Motorcycle Sport of the Highest Quality
From the early days of competition, motorcycle sport has come on in leaps and bounds. And is really still evolving. When it first began it would be just a couple of guys racing to see who had the better machine, who was the better rider or who could ride the fastest. And in the beginning there were no complicated rules, guidelines or safety protocol, riders have to worry about today.
The ultimate goal of motorcycle sport is still the same, as in to be the best. But the sport itself has evolved considerably, with many manufacturers designing and manufacturing machines just for racing or to suit a specific purpose. There are a number of different types of motorcycle sport, that we've looked at already. But let's now focus on the top motorcycle sports held around the world.
Top motorcycle sports
Motorcycle Grand Prix (MotoGP)
This is the pinnacle of motorcycle racing events and the machines used are not based on production models, but prototypes. The motorcycles used by riders in these races have been custom built, specifically for the purpose of racing, with no expense spared. For the MotoGP class of racing the engine capacity of the machine is 1000cc. There are also two other classes, Moto2 and Moto3. The first class is for 600cc motorcycles whereas the other is for 250cc four stroke machines.
The motorcycles that take part in this type of racing are highly modified versions of production model motorcycles. This type of racing is popular for manufacturers because it offers them the chance to promote their products. The motorcycles can only race if they are four stroke and have to be between 750cc and 1000cc. Unless they are twin cylinders in which case they have to range between 800 and 1200cc.
Super Sport racing
This is another competition for highly modified production models but the engine capacities are much lower. It depends on the number of cylinders, but has to be between 400cc and 750cc. Compared to Superbike racing, the rules and regulations are much stricter.
This event takes place off road. Usually held outdoors it is run on an enclosed circuit made of mud, sand and gravel. This type of race is very demanding and will be held in all kinds of weather. The five biggest manufacturers that you can almost guarantee will be taking part are Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki and KTM.
This is very similar to motocross but is held indoors. The track will be a dirt one but the jumps will be more in number, the straights will be shorter and the course overall will be more technical. The motorcycles used for this are motocross are very different. Being much lighter and with longer travel suspension.
True road racing
Many consider this type of race to be the most dangerous and the only true motorcycle racing held today. One of the most famous is held every year on the Isle of Man. But there are similar road races held in the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, Macau, New Zealand and Germany. The races are held on public roads that are closed or barricaded.
This event is the ultimate test of man and machines ability and durability, rather than just a test of speed. They tend to take place on surfaces other than tarmac and can be set over a certain number of laps. Alternatively, the requirement can be to cover a certain distance in a given time.
This event evolved from motocross. The machines used look similar to motocross bikes but have road tires. Both tarmac and dirt are used in the course and riders drift when cornering.
Cross country rally racing
Considered by many to be the toughest of motorcycle sports riders have to cover long distances, often with the aid of GPS. Races can last for several days and it is the person who covers the distance between A and B the fastest who will be the winner. The Dakar Rally is a popular example.
Up to six competitors race against each other around an oval dirt track on machines with no gears and no brakes. The track is simply a combination of four left-hand corners that can only be ridden using a power slide.
This is a popular motorcycle event in Spain and the UK but competitors come from around the world. Rather than racing, riders have to overcome obstacles without putting their feet on the ground. The motorcycles are very light and they have no seat.
These events are about speed and little else. Competitors have to ride a straight quarter-mile in the shortest time possible. The motorcycles that are used will be highly modified. Some even run on nitro methane rather than petrol. Speeds of up to 200mph are regularly recorded over the distance of 660 feet.