The first round of the RallyMoto Cup and the first major Adventure Rally of 2023 kicked off this weekend with an absolute bang.
For the first time since pre covid, the 2023 Adventure Spec Kielder 500 was a sell out event, and what an incredible vibe everybody brought!
With 180 RallyMoto members attending from all over the UK and further afield, it made for a packed out venue and a great atmosphere.
“It’s round one of the RallyMoto Cup, so the Rally Class riders are all in the Cup which is a league of three events where they have an accumulation of points and a league table and at the end of it we’re going to have the best ‘UK roadbook rider with RallyMoto”
All the weather in one weekend!
What a comparison to last year’s event in March which saw abnormally hot and dusty conditions, as this time round we were hit with freezing temperatures, snow, a bit of rain, thankfully interspersed with some very welcome sunshine! On the Sunday, riders were presented with a snow covered landscape which wasn’t the case the day before, offering some picturesque photo opportunities as well as diversifying the riding conditions somewhat!
“Yesterday we had a very long day. The guys were riding for 275 km over varied terrain. We had some great epic views across the northern area of the forest which is new for this event. Brand new tracks for us and we had a fantastic day.”
Welcoming riders from all over
More than ever this was a great social event. The evenings were lively and it was great to mingle with all the regulars as well as meet so many new faces.
A highlight was catching up with Sebastian from Germany, who had heard about RallyMoto through social media and decided to come and have a go! He travelled over solo just to ride at the event and will be back for round two in Wales.
“I came from Germany with my DR650 to rally, to earn more practise and to have a good weekend with interesting people. We have not so many events in Germany and I needed practise for bigger events.”
At the other end of the spectrum was John B, who was enjoying a lot of new experiences this weekend, and apart from a few wrong turns here and there he was all smiles.
“It’s my first RallyMoto, I’ve never done roadbook before. I’ve never ridden off road before, I’ve had adventure bikes, but I only bought this one yesterday. I got the tyres fitted at 4 o’clock and I rode straight here. I’m glad I did, it’s excellent!The roadbook rallying, it came pretty quickly once I got moving. I couldn’t get my head around it last night when I was sat trying to work it out but as soon as you start riding it’s brilliant.(On off roading for the first time).On this bike it’s fantastic. I’m just getting more comfortable with the bike moving around beneath me. I’m not as nervous and I’m adapting pretty quickly. I’ve been pushing myself to accelerate and let the bike move around just to get more comfortable with it so I don’t panic every time it moves beneath me. A couple of the big deep muddy bits have caught me off guard, but it’s fun!”– John B
There were also two couples riding two up, which is always fun to witness. Big respect to the ladies who endured 500km of off road as a pillion, and to their fellas for having them onboard! Lovely to see.
An eventful event
Yes it was a busy weekend for the organisers. A critical half way point fuel stop running out of fuel on day one made for an interesting situation. But with the recovery drivers on the case, and many helpful ambassadors and fellow riders chipping in to help, soon everyone was fuelled up and on their way.
The Saturday’s course of 275km was a big day, with the closing riders arriving back at the Bivouac at about 8pm after having to tend to a couple of minor incidents. The route on Sunday was shorter at around 230km, but an incident on the northern part of the course meant that 3/4 of the riders were held for 30 minutes or so until the medics arrived at the scene. The rider suffered a broken wrist but is otherwise ok. Thanks to everyone who stopped and assisted, not only here at any point on the course when riders needed a bit of a push out of a ditch/ help picking up a bike/ moral support.
Bikes of all shapes and sizes
And as always there were an impressive range of bikes on show, from fully fledged Adventure bikes such as GS1200s and KTM1290s, to the more old school DR650s and even a 1986 XT600. Being such a remote event with minimal fuel stops it’s really tailored for big bikes or at least those with a decent fuel range.