We don’t often talk about motocross on this website, but it obviously needs to be done… witness the following video, you don’t get much more extreme than that!
This trail is found somewhere in Germany, and as one commentator said “I wouldnt even walk that trail, never mind ride it!”
So we’ll end with something a little more mainstream…
Motocross trials is now an immensely popular sport practiced all over the world. A motorized equivalent of the BMX trials, motocross racing is held on enclosed off-road circuits and is not a sport to get into if you hate getting mud on your hands…
We have the UK to thank for this sport. Way way back at the beginning of the 20th century, the Auto-Cycles Club held their first trials in 1906. This was followed by the Scottish Six Days Trials in 1909. These events were followed by a new type of discipline – to be the fastest rider to the finish in a flat out race. Known as ‘Scrambles’ from a whimsical reference to ‘a rare old scramble’, the sport proved popular and swiftly passed on to the Continent where it was renamed ‘motocross’ from the French word ‘moto’ for motorbike and the word cross-country. The name stuck.
The fledgling sport made its way across the ocean to America in 1966 when Swedish champion, Torsten Hallman, rode an exhibition event against the top American TT riders in California. The following year Hallman was joined by other motocross stars including Roger DeCoster, Joel Robert and Dave Bickers. They dominated the event placing their light weight two-strokes into the top six finishing positions.
As the sport gained popularity in the States, the Japanese started challenging European motorcycle companies in the motocross world and when Suzuki claimed their first world championship for a Japanese factory with Joel Robert’s victory in the 1970 250 cc crown, their supremacy was ensured.
European riders continued to dominate motocross throughout the 1970s but, by the 1980s, American riders had caught up and began winning international competitions.
Technology took its part and the motocross bike morphed into a machine that was water-cooled and fitted with single-shock absorber rear suspension. In the 1990’s manufacturers were encouraged to develop environmentally friendly four-stroke technology. By the turn of the century, all the major manufacturers had begun competing with four-stroke machines.
As the bikes evolved, so too did the sport. Freestyle, supermoto, supercross and sidecars are just some of the few alternatives you can turn your skills to. Competitions abound in every country. It is an active and continually growing sport.