Scotland - A82

Road: A82 - Where: Scottish Highlands

Why do it?

It’s one of the UK’s, if not the world’s most iconic motorbike rides. The route runs through some of Scotland’s most stunning scenery and is a test on several levels whatever your riding skills. The route cuts through both the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, as well as running parallel with several world-famous lochs including Lomond and Ness.

Where does it go?

Running north west out of Glasgow along the A82 you follow the River Clyde on your left past Clydebank, before heading inland past Dumbarton and into the park. Here you’ll ride along the western edge of the loch, a ride that by itself is a one-in-a-lifetime experience, before existing the park just after Tyndrum.

The road then twists west again to pass the Glencoe skiing and mountaineering resort before crossing Loch Leven at North Ballachulish. The road then clings to the coast before turning north along the side of Loch Eil, then through Spean Bridge before running alongside Loch Lochy, past Invergarry Castle. Finally, you pass along Loch Ness in Inverness.

What to watch out for?

The most popular stretch of the route is from Crianlarich in the park, north to Glencoe. On this route, watch out for the big hairpin bend just after Tyndrum. The road then climbs after than so expect lower temperatures and stronger winds outside the spring and summer months.

And be careful as you pass through Bridge of Orchy – it’s where the West Highland Way crosses the A82 and can be busy in the warmer months.

There’s another hairpin bend just before the Loch Tulla Viewpoint. But overall beware of sudden stops – even though the area is very remote, it’s popular with bikers and people touring in cars, and jams do spring up at some of the main pinch points.

Top tip: It’s not unusual to have snow and ice on the road in the autumn and winter months – remember there are several ski resorts along the route. Leave plenty of room between yourself and the vehicle in front; in icy conditions your stopping distance can quadruple. 

 

The Swinton View on Riding the A82

Although motorcyclists make up just one per cent of road traffic, they account for nearly one in every five road-user deaths. Because you’re more vulnerable on the road riding a motorbike, it’s hugely important you take every precaution to stay safe.

Wear the right safety gear, know your route, plan for the weather, and give yourself plenty of time to finish your ride without rushing. It’s also vital that you’re fully insured and that your motorbike insurance policy covers everything you need it to. Enjoy the ride!

 

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