Motorcycle: Sports Two Wheels - Dirt-Track And Hill-Climbing
Date: Sunday, October 31 @ 17:33:06 UTC
Topic: Motorcycle, Motorcycles, Motor Cycle
Dirt - Track And Hill - Climbing
America's most spectacular bike sport takes place on one-mile (1.6-kilometre) ovals, where up to 16 riders thunder round on big Harleys with no front brakes. Through the turns they hold the bikes sideways under power from 100 horsepower V-twin engines, rear tyres throwing up dirt, and on the straights they slipstream or draft at speeds up to 130mph (209kph). The American Motorcycle Association (AMA) Grand National Championship also includes half-mile (800 metre) races, and quarter-mile (400 metre) short tracks, where 600cc single-cylinder bikes are used, and also steeple-chases, which combine elements of dirt-track and motocross.
Dirt-track began on horse tracks at country fairs across America before the First World War. Harley-Davidson's first official race entry was at the big 300-mile (482-kilometre) event at Dodge City, Kansas, on July 5 1914. The sport was America's most popular in the 1930s but it wasn't until 1946 that the AMA held a one-off championship race at the Springfield Mile, won by Norton-mounted Chet Dykgraff. Harley rider Joe Leonard was the winner in 1954, when the championship was first decided over a series of races, and the American marque has been the most successful ever since.
The most famous dirt-track bike is Harley-Davidson's XR750 V-twin, which was introduced in 1970 and has been taken to victory by dozens of riders, including multiple champion Scott Parker. Honda mounted a successful challenge with the RS750 V-twin, which took four consecutive titles after its introduction in 1984. But the Japanese firm pulled out after the AMA changed the rules to limit the RS's power.
A similar fate met the most outrageous dirt-track bike of all, the four-cylinder, two-stroke Yamaha TZ750 on which Kenny Roberts won the Indianapolis Mile in 1975. Bikes with more than two cylinders were banned at the end of that year and even Roberts didn't complain. The season-long battle for the champion's No plate included road races as well as dirt-tracks until separate series were set-up in 1986. Racing dirt-track from a young age has contributed to the road-racing success of many American riders including Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey.
The other peculiarly American sport is that of hill-climbing - basically a test to see which rider can go furthest and fastest up a dirt-covered slope that starts steep and gets steeper. Hill-climbing has a long tradition at events such as the famous Widowmaker, and produces long bikes with heavily-treaded rear tyres, An event called hill-climbing also takes place in Europe but this contest is based on timed sprints up a short, twisty tarmac course.
This article comes from Free Vin Check, Get Vehicle History Report, Free Car History, Used Car History, Auto History, Free Vehicle History, VIN Number Check, Car History, Lemon, Check
The URL for this story is: