The Goodwood Festival of Speed was this past weekend at the Goodwood Estate in southern England. Our friends at VisorDown got to attend, and also got to ride a gorgeous new BMW S 1000 RR in the hill climb.
When I say “hill climb” I don’t mean the long-swingarmed dirt bike kind of hill climb, I mean a paved road up what is sometimes a mountain and sometimes an easy hill on a very, very fast road bike. And that’s at least as exciting.
This one was a short trip and the hill was not so steep, but the bike still wheelied on upshifts. The excellent view of the bike’s speedometer will give you a good idea of how tight some of the turns are. It’s a bit difficult to get a feel for the altitude from the camera angle. The 1.16-mile course was originally the driveway into the estate. Since 1993 when cars first ran the hillclimb, it has gained popularity as the premier place to show off state of the art cars and motorcycles as well as classics and antiques.
You’ll note in the video that there are no fences along this particular route, but it is lined with haybales and lacks much runoff. The climb isn’t a contest but a showcase, or a test ride. Often, as is the case here, manufacturers will bring their newest machinery to display and make available for test rides.
The folks who run the Goodwood Festival of Speed are obviously giddy about it, and love the juxtaposition of the prim, proper old English “estate” setting with the absolute hooliganism that comes with the Festival of Speed. Loads of very fast and often very loud machines attend this festival just to show off their spectacular abilities, along, of course, with their stunning good looks.
This event should go on any self-respecting internal combustion fan’s bucket list.