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!
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.
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 if you ride non-stop but I highly recommend you break the journey in two days and make overnight stops at Hehuanshan or Tianxiang in the gorge.
Bring warm clothes, rain gear, gloves, and make sure you fill your gas tank before crossing the high pass at Hehuanshan. You should only do this road trip on a proper, reliable scooter or motorcycle with decent tires and good breaks.
Roads: 14, 14甲, 8, from Puli on the west coast to Xincheng at the end of Taroko.
2. Ride through Taroko Gorge
If you don’t have the time to do the whole Central Cross-Island Highway, you could plan to “only” do this section from Xincheng to Tianxiang Village. Rich in both scenery and riding excitement, this epic journey is guaranteed to bring you tons of photo opportunities, and challenge your riding skills.
3. Taiwan’s East Coast / Highway 11
4. Kenting to Jialeshui
5. Northeast Coast
6. Orchid Island (Lanyu)
7. Green Island (Ludao)
8. Penghu Island
9. Matsu Island
10. Little Liuqiu Island
11. Ride around Sun Moon Lake
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.
16. Road #21 in Nantou County
17. Sun Moon Lake to Alishan
Road 21, 18, 169 : Sun Moon Lake – Dongpu – Tatajia (Tataka) – Alishan – Zhiqi – Fenqihu