There’s nothing quite like the heady aromas of petrol vapour and burning rubber to signal the start of the motorcycle festival season.
We may still be in the frosty days of winter, but it’s never too early to start planning your spring and summer getaways.
So to get you in the mood, we’ve selected seven of our favourite road trips for those wanting to make the most of the biking festival calendar. Whether you are looking for music, nostalgia, a need for speed, or that classic bike spare part you have been unable to track down, all life is here.
MAG’s Farmyard Party
Run by the Motorcycle Action Group, The Farmyard Party is held in June at Duncombe Park Estate, Helmsley, North Yorkshire, and is reputedly Europe’s biggest and best bike rally.
It’s been going for 26 years so the organisers know a thing or two about putting on a biker shindig. As well as a myriad of finely tuned and turned out motorcycles, there will be bike bands, blues bands, dance music, cafes, bars and much more.
Rock and Bike Festival
Another biggie is the Rock and Bike Festival in mid July at the Elvaston Castle Showground in Derbyshire. Featuring more than 20 bands and competitions including the best and worst tattoo, this is a real old school bikers’ bash.
KICKBACK at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on April 1 and 2, meanwhile showcases rare classics and customised gems. It may not be considered mainstream but it’s a cool and subversive event that champions the offbeat and loves bringing like-minded people together.
Graham Walker Memorial
For an event at a more sedate pace, The annual Graham Walker Memorial run returns for its vintage and veteran motorcycle gathering at Beaulieu on Sunday, August 13. The gathering is a tribute to the late Graham Walker, one of the founders of the Sunbeam Motorcycle Club in 1924.
Isle of Man TT
No list of motorcycle events would be complete without the illustrious Isle of Man TT races held from May 27 to June 9. It’s so popular that you need to start planning a year ahead to get the best accommodation and even camping sites book up quickly.
Festival of Motorcycling
The Isle of Man is synonymous with motorcycles and between August 19 and September 1 the island also hosts The 2017 Festival of Motorcycling, which will include the Manx Two Day Trial, Classic TT racing and the Manx Grand Prix.
Although not a biker’s festival, Bloodstock (August 10-13), the UK’s largest heavy metal festival, is very popular with bikers. Held at Walton on Trent in Derbyshire, it is four days of head-banging bliss, featuring ear-splitting music from more than 100 bands. Dress code: much black and much leather.
The Biker Guide has a comprehensive list of events, both big and small, from rallies and ride-outs for charity to larger weekend festivals. Ride Trader is another site crammed full of event listings.
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