If you’re considering entering a rally race, prep is essential – both in terms of your bike, your riding skills, and your endurance. But what about things like roadbook navigation and a little bit of rally experience?
While it is definitely possible to train for a rally race on your own, rally training schools can be a fantastic option if you’re still on the fence. All over Europe, rally training events are getting more and more popular, and it’s a great way to get a taste of a rally without the pressure of the actual race.
So what are rally training schools, which one should you go for, and is it worth it?
Rally Training Schools
As far as we know, there isn’t a tour or training company dedicated to rally training only, but some off-road schools and motorcycle clubs do offer short rally training events. Usually, it’s one or two days of riding using roadbook navigation, a short introduction of what to expect in a rally, and some solid tips and advice from rally vets. In Germany, Hessler Racing runs a few of those short rally training events, and in the UK, Rally Moto has a membership-based program for rally raid training events throughout the year.
Rally Training Events
Here at Cross Country ADV, we love the Bosnia Rally training event which takes place in the Balkans every year.
Bosnia Rally is designed to teach riders roadbook navigation, but it also mimics a real rally race very closely. You have special and liaison stages, very diverse terrain, and often, long distances. The format follows a rally race template very closely – with just one exception: there is no timing. That is, you are riding in a rally format, but there is no pressure to actually race. Instead, so you can focus on things like navigation, testing your own skills and endurance, and learning where you need to improve.
Bosnia Rally is a three-day event, and it’s a great way to experience what a rally race is all about, test your bike, figure out roadbook nuances, and get an understanding of what to expect from rally races like Hellas Rally, Dinaric Rally, or any other European rally race.
Another option to get a taste of what rallying is all about is to enter any of the major European rally raids, but choose the Adventure category. The Adventure category riders usually aren’t timed and can navigate using both roadbook and GPS, so it’s another way to experience a rally without the pressure of racing and learn your navigation. Adventure Raid category is usually aimed at large adventure bike riders, but you can enter on any motorcycle. After the Adventure Raid experience, you can then enter a timed rally race category for your next event.
Hellas Rally Raid has one of the best Adventure Raid formats out there, and you can progress within the event itself – do the Adventure Raid first, then try out the Enduro Cup and then, if you feel ready (and hooked!), go for the full monty.