The 30km Bridgestone Trail, the 8km TRF Trail, and the Beginner’s Trail are some of the main attractions of the ABR Festival, and if you’ve been before, you know that it’s adventure bike riding heaven.

If this is your first time, just know that you’re in for a treat. If you’ve ridden the trails before, you’ll be glad to know that each year, we change it up to keep things fresh.

To bring you the best trail riding experience possible and to help you come to the ABR Festival as prepared as you can be, we’ve put together this handy guide for riding the on-site trails, which will cover everything from the bikes you can ride to the age-old question of ‘Which tyres should I fit to the ride trails at the ABR Festival?’

So, with only three weeks to go until the ABR Festival 2024 kicks off, read on for our tips for riding the on-site trails at the ABR Festival 2024. Remember, a Trail Access Pass is required to ride the trails, though they have now sold out.

Choosing the right tyres for the Bridgestone Trail

Before you even get to the ABR Festival and set foot on the trails, it’s worth thinking about the tyres you’ve got fitted to your bike. While the Bridgestone Trail is rideable on road-biased tyres in the dry, we strongly recommend fitting off-road tyres.

We suggest at least an 80/20 on-road to off-road bias, though, for slipperier, muddier sections of the trails, tyres closer to 50/50 are recommended.

Knobbly off-road tyres offer more surface area with which to gain and hold traction. On slippery, wet grass, this is important; in deep mud, it’s essential.

So, which tyres should you choose?

For adventure bikes, we recommend Bridgestone’s Battlax AX41. They deliver excellent off-road performance that goes beyond 80/20 tyres but retains great on-road handling as well.

We’ve run them on many of our bikes on all kinds of adventures, and we’re huge fans of their confidence-inspiring feel when on the trails.

There are opportunities to have tyres fitted to your bike at the festival but keep in mind that availability is limited, and tyres take time to fit.

To make the most of your weekend at Ragley Hall, we recommend that you have tyres fitted before the festival, which will give you more time to enjoy the on-site trails and also give you a chance to ride them in and get a feel for them.

Bridgestone is currently giving away three free accessories when you purchase a set of Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tyres from participating dealers, including waterproof bags, tool sets, garage mats, and battery chargers. Find out more about this fantastic offer here.

What’s it like to ride the Bridgestone Trail?

Kicking up dust, crossing open fields with stunning views over the countryside, riding logging trails through lush forest, fording rivers, winding down gravel tracks—the Bridgestone Trail is 30 kilometres of big bike-friendly off-road goodness.

It’s designed specifically with adventure bikes in mind and for enjoyment, not competition.

This means you won’t be swearing inside your helmet, negotiating endless ruts, or feeling pressured to push yourself beyond your abilities.

For those with more experience and confidence, there are optional hard sections along the route, which will feature more challenging terrain: think muddy water crossings, washed-out trails, and tricky descents.

But remember, these sections are optional, so don’t feel obliged to take them. And don’t forget, with a Trail Access Pass, you can ride the trails as many times as you like, so you can always return.

With this in mind, there’s a 30mph speed limit in place, and there’s strictly no racing.

The route is also run and operated by an excellent team of marshals placed around the Bridgestone Trial to assist you if you encounter any difficulty. They will also be enforcing the trail rules; more on those later.

Riding tips for the ABR Festival trails

For many people, the ABR Festival is one of their first experiences riding a big bike off-road, and we pride ourselves on making it accessible to everyone, regardless of skill level.

So, here’s a few tips to get you started.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend heading over to the Phoenix Trails Off-Road Training Zone at the festival to learn from world-class riding instructors and then go for a lap or two of the Beginner’s Loop to get a feel for riding your own bike off-road.

Once you’re on your bike and on the trail, standing up on the pegs gives you the most control over your bike and the best view of what’s ahead.

This doesn’t mean standing straight and stiff, but instead relaxing and letting the bike flow with the trail underneath you, using gentle inputs and balancing the bike with your body weight.

Keep your head up and look ahead of you, not at your front wheel. If you’re fixated on the ditch in front of you, you’re more likely to end up in it rather than the trail ahead.

You’ll have more time to pick your line and react to obstacles if you look ahead to where you want to go.

When the trail is dry, dust can make it harder to see the trail ahead, so slow down and leave some distance between you and the rider in front.

If it’s wet, even just in the morning from overnight dew, traction becomes much harder to find.

Wet grass is deceptively slippery, and road tyres can really struggle on them. Slow down, take your time, and seek out a trail marshal if you find it difficult. Again, it’s worth saying that to have the best experience on the Bridgestone Trail, it’s important to choose the right tyres.

Riding the TRF Trail

The TRF Trail is designed with more experienced riders and off-road-focused bikes in mind.

It’s 8km of challenging terrain, including steep descents, whoops, water crossings, and lots of mud, including the infamous Bog of Doom.

Road-legal enduro bikes are allowed on the TRF Trail, and your bike has to have 50/50 off-road tyres or above to even enter the trail – you’ll need them.

If you’re an experienced trail rider who loves a challenge, you’ll have a blast on the TRF Trail.

Understanding the trail rules

Certain rules will be in force throughout the weekend so that we can offer such incredible trails and keep them as enjoyable for everyone as possible. As mentioned earlier, the marshalling teams will enforce these, and it’s important to know what they are before you start riding.

You can find a full list of the rules at the bottom of the Trail Page of the ABR Festival website, but there are a few that you’ll need to see before you get to Ragley Hall.

All bikes ridden at the ABR Festival must be road registered, road legal, and insured. You must have your own insurance in place, which covers you for injury to third parties for the activities you are undertaking and does not exclude test rides or off-road use. Enduro bikes will not be permitted on the Bridgestone Trail, but are allowed on the TRF Trail (read more about this here). You must wear appropriate motorcycling gear, including boots when riding the trails, and panniers (hard or soft) will need to be removed.

See you on the trails

You can find the full details of each trail over here. Riding the Bridgestone Trail is incredible fun, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it.

Remember, to ride any of the on-site trails, you’ll need a Trail Access Pass. These are now sold out, but there are still heaps of opportunities to ride, including the Phoenix Trails Off-Road Training Zone, test-riding the latest motorcycles, green-lane ride-outs, and much more.

If you haven’t got your ABR Festival tickets yet, with only three weeks to go and only a very limited number of tickets remaining, don’t wait any longer. Join us at the greatest celebration of adventure biking ever held by getting your tickets here.