This week sees the self-proclaimed ‘world’s toughest motorcycle enduro rallye’ take place in Romania – and Britain will be in with a great chance of standing on the top step of the podium again!
The Red Bull Romaniacs kicks off today with a specially created 13 obstacle prologue in the town of Sibiu, giving fans and media an opportunity to see the hardmen and women of motorbike sport up close, before they head out to spend the best part of 30 hours in the saddle for four days of extreme offroading through the Southern Carpathians, which climaxes with a spectacular and near vertical hill climb on Saturday.
Last year’s overall winner, Yorkshireman Graham Jarvis, is back to defend his title and he’ll be joined in the premier Gold class by three other Brits, Jonny Walker, Paul Bolton and Manx legend David Knight.
In addition to the 32 professional riders in the Gold class, over 400 plucky amateurs will take on the course in the (slightly) easier Silver, Bronze and Iron classes.
While the great majority of the field will be taking on the challenge with bespoke enduro bikes (the Gold field is made up entirely of Beta, KTM, Husqvarna and Sherco riders) there is an interesting entry in the Iron class, where German riding instructor Gerhard Forster will be competing on a modified BMW rNine T.
Built by accessories specialists Touratech as a rolling test bed for new products, the Touratech R9X is a stripped down version of the road bike and the first twin cylinder machine to enter the event in 14 years.