Humans love speed and adrenaline. Since the production of the first motorcycles, the sport of motorcycle racing had undergone many changes from its humble beginnings at the board track.
Different kinds and types of motorcycles have also been produced throughout the years, giving birth to a variety of motorsports we all love and enjoy today.
There are a number of different sanctioning bodies in the world of motorcycle racing – the most notable of which is the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclismo (FIM), the international governing body for motorcycle racing.
The main on-road championships sanctioned by the FIM include Grand Pix motorcycle racing, Superbike World Championship, Supersport World Championship, and Endurance World Championship. For off road, there are the Motocross World Championship, Supercross World Championship, Supermoto World Championship, World Enduro Championship, Trial World Championship, Speedway World Championship, and Freestyle Motocross World Championship.
The FIM has classified the different motorcycle races under four main categories, each with its own subcategories.
Hard, road-like surfaces paved with tarmac are the regular setting for this kind of motorcycle racing. The premier category in road racing is the Grand Prix which has 3 distinct classes: Moto3 for 250 cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke motorcycles and is limited to a maximum driving age of 28. Moto2 (Dorna Sports is the commercial rights holder of Moto2) on the other hand, uses 600 cc, four-stroke motorcycles. MotoGP also currently holds the highest class of GP racing with 1000 cc four stroke motorcycles.
Superbike and Supersport racing are also categories of motorcycle road racing which involves the use of modified production motorcycles. Superbike motorcycles must have four stroke engines within 800 cc and 1200 cc for v-twin, and 750 cc and 1000 cc for four cylinders. On the other hand, Supersport racing motorcycle must have a four stroke engine between 400 cc and 600 cc, or a 600 cc to 750 cc v-twin engine. The motorcycles must maintain the same profiles throughout the race. The overall appearance, from the front to the rear, as well as the sides, must conform to FIM standards.
Endurance racing is yet another type of motorcycle road racing where the endurance of both man and machine are tested. Teams are composed of multiple riders and they attempt to cover large distances in a single event. The motorcycles used in endurance racing are subject to extreme abuse, so engine reliability and performance are key in winning Enduro races.
Last on the motorcycle road racing category is Sidecar racing. Motorcycles are attached with sidecars and are built low and long. The rider and passenger must work together to successfully navigate corners, shifting their weights for optimum performance.