2017-02-28 01:45:23+0000 - Mendocino, California, United States

Speedway is one of the earliest power-sliding motosports

Those that race Speedway do it until they can't race no more. Racers don't walk away from Speedway.

It’s a form of dirt track racing, where stripped- down motorcycles race around an oval track. The motorbikes used for speedway are not remotely like any machine you will ever see on the roads, they are fundamentally simple in design. They have acceleration on par with a Formula One race car (0 – 100km/h in under 3 seconds) but rather surprisingly have no brakes or rear suspension and there is only one fixed gear (modified by changing the sprocket). The engines 500 cc single- cylinder four valve, four strokes with air cooling. Methanol is used instead of gasoline allowing them run at very high compression ratios.

The bikes go counter clockwise around an oval dirt track consisting of clay, crushed stone mix. The dirt allows the riders to slide their machines around the bends only to scrub off enough speed while still providing lots rear wheel drive through the turn. Tracks generally range between 200-440 meters in length and are often surrounded by a safety barrier.

Most races (known as heats ) consist of four riders racing over four laps from a clutch start. There (invisible) gate positions when the riders line up at the starting tapes. They are numbered from the inside (nearest center green) gate 1 to 4. Gate 4 is often considered the worst gate, however this isn’t necessarily the case based on track conditions and the individual’s riding style.

The rider must not touch the tapes with his tire. If this happens they are put back 10 yards from the gate and they have start the same time as the others without rolling forwards. Description from the guys at Paris Speedway.

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Love this sport, these guys are some of the toughest athletes on the planet, they race with broken hands, broken collar bones, insane, I live in Australia and get up in the early hrs of the morning to watch the speedway gp, highly recommend this sport for excitement and it's great live too

 

Crazy sport @SuperchargeR.  Damn dusty but still must be pretty exciting to witness live.  Have you ever been?

 

Cool article, I'd love to know more about the bikes. What stripped down bike is used or are they built from the ground up for this? What kind of front suspension do they use? What's they weight on average? A little about the frame maybe. I honestly didn't care at all for this type of thing but you're story really did make me curious