We asked a handful of throttlers about their favorite motorcycle routes and the bikes they take on them. What they told us started out with directions – but veered into hard-won road wisdom.
Ewan McGregor's Highlands Ramble
Endpoints: John O'Groats, Scotland, and Gairloch, Scotland
Distance: 210 miles
Estimated Time: 5 hours
Bike: 1971 Moto Guzzi Police Ambassador
Engine: 750cc V-twin (850cc, modified)
In his words: "On a trip with my friend Charley Boorman down to Cape Town in 2007, we had the most extraordinary off-road riding through northern Ethiopia. Still, I think the most beautiful riding anywhere is on the small single-track roads – B routes, and some high-numbered A routes – of the Highlands, in the northwest of Scotland. If you meet someone coming the other way, you could be in trouble, but that adds to the excitement. The scenery is stunning. It's very often raining, but if you get a good day, there's nothing like riding in the fresh Scottish air. My everyday bike is a 1971 Moto Guzzi Police Ambassador. If I'm going with my dog, Sid, I'll take my 2009 desert-colored Ural – the sidecar bike that the Russians have been making since the Second World War."
McGregor and actor-adventurer Charley Boorman filmed their long-distance motorcycle odysseys for the 'Long Way Round' and 'Long Way Down' television documentary series. McGregor will star in 'August: Osage County,' due out in December.
Credit: Patrick Fraser / Corbis Outline