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Sahara Travel Forum Topics specific to North Africa and the Sahara down to the 17th parallel (excludes Morocco)
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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 19 Jun 2009
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morocco on a road bike?

Hi,

Mate and I are going to Marrakech (via Spain) in November.

He wants to do a bit of Western Sahara and Algeria before returning to Morocco.

I'm concerned because;
  1. He's got a KTM Adventure and I've 'only' got a BMW R1150r (roadster)
  2. Isn't Algeria still restricted?
So, should I persuade him to stick to Morocco? and how much of it has asphalt roads?

CHEERS

PETE
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  #2  
Old 20 Jun 2009
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The road is nicely paved through Western Sahara. Not much to look at, unless you favor endless, empty, windswept beaches and distant western horizons. I do recollect two or three curves in many hundreds of miles (one of which nearly cost me my life, but that's another story). Watch out for blown sand on the road and salt spray on your visors.

Once off the main highway, you'll resume wishing you had a KTM pretty quick.

In Morocco, there are plenty of paved roads and plenty of tracks. This question gets asked fairly often here, so consider the many and varied uses of that little search box in the upper right of your screen. This aside, have you thought about buying a map?

Algeria is impossible, as always.

Hope that helps.

Mark
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  #3  
Old 20 Jun 2009
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Morocco itself has a lot of sealed roads, and you should have no trouble seeing the country staying on the tarmac.

Western Sahara itself is limited to pretty much one road, apart from a couple of detours around Smara. As markharf said, there isn't that much to see in Western Sahara. If you were looking at seeing desert, you would be better touring round southern Morocco east or south of Ouarzazate.

As for Algeria, the border between Algeria and Morocco is still closed, so unless you go back to Spain and then to Algeria, or go down to Mauritania, then Mali, you'll find it difficult.
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Old 20 Jun 2009
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I don't know the north so well but IMO southern Morocco (tho' not WS for the reasons mentioned) is a brilliant destination on a road bike. Especially in November. Good tarmac, empty roads, virtually no checkpoints, decent hotels and, we hear lately, a lot more unleaded pumps than there used to be. I bet a lot of big bike riders going there looking for off-road action, soon settle for the asphalt but have as good a time.

From Figuig to Tan Tan or Sidi Infi along the 1500-km 'Desert Highway' as I call it, you could have a fantastic week or two with a few side trips via Ziz Gorge, Merzouga, Zagora, up from near Tissint to Taliouine, back down via Igherm to Tata and on westwards. Like the man says, get a map (RG 2009 is good).

As long as it's dry, many tracks in southern Mk are easily doable on a road bike too if you keep the speed down.

Algeria is more out there but especially the south, would be a great road ride too. Much bigger of course but less good infrastructure and all the crap with escorts means you'd want a group to keep costs down.

Ch
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