Sauerland - Germany

Ah! Germany... land of perfect asphalt, curves and hills where the autobahn allows you to drive as fast as you want. 

If you would happen to the Eifel on a sunny weekend day, be ready to stumble over the masses of motorcycles and prepare for some traffic jam driving on that beautiful and inviting winding asphalt.

What if we go a little further, to Sauerland and Rothaargebirge, only an hour past Cologne and with its many forests and hills it offers the perfect place for an exciting motorcycle ride.

From the Belgian border, just below Aachen, a route starts on beautiful and winding roads to Siegen. On site in Sauerland I’ve created a tour of 280 km.

The city of Siegen is the starting and ending point of the tour. But since it's a full loop, you can start or end the route wherever you want.

Siegen, a student city, has about 100,000 inhabitants and is one of the most important cities in this area. It is also the birthplace of the famous Flemish painter Pieter Paul Rubens.

Eifel, not Alec

I'm not here to make a painting or to explore history, I want to ride my KTM and wear out my new motorcycle tires. I’ve just mounted a set of Bridgestone AX41S and they urgently need to be tested. It's one of the first sunny days of the year, so it's the perfect time to hit the starter button, close the visor and hit the road.

The starting point of my ride is the town of Simmerath in the Eifel just beyond the Belgian border. Along flowing winding roads I make a nice curve around the Ruhr lake. A particularly beautiful area, but unfortunately just a little too popular with motorcyclists. It can be very busy at times. And the local police are also regularly lurking to snatch the local racers. So, watch your speed!

With my right wrist under control, I drive further through the Eifel area towards Altenahr. The Ahrstrasse, just before you enter the tourist town, is one to lick your thumbs and fingers. A somewhat narrow road, but with perfect asphalt, longer bends and tight hairpin bends. Sheer fun!! To then, once down, slow down a bit in a tourist bustle. In addition to the many motorcyclists, you should also take walkers, cyclists and day tourists into account in and around Altenahr. But this small town is also beautifully situated along the river Ahr and offers a magnificent view with its red-brown rocks.

Unfortunately, when I pass by, 90% of the roads are half broken due to major constructions. This is (partly, I assume) still in response to the major floods of July 2021, when several rivers overflowed their banks in Germany and in the Belgian Ardennes. The ravage to houses and bridges is still very much present here in Altenahr.

From Bad Neuenahr, the L83 gives me wings again; I pick up my motor heart on yet another beautiful road. About 15 kilometres in you can take a time-out. Because at Rheinbrohl the ferry is already waiting to cross the Rhine. Always a bit of a 'travelling' feeling on a ferry on the water.

Breakfast and go!

Once off the ferry, the road quickly goes uphill again, and you get a perfect cadence from left to right bend. At Bonefeld I turn onto the 256 and although they are beautiful country roads, the route becomes slightly less winding. I drive onto the L290 at Kroppach where another wonderful 15 km bend feast awaits me. In the meantime, I have put on my heated grips, because the temperature drops below 10 degrees, and it is getting a bit too chilly for me. After 12 years of driving this motorcycle without hand heating, I finally installed it last winter, and it already gives me an instant happy feeling and the thought "I wish I had done that sooner".

The remaining distance to Siegen remains lovely with the right number of curves and greenery all around.  Which brings me to the hotel in a relaxing mood .

The next morning, after a good German Frühstuck and a few cups of strong coffee, I’m looking forward to the 280 km ride through Sauerland. The sun is out and it's a bit warmer than yesterday. The perfect day for extensive motorcycle fun!

The first kilometres in and around Siegen are not exactly the most interesting. It takes a while to leave the city behind. At Seelbach, just out of Siegen, the GPS points me to Oberfishbach and the real work starts. I shake off the morning stiffness on a first beautiful winding road which runs through the forest. And it feels good! That KTM of mine always manages to put a smile on my mouth when I hit the throttle!

The next section from Freudenberg to Rüblinghausen is a succession of bends and beautiful views. Contrary to what we expect from the Germans, the asphalt is not of perfect quality in every place. Not that the road surface is full of holes and potholes, but in some places, it is just a little less perfect than you would expect. But that doesn't spoil the fun, and I enjoy the excellent motorcycling.

I drive through Olpe and follow the Biggemeer along a beautiful road that follows the banks of this lake. The Biggemeer is the largest reservoir in Westphalia and beautiful to see. After this open landscape I happily dive into the woods again to discover the fine steering roads such as the Hülschotter strasse that merrily leads me from Heggen to Plettenberg, wagging my tail. And the subsequent pearl L619 is the cherry on that curve cake!

Along Lake Sorpe, the route leads me from now on more to the east. With a nice detour on the L685 and L914 in the direction of the famous town of Winterberg, where I go back into the direction of Siegen via the Hochsauerland Höhestrasse.

The last 70km of the route take me via the 480 to Berghausen where I take the smaller winding roads to get back on the main road via the L720 and 719 that takes me to Siegen. With a head and body turned a bit drowsy I arrive back at the parking lot of the hotel. It was very nice to be on the road again after a far too long winter.

A side note that I would like to add to this trip is that here too, as in so many places, the speed limits are becoming more and more extensive. 70 and 50 is indicated in many places as the maximum speed. Let's say I consider these speeds as recommended, but I'm not going to twist the throttle all the way in these places. Luckily, I didn't see a police radar anywhere. But maybe that surprise will follow later in my mailbox.

Download the GPX files from this trip:

Day 1

Day 2


Words & Photography: Peter De Jongh








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