Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Motorcycle Racing - Recreational and Competitive


The sport of motorcycle racing is practiced by professionals as well as amateurs.  It is a sport conducted on various racing courses including a) roads, b) tracks, c) closed circuits, and d) natural environments or terrains.  Motorcycle racing is closely aligned with automobile racing.  This is due to the fact within the sport of automotive racing there has been and is generally is a sub-class allowed for motorcycle racing.  This has been particularly true within many of the old-style town-to-town road races.

Pinup Woman and Motorcycle
� Photographer: Bambi L. Dingman | Agency: Dreamstime.com

Motorcycle racing as a sport has enjoyed a long and historic tenure.  It began at the beginning of the twentieth century at Dourdan, France.  The sport of motorcycle racing began in North America about the same period of time:  in 1903.  The official establishment of the sport began with the Federation of American Motorcyclists within the city of New York.   The Federation of American Motorcyclists evolved into the American Motorcycle Association in 1924. The Daytona 200 (three hundred twenty kilometer) race has been the primary motorcycle race within the United States.

Grand Prix motorcycle racing began in the United States shortly after automotive-style racing resumed.  The Grand Prix style racing started after the First World War.  In Europe, the Belgian Motorcycle Grand Prix dates as far back as the (beginning of the) twenties:  specifically 1921.  The country of Germany began Motorcycle Grand Prix racing in 1925.  The Dutch Grand Prix also began in 1925.

In Europe, the Race for the Tourist Trophy is known as the most celebrated of Europe's motorcycle races.  The Tourist Trophy Race started taking place on the Isle of Man in 1907.  Decades later, the motorcycle course remains highly renowned.

There are as many forms of motorcycle racing as automotive racing.  The main styles include: a) trials, b) Speedway, c) motocross, d) drag racing, e) ice racing, and f) hill climbs.

1. Motorcycle trials began prior to the First World War and are conducted on and off highways. Speed is not a factor within the sport.  The motorcycle trial is a lengthy sporting event.

2. Speedway racing came about in the 20s in Australia.  The sport is conducted on a dirt track that is a short flat oval.  The motorcycles used for Speedway racing are extremely lightweight.  The gas tanks of the bikes are small and so are the brakes.

3. Motocross is a form of cross-country motorcycle racing and consists of a predetermined amount of laps.  The race is conducted on a closed course set out over challenging natural terrain.  The sport of motocross was first introduced in England and other parts of Europe in the late forties and early fifties.  By the sixties motocross was a spectator sporting event.  It became known in the continent of North America during the sixties.

4. Motorcycle drag racing is a U.S. event and dates back to the fifties.  Drag racing involves a number of top speed events between two motorcycle racers on a straight smooth track?one-quarter of a mile in length.

5. Motorcycle ice racing originated in Scandinavia in the 30s.  It is held on ovals on frozen lakes or ice-laden stadium tracks.  The bikes used in motorcycle ice racing have understandably spiked or studded tires.

6. Motorcycle hill climbs are uphill road races.  Each rider races against time; only one motorcycle is in motion at any given time.


Summarily, there are many ways to enjoy motorcycle racing:  as a spectator sport, or as a competitor.  It can also be enjoyed as a fun, recreational activity.  It has had a progressive history.  It is a way for a sportsman or woman to develop confidence and skill within the sport of racing.

Roberto Gallina Wayne Gardner Juan Garriga Alex George

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