[Features]

Rub Shoulders with Off-Road Royalty

5 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan | Photos: Donat O'Kelly, Jarrad Duffy

Have you ever shared a beer and yarn with one of Australia’s top Pro off-road racers? What about lining up alongside them and racing the same track? Well, that’s exactly the opportunity you’ll get if you enter the upcoming 2018 Transmoto 8-Hour at Mackay. Casting an eye over the event’s entry list this week confirms that there’ll be a few big-name riders and industry personnel lining up to rip into the epic Gum Valley track and surrounding trails in a couple of weekends’ time. In addition to KTM/Husqvarna Australia’s General Manager, Jeff “The Flying Freckle” Leisk, the down-to-earth and approachable likes of KTM’s Daniel Milner and Husqvarna’s Lachlan Stanford and Fraser Higlett will also be racing. Joining them will be the regular dose of former Pros (proudly ageing disgracefully), a heap of first-time racers, and a broad cross-section of riders from motorcycle clubs in Mackay, Townsville, Yeppoon, Gladstone, Rockhampton and even Cairns.

But, as the reigning and multiple AORC and A4DE champ, KTM’s Daniel Milner, points out, Transmoto’s Enduro Events aren’t about racing for sheep stations. “I love coming to these Transmoto events because they’re good fun,” said Milner after the Transmoto 12-Hour in March. “They’re a race, but they’re not that serious. They’re about the entire weekend – the road trip with your mates, the camping, the getting together with dirt bike people from all over the country, and the riding on an awesome loop with heaps of varied terrain. These events have such a good atmosphere, which is why a bunch of us Pro riders team up with mates or with customers from local dealers. I reckon these events are memorable because they remind people of all abilities why they started riding dirt bikes in the first place.”

Click here for more info and/or to enter the May 26-27 Transmoto 8-Hour at Gum Valley. But don’t muck around because entries are filling fast. And in case you’re not convinced, here are a dozen other reasons you ought to consider getting involved:

  • It’s held on private property, so trail/enduro and MX bikes are welcome;
  • Ironman, Pair and Team classes available;
  • The 17km loop includes hand-cut trails, virgin grasstrack and sections of the infamous Gum Valley natural terrain MX track;
  • Two nights’ free camping (Saturday and Sunday, entrants only);
  • Free Mackay 8-Hour T-shirt;
  • Food and drink catering is available all weekend;
  • Toilet and shower facilities on site (no powered sites available);
  • BYO BBQ and beers;
  • Lots of prizes up for grabs;
  • Spectators are welcome;
  • Free access to trade alley; and
  • One lucky entrant will win a 2018-model KTM on the day!

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