Racing on two wheels is one of the most adrenaline inducing sports you can ever imagine, often times shadowing all other types of motorsport disciplines, including almost all auto racing events. It also has quite a lot of variety to its name, ranging from simple and pretty slow dirt bikes racing at local off-road tracks to the prestigious road racing series such as MotoGP and the World Superbike championship.Listed below are the most famous disciplines when it comes to motorcycle racing, which include the above-listed examples among many other types of race events:
Motocross – Off road motorcycle racing is often know as motocross by people who follow the sport. This kind of events generally involves riders contending on dirt tracks filled with a lot of twists and jumps, with road surfaces being either one or a mixture of sand, mud and grass. Regulations are much different than in road racing events, with all riders generally wearing a lot of exclusive motocross body armour. The race start is quite particular for the fact that all riders are lined up alongside each other. Super cross is yet another type of off-road bike racing, with the main difference being that they are held in indoor stadiums and arenas.
Speedway – Motorcycle speedway events are mostly held at local oval dirt tracks, with bikes generally being single gear machines for simplicity. They are quite similar to their four-wheeled counterparts in many aspects, including the need of power sliding for controlling the vehicles. Safety gear mostly similar to motocross gear is worn by the riders.
Enduro – As the name suggests, this type of events focus on emphasising the riders’ stamina and endurance. Events like this are often much longer, with even the shortest ones lasting in the region of three to four hours. A variation of enduro events are the so-called cross-country rally events (or rally raids) which are even longer events lasting several days at a time and involve travelling across miles of open off-road terrain.
Road Racing – Traditional motorcycle road racing is the term given to motorcycle racing events held on closed public roads. While it used to be quite popular in the past, it is now mostly confined to a few select events all over the world, such as the famous Isle of Man Tourist Trophy or the Ulster Grand Prix. Other road racing courses still exist, mostly in European countries such as Ireland, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, but this type of events are not quite as popular as other types of motorcycle racing events anymore.
Grand Prix Racing – This is the category that MotoGP belongs to. It involves racing at prestigious permanent circuits all over the world with professional riders with a vast amount of experience. Currently, there are three classes of bikes that compete in Grand Prix events and they are known as Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP respectively. The latter involves racing with prototype bike models with displacements changing according to the rules each year, with the current crop of bikes having a displacement of 1000 cc.
Superbike and Supersport Racing – These two categories involve racing bikes that are modified versions of otherwise standard production motorcycles. The main difference between the two is that Superbike events allow a lot more freedom to do modifications to enhance performance, while Supersport events are contested with fairly standard production bikes.