International West Kent Run booked solid once again

A firm fixture on the vintage motorcycle enthusiasts’ calendar is the International West Kent Run weekend, and the 33rd such event took place at The Friars, Aylesford, on August 5-6, writes Tony Page.

With a limited entry of 380, it’s actually a Thursday to Monday event, with social runs being organised each day except Sunday, and by the time I entered via the IWKR website at 6am on New Year’s Day, I was already the 32nd entrant to do so! In fact entry secretary Keith Gibbins told me the first entry had arrived at a minute past midnight. Keen!

The writer’s 1930 500cc BSA Sloper was among the large contingent of pre-war machines that took part in this year’s International West Kent Run.

It gives a clue, though, as to just how popular the event has become over the past three decades, and justly so. With participants from France, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and America joining the UK regulars, it’s primarily a riders’ event, with a serious helping of social interaction thrown in – and for the seasoned campaigners the runs begin on the Thursday night.

It kicks off with an evening ‘drop off system’ run of 30 miles around the back roads of west Kent, followed by a similar but longer 55-mile run on the Friday with a lunch stop at a rural pub.

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