Trip Planner: Ride to the Isle of Man TT

Ride to the Isle of Man and watch the most exciting road race in the world – the 2017 TT. Everyone who rides there deserves their own Tourist Trophy – this one takes in Swiss Passes and Germany's winding Schwarzwald.

Motorcycle Diaries: Your motorcycle route planner

Most maps websites show you the quickest and most boring route between two points. Not so with Motorcycle Diaries. Our system is built so you can explore, discover and create the most exciting journeys, complete with fantastic photography of the roads you will ride. When you've finished, save your trip and download it as a GPX file. Take a look at this route from Milan to the Isle of Man, just in time for this year's TT kick-off.


Milan – Isle of Man

6 days - 21MD roads - 2,202 KM

One lap of the isle of Man is 60.73km. The Senior TT is six laps in length, so a total of 364.38km. The TT is held in all weather conditions, except when there’s fog. A fog hanging over the island delays the racing as the medical helicopter cannot fly. The average speed of a lap is over 200km per hour. What does this mean? That this is a race for real men, who compete with a big respect for the course and for everyone involved in it. In every way.

Our route to the Isle of Man started in Milan. It’s a total of 2,202km on the road and about 400km by boat. You could take the Channel Tunnel instead, but the boat makes you feel like you're on a proper adventure. Our average speed depends on weather, laws and viewpoints. Our route is for anyone that wants to enjoy a great ride to the Isle. We’re going to watch the real Man!

Italian Leg

We’re leaving from the centre of Milan on a Sunday morning – 6am. There’s no one around, except for a surprisingly large amount of police cars. We feel honoured to be enjoying a police escort, but otherwise the start of our TT on the wet cobblestones of the city is rather modest. We leave the city to the east towards Monza, one of the many circuits that we’ll pass on our route. We get out of Milan on main roads until the town of Lecco, a southern spot on Lake Como.

 

It’s still early Sunday morning so it's obligatory to take the SP72 through Mandello del Lario, home of Moto Guzzi and continue further north. Avoid this road on Sundays after 11am, especially when sunny or you're passing in August! We ride further north towards the Alps while big clouds jostle with each other over the surrounding craggy tops. They promised snow in the mountain section…

From Italy we remember there are better ways through the Alps, but snow covered passes (yes even in May) make us look for alternatives that are open this time of year.

Swiss Leg

Over the Border at Chiavenna we immediately hit fast and flowing roads and turn towards the Maloja Pass. The Maloja encourages technical riding rather than fast, and the route is also steep. Up the Pass, the road along the Maloja lake always brings us joy – childhood memories that is. While St. Moritz a bit further down the road is still forbidden for campers we steam along Route 27 past Zernez and then left onto the Flüela Pass. The almost deserted route is covered in clouds. Rain changes into snow and we rush up to the top and back down. It’s a beautiful ride, but not today. Hounded by pouring rain, we pass Davos, avoid Lichtenstein and punch out of the high Alps into rural Switzerland.

 

We take a pit stop in Nesslau, for no reason but the end of the day. We don’t recommend our hotel, nor the village. But the real TT is not known for comfort either! Next morning blue skies welcome us and we concentrate on the green hills and curvy roads that bring us to Winterthur and further west to Swiss Koblenz. A good, relaxing ride after the challenges of the previous day. We’re at the German Border.

From Switzerland we remember speed cameras and challenging mountain passes.

German Leg

Das schönes Schwarzwald with it’s endless curves, forests and hills. We like the asphalt, the grip, the flow. We keep in mind that locals have a love-hate relationship with motorcycles. We've heard old wives tales where they even spill oil on the road with disastrous outcomes. We ride. We smile. We sing. Bonndorf, Eisenbach, Furtwangen, Schonwald, Falkenstain, Vortal… We're deep in the heart of the forest and we slow down for another pit stop next to Freudenstad. Don't wait too late with going to the restaurant or you’ll find only a closed kitchen!

 

Day three of our trip and the Schwarzwald still continues. Fields, flowers, trees… and then suddenly it’s over. In Rastatt we need a break, there’s nothing like 'corner overdose'. Yes, we swear this condition really does exist!

 

French Leg

Over the Rhine into France for a quick Detour Francais. Through the beautiful Park Naturel Des Voges Nord. And, hup, back in Germany.

German Leg 2

We ride north from Rumbach, remember the well-surfaced and winding B48, and arrive in Kaiserslauteren courtesy of the city's southern approach. Katzweiler, Wolfstein, Lohnweiler, Im Grund… This reads like a thriller, and we need a break. At the right moment the hills start bearing grapes and a half trocken Mosel (that's a dry local wine) seems the perfect closing of the day, but we’re surprised by Herr Müller’s alternative choice: local beer.

 

We sleep in the Echternacher Hof B&B. Definitely the best stay of the trip so far. We talk through the route, the region's history, the wines, the roads, books and adventure with writer Eckie and we must admit: no nonsense German hospitality with deep, quality conversation to boot. We’ll come back!

The next morning the logical choice would be to speed to Luxemburg, but we have an appointment in Bottrup. Don't follow us to the appointment too, though. We suggest you do take the road to Belgian Ardennes and then into Holland.

Benelux Leg

We live in the Benelux. We love the absurdness of the place. The political nonsense driven by small-minded linguistic disputes. Little Switzerland, Belgian fries, chocolate, beer and Dutch mussels. But unfortunately we have to rush for our boat. Sometimes during this Tourist Trophy we have no time to think. We just need to go!

English Leg

A good day in England starts with some rain. Drizzle, for example. And a visit to Cambridge. The cream of youth and wisdom. Victorian architecture, one way streets and more drizzle. We put on the rain gear and decide to cancel our appointment with Robin Hood and we speed along the M1 to 'The North'. Mansfield is our exit point, and with some brighter skies on the horizon we don’t want to miss the Peak District. Strange name: no mountains - no peaks. Just great roads (if a little bumpy) and a Friday night pub in Holmfirth. Sorry mate, didn’t understand a thing, strange dialect. Give me another beer and hail to great roads like the B6012 through the Chatsworth House gardens. Sheep, anyone?

 

Next day we pass Rochdale and Manchester. We're here two days before a nutcase decides to blow himself – and with him innocent people – to pieces. What a world we live in. Make miles (on a bike), not war. Here's Heysham. We’re almost there.

A Lap of the Isle of Man

The evening is still sunny, but grey skies and drizzle – “Where have you been, old friend?” – make our reconnaissance lap slower than we thought. We need to take pictures, film, ride, think, greet Dunlop, record the Goosneck, Ballaugh Bridge, Windy Corner, and of course Creg-ny-Baa.

 

One lap of the isle of Man is 60.73km. The Senior TT is six laps in length, so a total of 364.38km. The TT is held in all weather conditions, except when there’s fog. A fog hanging over the island delays the racing as the medical helicopter cannot fly. The average speed of a lap is over 200km per hour. What does this mean? That this is a race for real men, who compete with a big respect for the course and for everyone involved in it. In every way.

 

Our course ends here. Our TT was held in all weather circumstances, even when there was fog. A total of approx 2,200km and after our single reconnaissance lap of the Island, we become humble. Now it's time to watch the real Man!

Please note that the trip described here is a bit different than the one in the movie as we had to pass by Bottrop which we don't recommend as roads are less interesting. 

See the movie of our trip from Milano to Isle of Man!
 

Download the GPX file for your GPS
Interested in downloading the GPX file for this route? Click here to go to the route page, sign in, and then download the GPX from there. You can also make your own changes to this trip from the trip page, or incorporate it into a bigger, longer, and more epic Euro trip of your own making.

Download GPX file here.

More stories

2WheeledAdventures - Chasing Summer on motorbike

2WheeledAdventures - Chasing Summer on motorbike

XT ADVENTURES - If you want it then it’s possible!

XT ADVENTURES - If you want it then it’s possible!

Ten Fantastic Roads Shared By You

Ten Fantastic Roads Shared By You