An introduction in Off-Road Motorcycle Rallying in the UK.
In this section we will try and give you an insight to Off-Road Rallying and how you can prepare yourself and your motorcycle to take part and enjoy these events.
THE MOTORCYCLE RALLY
A Rally can be a one or two day event, it normally consists of a number of laps (each lap can be 30-40 miles long) around a marked, arrowed course which will take you along jeep width Fire Break gravel roads, Dirt tracks, muddy forest sections, up the odd climb, down a few slopes, through a stream or two and even across a grassy field ! You will have plenty of time to complete each lap as the average speed is set as low as 20mph.
On each of these laps there will be a couple of timed sections or Special stages as we like to call them, often around 5 to 8 miles long and can cover a variety of terrain. First lap around you have the chance to ride them at your leisure as they are un-timed, 2nd and 3rd laps however is things get more interesting, you are set off on a green light at 30 seconds intervals and timed, so you can put in your best time ..
The first question you might ask is ...."Do I have the ability to compete in a Rally"?
Can you ride off-road ? A bit of motorcross when you were a school boy ? Some trail riding ? The odd enduro ? .....If its a "yes" to any the these then you will be fine.
The Second question you might ask yourself is ...."Is my bike suitable" ? only you can answer that question, but does it have off-road capability ? Can you get a trail type, road legal or F.I.M approved knobby tyres to fit it ?! If so then you have the right bike !
Third Question might be "Where and When ? How do I enter ?" We have listed the Events that make up THE ALL TERRAIN RALLY CHALLENGE, most of which are in Wales with the RYEDALE Rally in Yorkshire and the Keilder(K2) Rally in Northumberland. Go to the websites for the Hosting club and print out the regulations, fill them in and send them off, try not to leave it to the last minute as these events can fill up quickly ! We will also try and keep you posted with a newsletter for the regs and entries.
Besides some off-road skills, its helpful if you are reasonabily fit or at least Bike fit as you might be in the saddle all day. Knowing about your bike and what makes it tick helps too because you can't find an AA van in forest, let alone much of a phone signal.
Carrying a basic tool kit and water is a must, spare inner tubes are great but only if you know how to fit them or have the tools to do so. Though at the end of each lap you will have the chance to return to your vehicle for any trackside repairs.
Next thing to consider is your riding gear, Motorcross clothing is ok when the weather is sunny but if it rains you might want to carry some waterproofs or have a set waiting in the pits..... Spare gloves are great to have at all times !! and maybe some spare googles.
PREPARING YOUR BIKE.
We would recommend fitting the best or most knobbly tyres you can find to fit your bike that meet the Regulations. At least then you will have the most grip. Bigger Bikes need a more heavy duty tyre but more often than not you can still fit an Enduro style tyre to the front. This may change if you are to ride your bike to the event rather than trailer it, then you might try to find a Dual sport tyre which will perform well on or off-road.
Protecting your bike is a good idea, a suitable sump guard, engine bars, radiator guards and hand guards are all good add-ons, but also take off anything you don't need such as mirrors, tall screens, fog lights and other weight saving items. Duct tape or paint protection film will help keep your adventure bike looking good even after its been covered in mud.
We look forwards to seeing you at a rally soon.