Three Racing Motorcycles

The 6 Craziest Motorcycle Races In The World

We already discussed how motorcycling is soothing and relaxing. However, it can also be fun and exciting, even more than you may have imagined.

 

If you’re a fan of adventure and danger, you should look into crazy motorcycle races. These are perfect for getting the most out of your bike and adrenaline at the same time.

 

Still, these races aren’t your usual competitions. These are crazy in every sense of the word, so make sure to give the topic a good thought.

 

Continue reading to learn about the craziest motorcycle races, what they are, and how/if you can participate.

Isle of Man TT

The Isle of Man TT is a run on public roads that are closed to the public. It consists of a week of practice and a week of racing. The racing is a tradition that was started by racers in the 1920s.

 

The idea was to tour the Snaefell Mountain Course on bikes on Mad Sunday. It’s an informal event held on the Sunday between Race Week and Practice Week.

 

The event is often criticized since the number of deaths that occur during the race keeps growing. The riders participating must have a valid National Entrants or FIM Sponsors License for Road Racing.

 

They should have a UK driver’s license or a license from a comparable country that’s recognized by the UK department of transportation standards.

Brief History

The first race was known as the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy and was held on Tuesday, 28th May, in 1907. It was organized by the Auto-Cycle Club over ten laps of the St John’s Short Course of 15 miles 1,470 yards. It was meant for touring motorcycles with saddles, pedals, exhaust silencers, and mudguards.

 

The event then transferred to the Snaefell Mountain Course of 37.40 miles. It developed from a single race with two classes to two individual races.

 

There was no racing from 1915 to 1919 because of the First World War. It continued in 1920 before making another break due to the Second World War. In 1992, the organizers added the 250cc Lightweight TT race, before adding the Sidecar TT in 1923.

Why is it so Dangerous?

Isle of Man TT is by far the most dangerous motorcycle race. Between 1907, when it was first to run, and 2019, there have been 151 deaths during practices and races on the Snaefell Mountain Course. This adds up to a total of 260 fatalities, including riders killed ruing Clubman TT race and Manx Grand Prix.

 

Only in 2016, five riders died during competition or official practices. The deathliest year was 1970 when six competitors died.

 

The event is held in England, where people have lots of love for adventure, risk, and death-facing races. It’s hard to tell why so many competitors die, although most people think it’s due to their riding style combined with the treacherous roads of the track.

North West 200

North West 200 Logo

This motorcycling event is held in Northern Ireland, in an 8.970 miles (14.436 km) road course between Portstewart, Coleraine, and Portrush in the Causeway Coast and Glens.

 

This course is one of the fastest in the world, with an average speed ranging from 120 mph to 200 mph. It’s one of fifteen events run between April and October. However, North West 200 is the largest event in Northern Ireland that’s held every year. Some 150,000 people come from the entire world to witness the competition.

 

It was first meant to be organized by the City of Derry & District Motor Club, but it was then moved to the north coast. The Coleraine and District Motor Club have organized it since 1964.

 

The circuit is made up of public roads, although it does include three speed-reducing chicanes. The route passes many private houses, running anti-clockwise and entering the outskirts of the towns.

Brief History

The first race was held on Saturday, 20th April 1929. Many major names such as Stanley Woods, Ernie Nott, and Percy ‘Tim’ Hunt participated. However, W J McCracken won the handicap race, riding his 348cc Velocette with winning time being 3hr8m35s.

 

Since that day, many unknown riders have become household names. However, no events were held between 1940 and 1946 because of the Second World War. The event resumed in 1947, but it had to be canceled again in 1948 due to a lack of fuel supplies.

 

On its 20th anniversary in 1949, the event was held again and received the largest entry of 113 competitors.

 

In 1972 the event had to be canceled one more time due to the political situation in the country. The government thought that such a large public event could be a potential problem.

 

Even back then, the competitors came close to riding 190 mph on high straights. This was an issue because the tire technology couldn’t keep up with speed, so many riders had to retire or slow down due to tire wear.

 

The daytime practice was first added in 2010, while the competitions on Thursday evening were introduced in 2012.

Why is it so Dangerous?

It’s considered dangerous because it’s held on a public street circuit that’s just not meant for this type of riding. Not only the margin of error is incredibly small, but the bikes included are heavy and usually roaring at 200 miles per hour.

 

There are lots of possibilities for chaos and death because these are public streets. Although they’re closed for public traffic, the streets are not the best fit to support this type of riding.

 

Although the organizers remove most of the street signs and place bales of hay on the bases of telegraph poles and lampposts, the streets are still high-risk.

Ulster Grand Prix

Ulster Grand Prix Logo

The Ulster Grand Prix is held on the 7.3-mile Dundrod Circuit. It consists of roads that are closed off for the public, located close to Belfast, Northern Ireland.

 

The first Ulster Grand Prix was held in 1922 but didn’t get the title of Grand Prix d’Europe until 1935 and later in 1948. It was included as one of the inaugural 1949 Grand Prix motorcycle races until 1971.

 

Its organizers claim that this is the fastest race in the entire world. Fans come from all over the world to witness the unique atmosphere and experience hospitality. The competition is fierce, which adds even more to the overall experience. You also get to see some of the brightest talents and major household names.

 

Every year, the organizers try to make the event even bigger and better than before. That’s easy to notice with each passing event, so you can only imagine what it’s going to look like in the future.

Brief History

The first Ulster Grand Prix was held on 14th October 1922 and was pushed by Thomas Moles, who was a Member of Parliament and a motorcycle enthusiast.

 

The first event had 75 competitors in four classes that included 600cc, over 600cc, 250cc, and 350cc. It has been held on three circuits. The Old Clady circuit (20.5 miles) was used between 1922 and 1939, featuring a bumpy 7-mile straight. It ran across the grass runaway at RAF Aldergrove and Loanends Primary School.

 

In 1953, the event was moved to the Dundrod Circuit (7.401 miles), where it’s still held. In 1972, the event was canceled due to the political situation in the country. However, it was held during the foot-and-mouth crisis in 2001, although Isle of Man TT and North West 200 were canceled that year.

 

In 2007, it had 162 competitors, including 38 new riders. In 2010, Bruce Anstey won the Ulster Grand Prix, setting a record of 133.977 mph.

Why is it so Dangerous?

Ulster Grand Prix is considered dangerous mostly for the same reasons other races are labeled as such as well.

 

The competitors ride heavy-duty bikes in public streets, which is more dangerous than it sounds. Although the streets are closed off for the public, there are still plenty of things that get into the way.

 

In August 2017, Jamie Hodson, 35, was killed during the event at Dundrod. His brother Rob clipped the grass verge and had fallen from his bike.

 

Some four riders tried to avoid Rob’s motorcycle, and Jamie was thrown into a telegraph pole trying to do so. He suffered a cardiac arrest and a fractured skull, dying shortly in hospital.

 

Most deaths happen similarly with riders trying to avoid one another or hitting things along the road. Because they ride at high speeds, they usually end up with severe injuries.

Dakar Rally

Dakar Rally Logo

The Dakar Rally is formerly known as the Paris-Dakar Rally. It’s an annual rally raid organized by the Amaury Sport Organisation.

 

Although most events were from Paris to Dakar, they have been held in South America since 2009. Interestingly, the race is opened to professional and amateur riders, although amateurs make up about 80% of all the participants.

 

This is an off-road endurance event, and the terrain is much tougher than what you see in conventional rallying. Most sections are off-road, and the riders have to cross dunes, camel grass, mud, erg, and rocks. The distance between each stage varies up to 800 to 900 km per day.

 

The engine capacity limit for all motorcycles is 450cc since 2011. They can be either twin or single cylinder. Also, all riders are divided into two groups – Elite and Non-Elite.

Brief History

The race was first held in 1977; only a year after Thierry Sabine got lost competing in the Abidjan-Nice rally. The incident occurred in the Tenere desert, and it was soon decided that the location would be quite suitable for a regular rally.

 

182 vehicles competed, but only 74 of them survived the 10,000-kilometre trip to Sakar, Senegal. The event’s first winner was Cyril Neveu, and he rode a Yamaha motorcycle.

 

In 1980, there were 216 competitors, while 291 enlisted in 1980. Neveu won again in 1980 and again in 1982, but this time, he rode a Honda motorcycle. By that time, the event had 382 competitors.

 

In 1984, the number of competitors rose to 427.

Why is it so Dangerous?

The Dakar is probably the most dangerous rally in the world. There are up to 500 racers from all over the world competing in this 14-stage race.

 

At this point, 59 people have died, and it’s important to note that not all of them were riders. Some were mere spectators. For example, in 2010, a woman died in Argentina after a car hit her during the seventh stage of the rally.

 

An Argentinean rider, Jorge Martinez Boero, died on the first day of the rally in 2012 after he fell off his bike. He suffered a heart attack.

 

What makes the event as dangerous is the number of people participating, but also the terrain. The most extreme is Africa’s deserts, although the 8,000-mile race goes through Chile, Peru, and Argentina as well.

 

Plus, drivers have to find their way by using maps. In many cases, many people end up lost and unable to finish.

Baja 1000

Baja 100 Logo

This is an annual Mexican off-road motorcycle race held on the Baja California Peninsula. Ed Pearlman founded it in 1967.

 

The Baja 1000 is among the most prestigious off-road races in the entire world. It brings competitors from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Bahamas, Belgium, England, Canada, Finland, Germany, France, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, The Balkans, every state of the USA, and many other countries.

 

The Baja 1000 marked its 50th anniversary in 2017. It’s the final round of a four-race annual series, including the SCORE Baja 500, SCORE Desert Challenge, and the SCORE San Felipe 250.

 

It allows plenty of types of vehicle classes to compete on the same course with classes for motorcycles, cars, trucks, buggies, and ATVs.

 

Over the years, the course has remained the same. It’s a loop race with start and finish in Ensenada, or it’s a point-to-point from Ensenada to La Paz.

Brief History

The history traces back to the Ekins brothers of Los Angeles. In 1962, American Honda approached a Hollywood stuntman and motorcycle racer, Bud Ekins. Honda wanted to test the durability of its new CL72 Scrambler.

 

It was Ekins’s idea to do a timed 950-mile run from Tijuana to La Paz. It was known right off the bat that the route would be a challenge for both Ekins and the Scrambler. Luckily, his brother rode along with Bill Robertson, Jr.

 

It took them nearly 40 hours to complete the track. However, the event gave Ed Pearlman the idea to create NORRA and run the first race from Tijuana to La Paz in 1967.

 

It included cars, trucks, and motorcycles competing on the same course with checkpoints along the way. It has evolved over the years, and now, it hosts up to 40 classes based on skill level, age, and vehicle type.

Why is it so Dangerous?

The Baja 1000 is chaotic as it has plenty of different vehicles competing in one course. It’s considered to be the craziest off-road race in the world.

 

There are many threats from dust storms, equipment failure, and unforgiving and remote terrain. The course winds through remote, treacherous, and rocky terrain. Dust storms are quite common and are known to cause many accidents along the way.

 

Another reason why this one is as dangerous is that the public roads don’t get closed off. Instead, you have the locals racing right next to you. And as if that isn’t enough, onlookers build booby traps for no other reason than their entertainment.

Pike’s Peak

Pike's Peak Logo

The PPIHC is an annual motorcycle and car hill climb to the Pikes Peak in Colorado. Some people know the event as The Race to the Clouds.

 

The track is 12.42 miles long and features more than 156 turns. It climbs 4,720 ft. from the start at Mile 7 to the finish at 14,115 ft.

 

It once was a series of paved and gravel sections, but the highway is paved as of August 2011. All the events were held on asphalt since then.

 

The race is contested by quite a few classes of quads, motorcycles, trucks, and cars. New classes are added and discarded each year as well. The PPIHC has some 130 competitors on average, although the number keeps rising.

Brief History

Lt. Zebulon Pike first saw the mountain in 1806, after which he swore that no man would conquer it. However, many people have climbed it since then. Some were walking, while many of them were riding on motorcycles, cars, trains, horses, and even mules.

 

A carriage road has been built by 1900, so Spencer Penrose, who was one of the city’s major benefactors, decided to publicize the new road. He saw the tourist potential and decided to run an automobile race to the summit of Pikes Peak.

 

The Pikes Peak Auto Hill Climb was held on August 10, 11, and 12, 1916. Rea Lentz won the first-ever event, with a time of 20:55:600.

Why is it so Dangerous?

Many people think that the savagery of the Pikes Peak race is the wildest in America.

 

This isn’t a common, usual racing event. It’s a hill climb, riding some 150mph on a motorcycle or a car. The sheer idea is crazy, even before you think about the terrain, climate, and other factors.

 

Weather is a big factor since you can start in the sunshine before you find yourself in a thunderstorm rather quickly. You might also experience wind, fog, blinding snow, and hail.

Conclusion

How do you feel about crazy motorcycle races now? We tried to bring the excitement and danger as close as possible without you having to participate.

 

These are fun, but they’re not for everyone. Each of these races is extreme, highly dangerous, and has people dying each year due to several reasons. If you consider participating, you should first evaluate your risks and whether they’re worth the fun and excitement.

 

Another thing to keep in mind is that these usually cost money as well. There’s prize money included, but you almost always have to pay an entrance fee of some sort.

Road Racerz