During what seemed to be the only wet weekend in an extended block of hot sunny weather this year, Superior Motorcycle Experiences attended what’s quickly becoming the most popular biking weekend of the British calendar: The Malle Mile.
The team arrived to the site at Kevington Hall, one of the first there, and got to work setting up the SME stand. There was a sense of anticipation (and precipitation but that was being ignored) in the the air, everyone was keen to get going.
In the event fleet were two Brough Superiors to stand proudly on display, plus a heavily converted Benelli Leoncino and Royal Enfield Himalayan for participating in the racing and events. The hard-working and ever-so-friendly guys at Malle had put the SME stand in a prime location in front of the grand Kevington Hall and smack-bang in the main metropolis area.
James and his volunteer crew we were anticipating an exciting weekend of racing, networking and taking in the vast array of motorcycles that make up the Malle mile congregation. James has personally supported this event since it’s beginning five years ago and has watched it grow exponentially in that time, touching all corners of the classic and customer bike community. This year felt fresh all over again attending on behalf Superior Motorcycle Experiences, sharing a new message with an audience of fellow adventure enthusiasts. The stand was ready with two shiny Broughs and plenty of SME flyers, the racers amongst the congregation checked in and got rider numbers ready to try their chances on the various race formats – everything was set for a brilliant weekend… just as a large black cloud began to loom.
An atmospheric thundery Saturday saw the gates open fully for the 2019 Malle Mile. Bikes, racers, traders, families and enthusiasts from the automated fraternity poured in to enjoy everything Malle we had laid out for them.
The races included a hillclimb, a sprint across the Kevington Hall lawn, the Malle 100, the rough race and and new for 2019; the rat race and the midnight mile. The race formats were heavily contested as ever with lots of new machinery coming out of the woodwork and people from previous years having upgraded their equipment so as to be a more formidable opponent.
The rain came in on Saturday as quickly as the enthusiasts, and soon the tracks were slippery and wet, the racers were going to see some serious mud and dirt. Spectacular machines draw up on the start line to forget their roots and bury themselves in the mud. Thoroughbred dirt bikes, classic trials machinery and bikes that have never before, or since, deserved to be in such a dirt ridden situation became equal rivals in the queue.
Numerous bikes soon found themselves laid on their sides and confidence was diminishing at a rapid rate. Bikes riders and hay bales were soon strewn in various directions as the dramatic weather conditions made short work of the enthusiastic congregation. By lunchtime the sprint groups were coming to a close with the lightweights, women’s, classics, customs and scrambler categories all having their chance to race down ‘the muddy mile’ as it had now been dubbed.
The Superior Motorcycle Experiences race team was made up of George Beattie, our support rider Emily Page and of course James heading up the pack. Brand-new race jerseys with embroidered logos set them apart from the crowd and Emily made an impressive mark on the event winning the women’s category.
In between races the SME stand was inundated with questions and interest as the Brough Superiors worked their usual magic turning heads and drawing people in. There was a temporary addition to the format as a chap with his original Brough SS 80 came to chat. He brought some history with him about his machine and was very interested to see the legacy living on with the Brouogh Superior SS 100 MK2s that make up the SME fleet.
By the afternoon, the weather was once again quite pleasant, and the morning’s riders were proudly displaying the scars of mud that now embellished their fashionable motorcycle outfits.
Kevington Hall was blessed with better weather on Sunday and everything looked to be in order. The day began this time with the hillclimb and after a short bit of excitement with the novices and the lightweight class Emily stepped up to the line to battle it out with the other ladies who were all eager to knock her off her perch.
After an eventful practice race where she managed to highside herself on the penultimate bend, Emily gathered her faculties, lined up on the start line and started to chip away at the other 12 budding rivals. It came down to the final two being Emily and her rival from 2018 astride her classic custom Honda Cub 90.
The crowd sat hopefully at the trackside in anticipation of the flag dropping. The girls jostled in excitement before Emily was once again out in front! Closely fought battles, excitement, exchanging glances and smiles between the two of them all flashed by in a matter of seconds before Emily was once again triumphant and made it to the chequered flag first.
Art exhibitions, motorcycle talks and motivational celebrities from the automotive community helped to make this year’s Malle Mile more exciting and inspiring than previous years. The Malle team had surpassed themselves once again with fantastic artwork for this year’s event as well as exciting new race formats and great opportunities for the groups of enthusiasts network and mingle with one another throughout the various event tents in between the action.
The finals of the sprint classes soon came around as usual, the lightweights novices and female classes were at first. The Benelli with its specially fitted TK 80 tyres for the weekend rolled onto the grid with Emily on board. You could see the girls faces as they were expecting a 175 triumph tiger cub from the 60s (her usual ride) on the line and all of a sudden Emily had a 2019 500cc scramble weapon between her legs. Similar bikes were in attendance but not in the female classes. Emily had beaten everybody in this lineup in various races throughout the weekend or last year’s event and so she was excited as both the flag and her opponents soon went down.
After a weekend of friendly racing and new and old friendships being forged we all gathered for the prize-giving. The Malle team surround themselves with wonderful people, and every year sponsors like this year’s: Royal Enfield, Devitt, The Movember Foundation, Mutt Motorcycles, Sense films, English Electric and Rebels Alliance all pull together to make this event a phenomenal and formidable day.
SME had attended its first Malle Mile, the team’s names were on race wins, they spoke to many many interested potential customers and shared a dream with an audience of dirt and style based motorcyclists. Aligning SME with the likes of Malle and Royal Enfield at such a show was a real feeling of belonging in this community. Planning is already in place for next year, after all Emily has a title and ever-growing reputation to defend…