Nice one you've found our travel guides.
Hopefully you've decided to come visit our wee land, here we will help you find everything you need, from motorbike rental, rider friendly accomodation, where to ride and places to see.
We will help you discover the best roads, the scenic stops and where to refuel you and the bike.
First things first, are you bringing your bike or do you need to get one here.
Northern ireland has a few rental options from 1 day pickup and go to multi day guided tours.
We hope this helps you navigate the options and make the right choice.
Ready to rent
You have a few choices here, there seems to be 4 main motorbike rental companies, each with their own unique element that makes them different.
First up we have the new contender to the market and from the name you might be able to guess what they do, Belfast Harley Davidson, Based in Antrim, 10 mins from Belfast International airport (It's actually in Antrim) or 25 from Belfast City Airport they are a quick taxi ride from either airport to pick up your bike.
Their location offers a perfect starting point to many of the great rides Northern Ireland has to offer, making access to the North Coast and Causeway coast an enjoyable ride and not leaving you studying a Map.
With 3 offerings for different models and a starting price of £140 for a 1 day hire, this also makes it a good opportunity to try out a Harley for the day. With Belfast Harley Davidson you are covered with 24 hour roadside assistance, insurance and the use of an approved helmet should you need it.
Their website states that rentals start in May 2020, however this date may be delayed due to Covid 19 lockdown in the UK.
Philip Mcallen's is led by the multi TT, North West 200, Ulster GP winning rider himself, suffice to say he has experience on the bike which led him to the natural conclusion of opening his own showroom.
Today they offer Sales, service and of course rental bikes.
Their rental fleet is one of the largest in terms of variety, encompassing everything from 125's to mile munching touring bikes, all the bikes are low mileage and come from the manufacturers that you can find in the same showroom. Because of this you can rest assured that the servicing is taken care of by experts and the bikes are as fresh as they can be.
They can kit you out with everything you need including helmet, jacket, trousers, boots and gloves. they can even supply you with a garmin sat nav units programmed with locations that nay be of interest to you.
Because there is such a wide range of options here rental bikes are organised by category with the entry point of £50 a day for their Z125 and going up depending on the category of bike. This gives you the great opportunity to try out one of their range for a few days, letting you experience life with the bike or to try out a bigger or smaller machine than you would normally ride.
The current showroom opened in 2009 and is conveniently located outside Lisburn, 20 mins from Belfast international airport and easy to get to from both north and south of the border, meaning once you are on the bike the whole island is open to you.
Located 20 mins from Belfast international airport Fly Ride Ireland are conveniently located, so convenient that they offer to pick you up, should you need a lift. if you are flying into Dublin Airport, they also offer a delivery service for an additional fee on bookings longer than 7 days.
Offering various bike from the Honda range from scooters to Africa Twins their prices start from £50 depending on the bike.
Sat Nav units are available on request for most bikes, but what sets Fly Ride Ireland apart from the dealerships in the area is their personal touch, offering tours ranging from scenic 1 day routes to 6 day tours taking in Northern Ireland's best routes and views.
All routes are self guided but a tour guide is available at an additional cost.
Ready to ride
I'm going to cover Northern Ireland here as there is a lot to see in such a small area and each region is so different in the experiences that it gives.
Northern Ireland is made up of 6 counties, Derry/Londonderry, Antrim, Fermanagh, Down, Armagh and Tyrone.
A lot of the routes I will go through will pass through multiple areas, but sure your here to see the place anyway and there isn't a better way to do it than by motorbike.
I'll go through each of these routes, but by linking some of them together you can stretch it out to a longer route or a multi day ride.
In Northern Ireland Tourism signs are brown in colour, I will probably reference them occasionally as they are handy to find your way about.
Causeway Costal Route
The Causeway Coastal Route is one of our better known routes, stretching from Belfast in the East following the coastline North to the top of the island then heading west to our oldest city Londonderry. It has featured as the one I wanted to ride as soon as my Motorcycle Licence dropped through the letterbox.
at around 130 miles long plus the return trip you may want to split it up, depending on where you are staying.
There are also a few different options along the route like visiting Torr Head or stopping in Bushmills.
This quick route will keep you near the Capital City Belfast, Perfect for a morning spin and be back in time for dinner, or take your time and enjoy a meal along the route.
Leaving Belfast, heading for Newtownards will take you to the gateway to this route.
follow the roads on down the inside of the peninsula, you will pass through small towns , including Kirkubbin (The turn off to Kirkistown race track is just after this town) on your way to Portaferry, where you can either carry on and ride back up the outside coastline, taking you back to Belfast through Bangor, or you can hop onto the ferry to get back you over to Strangford.
From here you have the option of heading back to belfast or heading on down to Newcastle for an Ice Cream.
Newcastle and the Mournes
The Mourne mountains have long been the stomping ground for day trippers but the quieter mountain roads help to remind us why we bought a bike in the first place. Offering spectacular views and winding roads, this is definitely a must see for any biker.
Newcastle in County Down is your starting point for the Mournes, opening up either the coast road which will eventually take you to Newry or you can take the inland routes over the mountains, visiting Spelga Dan or Silent Valley.
Ready to rest
Accommodation in northern Ireland varies from bed and breakfast to chain hotels and everything in between.
Each will have their own benefits like a restaurant or residents bar or the personal touch that you get from home grown hospitality.
I'll cover some of the things to look out for when you are looking for somewhere to stay, some may not be applicable to everyone but i'll try to keep it in order of importance.
Off street parking or secure parking
You are gonna want to store the bike somewhere safe, especially if you are staying in a town or city. I know insurance will keep everything covered but do you really want to pay the excess if it gets knocked over or stolen.
If you want to take a longer route and stay for a day elsewhere, some places will look after your luggage so you don't have to carry a weeks clothes on that 2 day trip. Some will include this for free, some rental companies even offer luggage storage.
I know its not a big place but if you are coming here to ride the mournes or coast roads, you don't want to be staying a 2 hour ride from them. somewhere central will get you everywhere or staying local to the routes you want is also an option. If you come for one of our road races, you will want somewhere nearby to stay so you wont have to get up at 5am to secure a good spot after a 2 hour ride and a hike to your favourite hole in the hedge.
Meals or dining options
Work out where you can get your meals. If you are going to be out every evening there is no point in splashing for a dinner at the accommodation or even worrying about it. likewise if you plan to be back to your lodgings in the evenings, a good dine in option could be exactly what you are looking for.