From no road to poor roads and perfect tarmac, you can find it all: a paradise for off road riders, a challenge for speed motorbikes and heaven for tourers.
back in the communist times, Romanians had access to motor brands made in communist bloc only. To avoid traffic on week-ends, a system was introduced, forcing drivers to use the vehicles based on the license plate number (odd – even number). One week-end only the odd license plate vehicles were allowed on roads and the next weekend the even numbers, making the traffic more fluid and relaxed.
This adding the limited amount of vehicles on the road plus the fact that gas was rarely found at gas stations, would make traffic very fluid.
The communism fell; you don’t see queues at gas stations anymore as there is plenty of it and it is not rationalized. Drivers can take their cars and motorbikes out with no restrictions on license plate number and the number of vehicles purchased by Romanians has increased rapidly. All brands can be seen on the roads, from the cheap to the most expensive, local or not.
This has made the traffic heavier especially inside the big cities and on important road connections. I believe it is the same in your own country nowadays.
If you are looking for motorbike adventure in Romania you should probably avoid the main roads and take on the back roads: gravel, some potholes and decent tarmac to perfectly built roads, great views, traditional villages and welcoming people. Please note that the model of the motorbike you ride is important. You won’t be able to use a speed motorcycle on the same roads you can use a GS. Please choose your rides according to what your motorbike was designed for and your experience level.
Rides on famous roads:
Should you like to ride the famous Romanian Roads (Transalpina, Transfagarasan, etc.), as most of you do when are thinking of venturing in Romania, please organize your ride in a way that you have an overnight somewhere at the base of the mountain. This way you can get an early start the next morning and beat the crowds.
You will be rewarded with easy traffic, amazing views and a great satisfaction seeing the road unfolding right in front of you – a ribbon of curves perfectly built like a racetrack to the clouds.
Animals on the roads:
In the rural areas or in the mountains sheep, goats, horses or cows can sometimes be seen on the roads. Please overtake with caution as animal behaviour can be unpredictable.
In Romania people living in the countryside still use the horse drawn carts in their daily activities.
You get to overtake such carts carrying corn, potatoes or whatever they are growing in the fields. Horse drawn carts carrying huge piles of hay are an authentic image that worth a stop for a picture.
Candid observation on Romania by motorbike travellers:
- If you are crossing some traditional villages in the afternoon you can see people sitting on the bench in front of the house discussing the day, politics or whatever is going on in the village. They are friendly and always happy to offer a glass of water from their fountain.
- Kids on the road love motorcyclists. They show this by waving to the riders and moving their hands requesting from the motorcyclist to give it some gas.
- Architecture is different from region to region. If you pay attention to these details you will find it fascinating.
- Crossing villages you can see tables with fruits and vegetables in front of some houses. The villagers are selling what they have cultivated in their own back yard. Generally the taste of these products is way better than what you can find in supermarkets. I dare you to just taste a tomato. You will love it.