See if you agree.
Twisty? As motorcycle riders, most of us like bends. Riding a road with bends is normally much more fun and exciting than riding a straight road. There are a few exceptions where straight sections of road are good, but this is normally due to other factors such as scenery.
Some roads are excellent simply because of the sweeping bends they contain and the famous B500 road in the Black Forest is a good example of this. Due to the trees, the road doesn't have good views, but it is fast with many high speed twisty bends. It certainly does get included on many peoples list of their own best roads.
B500 picture from www.bestbikingroads.com
Scenery? Sometimes a road can be considered very good because of the scenery alongside it. Highway US 163 near the Arizona / Utah border in the USA is a good example of this. The road itself is dull, straight and not at all exciting, but the scenery is spectacular, making the road very good indeed.
The wonderful sight of Monument Valley
Distance? Sometimes a road can be considered as 'best' simply due to the distances involved. Take the Highway 1 in Australia. Often straight with long dull scenery, some would consider it a great road as at approximately 9,000 miles (14,500 km) it is an amazingly long road. People travel from all over the planet to ride this road, drawn to it simply because it is the longest road in the world.
The longest road in the world, Australia's Highway 1
Flowing? Almost without a doubt, a good road must be free-flowing with almost no delays for stop lights, junctions or heavy traffic. That just doesn't work for us motorcyclists. I have ridden the Grossglockner Pass in Austria on days with almost no cars and it was wonderful. Riding it on another day, with it being full of traffic, was a nightmare.
Nobody likes heavy traffic
Excitement? A road can undoubtedly be considered as best if it is exciting. The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado is a really good road due mainly to the steep drops-off at the side of the road.
US 550 in Colorado, easily worth a Million Dollars!
Weather? Can a road be considered 'best' due to the weather that can normally be found there? The only example I can think of is the road through Death Valley in California, where the temperature has an impact on the road and certainly on riding along the road.
Death Valley. It is hot!
Destination? I don't think a road can ever be considered as good just because of the final destination you are going to. I tried to think of a destination that was good enough to warrant saying the road that takes you there is good. I cannot think of one. The only place that comes close is Key West in Florida, where the 127 mile overseas highway skips from island to island along the length of the Keys. The road undoubtedly is very good, but the destination isn't good enough to call the road 'best'.
Florida's Overseas Highway
Experience? For a road to be included in someone's list as one of the best, that person must have experienced it for themselves and actually ridden it. It is no good relying on what somebody else says is good!
Reputation does not make a good road. For example, many who have ridden the famous Tail of the Dragon road on the North Carolina - Tennessee state line say they are ultimately disappointed when they actually get to ride it. Over-rated is a word often attributed to this road.
Is the Tail of the Dragon as good as people imagine?
Surface? We have all ridden roads with a superb surface. Consistent, smooth and bump free are all qualities of a great road, but on its own, this doesn't really make a best road.
Sometimes a rough surface is memorable too and one of the best examples I have of this is Moki Dugway in southern Utah. A steep gravel road with switchbacks!
Moki Dugway on a Harley
History? Perhaps the most appropriate example of history helping a road to qualify as best is America's Route 66. Many people have said this road is one of the best they have ridden, but for me, the actual road itself is very boring, except in a few short distances over its 2,448 mile length. It is the history of the road that possibly makes it qualify as 'best'.
Get your kicks.....
Overall, it is unlikely however that the best roads can be chosen due to just a single factor. It is normally two or more factors in combination that help categorise a road as trust 'best'. Highway 1 in California is a good example of this where the twisty road combined with terrific scenery combine together to make this a best road for many. Stelvio Pass in Italy, considered by many to be one of the best roads in the World, combines twisties, excitement and scenery.
Stelvio Pass. The best riding road in the world?
Consider your best roads and see if how many of the above categories apply to them. Try to think of why you think your favourite road is considered by you to be 'best'.