Nature's beauty seems so much closer from the seat of a saddle.
Bikes offer a more intimate connection with the people of the places you pass through.
No wonder adventure motorcycling has grown massively in the last decade.
The 2004 "Long Way Round" and 2007's "Long Way Down" TV documentary series (both featured Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's round the world rides) helped spark the trend.
In 2011, the Motorcycle Industry Council reported that sales of adventure touring bikes were up 14.2% across 12 major brands.
There are hundreds of scenic roads worldwide, but the greatest rides are spiced by the thrill of twisties and smooth hardtop where motorcyclists can crank open the throttle.
Here are 10 of the best rides worldwide, whether for a day out or a longer adventure.
All are in places where motorcycles can be rented or where tours are organized.
1. Ceuta to Marrakesh loop, Morocco
2,570 kilometers (1,600 miles)
Bikers on this route journey through an exotic realm of ancient kasbahs (citadels), souks (bazaars) and desert cultures.
After rolling off the ferry at Ceuta, riders switchback through the wild Rif Mountains to Fez, then traverse the Atlas Mountains (snow-capped in winter) to hit the Sahara at Erfoud.
More on CNN: 10 thing to know before visiting Morocco
Snaking west through the Todra Gorge, the route passes palm groves of Ouarzazate and the imperial city of Marrakesh.
Beyond, the Tizi n'Test Pass runs down to the Atlantic coast at Agadir.
It's two days from here along blacktop to Casablanca, then the final 321 kilometers (200 miles) via Tangiers to Ceuta.
Edelweiss Bike Travel, +43 5264 5690
2. Pyrenees Loop, France and Spain
2,410 kilometers (1,500 miles), Bilbao to Biarritz
A head turner for its sensational scenery and mind-bending hairpins, this route is a favorite among European bikers.
From Bilbao you spin east on the N260 (a legendary biking road worming into the Pyrenees), hit La Seu d'Urgell, then wind north to Andorra, dropping back to Spain at Bourg-Madame for 48 kilometers (30 miles) of twisties coiling down to Ripoli.
At Figueres you can stop at the Dalí museum before rolling along the Mediterranean coast to France.
The D117 from Perpignan threads through narrow mountain passes to Col d'Aspin, with grin-inducing bends all the way to Biarritz.
Pyrenees Motorcycle Tours, +33 (0)5 62 45 08 11
3. The Great Ocean Road, Australia