Best Motorcycle Rides and Road trips in Taiwan

riding a motorbike at Hehuanshan taiwanCentral Cross-Island Highway, between Hehuanshan and Dayuling

Most memorable scooter / bike (or car, or bicycle) itineraries on Formosa! 

Riding with friends

With hundreds of kilometers of gorgeous coastline, a firerce mountain range that bisects the island from north to south, dozens of glorious valleys, dense forests, wild jungles, and one of the world's most spectacular gorges, it's not surprising that Taiwan offers some of the best riding experiences and adventures in the world!

harley davidson in taiwanMe, riding a Harley XR1200x on the North Cross-Island Highway

What's cool about riding in Taiwan

After riding every kind of bike around Taiwan for 17 years, the one thing I still find awesome and exciting (and unbelieavable) is the fact that pretty much nobody knows that Taiwan has world-class roads and some of the best scenery that exists on earth. It's been kept a secret, like so many other things on Formosa. When the secret will be out, Taiwan could become as popular as Thailan's Mae Hong Son Loop and the Golden Triangle Circuit, or the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Vietnam - both classic motorcycle rides in Asia. 

sun moon lake taiwan 日月潭台灣Sun Moon Lake in the central part of Taiwan

When I say "every kind of bike" I really mean every kind of bike. Since moving to Taiwan in 2000, I've owned at least 10 scooters, a Yamaha SECCA 1982, a Harley, two CB400, an FZ6, an FZ1, a GSX1400, a CB1300, a Ducati Monster 1100, I am now riding a 300cc Kymco scooter, and am planning to get a Honda NC750x (automatic) very soon. I love bikes! I live to ride!

Taiwan is my playground, I know it like the back of my hand, and I'd like to show you my favorite roads on the island, so that you can prepare your own motorbike trip.

Here's a list of the best motorcycle rides in Taiwan: 

1. Traverse the Central Cross-Island Highway

This road is the grand classic motorbike trip in Taiwan. It starts in Puli, a pretty uninteresting city on the west coast, then takes you right into the middle of the Central Mountain Range, at Hehuanshan, where you cross the range at more than 3000 meters, then ride into Taroko Gorge all the way to the Pacific Ocean on the other side of the island. Can be done in as little as 6 hours, but I highly recommend to break the journey in two days and make overnight stops at Hehuanshan or Tianxiang in the gorge.

Roads: 14, 14甲, 8, from Puli on the west coast to Xincheng at the end of Taroko. 

Central Cross-Island Highway in TaiwanCentral Cross-Island Highway

2. Ride through Taroko Gorge

Bridge in Taroko Gorge, near TianhsiangBridge in Taroko Gorge, near Tianhsiang
Taroko Gorge in Taiwan 太魯閣台灣One of the many tunnels in Taroko Gorge

3. Taiwan's East Coast / Highway 11

My old Yamaha Secca, just outside Hualien along the East Coast
Qingshui Cliffs, also part of Taroko National ParkQingshui Cliffs, also part of Taroko National Park
Jici BeachJici Beach
Highway 11, near Taitung

4. Kenting to Jialeshui

Southern tip of Taiwan
Beach in Kenting
Road to Jialeshui

5. Northeast Coast

Coastal Village near Fulong
Coastal Road #2
My XR1200x, chilling by the road while I had to take a photo (pee?) break

6. Orchid Island (Lanyu)

My friend Ben braves the rain on Orchid Island

7. Green Island (Ludao)

Riding around the island is a must-do for most tourists

8. Penghu Island

Ruby, looking cool on her rental-scooter
Riding is the best way to discover old buildings and ancient Chinese architecture on Penghu Island

9. Matsu Island

Many "roads" on Matsu are quite narrow like this one
My wife waits for me as I take pictures durig our road trip around Nangan Island, Matsu

10. Little Liuqiu Island

11. Ride around Sun Moon Lake

12. Maolin

13. South Cross-Island Highway

14. North Cross-Island Highway

15. Dayuling to Qilan (Road #7)

This road connects the Central Cross-Island Highway to the North Cross.

Road #21 in Nantou County

Sun Moon Lake to Alishan

Road 21, 18, 169 : Sun Moon Lake - Dongpu - Tatajia (Tataka) - Alishan - Zhiqi - Fenqihu

Riding the West coast - NOT COOL!

Heavy traffic on Taichung Boulevard
Normal weekday traffic in cities along the west coast is just like that
Taipei City is a maze you may want to avoid during your road-trip around Taiwan
Big bikes are allowed on some highways, but NOT on the main Freeways along the west coast

Riding in Taiwan - more than roads and scenery...

Chinese temple in Toucheng, East Coast
Dragon at a temple - East Coast
Taiwanese farmer in Nantou County

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