Riding the B500 Black Forest Highway: 5 Helpful Tips

Riding the B500 Black Forest Highway: 5 Helpful Tips

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The “Schwarzwaldhochstrasse" – a.k.a. the Black Forest Highway – is legendary among motorcycle enthusiasts. It’s easily the most scenic road in Germany, if not all of Europe, with its rolling hills, dense forests and eye-popping architecture. Motorists from all over the world migrate to the sacred passageway to put their skills to the test. Use these tips for riding the B500 Black Forest Highway to check this iconic attraction off your bucket list.

What is the B500?

The road was originally constructed in 1930 to connect various spa towns and remote villages tucked away in the mountains. It’s 145 miles long, running north to south from the town of Baden-Baden to Waldshut-Tiengen on the Switzerland border. The “B” is short for “Bundesstrasse,” the German word for federal.

The section known as the Black Forest Highway runs approximately 30 miles through the Black Forest, which inspired the fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. Locals use the route to ship supplies to and from the hotels, but it’s mainly populated by tourists and vacationers looking to soak up the view.

Now that we’ve provided some background, let’s dive into the five helpful tips to keep in mind when riding on the Black Forest Highway.

1. Stay Connected with a Wireless Headset

If you’re traveling in a group or with a companion, use wireless motorcycle helmet communication to keep in touch without taking your eyes off the road or your hands off the handlebars. Give each other tips in real-time or a heads-up if someone wants to get off and stretch their legs. Hand signals may work on quiet streets, but all those twists and turns can throw you for a loop if you’re not paying attention. Livestock and sightseers can appear out of nowhere when you’re coming around the bend.

cardo device on helmet



Your headset should help you focus on the road while clueing you into your surroundings. Find motorcycle helmet speakers that automatically adjust to the local noise level so you can hear important noises like a honking horn or the sound of an oncoming train.

Use Motorcycle Helmet Communication to Navigate Like a Pro

2. Avoid the Busiest Time of Year

The highway tends to see the most action in the summer, so expect to see plenty of people stopped on the side of the road taking photos. You will also encounter more traffic and may even have trouble booking a hotel, especially on holiday weekends. This isn’t exactly the ideal riding experience, so if you want to avoid the crowd and take in the sights without getting in someone’s way, shoot for spring or fall. The route is accessible all year long, but it tends to ice over in the winter.

3. Respect the Speed Limit

Some roads in Europe are known for not having speed limits, but this isn’t one of them. The limit ranges from 70 kph (43 mph) to 50 kph (31 mph). There are a few flat straight sections that get up to 100 kph. Watch out for warning signs and postings as the road dips and curves.

Biker driving along a country mountain road in autumn. Germany, Black Forest. Scenic countryside landscape with an old traditional house.


Source: Funny Solution Studio/Shutterstock.com

4. Go with the Flow

The B500 isn’t designed to get your adrenaline pumping. It’s a relatively smooth route that makes for a scenic, relaxed ride. However, it’s important to always keep your attention on the road. You’ll need to adjust your speed based on the pace of the incline/decline. Slowly ratchet up your throttle when going uphill to keep your rhythm and take your hand off the throttle on the way down to let gravity take over.

5. Spend the Night

You can easily blast through the road in a couple of hours, but that’s only half the fun. Reward yourself by renting a room at one of the area’s many historic hotels. Chow down on bratwurst, soak in the baths and take a hike around Lake Mummelsee to enjoy the local scenery. Read up on the local history to learn the story behind the road and the towns it connects. You might even want to drive the route twice by turning around and going back the way you came.

Traveling the B500 is an experience unlike any other. The challenge of riding the road is enough to make it one of the most talked-about destinations in Europe. Ready to keep exploring? Learn about the best motorcycle roads in Germany to pack more excitement into your trip.

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