Motocross: All About the Sport
Motorbikes have also been a source of fascination for many people; throw dirt into the picture and you’ve got a sport that not only tests your skills and endurance, but also brings to the forefront your competitive spirit. It is a form of off-road motorcycle racing that is held on off-road circuits. Motocross is a combination of the French word ‘motocyclette’ (or moto for short) with ‘cross country’.
How it all Started
The sport first started in the UK and was originally known as ‘Scrambles’. This is because it was it was a race to see which racer finished first and strict scoring of trials with delicate balancing all went out of the window. Evolved from motorcycle trial competitions – the sport saw a rise in popularity from 1909 onwards when the Auto-cycle Club’s first quarterly trial was conducted, followed by the Scottish Six Days Trial that started in 1912.
The Evolution of MotoCross
The first ‘Scrambles’ race took place in Surrey in 1924 and the popularity of the sport grew in the 1930’s when teams from the BSA (Birmingham Small Arms Company), Norton, Matchless, Rudge and AJS competed in the events. Due to the rugged terrain he racers encountered in the races, the bikes themselves saw vats improvements made. The rigid frames slowly were introduced to the concept of suspension which definitely made life easier for the racers. BSA riders dominated the sport after WW2 and became the largest motorcycle company in the world.
The motorcycling’s international governing body also known as FIM (Federation of International Motorcycling) created an individual European Championship using the 500cc engine displacement formula in 1952. Five years later, it was upgraded to World Championship Status. A 250 cc world championship was created in 1962.
The Japanese took over the sport during the late 1970s to early 1980’s as their technology caused a boom period to occur. The first stadium motocross event took place in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1972. Apart from the Japanese company like Suzuki which competed successfully for the crown of being motocross king, European riders too vied for the supremacy in the sport. By the 1980’s American riders had caught up with their European counterparts to truly give their competition run (or should I say race) for their money.
Major Motocross Championships
There are a few motocross championships and competitions which attract riders from all over the world and these events are bookmarked in any motor cycle rider’s calendar.
- FIM Motocross World Championship
Although the FIM Grand Prix Motocross World Championship is predominantly help in Europe, there are other versions that are held in other locations in North America, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia. This is considered to be the biggest and the most important motocross series worldwide.
- AMA Motocross Championship
Beginning around mid May to late August, the AMA Motocross Championship has twelve rounds that are held in twelve major tracks all over the US.
- Motocross des Nations
Just when the National and World Championship series have ended and you think the season is over, this event is held. Conducted at the end of the year, the locations change from year to year. The countries of Belgium, the US and Great Britain have enjoyed great success in this event over the years as their riders that represent their respective nations compete in the moto competition.
- British Motocross Championship
This became so popular, that apart from the regular rounds and classes, a youth class as well as a ‘Veterans’ class was added. The Maxxis British Motocross Championship is the main off roading competition in the UK.
How I got into motocross is a different matter. My best bud – whom the bike belonged to had signed up for a race and got sick the last minute. Not until that point I had been going on the tacks with him every weekend or every possible chance I had and he asked me if I could take his place.