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The biggest biker gatherings in the UK

November 3, 2013

Biker GatheringsThere’s little which most motorcyclists enjoy more than getting on board their machines and heading off to meet other bikers.

In terms of their love for their ‘wheels’, there is unlikely to be any other group of road users who make use of their transport so regularly to meet up with others who share their passion.

But then again, apart from trucking – whose fraternity also counts a surprising number of bike fans – no other types of wheels brings with them a sense of belonging to a distinct group of road users like a motorbike.

So for the uninitiated, here is a list of some of the biggest biker events which take place regularly around the UK. Space prevents the inclusion of the many other rallies and ride-outs organised by the multitude of private clubs in all parts of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, but most clubs have a website these days on which such details can be found.

Isle of Man TT and TT Classic

The TT is more than just a race around nearly 38 miles of roads on this island in the Irish Sea – it’s a biking institution.

The event has grown from a simple race to a two-week celebration of biking skills and daring, comprising a series of organised races, along with the chance for bikers of all ages and abilities to ride the course, along public roads, themselves.

Those showpiece races, though, involve riders hitting speeds of up to 180mph on some of the long, fast straights, and then putting their bikes through tremendous strains as they slow down for the twistier bits.

The TT Classic, as the name implies, is a similar event, which sees riders of the classic racing bikes of years gone by compete around the course. This is held over the August bank holiday weekend.

British Superbikes Championship

If you have a need for speed, then the British Superbikes Championship is one of the best ways to satisfy it.

Twelve race rounds take place each year between early April and late October, around such famous racing circuits as Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Donington Park and Oulton Park. The bikes being raced are close to standard production models – albeit at the top end of the range, with 1,000cc engines, producing up to 200 brake horsepower. Private teams can enter alongside the so-called works teams, which have the full backing of resources and technical know-how from top bike manufactures such as Honda, Ducati, Yamaha and Suzuki.

Again, events are stretched out over a three-day weekend, which culminates in two races on the last one, and there are support races designed to encourage younger riders and private competitors, making this the nearest equivalent the sport has to Formula 1.

Goodwood Festival of Speed

While this mid-July annual event focuses on the greatest cars ever to compete on the track, bikes are getting more of a look-in. It’s all about being able to get close to the bikes, and the riders who made them famous, with the organisers pulling out the stops to get as many of both gathered. A ticket-only event, it’s always sold out well ahead of the three days themselves.

Motorcycle Live, Birmingham, and London Motorcycle Show

These are the biking world’s equivalent of the Motor Show, where the latest hardwear and all other associated products are shown off by the trade. Large programmes of live entertainment have also grown up around them, featuring music and celebrity PAs, and there are loads of stalls to tempt attendees to part with their cash and find out more about anything to do with bikes.

BSH Xtreme

A custom bike show, but on a massive scale, this also features stunt bike shows, as well as modern and classic modified bikes and demonstrations of the bike-builder’s art.

There’s also an associated event organised by the Motorcycle Action Group, which features camping, a bar and evening entertainment. However, Xtreme and the so-called MAG Bash are separate events, so tickets must be bought individually.

This is a guest post written by Jonathon Butterworth, who is a freelance blogger currently writing in conjunction with Sorrymate the biking specialists.
If you’re based in France and want to take part in the fight against the Government’s continued policy to ban motorcyclists from filtering through traffic, then contact the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – French Federation of Angry Bikers).

Si vous habitez en France et souhaitez participer aux manifestations pour la circulation inter files des motocyclistes dans les embouteillages, contactez la Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC).

One Comment
  1. Peter Easter permalink

    There is an annual biker meeting on May Day (5 May 2014) in Hastings, East Sussex where thousands arrive. Free parking, tolerant Old Bill, excellent fish and chips and great pubs.
    Filtering seems to be returning to the Paris Périphérique, perhaps the focus has moved away from this and common sense returns (a vain hope).

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