Motorcycle Sport in the UK

Moto Grand Prix

Moto Grand Prix

Motor Sport is popular across the world and is split between four wheels and two. The later, Motorcycle Sport has a very rich and proud history. The first motorcycles started being manufactured in the second half of the 19th century and came about as a result of the  “safety bicycle,” which is a bicycle with front and rear wheels of the same size and a pedal crank mechanism to drive the rear wheel.

The development of the motorcycle shared improvements made in bicycles and automobiles such as gearing, chains, brakes and suspension systems. However, there is not one single idea or machine which could be described as being the first “motorcycle”. Instead, the idea of the motorbike has occurred through developments of numerous engineers and inventors around Europe at around the same time.

Motorcycle sport is a fairly broad field which encompasses all sporting aspects of motorcycling. And interestingly, the disciplines of motor-sport are not all “races” or timed-speed events. Several disciplines test a competitor’s various riding abilities and skills.

The main types of motorcycle sport in the UK are:

  • Motorcycle Trials

    Motorcycle Trials

    Motorcycle racing (which is also known as Moto racing and Bike racing).  Motorcycle racing is a motorbike sport which pits one or more riders against each another on high powered motorcycles. Motorcycle racing is generally split into two categories, tarmac-based road disciplines and off road. Many people will be familiar with Moto Grand Prix where riders race at high speeds on tarmac tracks around the world.

  • Road rally. Road rally is based around navigation and takes place on public roads with competitors having to visit a number of checkpoints in different geographical locations while still obeying road traffic laws.
  • Speedway. Speedway is a popular motorcycle event where the motorbikes have a single gear and no brakes. It often takes place on dirt tracks.
  • Birmingham Brummies on Speedway

    Birmingham Brummies on Speedway

    Freestyle Motocross. Freestyle Motocross is a motorcycle competition based upon points for acrobatic ability on an MX bike over jumps.

  • Motorcycle Trials. Motorcycle Trials is not a racing sport, it is based around trials where a test of skill on a motorcycle by the rider is judged when attempting to traverse an observed section without placing a foot on the ground. The winner of Motorcycle Trials is the rider with the least penalty points.

As with all sports there are strict rules and regulations relating to the build and performance of the motorbike. Motorcycles, the riders and clubs or teams often have sponsorship to help with purchase and maintenance of the motorcycles, motorcycle helmets, motorcycle boots, motorcycle gloves and other expensive motorcycle clothing such as leathers and other accessories and transport.

Motorcycle sport can range from the fast and furious on a track to the steady stand-still balancing on an obstacle course and continues to be enjoyed world wide with dedicated TV channels and magazines.

Article by Simon Lucas.

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