There’s a bit more to moto racing, bike racing, or motorcycling, or whatever one wants to call it. It’s not just about hoping on a two-wheeled, internal combustion-powered engine and driving as quickly as possible. There’s a seemingly endless array of sub-genres of racing, ranging from endurance rallies, to short hill climbs, to races that focus on hand-made motorcycles for petrol head enthusiasts. Here, however we’re taking a quick look at road racing:
For anyone who loves the mechanics of racing, endurance racing is probably one of the most fascinating genres of motor racing. There are usually two types of race, the kind that focus on who quickly a team can drive and the sort that focus on how far a team can drive in a given event. Unlike other types of racing it’s common for their to be more than one driver and teams are allowed to switch drivers so the machines can journey father and faster. The main aim is the durability of the equipment.
Not surprisingly the first races were performed on normal roads and streets in and around towns, back when traffic laws were more lax or non-existent owing to a lack of motor vehicles on the road. These races took place on public roads that were closed for special events. Because of the great speed at which bikes compete nowadays and potential hazard to the surrounding environments these road races are less common than they once were, but do still take place, with the most famous event arguably being the Isle of Man TT
Despite the popularity of road and endurance races it’s easy to say that Grand Prix is the most popular event. It has the highest number of spectators, the most bets are placed on it, and it’s very much a family-viewing event. Within grand prix racing there are the three subcategories of Moto3, Moto2, and MotoGP, listed here in order of weakest (250cc) to most power (1000cc). Notably, the motorcycles raced here are purpose-built for the races and often serve later as prototypes or templates for production vehicles after being tested on the rigours of the racetrack.
Superbikes are the the cousin on Grand Prix bikes. Unlike Grand Prix racing these bikes are required to be production bikes (ie, available to the public). That is to say, that they need to bear every superficial resemblances to production vehicles, but unsurprisingly, the engines have been modified to enhance speed and performance.
There are literally scores more types of motorbike racing events that might best be considered having a niche appeal, but if you’re interested in the sport or are keen on getting involved as a spectator, then check out any of these categories of bike racing and enjoy!