As the world of amateur rallying grows – seemingly exponentially – more and more rally organizers are offering Adventure Raid courses. Hellas Rally, 1000 Dunas, Hispania Rally, Dinaric Rally, Sonora – all of these events have an ADV class open to high capacity adventure bikes, and organizers usually have no trouble filling them. Having raced Hellas in 2019 and Hispania in 2020, I noticed that the ADV classes always have at least 30-40 riders, and chances are they will grow even more in the future. While most Adventure Raid classes offer shorter stages and GPS navigation instead of a roadbook, it’s still a decent enough challenge: great riders face the same routes, technical terrain and the same test of stamina than everyone else.
My own rally weapon – or rather, pack mule, but that’s another story – of choice is a heavily modified Suzuki DR650. Not exactly an ADV fat bike, but not quite a lithe and graceful KTM 450 either; so far, since I have no illusions of placing anywhere but at the end of the pack, I’ve mostly been grateful for my indestructible tractor. The maintenance of the bivouac, for the most part, consists of a quick check and inspection of the tires; there’s no need to change the oil every five minutes, and most of the time the thing keeps running despite rally conditions or terrain. For a complete enthusiast like me, it’s a lot of bike and a lot of reliability to stick with the DR rather than thinking about getting something more suitable for racing, especially since I’m on the road indefinitely between races.
Perhaps that’s the beauty of big race ADV bikes: they won’t just get you through a rally, they’ll also get you to and from the rally. Who knows, maybe Races to Places will become a thing, with adventure drivers traveling from race to race and keeping up to date with the world of rallying.
What is your point of view ? Would you ever participate in a rally with a big ADV motorcycle?
Featured Image: Action Graphics