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2022 is going to be a good year. For me, it’s going to be a year of seeing things, going places and keeping myself busy. And I feel blessed to live in a country with so much going on, and so many opportunities to exercise my passion for motorcycles. If you live in the UK and, like me, want to exercise your passion for your motorcycle too, there are a few events that you really ought to think about putting in your diary. And here they are…
I can say with some conviction that the TT is the coolest bike race ever. During the first two weeks of June, the Isle of Man turns into a race course (or 37.7 miles-worth of its A-roads do anyway) and it has done since 1907. Watching bikes race round that place at 200mph truly is an awesome sight to behold, whether you are a motorcycle fan or not. If you’ve never been, it’s not too late to book a trip for 2022… although you might find that by now, all the best campsites are full. And as far as hotels go, well, good luck.
But if you can get there, even if only for a day, do. Because the TT is the most incredible motorcycle event in the entire world. If you do manage to organise a trip, try and take your bike because when the TT racers aren’t using the Snaefell Mountain Course, you can go for a rip round on your own bike… you don’t get that at a MotoGP round.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed isn’t strictly a motorcycle event. It’s as much about cars as it is about bikes. In fact, it’s probably a little bit more about cars, if the truth’s known. But it’s still a cracking event, with loads of not only iconic old and new bikes, but iconic bike racers… old and new as well. In fact this year, three-time World Champ Wayne Rainey is jumping back on his Yamaha YZR500 almost 30 years after he crashed it and paralysed himself. It doesn’t get more iconic than that.
And you don’t just get to see the bikes parked up, or rotating on a glamorous looking plinth, EICMA style. No, the Goodwood FoS is an immersive, multi-sensory experience. You’ll be able to see, hear smell and feel the cars and bikes, as they’re ridden (or driven) up the hill by GP stars and people of that calibre.
And in all fairness, the kind of cars that you’ll see at the Festival of Speed are pretty impressive, even if you’re not really into cars. Day tickets start from £47, that’s on the Thursday, but they’re quite a bit more on the weekend. And they’re selling out fast.
Every year the ABR (Adventure Bike Rider) Festival gets bigger and better. The summer festival, which has been described as ‘Glastonbury with motorbikes’ will be held at Ragley Hall Estate in Warwickshire in ’22 and will offer adventure bike riders (as well as non-adventure bike riders) the opportunity to take part in loads of motorcycling activities over the three days.
There might be a few similarities between the ABR Festival and Glastonbury, like the great music, and the friendly atmosphere, but there’ll be a few differences too. Like the fact that beer is only £3 per pint. And the fact that, according to ABR founder Alun Davis, “toilet and shower facilities will always be top quality… and there’ll be plenty of them.”
If you’re into adventure bikes, whether you’ve got one or not, and you fancy a weekend sunning yourself in Warwickshire, get this one in your diary. A weekend ticket gets you a festival pass for three days and two nights with camping included for £129.
Billed as the ‘most inappropriate motorcycle race and festival in the country’ the Malle Mile isn’t something that takes itself too seriously. If you’re the kind of person that rides (or races) a bike for the sheer fun of it, this is probably the motorcycle festival for you. Held in the grounds of Grimsthorpe Castle in Lincolnshire the Malle Mile is a celebration of the motorcycle in all its forms; the stranger the better.
You can expect to see custom bikes, classic scramblers, road bikes and off-road bikes, of all shapes, sizes and ages, competing in sprints, hill climbs and even ‘motorcycle-polo’. Or, if you fancy it, and you’ve got a bike that’s inappropriate enough, you can have a go yourself!
Like any good festival, there’ll be plenty of beer to drink, food to eat and music to shuffle to on an evening. If you like the sound of it, weekend camping tickets start from £130.
This one doesn’t really need an introduction does it? I know Silverstone isn’t the most spectator friendly race circuit in the world, but it’s the only one we’ve got in the UK, so I suppose it’ll have to do. And with the 2022 MotoGP season shaping up to be as exciting as it’s ever been, I’m desperate to get to at least one round this year. And we might not have any British lads to cheer on in the premier class, but Jake Dixon and Sam Lowes won’t be far from the front in the Moto2 class and there’s bound to be a few British wildcards in Moto3, as well as the regulars, to keep an eye on.
But let’s face it, going to a Grand Prix weekend isn’t just about watching the racing. If you do it right, get yourself a weekend ticket and find somewhere to stay, you can have just as much of a party as you can anywhere. And all surrounded by people who love bikes just as much as you do.
Weekend tickets are £95, but that doesn’t include camping. If you want to camp, you’ll pay at least £195; that’s for a pitch for one tent and one car. That’s as cheap as it gets. If you want more space, prepare to have your pants pulled down.
Not everyone is a fan of the BSB ‘Showdown’ points system, but you can’t argue with the fact that there’s been some absolutely nail-biting climaxes to British Superbike championships in the last decade. So you could argue it’s doing its job.
And whilst the BSB season hasn’t started yet (not at the time of writing, anyway) it looks like it’s going to be another good one, with a bunch of previous champions and world class riders vying for the spoils.
There’s every chance that the BSB championship will go down to the wire once again this year, and if it does, the best place to watch it will be live at Brands Hatch. There’s nothing like the atmosphere of a BSB round anyway, but the last one of the season is always special; extra special if there’s a BSB crown to fight for.
Weekend admission tickets are £45 and a camping pitch for the weekend is £28.
The NEC bike show is the big one. If you’re only going to make it to one motorcycle show this year, it ought to be Motorcycle Live. Most of the big manufactures will be there, showing off their current models, next years new models, and sometimes the odd MotoGP or WSBK bike too.
So if you’re in the market for a new bike, and fancy having a sit on a handful of different options from different manufacturers it’s the perfect place to do it. Likewise, if you’re after some new kit, there’s always a deal to be had at the show.
If you are planning a visit, make sure you have a hearty breakfast before you get there; paying NEC prices for a bacon roll might make you wince a bit.
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