It is one of the largest motorcycle racing disciplines on the Planet....but hardly known in America. In fact, except for a few tracks in New York, Florida and Ohio....Speedway Motorcycle Racing is only prominent in California, especially Southern California....home of Beach, Bikes and Babes !
It's an insane way to race....the crowds and the grandstands are usually close...VERY CLOSE to the action. That's how we build Speedway tracks....close to the fans. So close...it'll feel like you're in the race.....and if you sit in any turn grandstand....well, we suggest putting a hand over the top of your beer.....the dirt does fly at a Speedway Race !
Well....it's a titanium frame that weighs about 175 lbs. They strap these wicked fast 500cc Nitro and Alcohol fueled engines, add a gear or two....(the rider then locks his brains and sensibility in his tool box) and throws a leg over the seat. And YES....if you noticed, we didn't say anything about brakes or suspension....because a Speedway Motorcycle....HAS NO BRAKES ! That's right, these bikes have no brakes !
Just 4 racers at a time load in to the starting gate, the tapes go up....they go off....and no one can predict what happens when they all reach Turn #1 for the first time. But no one lifts....it's a full throttle sliding action, almost like those X-Games Drifting Car events. They go 0 to 60 mph in just 3 seconds and each race only last four laps.
The most accurate quote about Speedway in California was made by the LA Times....it read: "Speedway is Like a Party Interrupted Every 5 Minutes by a Race!” (pretty close to the truth)
These racers are young, tanned and extremely fit athletes. A veteran Speedway rider has wisdom, knowledge and experience on his side.... other more aggressive riders will grab a fistful of throttle and hold on. Each race lasts about 2 minutes (just 4 laps) so if your favorite rider didn’t come out on top in that race, he just might in his next race. The action becomes so frantic; it’s likely you’ll see a couple guys pealing their mangled motorcycles from the crash wall. Yes...there's a lot of crashing in Speedway.....but when these competitors "hookup"...the situation is poetry. It’s hard to believe you’re watching them stay on their bikes just inches from each other...broad-sliding sideways in a full speed ballet...then hoping the guy next to him doesn't put him in the wall.
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Sometimes You Just Wipe Out
It's Summertime and you are putting on down the road....