Touratech Rally East 2017 Blew All Others Away

Touratech Rally East 2017 was a wet, wild and super-fun weekend in central Pennsylvania. The third edition of the event was attended by approximately 300 people and vendors, with Mike Lafferty and KTM set-up onsite. Dakar and Baja legend, Jimmie Lewis was on-hand to talk riding, do amazing demonstrations and lay-out and host the famous Touratech Slow-Race and Challenge courses. We’ll get back to that.


On Thursday night we introduced Hot Laps and Hot Wings for the first time. Riders got to preview the 8-Acre, onsite big-bike, grass-track followed up by feasting on mountains of hot-wings. The weather was perfect, the riding sweet and the wings had some spice.

After the wing-fest Touratech GPS guru Eric Archambault taught a comprehensive GPS class and the ladies from SheADV had a meet and greet with some of the female riders at the rally.


There were seven group rides each day of the rally. Routes were created to appeal to riders of all skill levels so you could do a three-hour ride on pavement or a 170 mile adventure going over multiple terrains and taking up to 7 hours!

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During the day, while the rides were out exploring the forests of Central PA, speakers and workshops took place in a large circus-style tent with video and sound wired in.


Friday afternoon, the rain fell pretty steadily for a few hours creating some slippery conditions in and around the rally site, but the presentations were packed and by the time the rides started returning in the afternoon the sun burst through and pretty much dried out everything. Some areas were still slick so the slow race took place on Friday evening for safety purposes. There was no shortage of participants and Jimmy put them through their paces! The trophies were definitely earned.


Saturday started as a perfect day for motorcycles. A light morning fog quickly burned off and the day was awesome. By the time the rides returned to the rally site, the hillside next to the main rally area had been transformed into a killer, swirling escargot, that incorporated rocks, logs and mud. We’d just finished setting the P.A. system on top of the hill when we got the warning: Remnants of hurricane Harvey were baring down on us and lightning and heavy winds were expected. We made the call to postpone the riding festivities while waiting out the rain.

It was more than rain. Wow!

Suddenly the sky turned a color I’d only seen in nightmares, kind of a purple/black and it started undulating and there was a low howl as lightning, thunder and rain began to overtake us. The poor caterers were trying to scoop up chicken pot-pie in a bread bowl and everything was exploding around them. It was wild!

People gathered under the large tents, donated kegs were tapped and vendors tried to hold down their EZ-Ups as rider’s tents and anything not tied down (except humans and motorcycles) flew around. Up on the hill behind us port-a-potties were blown over. Luckily no one emerged from them dyed blue.


Finally the storm ended as fast as it started and after a brief time of shock and amazement over what was a once in a lifetime experience people laughed and pitched in to clean up and the party started. We replaced the motorcycle event with an uphill mud- run for the trophies on foot and Touratech handed out dry rally t-shirts and raffled off helmets, gift-cards and cool donations from vendors. By the end of the evening it turned out to be one of the most fun rallies we’ve hosted. Something about a storm like that really brings people together.

Everyone in Huntingdon, PA had an adventure and experience of a lifetime and we can’t wait to see them next year!