If you dream of Dakar, roadbooks, and the roar of engines in a rally bivouac, but can’t invest the time and resources required for a pro or semi-pro rally, you might want to consider a rally raid that accommodates adventure/dual sport bike riders. The way it works is this: you do 60-70% of the rally route, navigate by roadbook, GPS, or both, and get a taste of racing in a rally, but you can do it on whatever bike you currently own and do not need to be a licensed motocross or enduro pro. Sounds good? Here’s where you can do this.
North America: Yokohama Sonora Rally
The Yokohama Sonora Rally is modeled after the Dakar: it’s a tough and intense race in the sand dunes, but this year, it’s also open to adventure riders who can enter the Sonora Adventure Raid class. Before doing the rally, you can take their two-day roadbook navigation course at the Sonora Rally School, aimed at rally first-timers.
“If you’ve ever wondered what Dakar is like, Sonora Rally is designed to give you a taste, albeit a gnarly taste”, – say the Sonora rally organizers.
Rally dates: March 17-22, 2019
Europe: Hellas Adventure Raid
Hellas Rally is one of the biggest and most inclusive rallies in Europe, taking place in the rocky, gnarly terrain of Greece. This year, Hellas is offering two classes for adventure and dual sports riders: Hellas Lite, which is 70% of rally route and roadbook+GPS navigation, and Hellas Adventure Raid, which is similar but GPS navigation only.
If you want to try your luck and wheels at a large European rally raid on your own or rented ADV bike, Hellas is for you!
Rally dates: May 19-26, 2019
Asia: Rally Mongolia
If crossing the Gobi desert and flying across the beautiful Mongolian wilderness on your bike sounds like your kind of adventure, Rally Mongolia might be an awesome event for you. To participate in this seven-day, eight-stage rally, all you need is to be over 18 years old, hold a driver’s license, and have a bike (anywhere between 250-450cc and over).
Rally Mongolia organizers provide help with shipping and logistics, so start packing!
Rally dates: August 11-19, 2019