Motorcycle Racing News AMA Supercross/Motocross History of Motocross Racing | Infographic

History of Motocross Racing | Infographic

Motocross History

During the early 1860s, an innovator named Pierre Michaux installed a steam engine, the first of its kind, on a velocipede. And, so the motorcycle racing obsession began, starting with time trials in the UK.

Today, this sport is now a billion-dollar industry complete with back flips, cliffhanger jumps and jam-packed arenas. Following is the history of motocross, along with an infographic attached below courtesy of Cannibal Cycle.

Motocross: How It All Began

It was the spring of 1906 when the sport began its evolution. The Auto-Cycle Club’s very first motorcycle time trials involved bikers thrashing their personal times as they rode round and round the course. It came as no surprise that most really wanted to race, and beat others’ times. And, so came the invention of the weekly “scrambles”, races for titles such as “fastest on the track.”

By spring of 1924, Camberely, Great Britain was hosting the first ever, official scramble. In time, the official name for the entire sport itself became, “motocross.” The word was derived from “motocyclette” which is motorcycle in French, and the combined words “cross country.”

Because racers used their street bikes, the races were a bit dangerous. Technological changes had to be made to make the bikes safer and faster for racing:

  • Suspension replaced rigid frames
  • Swing fork rear suspension was invented

Post War Aftermath: 2 Stroke Engines Hit the Scene

As the aftermath of World War II emerged, motorcycles used in the war by the army were purchased by civilians. Soon, motocross racing became popular again.

In 1952, FIM took its place as the “motorcycling’s governing body”, forming the European Championship Series. At the time, the machines were equipped with 500 cc engines. By 1962, just one decade later, a new racing division was created, which used 250 cc engines.

Eventually, the concept of 2-stroke engines emerged on the scene from companies like Greeves and Husqvarna. The new motocross bikes were much more lightweight and agile. And, unlike their 4-cylinder big cousins, they were much cheaper to maintain. Motocross races became even faster and longer than ever.

By the late 1960s, Japanese companies like Suzuki got into the motorcyle manufacturing business. The following decade, in 1972, the first motocross race to ever be held in a stadium took place at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Motocross Racing in 2014

If fans and racers had to name one thing instrumental in keeping past riders and modern bikers connected, it would probably be “racing” itself. Today, the sport is one of the fastest growing sports in America. This is due to such popular motocross events as the X Games, as well as corporate sponsorships.

US motocross races of 2014 consist of four main types of competitions:

  • Super Cross Racing – Held in sports arenas on artificial dirt, with articles and street jumps
  • Freestyle Racing – Two dirt bike routines judged by best tricks and longest air time
  • Big Air Racing – Two jumps made on dirt tracks, judged by trick originality and difficulty
  • Super Moto Racing – Dirt bikes racing on road tires, usually involving berms, jumps and whoops

Attached below is an infographic explaining the history of motocross courtesy of Cannibal Cycle (click on infographic to expand).

History of Motocross Racing | Infographic

2020 Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR (Long Range) First Look: 9 Fast Facts

The 2020 Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR is the "long range" version of the base Enduro, updated with a larger fuel tank to go over 300 miles. Here's a first look.

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Buyer’s Guide: Specs & Prices

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited This motorcycle is the big daddy of the Harley-Davidson lineup. With an MSRP of $44,039, the 2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited features...

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP Test: Super Performance on the Street

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP Test: Out In the Street When the Hypermotard came onto the scene in 2005, it immediately staked its claim in the...

HJC i10 Review: High-Quality Basic Motorcycle Helmet

HJC i10 Motorcycle Helmet Test: Snell Approval and More Since the debut of the high-end RPHA line six years ago, HJC has been consistently upgrading...

Top 5 Budget-Friendly Holiday Gift Ideas for Motorcyclists

Budget-Minded Motorcycle Holiday Gift Guide Here it comes - another Holiday gift season. If there’s a motorcyclist on your list to buy for, it can...

Ducati Streetfighter V4 S Claims ‘Most Beautiful Bike’ of EICMA 2019

For the 10th time, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer has claimed the "Most Beautiful Bike of Show" award. The winner? The Streetfighter V4 S.