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Off-road virgins no more – and proud of it!

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Converts take to social media to share their enthusiasm

Facebook is buzzing with comments and pictures from the 400 people who had their first taste of dirt riding over the weekend.

The four day long Motorcycle Off-Road Experience was held between 13th - 16th June at Brake Hill Farm in Brigstock, near Ketting.  It was organised by the members of the Motorcycle Industry Association’s off-road group, to provide people with the opportunity to try off-road riding for the first time.

This attracted people from 38 different counties plus London.  Some were road riders, but quite a few had never been on a bike before.  Despite this, most managed to progress to a full motocross trail by the end of each session, with the help of expert trainers, including 3 times World Champion Dave Thorpe.

Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha provided bikes, kit and trainers for a heavily subsidised fee of just £15.  The AMCA ran the trackside element of the event with overall project management and communication provided by the MCI.  Other off-road organisations also attended to provide a comprehensive induction into all off-road options. These included the sporting body ACU and the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF), which works to preserve the use of green lanes and offers a gentler form of recreation for motorcycle off-roaders.

The weather was windy but mostly dry and with so many people turning up early for sessions, it was easy to bring the start time forward one day when rain threatened.

The MCI contact centre managed the registration and booking process and is in the process of surveying all participants to see how they will be pursuing their interest in off-road riding.  93% agreed to be contacted by manufacturers and trainers post event.

Howard Dale, General Manager of Kawasaki and Chair of the MCI’s Off-Road Group says the response was incredibly positive: “I’ve never seen so many happy faces in one place.  People were buzzing after their first taste of off-road riding.  It was the same among all those involved in running the event too. This level of cooperation within the industry is unprecedented, and the ‘feel-good factor’ for everyone involved over the past four days has gone off the scale and importantly many of those attended are determined to pursue further training or buy a bike!”.

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