2023 Touratech DirtDaze Rally

Scene: 2023 Touratech DirtDaze Rally | RoadRUNNER Motorcycle Touring & Travel

The 2023 Touratech DirtDaze Rally event returned, once again, to the North Haverhill Fairgrounds location, on the edge of the majestic White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. The original DirtDaze event was founded by Christian Dutcher about a decade ago, but it has since partnered with Touratech and pushed the standards even higher.

This year, BMW joined in with its complete ADV lineup, presenting its demo bikes alongside Triumph, Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, and KTM to provide a unique experience for riders who wanted to learn about and test new models. The monstrous Triumph Rocket 3 and Speed Triple 1200 RR provided a different type of ride through the beautiful landscape.

For their rides, the participants could choose from multiple GPX tracks with varying difficulties. Most riders signed up for guided group tours, but self-guided tours were encouraged. There were rides for every taste, from easy-going and road-biased adventure tours to gnarly off-road tracks with some hero sections that spilled into Vermont.

For those looking for a different challenge, the rally had a new exciting option—a geocaching competition. Riders tagged themselves in different locations across New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts to gather points. The winning rider eventually won a $1,000 prize.

The food was plentiful and tasty. The fresh pancakes in the morning would put any diner to shame. On the last evening, there was a local firefighter-sponsored barbecue dinner, which included steaks, potatoes, and corn. Add to that the beer kegs and a local ice cream booth, and the culinary vibe was as good as it gets for a motorcycle event. A guitar player and singer was also an addition for 2023, providing a relaxing live backtrack of blues and classical American rock and country songs.

The camping grounds were positioned next to a vibrant marketplace with vendors selling gear, aftermarket parts, touring packages, and even coffee beans. This was not a camp-and-ride type of event, where everybody goes to their tent and sleeps after the ride. Lots of riders mixed, mingled, and made new friends. At the end of the day, the events are really about people, not just riding—we can do that alone.

After each long day’s ride and dinner, the entertainment started. The activities included really slow racing and a fierce fight in a tight box—an American version of Japanese sumo wrestling with motorcycles. The loser was whoever dropped a leg to the ground or touched the bounding box first. The cheering and laughing crowd made for quite a scene.

On another evening, an off-road obstacle course competition took place, the participants demonstrating incredible control and technical skills. As darkness fell, there was a fireplace with plenty of wood and a movie night with BDR adventures. Other activities included training sessions for riders. Plenty of female riders of various ages were also in attendance, encouraged by the SheADV organization.

A raffle was the highlight of the last night, with valuable prizes. The grand prize was a seven-day adventure tour of Colombia with Épico Moto Adventures, worth around $4,500.

The administration was flawless, thanks to the many kind volunteers who were happy to assist. Some riders arrived from more than 1,500 miles away. This is an event that should not be missed—a perfect mix of nice people, excellent rides, and beautiful scenery.