Community and events
3.9 million registered motorcycles
Germany has excellent roads and routes for bikers, and as one of the first countries to start producing motorcycles en masse, a robust biking culture to go with them. Some of the best regular events in Germany include:
Elefantentreffen – Organised by the German Motorcyclist Federation, the “Elephant Rally” is one of Germany’s biggest biker meets, usually held every winter in the Bavarian Forest.
Intermot – This annual trade fair in Cologne recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and it has become something of an institution for anybody seeking the latest and greatest in the motorcycle world.
Whether you’re taking a special someone on holiday or you’re all on your lonesome, a trip down the Romantic Road shouldn’t be missed. It covers around 220 miles of Southern Germany, passing through many of the region’s quintessentially German towns and hamlets, as well as the imposing Neuschwanstein Castle.
Koblenz to Bingen
This route is often travelled by cruise passengers, but there’s no reason you can’t follow the banks of the Rhine on two wheels too! This 50-mile stretch, known as the Rhine Gorge, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and deservedly so: packed with lush vineyards and crumbling castles, it’s one of the prettiest parts of Germany.
Safety and the law
4.3 annual road fatalities per 100,000 people (2013)
PTWs account for 19% of fatalities (2011)
Germany has a pretty good road safety record, but as with anywhere it pays to take care on the roads. Passing rows of slow or stationary traffic is forbidden, and don’t be surprised if car drivers stop you from trying – Germans tend to be quite meticulous in their observance of the rules of the road.
Much of Der Autobahn famously has no speed limit, although there is an advisory limit of 130kph (80mph) which many Germans stick to. Overtaking is strictly on the left. Bear in mind that “No Overtaking” signs refer only to vehicles with more than two wheels, so cars can legitimately overtake you, but you can’t return the favour.
64% of population speak English
Germany has a high proportion of English speakers, although as in most countries, the proportion can drop off sharply as you travel out of urban centres. There are a great many biker-friendly hotels and B&Bs in Germany, who will mostly have a good knowledge of English.