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Midwest Supermotard

5039 Views 9 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  banda
Bout Damn Time.
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Lets Hear it for Supermoto

For all of you out there who would like to see more about this exciting type of competition, lets let the staff know we are interested.

Our Sean would be much better qualified to comment on this than I am, but for those who are not familiar with the sport.....

Its roots are with the made for TV "Superbikers" competitions held in the late 70s and aired on CBS (if I recall). The idea was patterned on the IROC car races, where the concept was to create a format for racers from different types of racing to compete on a somewhat level (metaphorically speaking) playing field. Unlike IROC, they left the choice of machine open.

A typical course would include a paved roadrace section, at least one sweeping flattrack turn and a motocross-type section with some jumps. Initially, a wide variety of different machines was tried, but what quickly proved best was a TT bike or a motocross bike with slightly cut-down suspension, and more pavement-oriented wheels, tires and brakes.

Clearly, with the differences in racing surface, bike setup was a compromise -- the bike that was best in one section would be slower in other sections. Same is true of rider skills. One result was frequent passing and repassing.

Anyway, the Superbikers events died out fairly quickly, but not before catching the attention of the Europeans, particularly the French. For the past 20 years, the new sport, renamed "Supermotard" (French couldn't use an English name, of course), grew steadily, and now is a huge sport in most of Western Europe. Several manufacturers now make specific bikes just for Supermotard -- eg KTM, Husky, Husaberg, VOR etc. Whether factory built, or home-grown, the typical bike is now a 4-stroke (although there are also a number of 2-strokes) dirt bike with lowered suspension, huge front brake, 17" wheels and hand-cut roadrace slicks or rain tires.

An outgrowth of this is the popularity of street moto bikes in Europe. This included bikes such as the KTM Duke and MZ Baghira, which are available here, as well as many smaller versions, from 125cc up.

In recent years, the sport has returned to the US, although it remains largely a local, club racing competition, and has remained "below the radar" of the mainstream media.

I personally think it is one of the most exciting spectator sports around.
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Anything that brings racing back to an affordable pasttime for a majority of people can never be a bad thing. This is the type of crossover thing, now that MX and Freestylin' is so popular, to bring new blood into the fold who might otherwise not be interested in riding on asphault...
I thought the following was true?:

Super Motard = "Super Motorcyclist"

Super Moto = "Super Motor Bike"

I'd be very interested in seeing articles, race coverage, etc. on this type of racing. The speeds are lower, bikes are cheaper and almost anyone can get into this sport. They even have classes that run stock knobbie tires or DOT tires on stock rims so your motorcross bike works just fine for entry level class.

I don't road race right now but I've been thinking of using my WR426 and running an entry level class here in Colorado in the spring.
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My French is rusty, but I think you are correct.

Since you are in Colorado, you might wanna check out the MRA (Mountain Roadracing Association) -- they have a roadracing class (Colorado Class) that was originally set up for that kinda bike. Plus, they are currently considering adding supermoto to the regular schedule at Second Creek.

If you were to spring for the 17" rims and some DOT ract tires, you should be able to have a lot of fun roadracing as well.


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No Doubt!

I'll have to mark my calendar and the best part is Pevely is in my neck of the woods! Time to race prep the DR350. In fact, I mounted fresh tires and brake pads right before Christmas. I'll need leathers, boots, gloves, etc. Hey Sean, got any more tips?
This is a very good thing, I hope it grows to the point where it becomes a national movement. It would be great thing to have Supermotard competitions in every state.
yep, the word "motard" in french means "motorcyclist", so "supermotard"

is merely the french translation of "superbiker"

now get back to work you motards!
I participated in both of the 2002 Midwest Supermotard "fun days." Fun is a huge understatement.

Nothing compares to the thrill of gridding up with two dozen other riders and launching down a tarmac straight towards the first corner. No track day will give you that.

Nothing compares to the relief of seeing that nothing's busted on your bike after your third low-side crash of the afternoon.

If you have any kind of dirtbike, some protective gear, and are less than a day's drive from St. Louis, you owe it to yourself to come try out supermotard racing. But beware, it's completely addictive, and every other aspect of your life will seem slow and dull afterwards. Streetbikes? Feh. Watching racing on TV? Pffff.

If you don't compete, it's worth the trip just to come down and watch. The spectators at the first event oohed and ahhed, inhaled through their teeth, and cheered for guys they never met. At the end of the day, they spontaneously passed a hat to supply prize money for the winner. And just like last year, spectators are free!
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Re: Lets Hear it for Supermoto

I personally think it is one of the most exciting spectator sports around.

You aren't just whistling Dixie. Supermotard racing is the shiznit. Our first St. Louis Supermotard event drew an impromptu crowd of spectators, most of whom were originally bound for the demolition derby taking place at the larger dirt oval track. They saw a bunch of nutters sliding around the go-kart track on dirt bikes and stayed to watch. With all the passing, crashing, sliding and close racing, we drew quite a crowd. Little kids whooped with delight whenever a racer pulled a wheelie, and the whole crowd gasped whenever there was a crash or near miss.

That first event was held on the same day that Speed Channel televised the last round of World Superbike (maybe the two greatest motorcycle races ever). I can honestly say that I was completely blissed out on motorcycle racing for at least a week afterwards.
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