What’s a Stark VARG test ride like?
It’s been 6 weeks since we received our Stark VARG demonstrators and we’ve already managed to clock up over 30 test rides at GC MX Club and QMP in that time. If you’re thinking about test riding a VARG – we’ve created the little guide below so you know what to expect on our demo day.
We will continue to run our demo sessions at GC MX Club and QMP – more dates coming soon.
Pre-book your Test Ride
If you want to test ride a VARG – use our sign up form here to express your interest. We have about 80 riders signed up for test rides currently and we will work through our list in groups of 6. If you are serious about buying a VARG soon – please say this in your form and you will be prioritised. The reality is – test rides cost us a lot to run. While we want as many riders to experience the VARGs – we are a business and we need sales to survive. So riders that are interested in buying one will be prioritised for now. If you just want to have a go on a VARG – we will be introducing VARG Experience Days with some sponsors in 2024 which will make it free for you to have a go and you won’t need to be serious about buying one straight away.
Pay your Test Ride fee
Once you have submitted the test ride form – you will receive a date, time, track location and test ride payment link. We only take 6 test riders per session – so it’s important you confirm your booking as soon as possible to lock in your test ride spot on the day you have been allocated. After 48 hours – your test ride booking time will be reallocated.
Why do I have to pay for a test ride?
OK – so now charge $100 for a 1 hour Stark VARG Test Ride session. We are a business that needs to make money to continue to operate. While we would love to offer free test rides on the VARGs like we did in our first 2 demo days – the reality is that keeping our 2 demo bikes in race condition for all types of riders is expensive. We have to replace knobbies, tubes, chains, sprockets and regularly service the demo bikes between test ride days – which costs us hundred of dollars a week. We also need to send 2 staff members to a track for the day and pay for fuel to get the bikes to the track plus all of the admin setting up the test rides, insurance, etc. So the reality is – we can only continue to offer test rides if they are paid. We do not make profit on test rides – think about it, 6 riders paying $100 each doesn’t even cover servicing the bikes and fuel for the van. Yes – we want many of you to test ride the VARG – but we can’t stay in business if we’re losing hundred of dollars a week to run test rides.
The other reason we charge for test rides is to encourage you to order your Stark from us and not another dealer or Stark directly. We only get paid if you order from us – so your test ride fee becomes your deposit if you proceed after the demo. Which means your test ride is free if you order a VARG from us.
You may see it as ours (the dealer) or Stark’s responsibility to shoulder the cost of test rides. This may be the case once the market is more developed – but for now, the only way we can offer test rides on these amazing bikes is to charge for them and separate riders that are genuinely interested in ordering one from everyone else that just wants to have a go on a cool new dirt bike.
What to bring with you
You will need your normal MX riding gear, helmet, pads, boots, gloves, etc. You will also need to bring ID and your credit/debit card for the insurance waiver.
We do not tolerate drink or drug use by test riders at our events. If you are under the influence of drink and/or drugs when you sign in for your test ride – you will be refused the right to ride our VARGs.
What happens when I get there?
When you get to the track – you need to sign in at reception and pay your track fee. The track staff will give you a wristband and direct you to the Stark tent. Come over to check in with us.
At check in you will complete the test ride waiver, we will take a photo of your ID and pre-authorise your payment card for the insurance. We will not charge your card – just ensure we can charge it if there is damage to the demo bike.
Which Stark VARGs can I ride?
We have an 80HP VARG with an 18″ rear wheel, foot brake, set up for a rider that weighs 70 – 75 KGs (Grey VARG). Our other VARG is the 80HP variant with a 19″ rear wheel, foot brake and set up for a rider that weighs 80 – 85 KGs. Please let us know which bike you prefer to ride when booking your test ride.
How does insurance for my Test Ride work?
Riders will need to have a Motorcycling Australia License (you can purchase a 1 day license) for insurance purposes. You need to check in at the track beforehand to pay your track fees – then come and see us to sign your insurance waiver.
What do you show me before I ride?
Before you head out on your test ride – we will show you the VARG controls and display settings. There are 5 ride maps on the VARG – we typically set our demo bikes into 5 ride modes based on normal dirt bikes. Ride mode 1 mimics a 250cc MX bike with no engine braking. Ride mode 2 is a 250 with high regen which feels like heavy engine braking. Ride mode 3 is a 450cc MX bike with low regen/engine breaking and Ride mode 4 is a 450 with lots of engine breaking. We can increase or decrease the power and regen available in each ride mode from 0 – 80 (full) in 1 unit increments – giving loads of control over power and braking. Ride mode 5 is Alpha mode for experts only. This is 70-80 HP with lots of engine braking/regen. Be warned – this power is incredible and unlike any dirt bike ever ridden before. Ride Alpha mode at your own risk!
If you come off the bike or drop it – the first thing you need to do when it is safe to get to the bike – is press the power button to put the bike into neutral. This will ensure the bike won’t take off if anyone accidentally grabs the throttle thinking it is not live. Then flag us to come over and assist you.
How long do I get on the VARG to Test Ride?
You will get 2 X 15 minute or 2 X 20% battery capacity track sessions in your 1 hour booking slot. We will also run through the bike settings and customise any ride maps for your second session. You can also bring your own bike to use at the track between sessions. There is no extra charge for this.
What if I want to change the Power & Regen settings?
After your first session on the VARG – you will come back to the Stark tent where we will go through your ride stats:
You will be able to see your top speed, distance, air time, battery usage and a load of other metrics. At this point we will also fine tune the ride maps to exactly what you want – more or less power and more or less regen/engine braking. Typically test riders have asked us to tune the 450 equivalent map down a little bit and turn the regen down too. It really depends on whether you like to coast into corners or brake really aggressively into your turns and how much power you want on tap when you exit the corners. Once we have personalised the ride maps to what you want – you’ll be ready to head out for your second session. We will run through the charging settings either in between your test rides or at the end. We can customise how quickly the VARG charges – ideally you charge as fast as possible at the track and slow charge when you get home or when you’re in a location with limited power.
What tracks & sessions can I Test Ride at?
You can pretty much ride any track at any time. Most riders have preferred to take the VARG on the natural terrain or championship tracks. We love the old stadium track which is more like a flat track. You can even use the paddock at the bottom of the venue if you just want to get used to the bike for a bit. There’s so many tracks at QMP and sessions are open – so just go and ride where and when you want during your test session.
GC MX Club:
Things run a bit differently at GC MX Club in Yatala. They only have the 1 track – so they usually run 3 sessions per hour which are broken into Adults Race, Adults Recreational and Youth. They also run some less frequent Senior only sessions for grey riders looking to get the track with less people on it. We give our test riders the option to go out in any of the sessions they are eligible for. Most test riders will go out for 1 of the adult sessions then relax for 30 mins before they head out for their second session in either Race or Recreational.
I love the VARG – I want to order one, what do I do next?
If you decide to reserve a VARG after your test ride – you do not need to pay a deposit. We will use your $100 demo day fee as your deposit and on the current timelines – you will receive your new VARG in February.
Once you have reserved your VARG – we will ask for your bike configuration. This includes the bike colour, power variant (60HP or 80HP), with side stand or not, front or foot rear brake and rear wheel size. Once we have this information we will place your order with Stark which will go into production in December.
I love the VARG – I need to trade in one of my dirt bikes to pay for it
No problem – we work with Team Moto on the Gold Coast for trade ins. If you complete this form we can get a trade in estimate from Team Moto. Once you are happy with the trade in price – we will connect you with Team Moto to take our old bike and pay you. You can then use those funds to pay for your VARG once it is ready to leave Spain.
I love the VARG – I need finance to order one
We partner with ALIS to offer finance on the motorcycles we sell. You can apply for finance here. Typically a VARG will cost you about $71 per week to own with a 5 year loan and no balloon payment.
I didn’t love the VARG
That’s a shame – we’d love to know what you didn’t like so we can get Stark to improve the bike. We know not everyone is going to love it – maybe its the lack of gears and clutch, or the noise and smell. Or maybe you just love 2 strokes. We get it, it’s not going to be everyone’s bag.
When can I get a Stark VARG?
We have a delivery of VARGs arriving in February – some of these bikes are still available to reserve. This won’t last long though. If you miss this reservation – we expect the next available bikes to arrive in April.
Can I ride the VARG in competitions in Australia?
Any other questions – please ask us in the comments section & we’ll add answers to this post
Thursday 9th November @QMP
Saturday 18th November – @QMP
More dates @GC MX Club coming soon