3 Places to Ride Before You Diebutlermaps
The world is a big place and there lots of ways to see it, none better than from the seat of motorcycle if you ask us. We’ve been very fortunate here at Butler Maps to explore our country on two wheels, but our wanderlust knows no borders. In fact, we’ve found ourselves in all sorts of incredible places all over the world. In reflection of the places we’ve been, we have narrowed down three of our favorite places on earth to ride before you die. These are all places we’ve been on a bike, not just places we heard are good. They inspire for lots of reasons, their culture, the food, the topography and of course, the roads. We know it’s a big task to consider a trip beyond the US but give it a shot. There’s no better way to get a little perspective than to remove yourself from routine. In no particular order here is our list. Dream on!
If you live in the US you’ve probably been fed more than one dose of anti-Mexico cough syrup. It’s not all lies, but take it all with a grain of salt. Mexico, and especially Baja are spectacular beyond description. Ask any crusted SoCal dirt biker from the days of Malcom where their favorite place to ride is, 9 out of 1o will say Baja. But Baja is not just for the dirt worthy among us. True, there is not endlessly twisted tarmac, but that doesn’t matter, what Baja has is character. Fish tacos on the side of the road, mariachi bands, deserted beaches, cheap beer kinda character. You can feel it the second you cross the border and it only grows stronger the further south you ride. Remember ‘On Any Sunday’? Remember how it made you feel when you watched the heros of the era wheelie into the sunset on a desert beach? You can still do that in Baja. There are some tips and tricks to exploring Baja that we will share in another story but we hope this wets your whistle for what lurks beyond the southern border. Step out there and explore it. We promise it won’t suck.
Ahh, the mystery of the Orient. The culture is so different, the food so fishy, the wine so ricey (if thats even a word?). Japan is a modern country with fast trains, vending machines for everything and toilets that do more than you want them to. But, that’s only part of what makes Japan so awesome. The ridiculously twisty and smooth roads on the northern island of Hokkaido has a lot to do with it if you’re a biker. It’s not easy to get to, from Tokyo, it’s a long day or a few casual days ride north to the ferry terminal. From there it’s a short boat ride to what we can only describe as biker heaven. Volcanoes tower above lush forest, rivers and tiny villages. All connected by Motegi quality asphalt. The biker culture is strong here, just as you would expect from a country that houses Honda. We have absolutely no evidence of this but but it’s fun to believe that the sport bikes we lovingly accept from the big 4 Japanese brands are all tested on Hokkaido. It’s the perfect place for it. Maybe we will do a full fledged post devoted to Hokkaido but in the mean time, imagine yourself arcing turns around a jagged coast line and swapping stories with your buddies at the end of the day over a plate of sushi and sake.
Yes, it sounds like a long way away and it is, but its not impossible to get there, it’s just really really hard, and really really worth it if you do. There is perhaps no place we have ridden that has more mythic vibe than Mongolia. Camels, goats, ox, eagles and horses all roam freely and in mass quantity. There are no fences, no super highways, there’s hardly any pavement. The capital city of Ulaanbaatar is a bustling metropolis with the typical city energy, but move beyond the urban hustle just a few miles and you’ve arrived in a land that is the same now as it was when Genghis Kahn was doing his thing. Well, mostly anyhow, you will find the occasional yurt with a satellite dish but it’s still a yurt. Just like Baja, you will be much happier on an Adventure bike than a Harley here. Bring a tent and sleeping pad… or not, the locals are more than willing to let in a complete stranger, especially if you are on a motorcycle . You’ll just be sharing a room with 3 generations while passing a bowl of luke warm mare’s milk. Drink it, just hold your nose while you do.