Riders You Should Know: Holly Varey

There are countless disciplines and sub-categories within the motorcycling world. From enduro to hard enduro, from MotoGP to vintage racing, we all enjoy our own unique blend of riding styles. Some of us specialize in certain segments while others excel at anything on two wheels. One such person is dual-sport rider and vintage road racer […]

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There are countless disciplines and sub-categories within the motorcycling world. From enduro to hard enduro, from MotoGP to vintage racing, we all enjoy our own unique blend of riding styles. Some of us specialize in certain segments while others excel at anything on two wheels. One such person is dual-sport rider and vintage road racer Holly Varey, and today we take a deeper look at what makes the renaissance woman so versatile.
As a Sales specialist at the Brandtfort, Ontario, dealership and gear supplier DualSport Plus, Varey surrounds herself with motorcycles on a daily basis. Her vintage 1970s Yamaha collection earned her the nickname (and Instagram handle) Yamaholly and she stays on-brand with her 2018 Yamaha WR250R daily rider. The venerable dual-sport allows Varey to explore the trails of Ontario, the U.S., and Baja, Mexico along with regular duty commuting. On the other end of the spectrum, Holly is a dedicated member of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group and helps plan the annual Paris National Rally. ‘

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While her moto interests already seem quite eclectic, we haven’t even touched on Varey’s vintage road racing career yet. Piloting a 1966 Mach 1 Ducati, Holly led various successful campaigns in Canada’s Vintage Road Racing Association (VRRA). During the 2018 season, Varey finished the season in second place in the P1-250 category with 80 points over four races. She followed up that performance in 2019 when she again took second in the P1-250 class, just five points off the title winner. She also rang up a second-place finish in the Pre-’65 500 class that year with 59 points.
Though COVID-19 marred the 2020 VRRA schedule, Varey hopes her race fortunes will be even better in 2021. For the upcoming season, she will run a 1964 Lyster Velocette Venom 500 built by Alan Taylor and previously raced by Gary McGraw.
“The experience of riding the Alan Taylor Special (Lyster Velocette) is probably a bit like paring down a tractor and streamlining it into a beautiful form for the track, if one can imagine doing that,” Varey told Silodrome. “It has loads of low-end torque; grunt to match the rider’s grit; all with an elegance and grace that balances it between aggression and art. The bike has presence, and that is no less apparent when sitting on it.”
Hopefully, Yamaholly can balance all that grunt, grit, and grace during the 2021 VRRA season, but we know she’ll be blazing trails with her eclectic blend of motorcycling regardless of the results.



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