Motorcycling in the Swiss Alps

Riding a motorcycle over amazing roads and scenery is a rush.  The famous Swiss mountain passes that make up the “Pässe Karussell” Furka, Grimsel, Oberalp, Susten, Gotthard and Nufenen in the central part of Switzerland will not disappoint the biker.

Flüa Pass 2900

With their superb sweeping curves and vistas makes driving through Interlaken, Grindelwald, Engadin and the Ticino passing sparkling clear green mountain lakes and rivers unforgettable. Lake Geneva, Lake Neuchâtel, Lake Zug, Lake Maggiore, Lake Lugano, Lake Constance and Lake Lucerne offer magnaficant places to rest up and take in some of the clubs and restaurants.

Bernina Pass, Switzerland

View snow capped glaciers as you ride over hairpin curves of the Spluegen, Klausen and San Bernardino passes. Sweep around hair-raising hairpin curves above the tree line and down into the valleys; it is a motorcyclists dream.

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Ride through ancient villages with alpine vistas, rushing green mountain rivers, cows grazing on alpine pastures and village chalets with windowsills and gardens filled with flowers.

Bernina Pass

The regions have their own distinctive character and closely reflect the culture, language, cuisine and architecture of the French, Italian, German and Romanish styles.

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It is so peaceful that you can hear the sounds of the steeple bells chiming, the wind blowing and rivers flowing.


Whether you rent motorcycles or bring your own bike, the Alps offers glorious mountainous terrains rolling from one valley over mountain passes to another.


Do some sightseeing in lovely villages and even take some short hikes.  Small hotels can be found all over the mountain villages offering excellent clean and comfortable accommodations for very reasonable prices during the summer months.


“My Switzerland” presents suggestions for the motorcyclist who wants to go it alone, but there are many groups and clubs that offer group trips.

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Most freight is transported by rail but a big investment has also been made in transporting cars through mountain tunnels by rail. This is referred to as the “rolling highway” and reduces the amount of transport traffic on Swiss roads and pollution leaving the roads in the mountains almost free of truck traffic. Tour buses are allowed and sometimes have a difficult time navigating the curves.

The Swiss are very serious about road rules and speed limits with 120 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h on normal roads and inside tunnels are strictly enforced. A special sticker, known as the “Autobahn Vignette” is required and can be bought at customs offices or at the borders, service stations, garages and post offices. Buy it online at the Swiss Travel Office web site  (there are rules about where it should be placed on motorcycles). The Swiss are known to have some of the best and most expensive roads in the world and motorcyclists begin to show up as soon as the weather begins to improve and until the snow starts to fall. Celebrities discovered the beauty of motorcycling in Switzerland a long time ago. There are 650 thousand motorcycles in Switzerland not including biking tourists. One in twelve people in Switzerland owns a motorcycle making it more bikes per capita then anywhere else in Europe.

One word of warning, the roads are crowded in the summer especially at the borders and on weekends – so plan carefully! Be sure to check all the rules for motorcycling before you come. I’ve listed a few web sites where you can get more information on motorcycling in Switzerland.


~ by Patricia Turo on July 30, 2009.

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