The sun is out, the roads are finally dry and all you want to do is get on your motorbike and put some miles on the odometer. Europe is home to some of the world’s most beautiful country and coastal roads that make for scenic summer day or weekend trips. If you’re looking for a truly memorable motorbike journey this year, why not plan a road trip to one of Europe’s many events for motor lovers?
There’s something for everyone this year, whether you’re looking to get away for just a few days or a full week. We list 9 events that you should ride your motorbike too and places you can explore while you’re there:
Goodwood Festival of Speed – June 29 to Sunday, July 2
Chichester, West Sussex, UK
Possibly the UK’s most famous motor event, Goodwood has something for everyone, from motorbike lovers to car fanatics. The event is held on the beautiful and sprawling Goodwood Estate and offers a range of events from two-wheel Action Sports to F1 and Supercars.
Where to ride: While you’re in the area, take in some of the beauty the coast of the Southeast has to offer. Try mapping a seaside route to Brighton, Hastings, or even along to the White Cliffs of Dover.
Assen MotoGP – 23rd to 25th June 2017
Assen, The Netherlands
This Mecca for motorbike enthusiasts is held each summer at TT Circuit in Assen, and is renowned for it’s overwhelming atmosphere which draws thousands of fans from all over Europe. This year marks the 87th edition, with the Dutch TT being held on Sunday 25th June.
Where to ride: If you’re going to make the trek to Assen, allow yourself a few extra days to take in some of the beautiful scenery the Netherlands has to offer. Nearby Groningen, a vibrant and ancient city is well worth a visit, and of course, there’s always Amsterdam.
BMW Motorrad Days – 7th to 9th July 2017
Tucked away in the beautiful Bavarian mountains is Garmisch-Partenkitchen, a charming and picturesque resort town. Home to the 1936 Winter Olympics, the town is now also famous for BMW Motorrad Days, a must attend event for any BMW motorbike lover. The weekend offers not only the latest models and stunt shows, but also parties and live music.
Where to ride: Lake Walchen, one of the deepest and largest lakes in Germany is just a 30 minute ride from the show and Germany’s highest mountain peak, Zugspitze, is also a short ride away. If you’re an ambitious rider, you can plan a route through the Austrian Alps, just across the border.
DirtQuake – July 8th – 9th 2017
Kings Lynn, Norfolk, UK
DirtQuake is an alternative dirt frenzy festival, inviting any motor enthusiast to come and get in on the action. Now in its sixth year and scheduled to be televised, DirtQuake offers a unique opportunity for all attendees: bring any roadworthy bike of any type, and race it. If you’d prefer not to take part, there’s still plenty to see and do at this fuel-fest.
Where to ride: Bear in mind that if you’re bringing a bike to race at DirtQuake. It doesn’t need to be MOT’d or insured, but if you want to explore the area after the event. It will obviously need to meet standard road requirements. The miles of Norfolk coast offer excellent scenery. The Broads make for a scenic journey through wetlands and waterways.
Ulster GP – August 6th to 12th, 2017
County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Every year, just over 7 miles of public roads are closed off to create Dundrod Circuit. Just outside Belfast, this week-long event is the fastest road race and is comprised of several exciting events. Ending with the highlight – the MCE Ulster Grand Prix. The full 2017 schedule is to be announced, so keep an eye on the website for more details.
Where to ride: While you’re in Northern Ireland. Make sure you map a coastal route to the nation’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site, Giant’s Causeway.
Harley-Davidson European Bike Week – September 5th to 10th, 2017
Fakker See, Austria
With last year’s European Bike Week attracting 120,000 visitors from all over the world. 2017 is set to be even bigger. This weeklong event is the ultimate end to summer for any Harley enthusiast. Complete with live music (Black Stone Cherry headlines this year), retailers and Harley dealers.
Where to ride: The event itself is set in prime riding territory, with Lake Faaker See. Providing an excellent area to explore. Tour beautiful Alpine roads or plan a route around Dobratsch nature park.
Bol D’Or – September 15th to 17th, 2017
Le Castellet, France
This adrenaline fuelled event is the height of motorbike thrills. The main event is a twenty-four-hour motorcycle endurance race, testing drivers in the extreme. The full 2017 schedule of events will be announced in due course, so keep checking the website for further details.
Where to ride: Located in the South of France, the options are endless. Try mapping a coastal route through luxurious destinations like Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice and up to Monaco.
EICMA – November 9th to 12th, 2017
If you pride yourself on always being in the know of everything in the motorbike world. EICMA is the event for you. This annual motor trade event showcases all things new in the industry, with manufacturers debuting new and exciting models.
Where to ride: Spend a few days experiencing the culture of Northern Italy. By planning a loop route from Milan towards Venice on the coast, stopping in Verona on the way. From Venice, tour down the coast and visit the beautiful beaches of Rimini. Then head North through Bologna back to Milan.
Bologna Motor Show – December 2nd to 10th, 2017
Another excellent motor trade event showcasing the latest and greatest in cars and motorbikes. Famous for its motorsport exhibitions and competitions, it’s an ideal event for anyone obsessed with both two and four-wheel machines.
Where to ride: Head due south from Bologna to explore the beautiful medieval cities and countryside of Tuscany. This is another excellent option for an Italian loop tour, taking in Florence, Pisa, Genoa, and Parma.
Simon Colley writes on behalf of Motorcycle Spare Parts.