Kawasaki ZX-10R goes on tour
Michael and the ZX-10R slip across the Channel for the weekend to watch supermotos take over the streets
We’re basking in crisp October sunshine and in the distance we can just about make out a rumble over the excited chatter and distorted Nirvana on the tannoy.
As the roar gets closer it explodes into a riotous, ear-splitting thunderclap and a squadron of supermotos charge by, inches from our feet. The deep, bass-driven roar of 450cc single-cylinder engines (and one wasp-sounding Honda CR500 twostroke) at full throttle quickly blends into a blood-curdling shriek as 35 angry racers, including former World Superbike man Troy Corser and current Moto2 rider Xavier Simeon, slide into the first turn in a cloud of dusty tyre smoke and disappear off up the road.
The 30th Superbiker (www. superbiker.com) weekender isn’t actually for superbikes, it’s a supermoto festival laced with stunt shows, beer, chips and mayonnaise, held on the closed roads of Mettet in Belgium.
‘Thirty-five angry racers, including Troy Corser, slide into the first turn’
As each race begins, the tannoy blasts out a tacky, cartoon-esque ‘Superbiker’ jungle track – it’s fabulous and adds to the craziness of it all. Supermotos sliding, skidding and wheelying through a normally bustling town centre – what’s not to like?
I rode there with my Ducati Streetfighter S-owning mate Dave. We jumped on an early Channel Tunnel crossing and did the 158-mile blast from Calais to Mettet on pretty straight and uninspiring motorways, but at least they were toll-free. It would’ve been better to take the scenic route, but we wanted to get there in time to watch as much racing as we could.
Not only did we get to witness a two-day masterclass of ‘backing it in’, we stayed at the Ferme Chateau de Laneffe on the Saturday night in nearby, sleepy village of Laneffe – a beautiful B&B in a castle and as cheap as chips (with or without mayo) this time of the year.
Our weekend proved you don’t need hot sun and twisty roads to have fun on a bike. It’s all about who you’re with, where you go and just enjoying the ride.
An early Chunnel and 158 motorway miles whisked Neeves to supermoto heaven
THE RIDER Michael Neeves, Sportsbike lover who also races in Thundersport GP1 HEIGHT 6ft WEIGHT 72kg
Two wheels, four wheels, it’s a crazy day out The normally polite town centre turns absolutely bonkers Belgium’s local delicacy goes down particularly nicely Two great bikes and a B&B in a castle. Life doesn’t get better