Lucas, Yoyo and I wanted to go on a nice long ride over the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, so I rented a CB250RR..R? Not sure how many Rs, but a very, very sporty Honda CB. Plus, Lucas had just bought his KTM, so we had lots of reasons to get out. We started early, at 8am, and were planning on heading down through Wulai and exploring the entirety of a road that I only partially explored in a previous Wulai ride I had done.
Unfortunately, Wulai was “closed” according to the line of aunties that prevented us entry, which I sadly didn’t get on video. So, we had to turn around and explore some more. We ended up riding around a reservoir, and then Yoyo and I broke off and did a classic route along the 9 to Yilan and then back.
The video can be found on youtube.
The whole ride, including breaks and explorations, was from 8am to 5pm. I was on a Honda CB250RR, Lucas is on a KTM 390 Adventure, and Yoyo is on a Kawasaki Ninja 250.
On all map screenshots, North is up. The scale changes on every screenshot.
Bitan to Wulai took about 50 minutes. Then, we turned around and explored along a reservoir. That took about another hour.
While it was very beautiful, it didn’t make for very fast riding, as the road was often single lane and quite narrow, and even sometimes covered in wet leaves, moss, or gravel. Also, towards the top of a mountain, the road became so steep that even Lucas on his adventure bike got stuck.
Yoyo and I split off from Lucas in Bitan, and took the classic 9 to Pinglin. This is probably the most famous, and popular, motorcycle route in Taiwan, and is a must-ride for visitors. Getting to Pingling took about 40 minutes, though we stopped for a lunch break halfway through, as the entire route is covered with speed cameras that track average speed, so you have to stop and chill for a while to bring your average speed down before you exit an average speed zone. Luckily Yoyo has an app that tracks the location of the cameras and can also tell us our average speed in a certain zone.
After lunch, we followed the 9 down to Yilan, or technically, Toucheng. This is an excellent way to finish off the inner-mountain riding of the first part of the 9, as you ride large-radius switchbacks down the mountain. Great for practicing turns and leans!
We did a little exploring of Toucheng and some of the smaller mountain roads, but they as well ended up being too sketchy, so we headed north along the coast.
The coastal route is gorgeous, if a bit long. It took us about two hours, with breaks, to get from Yilan to SanDiaoJiao lighthouse. The lighthouse itself is a great place to take a break, as the view is phenomenal and there’s plenty of shade.
At this point we were pretty exhausted, so we decided not to ride further along the coast and instead take the “2 ding” (Yoyo’s naming convention) west towards Taipei. It took about two hours to get from the lighthouse back to Taipei. Importantly, we capped the ride off with taking the 109 in Taipei, which is a great fun little twisty road that affords good views. It’s really close to the city so is a good place to get a couple laps of practice in if you have some time in the middle of the day.
I left home at 8am and got home at 5pm, so the route really was perfect for an all day ride. It can of course be done a lot more quickly, but it was nice to take regular breaks and actually enjoy the views.
If you’re curious about riding motorcycles in Taiwan, feel free to email me, or see some of my other posts about motorcycling. If you’re curious about Taiwan in general, take a look at some posts specifically about Taiwan. I also write about programming.