Motorcycle Racing: No Roll Cages in the Two-Wheeled World
Motorcycle racing comes in many different flavors - from road racing at 60-degree lean angles and 200+ mph to ice racing on arena ovals to trials riders scaling impossibly steep rock piles. Two-wheeled machines with powerful engines just beg to be raced.
Motorcycle road racing is my personal favorite kind of racing. These race bikes have streamlined bodywork (or fairings) to cut through the air, at over 200 mph on the straights of some road courses, which feature left and right hand turns. The bikes can be leaned over at extreme angles (up to 60° or more) and the racers routinely drag their knees and some even have elbow sliders on their leathers these days.
(as in motorcycle grand prix) - This is the top road racing series in the world and where the best riders go to prove themselves. Think of it as the Formula One of motorcycles. It's getting a bit dated, but this great
You Tube clip of the 2009 MotoGP season preview
should give you a taste of what it’s all about. This is prototype motorcycle racing, so there aren’t any hopped-up street bikes here. Hugely expensive one-of-a-kind, high-strung racebikes putting out over 220 hp and weighing about 326 lbs adds up to high-speed action and cutting-edge technology. Three classes of bikes compete in the different classes with the 250 cc Moto3 and 600 cc Moto2 classes supporting the premier class of 1000 cc machines.
World Superbike (WSBK) is the most prestigious class of production-based motorcycle racing in the world. Currently, these “superbikes” are up to 1000 cc 4-cylinder motorcycles and with V-twin motorcycles getting a 200 cc advantage to 1200 cc. The old racing adage of "win on Sunday, sell on Monday" is the idea here since they use actual production motorcycles as a base and add a slew of racing parts to make them go faster. The WSBK series has some of the most exciting and closest roadracing in the world, despite not having quite the prestige or following of MotoGP.
WSBK - 2011 Imola Race 1 Highlights
AMA Superbike (now American Superbike) is the top roadracing series in the United States. Since it was reorganized in 2009, the bikes are closer to stock in order to control costs, but the racing has gotten better since then. The level of the top riders is among the best in the world and they sometimes make the leap to one of the world championship series.
Josh Hayes 2011 AMA Superbike Champion Season Review
British Superbike Series: It can be argued that as many top riders come out of the BSB series as the AMA series feeding into World Superbike and MotoGP world championships. Since they race in the UK, these guys have to be better wet-weather riders than those in most other series! And yes, all these series race in the wet with grooved racing tires. 2011 was probably the closest championship ever with Tommy Hill beating out American John Hopkins for the championship at the last round by 0.006 seconds!
The 2011 BSB Championship Was Won By 0.006 Seconds!
Motocross/Supercross: These events are probably the most popular form of motorcycle racing in the US and is popular in other parts of the world, of course. Supercross is an American tweak where the cross-country style motocross format is brought to large venues like stadiums and arenas. Motocross races that are run on more natural(ish) outdoor courses. The bikes have knobby all-terrain tires and cushy suspensions to soak up the shock of flying over jumps, bumps and the rhythmic "whoop-de-doo" sections of the track.
AMA Supercross is Probably the Most Popular Form of Motorcycle Racing in the US.