All roads lead to Killarney this June Bank Holiday weekend as the town gears up for the return of Ireland BikeFest – the country’s largest, free open motorcycle festival.
Headquartered at the purpose-built Bike Village located on the grounds of The Gleneagle Hotel, Ireland BikeFest kicks off on Friday, June 3 and runs for the whole bank holiday weekend. Bikers in their thousands from around the world are currently enroute to the picturesque town and after a two-year hiatus festival organisers are expecting a bumper attendance.
Festival highlights include guided ride-outs along Kerry’s most famous touring routes including the Ring of Kerry, the Skellig Ring, Caragh Lake and the Dingle Peninsula, marshalled by H.O.G.™ UK and Ireland chapters Celtic Thunder Chapter Waterford, Gaelic Chapter Dublin and Belfast Chapter Northern Ireland. There’s plenty of activity at the Bike Village too, including retail stands and traders, merchandise, the Harley-Davidson® Experiential Zone, the best festival food and lots of family fun. Grab a drink and kick back at the popular Harley® Bar, or simply sit and listen to the incredible line-up of live bands on three stages over the course of the weekend.
One of the biggest attractions, the custom bike show and awards ceremony, is set to take place on Sunday, June 5. All makes and models are invited to take part. Categories include the best bike in the show, the people’s choice best in show, best chopper prize, best trike, best classic, best special build, best paint and new for this year, best adventure bike.
Over in the Harley-Davidson® Experiential Zone, if you’ve never jumped on a Harley® before and want to experience the thrill, you’re in luck –and you don’t even need a motorcycle licence! Harley-Davidson® are bringing their JumpStart™motorcycle simulator to Ireland BikeFest this weekend. Here aspiring bikers can learn the basics of throttle control, balance and weight distribution on a fully equipped, road-going Harley-Davidson® motorcycle. You’ll climb on, start the bike up, locate your feet on the pegs, and get a feel for the bike without actually moving. It’s the perfect way to feel the thrill of riding a Harley®.
H-D has a full fleet of demo bikes for you to try out too as they bring the thunder to Killarney! If you have a full licence, you can test drive a range of Harley-Davidson® bikes including the all-new Nightster™ 975, the Sportster® S, the award-winning Pan America™ 1250, the top-of-the-range CVO™ Road Glide® and the classic Softails®. And for the first time in Killarney, the all-electric LiveWire™ will zip you through the scenery in near silence! There’s more! A new way to hit two wheels, the Serial 1 eBicycles Experience in the Bike Village, with a top assisted speed of 25 km/h, is another taste of the future for you to enjoy!
The ultimate spectacle is the Sunday morning parade where hundreds of all brand motorcycles rumble through the streets of Killarney before returning to the Bike Village for an afternoon of live entertainment and more festivities.
Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland said: “Fáilte Ireland is pleased to support this year’s BikeFest as it returns to Killarney, Co. Kerry. Events such as this are a brilliant opportunity for visitors to experience Ireland’s heritage and culture while taking in some of Kerry and the Wild Atlantic Way’s spectacular scenery. Festivals and events are a key component of Ireland’s tourism offering and they provide unique and compelling reasons for a visitor to choose a destination. They also have the ability to drive footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation. Festivals such as BikeFest 2022 play an important role in the recovery of the tourism sector for Killarney and its surrounding areas.”
Ireland BikeFest Killarney is supported by Harley-Davidson® UK & Ireland, The Gleneagle Hotel, Fáilte Ireland, Destination Killarney Ltd., Authorised Harley-Davidson® Dealers and is funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Local Live Performance Programming Scheme with support from Kerry County Council.
To keep up-to-date with festival news as it happens check www.irelandbikefest.com
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