Curious about rally racing, but fear it’s too inaccessible for mere mortals, average adventure riders, and enduro maniacs? Here at Cross Country ADV, we used to think that, too… Until we took the plunge and started racing. And guess what – rally racing is a hell of a lot more accessible than we all like to think. Sure, it’s demanding, it isn’t cheap, and it isn’t for everyone. But if you’re dying to try a rally race yourself, don’t let the most common rally racing myths stop you. Here are some of the most popular ones…debunked:
You Need to Be a Pro Rider
Sure, being a skilled off-road rider helps, but you do not need to be a professional racer to take part in rally races. Most mid-level, and even some of the tougher rally races around the globe have amateur-friendly classes open to adventure riders and rally newbies like yourself. If you’re based in Europe, check out Hellas Rally Raid, Serres Rally, or SWANK Sardinia Rally – all of these events have classes aimed at ADV and enduro riders and require no racing licenses or qualifications. Ready to chase the big dogs? Rallye du Maroc has an Enduro Cup class where you can try your mojo in the desert; Intercontinental Rally is also an excellent choice, especially for large ADV bikes.
You Need a Rally Replica Bike
No, friend, you do not. You just need an off-road capable, mechanically sound, sturdy motorcycle to race. Amateur rally classes accommodate a variety of bikes ranging from 250 to 1200cc, so sky, quite literally, is the limit.
You Need Lots of Expensive Mods
Once again, nope. You will need a roadbook navigation setup – check out these simple solutions for roadbook kits if it’s your first rally race – but you can simply bolt the thing straight onto your handlebars, and you’re good to go. Want to make your life easier? Install rally footpegs so you can comfortably stand on the pegs for hours on end and have better control of your rear wheel. Other than that, just make sure you’ve got a tank with at least a 150km fuel range, a decent pair of off-road tires, and that your bike can take on prolonged abuse. You’re all set!
Rally Racing is Ridiculously Expensive
It is, if we’re talking Rally Dakar or Africa Eco Race. It isn’t, if we’re talking Hellas Rally Raid, Dinaric Rally, or Intercontinental Rally. Most mid-level European rally races cost around 800 euros to enter, and you’ll need to cover your fuel, food, accommodation, live GPS tracking, and racing insurance; other than that, it’s your transport costs and, if you choose to have assistance, your mechanic. You can go malle moto, however, and camp at the bivouac – it’ll save a large chunk of change.
The Logistics Are a Nightmare
No, if you choose a rally with a static bivouac – that is, a rally that has only one bivouac in the same place, and the stages are planned around it in loops. One bivouac, one camp, zero logistics. Dinaric Rally, Hellas Rally Raid, and Serres are all static bivouac races.
You Need to Be FIM-Licensed
Wrong! For Adventure Raid and Enduro Cup classes, no FIM licensing is required, and the paperwork is super simple: you’ll need your driver’s license, your bike papers, and racing insurance (which you can typically purchase from the rally admin team on the spot). That’s all – you only need an FIM license when you’re racing professionally.
So there you have it – the most popular rally racing myths debunked. What other rally myths are there that prevents you from trying a race? Share in the comments below!