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When I got an invite to join the ABR Festival, I had no idea it would change the course of my motorcycle life for the coming year. At first I actually lifted an eyebrow because in my mind I had trouble combining “adventure riding” and “festival”, I mean, how were they going to combine music performances with what I prefer the most – riding in remote places in other countries. Nevertheless, Jeku and me wanted to go and check out that motorcycle festival. I had zero expectations only wanting to tick off the box “have a good time”.

Upon arrival we got a sweet camping spot right next to the headquarters and very important, the bar. After a quick check-in we scouted the terrain of Ragley Hall in search of familiar faces, which we found pretty easily in Jason and Bob. Two of the most crazy-ass fun online friends we have and now we get to spend some days together. Ragley Hall is an impressive estate in Warwickshire, overlooking on more than a thousand acres of unspoiled countryside. This year ABR got permission to map out an off-road track through the property that was fingerlicking good. It wasn’t too spicy even for the bigger adventure bikes and the speed limit was mildly tolerated, it’s just a way of having a bit of common sense when you’re on a motorcycle gathering you keep an eye out for each other and you’re not getting a prize for being the fastest anyway. The Adventure Track was brilliant to test out all the bikes provided by the manufacturers, you’re not able to take them out individually for a spin but you get a good impression of how the bike rides following the marshals.
If you’re interested in something more spicy, there is the Enduroland track located not in the Ragley Hall, but a bit further down the winding roads of the countryside. Both bigger adventure bikes as crossbikes were eating their heart out all day. Want to go riding a full tour? No problem, ABR has your back. They teamed up with the TRF (Trail Rider Friends) to provide green laning tours from and back to the event site.
In addition to ride your own motorcycle or a test bike on the track, multiple manufacturers like Ducati and KTM bring their own school to the ABR Fest. I’ve ridden with Beppe in Italy a few years ago and it was just awesome hearing his voice again and his no nonsense attitude make it an hour of riding with the Multistrada Enduro never to forget. And to be honest, Sweet Lamb KTM Adventure Bike Experience triggered me into buying a brand new 790 when I got back home. So seriously only go testriding at Ragley Hall if you want to fall in love!
Don’t feel like riding but want to stroll along the premises all day? ABR got this covered too, the Adventure Market, different funny contests, guest speakers and food trucks are waiting for a visit. This year there were over twenty different brands going from motorcycle clothing like REV’iT, luggage like MoskoMoto, Kriega and brands with aftermarket accessories, present with their newest products, ready to be fondled by your hands to see if they match your standards.
Ever wondered in your life how you can transport your motorcycle to another country? I’ve counted dozens of people capable of telling you first hand how to do it. Simon and Lisa Thomas from 2ridetheworld even had to give extra presentations because of the massive success and Sam Manicom, the man, the legend himself, had a beer with me. Epic and fuel for the soul. David from Davida Helmets even stole a little piece of my heart, we already met at Dirt Quake in 2014 and the pure hearted man is in a way everything that adventure stands for.

The entire vibe of the festival is utter bliss and joy. Until midnight there is not a single moment where there is nothing to do. Every second you hear motorcycles and people laughing. During the day you can ride your heart out and in the evening you replenish it with stories from others and half a litre pints for two pounds. And so very British, there was zero chaos. People camped nicely where they had to, there was no ripping up the grass, no aggressive behaviours and no litter when all the bikers left on Sunday. ABR gets rewarded for the impeccable attitude of their guests. This year they could only use 30% of the estate of Ragley Hall, for 2020 they get 90% of it. So we can expect some seriously fun riding and even more things to see, hear and experience!


The 2020 Adventure Bike Rider Festival will take place between Friday 10th and Sunday 12th July 2020

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