Want to follow some race action that’s different from the usual sportbike scene? You’re in luck – the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge starts today in in Mesa, Arizona.
Of course, Hoka Hey organizers say their event isn’t a race, it’s an endurance challenge, but any event that involves motorcycle riders and a prize for finishing first seems to fit the definition pretty well. Road races are illegal, though, so officially, the event remains a rally-type challenge.
The challenge (only open to air-cooled Harley-Davidsons) runs 10,000 miles of back roads through 48 states before ending in Nova Scotia. Riders aren’t allowed to ride recklessly, are forbidden from using devices like radar detectors or GPS, can’t take help from family members along the way, aren’t allowed to bet on their performance, and must camp with their motorcycle at night.
If you keep all those rules, rules, rules (there’s plenty more listed on their website), and you’re one of the top 25 finishers, you can share in the $500,000 prize.
The rally was dogged by lots of controversy last year – two participants died, and several more were involved crashes along the way. There were also allegations that the race was a scam when the winners didn’t receive their $500,000 prize immediately, but the organizers came through with the prize money at Sturgis as they said they would.