Motocross is big in the motorcycle community. Although most of us are not active racers, we still try to keep up with the championship listings. Motocross’ extremely difficult requirements make it very entertaining to watch live and recorded.
Motocross started in the UK in 1909 as a motorcycle trial competition. Once it grew popular, it was internationally recognized as “motocross racing.” The first official motocross race was in Camberley, Surrey in 1924. From there, the sport only became more prominent as rules and practices were developed specifically for it. The Motocross World Championship was born. In countries such as France, Spain, Italy, and Japan the motorcycle industry started technological advancements purely for motocross.
Cyclists compete on a course over rough and hilly terrain. In international competitions, courses are 1-3 miles long with many humps, muddy areas, and numerous turns. Although races are only about 40 minutes per heat (there are 2 heats per race) long, it’s a very enervating sport for riders. Between heats, cyclists may receive repairs but are not allowed to change bikes. The outfit norm for motocross competitors consists of knee and thigh pads, padded boots and gloves, a plastic chest protector, a helmet and goggles, and a kidney belt for support. Riders, under the Federation Internationale Motorcycliste, are segmented into three classes based on engine-displacement limits of 125cc, 250cc, and 500cc.
Supercross is an adaptation of motocross that started in the US in the 1970s. Supercross takes place indoors with artificial dirt tracks inside of large arenas. These courses are usually shorter than motocross but include longer and more frequent jumps.
Top Motocross Races
There are 4 major motocross races that take place globally. The FIM Motocross World Championship is usually held in Europe but has held events in every continent besides Antarctica. The American Motorcycle Association Motocross Championship starts in summer and takes place in major tracks all over the United States. Motocross des Nations is an annual race with no consistent venues; the most successful Motocross des Nations races were held in Belgium, Great Britain, and the United States. Lastly, the British Motocross Championship is an off-road race in the UK.
Conclusion | What is Motocross
Motocross is more than your average bike race. Imagine NASCAR on motorcycles, hills, and dirt roads. The racers constantly put their lives in their hands with leaps and turns at great speeds. It all comes down to weight shifting so that racers can maneuver their bikes safely.
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