12 May 2023

Bikefest is back!

BikefestPaul Browne is looking forward to rolling into Killarney for the welcome return of Ireland Bikefest, a truly international gathering which this year celebrates its 15th birthday.


With the exception of a Covid-related hiatus in 2020, Bikefest has graced the streets of Killarney every year since 2007.

Its return this June bank holiday weekend will, then, mark its 15th anniversary.

Quite a party is planned, but then this is Bikefest, so isn’t there always?

Whilst the organisers stress that the event is open to all riders on all bikes – and indeed it is – the four-day show is dominated by Harley-Davidson machines and their proud owners.

Indeed the American giant co-brands and sponsors the event. As a result there’s usually a full H-D fleet available to test ride for the duration of the event.

Free for all

BikefestBeing completely free, the shindig tends to attract riders in their thousands from all over Europe and further afield . This is as much for the craic to be had over the weekend as it is to ride out and enjoy Kerry’s stunning roads and scenery.

Come the evening on each day the attendees are treated to a mini rock festival.

A live entertainment complex is built beside the INEC venue. Here Bikefesters will find no fewer than three stages with bars and food stalls in abundance.

It’s important, however, not to stay up too late as the surrounding country is motorcycle nirvana. Stay fresh for the morning ride!

Picture perfect

BikefestCo-hosts of the event are the Harley Owners Group (HOG).

The girls and boys from this club host rideouts across the county. The stop off points include some of the best restaurants, views and photo opportunities anywhere in Ireland.

If, like me, you don’t fancy riding in a group there’s a whole lot to discover when you go solo.

While I’ve almost worn a groove in it, the Wild Atlantic Way still never fails to impress me.

The sparsely populated mountains have roads that would appear to have been made for motorcycling. If you stop off at Slea Head you can see the Skellig Islands in the distance.

Killarney calls

BikefestThe town of Killarney, meanwhile, is a tourist heaven.

Old world pubs, world class restaurants and even a more than decent cigar shop are all to be found in the town.

It’s a biking bonanza which deserves the label ‘unmissable’. Accordingly, I’ll be there, albeit on a Yamaha… 

For more details visit the official Ireland Bikefest website.

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