Motocross is one of the most popular and extreme off-road, motorcycle racing sports today. It is usually held in an enclosed off-road racing course that is composed of dirt roads, hills, ramps, and a lot of mud. The size of the course can allow up to 40 motocross riders to race at the same time.
In motocross, the bikes used are much lighter than normal motorcycles. Aluminum is preferred over other heavier metals to make the bike lighter. The bikes are categorized according to their engine size and it ranges from 50cc to 550cc. Motocross bikes are customized and adapted according to the rider’s taste and needs. With the harsh conditions of the motocross courses, the bikes have to be very durable to withstand all the big impacts and crashes that may happen during the race.
1924 – 1930
The earliest known freestyle motocross was held in 1924 at Camberley in Surrey and this event was known as the Scrambles. Riders in Europe began adding various obstacles and shortening the tracks of the courses in the following years. In 1930, motocross became very popular in the UK and different districts and companies constantly held events.
1950 – 1970
In the 1950, the introduction of swinging arm suspension greatly improved the technology of the bikes. In 1952, the 500cc European Championship was held by the international motorcycling governing body. It was then upgraded to the World Championship status in 1957. Companies began creating motorcycles that were lighter with more maneuverability. Japan began producing top quality motocross bikes that would rival the European bikes in the 1960s. In the 70s, motocross became popular worldwide, especially in the United States.
1980 – 1990
Japan continued with its high technology innovation of motocross bikes and greatly improved its quality. In the 90s, new laws were introduced, which ensured that the production of four-stroke motorcycles adhered to strict environmental standards.
Motocross has developed different types of riding disciplines such as Supercross, Arenacross, and Freestyle motocross. This type of sport continues to evolve with the improvement of the motocross technology and the demand for more extreme competitions.
Here are some of the most popular Motocross competitions held in Europe, USA and other countries worldwide:
- AMA Motocross Championship
- FIM Grand Prix Motocross World Championship
- Motocross des Nations
- British Motocross Championship
Other Types Of Motorcycle Sports
It is also called FMX and it is a variation of motocross wherein the goal of the riders is to impress the judge with a series of death-defying acrobatic stunts and jumps. The judge scores the acrobatic tricks according to the level of difficulty, style and the crowd reactions. This type of sport was first introduced at the 1999 X Games competition.
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Supermoto is an exciting motorcycle competition that combines the asphalt racers and the off-road racers in one, big, awesome race. The tracks are made out of asphalt and off-road with some jumps. Other Supermoto races have asphalt all throughout the course. The bikes usually undergo modifications with stronger engines, reinforced frames, and better road tires. Supermoto was conceptualized to bring the best riders from different genres into one big racing event.
ATV or Quad Motocross
The ATV and Quad motocross is just like the usual motocross event with extreme courses. However, the main stars of the race are ATVs and Quads instead of motorcycles. Races are usually held in motocross racetracks across the US and the courses features different obstacles such as dirt roads, wooded trails, hill climbing, and creek crossing.
Supercross is another form of motocross racing, but the main difference is it’s highly technical courses that are constructed inside a large sports stadium. The course is considered as very difficult because it has tighter turns, shorter straights, and very steep jumps. Since the course is in an indoor arena, the size of the course is limited, which makes it highly technical and extreme.
The Dangers Of Motocross
If you have seen a motocross event, you would immediately see how dangerous and insane this type of sport has become. The dangers of this extreme sport are very real and one fatal mistake can be very disastrous. Crashes are very common in any motocross event and it would seem that injuries are inevitable for most riders. Imagine flying 20 feet high into the air while trying to balance and control a roaring beast of a motorcycle and crashing to the ground with an impact that will rattle your brains out. The most common injuries sustained by the riders include broken ribs, broken collar bones, leg injuries and head injuries. Even if the riders are wearing full protection, the risk of fatal injuries is very real. However, motocross riders risk it all because of the thrill and the adrenaline rush they feel when they compete and race around the unforgiving race track.