I have been lucky enough to have traveled over most areas of mainland Scotland, in my life.  My involvement with the IAM meant I was all over the country with my motorcycle(s) and I became a point of reference for a good number of folk who wanted tips and advice about riding through Scotland... coming from abroad or closer to hand.

I enjoyed trying to help folk out and passing on my acquired knowledge.  When a friend of mine took over Motorrad Central, Edinburgh (originally Motorrad Central, Scotland, with branches in Bishopbriggs - Glasgow and Dalkeith - Edinburgh) part of the business was Rentamotorcycle.  I was involved in getting the rental side of the business going again in these early days with crude web design, limited rental fleet availability, no rider gear to hire and working out of a small area of the sales floor... Rentamotorcycle is now a slick, professionally run side of the business: super website; dedicated staff; wide range of new BMW motorcycles; organised and self-guided tours etc.  I am glad to have been involved a) helping out a friend b) getting the rental / tour business off the ground.  I should add, I have no business links to Motorrad Central, Edinburgh, other than my friend owns the business, I am friends with many of the staff and I appear to continue to buy bikes from them. 

Having stepped back from my IAM role in 2014 and with the arrival of grandchildren in 2016, my motorcycling miles dropped off from the 18 - 20,000 per year... though I hope to cover a few more miles at home and abroad, before I am that much older.  The advent of the NorthCoast 500 has meant many people have found out about the wonderful roads, countryside and folk in the north west of Scotland.  This is great but comes with a downside... finding deserted roads and ample overnight accommodation is now quite a challenge, depending on when one heads to the north west.

Bearing all this in mind I was delighted to learn of "The Motorcyclist's Guide to Scotland" written by John Fergusson.

The Motorcyclist's Guide to Scotland is the only guide book dedicated to exploring Scotland on a motorbike. 

Written by former BBC Scotland journalist, JG Fergusson – a lifelong biker who has ridden every road in the book (this book, anyway!) – The Motorcyclist’s Guide to Scotland features 30 exciting routes from the Solway coast to Shetland, and a suggested itinerary to tour the country in four days. The tour links with the individual routes to help you devise a bespoke tour if you can visit the country for longer. 

208 pages long, the guide will help you find the best roads to ride, top things to see, biker-friendly places to stop, great places to eat and it lists all the refueling opportunities along the way. Each route has a suggested reading list and a recommended soundtrack to keep you entertained while you ride. 

  • 30 individual routes

  • suggested itinerary for a 4-day tour of Scotland 

  • Turn-by-turn directions

  • Easy to follow road maps

  • What to see

  • Where to stay

  • Where to eat

  • Route-appropriate suggestions for music for your headset 

With chapters on Scotland’s motorcycle manufacturers, racing champions and inventors as well as riding etiquette and advice for visitors, this is a guidebook no home-based or visiting biker should be without.

The Pass of the Cattle

Just to get you in the mood... see, it doesn't always rain in Scotland.

FYI... the video's backing music is "Music Tree" by Heidi Talbot

John's book came out in late 2018 so it is pretty much up to date (April 2020) and as an accomplished author and journalist, he is able to describe the routes, places to see, things to do etc., far better than I could... so for the moment I won't bother itemising runs through Scotland.  I should point out, other than a love of motorcycling and Scotland, I have no association, business or otherwise, with John and my only reason for mentioning his guide, is a) it is good b) it means I can stop repeating myself when folk ask me about motorcycle toouring in Scotland... I can just point them in the direction of this guide.




This page will be updated... 


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