine, both red and white, that the British made famous 200 years ago. Down at the mouth of the river the city of Porto has great history and even better tasting rooms.

Related Story: IMTBike’s Portugal & Southern Spain Tour

27. South Dakota

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
27. South Dakota: That’s the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the background.

The Black Hills are definitely worth having a look at, covering some 5,000 square miles in the southwest corner of South Dakota. If you like to share the roads with 100,000 other bikes, go during the annual Sturgis rally in August. I recommend that all motorcyclists witness the event at least once. For a more leisurely approach to the history and beauty of the area, go some other time of year.

Related Story: Chasing Black Hills Gold: Great Roads in South Dakota

28. Switzerland

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
28. Switzerland: Back when this bridge was built, it was built to last.

There are three ways to get from Airolo to Andermatt. One is to take the 10-mile road tunnel under the 6,900-foot St. Gotthard Pass, another the relatively new road over the pass, or better yet, take the old road. This was a footpath as long ago as the 13th century, became a road that a carriage could use in 1775, and was paved with cobblestones in the late 19th century. Today that old road is definitely the most interesting way for a motorcyclist to get over the pass.

Related Story: Edelweiss Bike Travel Touring Center Alps | Tour Review

29. Texas

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
29. Texas: You can belly up to this bovine, and then go in and eat a lot of beef.

The Big Texan Steak Ranch is in Amarillo, built 50 years ago to cater to the traffic going by on old U.S. Route 66. The Panhandle is the easiest way to cross the Lone Star State as it is only 180 miles wide, with Interstate 40 being the fast route, old U.S. 66 the slow. That free 72-ounce steak is a real deal—if you can eat it all in one hour. The restaurant says that more than 40,000 people have tried, and the success rate is about 1 in 6; I usually pay for the 8-ounce sirloin.

Related Story: Twisted Sisters: The Texas Hill Country’s Most Famous Trio

30. Tibet

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
30. Tibet: We’re at Gyatso Pass, 17,225 feet above the Indian Ocean.

Riding the Friendship Highway 800 miles from Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, is a very adventurous trip, being mostly a dirt road, often mud, going up over half-a-dozen very high passes, 16,000 feet or more. Several motorcycle tour companies have, in the past, run trips along this road, but much depends on the current state of political affairs between China and the Tibetan people.

Related Story: Himalayan Adventure: Touring the Upper Mustang on Royal Enfields

31. Utah

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
31. Utah: An early flurry of snow dusted Cedar Breaks on this trip.

After the inevitable crowds at Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, it is nice to find a stunningly beautiful and under-visited Cedar Breaks National Monument just a few miles away. My favorite way to get there is taking State Route 14 (Markagaunt High Plateau Scenic Byway) east from Cedar City, and after cresting Midway Summit at 9,900 feet, take a left onto State Route 148 (Cedar Breaks Scenic Byway) which runs into the monument. Leaving, I take State Route 143 east toward Panguitch, a very hospitable town.

Related Story: (Mis)Adventures on the Utah Backcountry Discovery Route (BDR)

32. Vermont

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
32. Vermont: We’ve got a couple sandwiches in the trunk and are looking for a good place to have lunch.

State Route 100 runs the length of the state, but the best stretch is the 130 miles between Waterbury (home to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream) and Wilmington, a mostly two-lane road that runs along the east side of the Green Mountain National Forest, and half of the fun is taking the little side roads that run over places like Appalachian Gap and Lincoln Gap. The region offers lots of rustic beauty and the occasional general store that makes great deli sandwiches.

Related Story: Riding Vermont’s Route 100 From Massachusetts to Memphremagog

33. Virginia

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
33. Virginia: Stopping at one of the many overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a view eastward.

More than 200 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway runs through western Virginia, and it is a ride that every motorcyclist should do at least once. This 469-mile road along the crest of the southern Appalachian Mountains between Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks was essentially a WPA project during the Great Depression, and proof that good things can come out of bad times.

Related Story: Riding Virginia’s Crooked Road and Blue Ridge

34. Washington

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34. Washington: This stretch of old U.S. Route 2 has been bypassed by a new strip of asphalt.

Crossing the Cascades on U.S. Route 2, from Snohomish to the pseudo-Bavarian ski-resort town of Leavenworth, is a delightful way to add 100 miles to your bike’s odometer. From sea level the road climbs up to 4,056 feet at Stevens Pass, then descends toward the Columbia River. Little side roads run into the Jackson Wilderness or Alpine Lakes Wilderness, with camping along well-named sites like Icicle Creek—yes, it is cold.

Related Story: Two Lanes of Western Washington—Sport Touring in the Evergreen State

35. Wyoming

35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides Clement Salvadori Rider Magazine
35. Wyoming: A troop of motorcyclists descends from Beartooth Pass, going west.

Beartooth Pass (10,947 feet) provides some very stimulating riding. I like to stay in the town of Cody, Buffalo Bill’s old stomping grounds, and head out over Dead Indian Pass (8,071 feet) on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (State Routes 120/296). Is there a Dead White Man Pass somewhere? Then hang a right onto U.S. Route 212 and climb up over the Beartooth Mountains on a road that was opened in 1936—unforgettable!

Related Story: Beartooth Forever: a Father-Daughter Ride to Yellowstone


  1. I’m sure these are amazing rides and roads… But a bucket list must have the KKH on to do list.

    The highest altitude paved International highway, on the Karakoram mountains

    Thousands of twisties… Numerous lakes(dudiputsar lake, mahudand lake, saif-ul-muluk lake, lulusar lake, atabad lake, ansoo lake, shangrilla lake etc.)

    Babusar pass(13700 feet).. Kalapani… Deosai… Burzil… Skardu…Hunza

    These are just a few places en route… And by far the most breath taking places I have ever seen… People forget the Swiss alps on this mountain range.

    Maybe these names are just new and unexplored by many but google and you will find abundant pictures.

    PS. Not my intention to undermine the effort and thoughts put in by the writer/composer.

  2. Hopefully the road up whiteface mnt in NY is better. 5 yrs ago the road moguls were so bad I joked I should have ridden my dirt bike rather than the cruiser!

    • We went there for a KTM press launch earlier this year. Yes, Gran Canaria (as well as Lanzarote and Tenerife) are fantastic motorcycling destinations!

  3. Umm Nova Scotia is on the EAST coast of Canada…. if you go “way west” as you suggest, you will be in British Columbia, the opposite side of the country

  4. Not sure how to get to Nova Scotia by heading “way, way West”—the last time I checked the sun rose in the East and that is where that wonderful province is—East from anywhere on the North American continent. Fog was invented there, so be prepared. But regardless of the weather, the people are motorcycle-friendly and the food is filling.

  5. I am only 61 and been riding for many years. Been to a lot of places on my bike. So was excited to see the 35 and how many I have been on. Disappointed it was only two! After having a hard down a few years back and losing my bike. I cant wait to recover financially to get that new bike and try to make the other 33 on this list!!

  6. Farthest you can ride in North America? Anchor point, ak (west). Prudhoe Bay, also (north). Lodge bay, Labrador. I’m sure some of our readers/riders have been there

  7. The pre-sunrise colors at Meat Cove on the northern tip of Cape Breton Island were the most spectacular I have seen. Be sure to ride the Cabot Trail in both directions. The Pacific Coast Highway is incredible if you’re from the east .

  8. Not sure why Alaska wouldn’t make your list? We have over a week’s worth of the most incredible, cool, scenic riding. 20 hours of rideable daylight in summer, very diverse landscapes from vast ocean views to the highest majestic peaks in North America. Not to mention abundant wildlife viewing. Except for occasional road construction, the highway conditions are great. You could do an entire article on riding in the Last Frontier!

  9. Starting in British Columbia do not miss this circuit: Vancouver to Lilliouet then down to Merrit about 400k without a straight section then instead of taking the connector to Kewlona or the Coquihalla Highway south to Hope BC unless you want to do more going east along the lovely highway 3 you could go south by just taking twisting 5a to Princeton then head east to Penticton or Osoyoos and head north thru Kewlona to Vernon and on to Lumby BC, gas up and then head east over the Monashee Mountains to Nakusp and on to Nelson BC. Then south to the usa to meet highway 20 and head back west thru Republic and Winthrop Wash over the Cascade Mtns to the coast just a little south of Vancouver. This is a few day circuit, check your maps with no super highways, no boring stretches, just ocean, curves mountains, lakes, curves and forests, even a desert. And little traffic. Not to be missed check your travel guides and images. A couple of thousand kms.

    • Love that route! I do some variation of it every couple of years. Usually in early Oct. Fires have caused issues in recent years. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for this year.

  10. Tasmania !

    They say that the creator had lots of left over roads, so he crammed them into Tasmania.

    Little traffic, good cambers and surfaces, no straight bits..


  11. sea to sky highway vancouver canada to whistler canada. breathtaking. bass lake calif, through yosemite national park and out 120 to sonora calif in the winter.

  12. What a list! I am 67 and got my license when I was 50. Rode Harleys, Ultra Classic and a Road King and one year Gold Wing. I have ridden more than 90K miles in the USA. I have checked off the bucket list, 16 places. Every state was more beautiful than I could have imagined. Rode Rt66 from Chicago to LA four times. Great Memories.

  13. In Texas there are the 3 Twisted Sisters in the hill country (FM 335 336 and 337), and El Camino del Rio (FM170) between Lajitas and Presidio to mention the top 4 paved roads in the state. So, where do you pick to put for Texas in the 35 bucket list? An over rated touristy piece of highway kitsch, located on what is probably the most boring section of interstate in the country if not the straightest. That selection makes me doubt any other selection on the list that I’m not already familiar with.

    • Yep!!! I’ve done the sisters and river road. Way better than 40. The author just hasn’t been to Big Bend or the Hill Country yet.

  14. This article is AWESOME! I’ve already tackled four of these excellent routes. Planning another expedition next Spring, a ride to Maggie Valley, NC over to Georgia. Thanks for publishing this!

  15. Portugal was awesome. Since my mom was born there and her/my relatives still live there, I’ve visited all my life. But back in 2012 I flew over and rented a BMW GS650F from Lisbon and went out discovering the country alone for a week. I would occasionally stay with relatives or campgrounds. Man, lots of great twisty asphalt roads and way out there dirt roads. This is ADV heaven. Sierra Da Estrella is a moto playground.

  16. If you are going to Eastern Canada, keep going to the most easterly part of North America, the beautiful province of Newfoundland. The people are wonderful and so is the scenery.

    In Colorado one must ride The Million Dollar Highway. One must not forget about Pikes Peak and Mt Evans.

    So many beautiful places in North America to ride!

  17. I can’t believe that you left out Tennessee altogether. What with the TAIL OF THE DRAGON,DIAMOND BACK, THE RATLER, THE SNAKE, AND THE BACK OF THE DRAGON. Not to mention the Cheraholla Skyway. And several other roads that have no name that boarder Tennessee and North Carolina. Some of the most twisted and hairpin turns that I have ever encountered.

  18. Your rides seem to be about the scenery, and if that’s why you ride, then that’s great, but what about the Tail of the Dragon in Tennessee or the Million Dollar Highway in Colorado. I know that everyone rides for different reasons, but for those of us who love the curvy roads, this article was such a disappointment.

    • You got it right! Several years back I wrote a ‘favorite ride’ piece for Rider on the Three Sisters so I know they know about it! And where is the Million Dollar Highway? Please, the steak place in Amarillo or the MDH? I’ll take the ‘dollar’ any day!

      • The Million Dollar Highway is part of the incredible Alpine Loop. I live in Durango and you can access it from here or Marcos a few miles west. Durango-Silverton-Ouray-Ridgeway- Telluride- Rico- Dolores-Mancos-Durango. Spectacular one day ride or two days with a stop at one of the hot springs in Ouray or Ridgeway. This is all paved and not just for off readers. Enjoy when you can!

  19. Great list. But the brief passage on New Zealand did little justice to the place that was made for riding. It’s a must to spend 2 or 3 months once in a riders life. Riders Heaven. Mostly ocean side, twisting, pothole free. I’d live there if I could!

  20. Route 66 extends into southern Indiana and is a very beautiful road through the rolling hills of the state with many curves and vast forest to enjoy. If you ever get a chance to ride from Evansville to the Louisville metro are you will enjoy.

  21. The Tunnel of Trees is worth the ride up to Northern Michigan and runs from Harbor Springs to Cross Village. Lots and lots of some very tight twisties, unbelievable scenery, especially in the fall and great views of Lake Michigan.

  22. Another must ride in the Alps is the Grossglockner High Alpine Road in Austria. It’s privately owned and there is a toll but worth every penny

  23. The number one motorcycle destination in the country according to the Department of Transportation website is not even on the list. “The Tail of the Dragon” in Tennessee at the NC border.
    318 curves in 11 miles with no intercepting roads.

  24. I guess no one ever invited you to Ohio, Mr. Salvatore. Southern And southeastern Ohio are a rider’s paradise. One area in the Hocking Hills, north of Athens, is where Car & Driver magazine brings cars for a test drive, or a “thorough butt-whooping” if you ever drove or rode those twisty hilly roads. There are many beautiful (and technical) stretches of highway in the area, some long & some short, that offer challenging riding, light traffic, excellent surface conditions & beautiful Midwestern scenery. Consider this your personal invitation to come to Ohio and discover the wonderful riding available here. Feel free to contact me and I will personally guide you to some of my favorite places. (I too ride an ST1300 and am a little grey around the muzzle. ????)

  25. Great list, I have completed all those rides and some several times with the exception of those out of the country. We can all ad more of our favorite, some of mine would be in the Yukon and Alsaka but all in all Clement very cool stuff.

    Michael Farabaugh

  26. All but 6 and though I haven’t ridden in Portugal I have driven there. Will have to do something about that going down the road???? BTW … The Isle of Man is a super nifty place to ride.

  27. So, a Bucketlist of 35 destinations, and only 5 of them not in the USA? Not much of a Bucketlist. I’ve ridden most of Europe and the US, and many destinations in Africa and Asia, and I can tell you US roads are the most boring, and mostly for cool HD cruising in a lazy speed.

    At best this Bucketlist lacks ambition.

  28. Sheesh, will you whiner trolls just relax? Of COURSE there are many many more beautiful roads to ride than what can be put in a reasonable article.
    Don’t put Dago down for omitting your faves, just go ride the ones you haven’t seen yet and that will make you smile and stop complaining.

    As much as I have traveled I still enjoy reading hints of other places, or things to see on the roads I have ridden that I may have passed.

  29. I understand that the list is limited and there are endless great roads. But to include Rt 12 on the Outer Banks while missing so many great roads, is ludicrous. It’s a great place for a vacation, but it’s NOT a motorcycle destination.

    Also, Stelvio Pass in Italy needs to go in favor of almost any other mountain road in the Dolomites that doesn’t break up the flow of a nice road with switch backs (speed bumps).

    Here’s one that definitely should have made the list. It makes almost everyone’s list.
    Transfargaran highway in Romania. It does have a few switchbacks, but it’s also over 50 miles long.

  30. Back in 1996 I strapped a tent and sleeping bag onto a rented BMW F650 in Sydney, Australia and rode a 6,000 mile loop around the eastern half of Aus. Some roads were great, some were boring, but it was really the best moto tour I’ve ever done.
    For 20 years, I’ve wanted to go back to Australia, and ride a loop around the western half. Maybe some day…

  31. This year my Wife and I completed a life long tour of North America. In Aug.2019 we crossed into the North West Territories. As we stood at the sign welcoming us, My wife started to cry. We now had ridden our Motorcycle to every Province, Territory and State in North America. All starting from the Kingston Ontario area and never trailered our bike anywhere. Took almost 30 years of two week vacations to complete all of North America. The trip to Alaska, Yukon and NWT. was a 4 week trip and the one to California was a 3 week trip. In 2016 I was told I would never ride again after a “distracted driver” went through a stop sign and I was badly hurt and my leg and arm almost ripped off.. Nine surgeries later I started to dream about riding again. Not only did I ride again, but rode the Top of the World highway and the Dempster highway on a 2017 goldwing with my wife. Which are Gravel!! LOL Doctor’s just don’t understand that “You can’t” doesn’t apply when you love riding more than even pain can stop! I have ridden almost all the North American roads mentioned here except the Millersburg Ferry… Well there is always next season to do it.. BTW I have no favorites they are all beautiful in there own way.. Although going through Toronto, LA, New York city and Chicago during rush hour kinda suck…. Take Care

  32. I’ve been riding for over 60 years now, 5 years in the dirt, 55 years paved, dirt roads and four wheel drive roads all in the Western United States, I still haven’t been on all the roads and that was on my bucket list, I find it incredible and wonderful to see so many other places people have been able to experience, not to sure about riding Texas though, to far between the twisties😁

  33. Nice article, but dude needs to go to South Africa, or broader horizons beyond North America. The western cape is stunningly beautiful, with roads for every appetite. I can’t wait to ride a 1200 GS there and be able to do both road and adventure riding. Beware – stopping frequently to take in the sights is the only safe way to drive! (And the food and wine are out of this world)

  34. I was surprised to see I only ‘captured’ 12 of the 35. But I’ve ridden a number of those that were suggested by other readers so I consider my bucket list better than Salvador’s! Sorry bud!

  35. Kinda sad the Big Texan steakhouse and I 40 were picked for Texas. The only reason to hit Amarillo is for the businesses on old RT66. (support them plz)
    Otherwise Texas riders avoid that area like the Plague…. er, the COVID 19 Virus!

  36. It’s clear that any Bucket List (no matter how lengthy) will miss rides that are truly memorable. Western North Carolina contains several in this category that Rider has noted over the years, including The Tail of the Dragon and the Cherohala Skyway. Thanks for the new suggested rides that I will add to my personal Bucket list.

  37. Reading all the comments about the roads not on the list tells me that after 60 years of riding , I would need another 60 to run out of great roads!

  38. The author not only describes the challenges and highlights of the trip, but also offers helpful tips for other would-be adventurers. This is an enjoyable and inspiring read for anyone who loves to travel or ride motorcycles.

  39. Another great contribution Clement. Keep em coming! And thanks for your service to our country.
    Chaplain Bob American Legion Post 107

  40. The ultimate guide to thrilling adventures on two wheels. From winding coastal roads to mountain passes, these rides offer the ride of a lifetime. Get ready to experience the freedom of the open road

  41. Wow, these “35 Bucket List Motorcycle Rides” sound exhilarating! I can’t wait to embark on these thrilling adventures, from cruising the Pacific Coast Highway to conquering the Tail of the Dragon. Each ride promises breathtaking scenery and unforgettable memories. Time to rev up those engines and check off these epic journeys! 🏍️


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