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The most treacherous motorcycle trails in the world

Are you up for the challenge?
Are you up for the challenge?
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Discover the world's highest and longest roads and much more

Would you dare ride your bike on a trail known affectionately as 'heap of bones' to the locals? How about a highway that stretches across two continents, or another one that features the coldest recorded temperatures outside of Antarctica? Sounds pretty much like what you'd expect to see in an Indiana Jones flick, doesn't it? But these trails aren't make-believe - they're as tough and real as they come. So read on as MotorbikeTimes takes you on a journey of the world's most extreme motorcycle trails and find out if you have what it takes to ride them.

The Khardung-la pass: the world's highest motorable road

At 5,359 metres high, this is definitely one for your diary. Historically, this mountain pass in the Himalayas was an important trade route between India and China, with roads to central Asia leading here as well. Located in Leh, India, the Khardung-la pass is currently the world's highest motorable road, with occasional informal disputes attributing this honour to other roads in Tibet. The pass sees winter temperatures of minus 30 degrees Celsius but we'd say it's well worth it, as the pass offers many breath taking views of the western Himalayas and cuts through the Hemis National Park, which is home to wild yaks and Tibetan horses.

You could also boast to your mates that you filled up your fuel tank at the world's highest petrol station or cut across the highest flat land desert in the world, but the trip across this awe inspiring road should be more than enough to impress anybody. Common problems bikers face on the Khardung-la pass are power loss and problems starting up, so it's best to use a smaller jet to minimise heating.

The Pan-American Highway: stretching from Alaska to Argentina

We've all had that feeling of wanting to jump on our bikes and ride through the night, not stopping for anyone or anything. Be careful what you wish for though, because on the Pan-American Highway, you'd be begging to stop. This cross continental road stretches from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, right down to Ushuaia at the tip of Argentina, and clocks up to about 30,000 miles in total. Interestingly, there is only one 62-mile break on this route, called the Silent Darien, on the entire road, but it is notorious for deterring travellers.

Silent Darien is a National Park in Panama, home to some of the most endangered species of animals in the world, and is so terribly impossible to navigate that only a few lucky motorists have been known to ever cross it on their Pan-American travels. If you're venturing onto this path however, be warned,there are no marked trails. But other than that, it's a fascinating place to get to with your bike, wouldn't you say?

The Stelvio Pass : Eastern Alps, anyone?

With sixty, yes, sixty hairpin turns, the Stelvio Pass has a history that's equally as interesting as the road itself. High up in the Italian Alps and close to the Swiss border, the Stelvio Pass was built in 1820, long before motorised vehicles became common. At 2,757 metres, this is the third highest pass in the Alps and, according to BBC's Top Gear, the best driving road in the world, at least for 2008. But it does equally well with bikers, who approach it from the north west so as to get the most of the ascent and the hair-raising hairpin turns.

The Lena Highway in Russia

The Russian Federal Highway connects Moscow to the Siberian city of Yakutsk, and the Lena Highway stretches over the last 600 miles. We don't even know where to begin with this one. Not only is Yakutsk the coldest place on the planet outside of Antarctica and the only city in the world to be built on continuous permafrost, temperatures on the Lena Highway can get to around minus 37 degrees Celsius. And if that's not enough to deter you, summer rains make this dirt road a long, endless trip filled with slush and mud because of the simple fact that permafrost and asphalt do not go well together. So get ready to be knee deep in mud or snow, depending on when you visit, but make sure you keep the Lena Highway on your list.

And Finally, the A44 in England

Yep, that's right. We've got a contender for this list right here at home. Been on the A44 from Oxford to Aberystwyth? Then you've been on the road with some of the highest incidents of head on-collisions not only in the UK, but in the world. The main reason is probably the 25-mile section that runs from Leominster and Worcester, which is packed with blind turns and is highly popular with speeding motorists. So the next time you're on the A44, remember to keep your eyes on the road just like the authorities who are constantly monitoring it.

What do you think of our round up of some of the world's most extreme biking trails? Let us know if you've been on any of these roads, and what your harrowing experiences were. Do you enjoy the challenge or prefer conquering milder terrain?

Watch this video of a rather muddy Lena Highway and let us know what you think!

Comments - What do you think?

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