France is well-known for its motorcycle events, with its stunning landscapes and vast expanses of countryside making it perfect both for visiting motorcyclists to explore and for world class events. Events are seasonal and numerous, but the biggest and best events tend to happen in the spring and summer months.
The French Motorcycle Grand Prix
The Grand Prix de France is part of the world motorcycle racing season, currently divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. All three classes use four-stroke engines and Grand Prix motorcycles are purpose-built racing machines that are unavailable for public purchases and cannot be ridden legally on public roads. The Grand Prix takes place over a May weekend at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit, which is nearby Le Mans city, approximately 125 miles southwest of Paris.
Balade du Coeur
This charity event can be translated to “Bikers have heart” and occurs every June at the Avranches Motorcycle Club, Rennes, Brittany in northwest France. It has been running since 1993 and brings bikers together mostly originating from Ille-et-Vilaine, who are cheered on by inhabitants of local villages and towns along the 90 mile route through French countryside. The event ends at the historical Mont St. Michel and around 4,000 riders take part each year.
La Madone des Motards
Again in Brittany, in the small town of Porcaro, around 20,000 bikers gather in August every year for the festival of the “Madonna of the bikers.” Porcaro is a small town with only around 650 inhabitants, 45km from Rennes. It is now recognised as the French capital of bikers, with bikers travelling from across Europe to pay homage and receive a blessing from one of the town’s priests, taking part in a 45 mile pilgrimage ride. The festival first began in 1979, when a local motorcycling abbot made a pilgrimage to the town with his friends.
Best biking roads in France
Col de Turini (1,607m) is a stunning high mountain pass in the Alpes-Maritimes in France, famous for a stage of the Monte Carlo Rally with tight hairpin bends. Another well-known stretch of road from Mont Ventous to L'Alpe-d'Huez across the largest mountain of the region, which is famous for its use in the Tour de France cycling route.