Some of you may know already, but motocross is an extremely challenging sport both mentally and physically. It involves motorcycles specifically designed for this sport and a lot of physicality is involved. Motocross has always been intriguing to many people. The aurora of the track and its severe difficultly not to mention it’s intimidation combined the riders fearless attitude and determination draws in many fans. The point of motocross is to be faster than anyone else in a race of a certain number of laps around a special course with severe terrain changes. Motocross is the type of sport that creates questions like: Hey did you hit the 110 footer on the back straight or, hey man that was a nasty whip. A whip is a special technique for jumping or getting airborne. In the simplest terms, you turn the bike as you go off the face of the jump to lose momentum and land in a shorter distance. It looks extremely hard and intriguing. Sometimes the bike ends up being horizontal instead of the usual vertical. Motocross has developed into a huge fan based sport. It continues to grow and gain popularity every day. Motocross started in France and Britain as scrambles or one-lap races usually on roads that were as much of trails as they were roads. These trails had some elevation change but few jumps and more natural terrain. The machines or vehicles the riders used were very similar to street motorcycles of that period. Early motorcycles used for motocross had two rear shocks. Then slowly new technology changed it to be one rear shock or a mono-shock. The rear shock is what allows the rear wheel to move up and down to absorb bumps and the forces from an impact. Without this shock, the bike would be very unstable and riding it would be nearly impossible. The sport had begun to change as its popularity grew. Then around the 1970’s the type of engines being used most switched. Four strokes are what most car engines are. They make low thudding noises when running. That would be because they take four movements up or down to make power. Two strokes unlike four strokes make a loud ringing or screaming noise. That is due to the fact that they take two movements up or down of the piston inside the cylinder to make power. Two strokes at that time were lighter and more powerful. With the switch to two stroke engines allowed the sport to be dominated by Americans who had recently begun accepting and adapting the sport. The Americans started having different and more specific tracks to race on. Such tracks would be supercross tracks that were a lot smaller and more technical. These courses had small corners with big high jumps instead of the long low ones that were normal. A supercross track is generally in a stadium instead of on a large piece of land outdoors. Then instead of the British and European motorcycle companies dominating and being popular the Japanese companies started to gain popularity and dominate the races. When the 21st Century rolled around new technology had been developed to make four stroke engines lighter and even more powerful. So, a switch was made again to change the type of engine being used. Now this year even newer technology is being developed to change the motorcycle almost entirely. Motocross is a highly physical sport because you have to keep on the bike and control it when the many g forces make the bike move in any direction imaginable. Now motocross has been gaining popularity and will continue until it becomes almost unignorable. Motocross can create an environment where the laws of physics are tested. Sometimes they are bent too far and the envelope is pushed every day.
January 14, 2010