Community and events
1.8 million registered motorcycles
Spain does not have quite as large a biker community as some other European nations, but there are still plenty of clubs and rallies that make the most of the country’s beautiful weather – including:
Pinguinos – Held in the province of Valladolid, “the Penguins” is a winter rally that regularly attracts some 35,000 bikers from around the world.
Moto Piston Rally – Celebrating its 25th year in 2015, the Moto Piston Rally spans a seven-day programme on the shores and mountains of Cantabria.
Barcelona to Andorra
The road from Spain’s artistic hub to the fiercely independent Principality of Andorra is worthy of any biker. This route provides the opportunity to cross the three historic bridges of the river Cardener, before heading into the scenic and pleasantly twisty mountain roads of the Pyrenees.
The Picos de Europa
This national park, containing some of Spain’s most amazing mountain scenery, is packed full of fantastic routes for two-wheeled travellers: stop off at the many miradors, or viewpoints, along the way to drink in the surroundings. This area is popular with bikers so there’s plenty of bike-friendly accommodation.
Safety and the law
3.6 annual road fatalities per 100,000 people (2013)
PTWs account for 21% of fatalities (2011)
Spain has made big improvements to its road safety record in recent years, but while it has a low road fatality rate, motorcyclists still make up a disproportionate amount of casualties. Roads can be poorly-maintained, especially in the more remote parts of northern and south-western Spain.
Under Spanish law, bikers should carry a reflective vest at all times. Unless signs tell you otherwise, the speed limit is 50kmh (30mph) in urban areas. Alcohol limits are extremely strict, and following the recent safety crackdown, it’s not uncommon for motorists to be stopped at random for a breathalyser test.
22% of population speak English
English speakers are quite rare outside of the main tourist centres in Spain: it’s best to take a phrasebook and learn a few useful phrases if you’re expecting to stray off the beaten path.
However, Spain also has British expats aplenty, some of whom have formed English-friendly biker clubs – such as the Costa Blanca Rawhiders.