Every year thousands of enthusiasts revel in the gleaming chrome, roaring engines or fast-paced drama at a series of world-class motorbike events around the island of Ireland.
The coming months will see the action rev into top gear yet again, and first to the grid is the International North West 200 – Northern Ireland’s largest outdoor sporting event and a world-famous road-racing spectacular.
Taking place from 10–16 May on the beautiful Causeway Coastal Route, the International North West 200 attracts the finest line-up of road racers on the planet and is a must-see for confirmed petrol heads and newbies alike.
Upwards of 85,000 spectators will find vantage points to enjoy the racing tussles on the circuit linking the coastal holiday towns of Portrush and Portstewart and inland to Coleraine. One of around 15 races run on closed public roads between April and October throughout Northern Ireland, the NW200 is also watched by a global TV audience.
The rip-roaring festival of speed has become a mecca for motorcycle fans, but also offers a host of fun throughout its Race Week Festival, with lots of family-friendly stunt shows, chat shows, firework displays, live music in the hospitality marquee and a free outdoor concert.
The event is also well-known for its relaxed paddock access arrangements, which let fans get up close to the world’s best racers, personalities and race teams and is valued around the world as being unique to the Causeway Coast.
Next up it’s BikeFest, running from 29 May – 1 June in the picturesque surroundings of the County Kerry town of Killarney. Now in its fourteenth year, this is Europe’s premier motorcycle and music extravaganza, attracting bikers, non-bikers and aspiring bikers from all over the world.
The festival’s Bike Village will play host to a range of high-octane activities, photo ops, festival food options, music, colourful bikes and characters, as well as gadgets and gizmos for sale and family-friendly entertainment.
Throughout BikeFest, top-notch tribute bands, DJs and cover bands will play for free in various outdoor and indoor stages, and in the Harley Bar in the Bike Village.
With a grand bike parade, daily ride-outs on touring routes along the Wild Atlantic Way and an exhibition of custom-built bikes, it’s a must for anyone who has even a passing interest in two-wheeled machines.