Motocross first evolved in the U.K. from motorcycle trials competitions, such as the Auto-Cycle Clubs's first quarterly trial in 1909 and the Scottish Six Days Trial that began in 1912. When organisers dispensed with delicate balancing and strict scoring of trials in favour of a race to become the fastest rider to the finish, the activity became known as "hare scrambles", said to have originated in the phrase, "a rare old scramble" describing one such early race. Though known as scrambles racing in the United Kingdom, the sport grew in popularity and the competitions became known internationally as "motocross racing", by combining the French word for motorcycle, motocyclette, or moto for short, into a portmanteau with "cross country". The first known scramble race took place at Camberley, Surrey in 1924. During the 1930s the sport grew in popularity, especially in Britain where teams from the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA), Norton, Matchless, Rudge, and AJS competed in the events. Off-road bikes from that era differed little from those used on the street. The intense competition over rugged terrain led to technical improvements in motorcycles. Rigid frames gave way to suspensions by the early 1930s, and swinging fork rear suspension appeared by the early 1950s, several years before manufacturers incorporated it in the majority of production street bikes. The period after World War II was dominated by BSA, which had become the largest motorcycle company in the world. BSA riders dominated international competitions throughout the 1940s.
In 1952 the FIM, motorcycling's international governing body, set up an individual European Championship using a 500 cc engine displacement formula. In 1957 it was upgraded to World Championship status. In 1962 a 250 cc world championship was established. In the smaller 250 cc category companies with two-stroke motorcycles came into their own. Companies such as Husqvarna from Sweden, CZ from the former Czechoslovakia and Greeves from England became popular due to their lightness and agility. Stars of the day included BSA-works riders Jeff Smith and Arthur Lampkin, with Dave Bickers, Joe Johnson and Norman Brown on Greeves. By the 1960s, advances in two-stroke engine technology meant that the heavier, four-stroke machines were relegated to niche competitions. Riders from Belgium and Sweden began to dominate the sport during this period. Motocross arrived in the United States in 1966 when Swedish champion, Torsten Hallman rode an exhibition event against the top American TT riders at the Corriganville Movie Ranch also known as Hopetown in Simi Valley, California. The following year Hallman was joined by other motocross stars including Roger DeCoster, Joël Robert, and Dave Bickers. They dominated the event, placing their lightweight two-strokes into the top six finishing positions. Motocross began to grow in popularity in the United States during this period, which fueled an explosive growth in the sport.
By the late 1960s Japanese motorcycle companies began challenging the European factories for supremacy in the motocross world. Suzuki claimed the first world championship for a Japanese factory when Joël Robert won the 1970 250 cc crown. The first stadium motocross event took place in 1972 at the Los Angeles Coliseum. In 1975 a 125 cc world championship was introduced. European riders continued to dominate motocross throughout the 1970s but, by the 1980s, American riders had caught up and began winning international competitions.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Japanese motorcycle manufacturers presided over a boom period in motocross technology. The typical two-stroke air-cooled, twin-shock rear suspension machines gave way to machines that were water-cooled and fitted with single-shock absorber rear suspension. In the 1990s, America's leading motorcycle sport governing body, the AMA, increased the allowable displacement limit for four stroke powered machines in the AMA motocross championship, due to the low relative power output of a four stroke engine, compared to the then-dominating two stroke design. By 1994, the displacement limit of a four stroke power motocross bike was up to 550 cc in the 250 class, to incentivize manufactures to further develop the design for use in motocross.  By 2004 all the major manufacturers had begun competing with four-stroke machines. European firms also experienced a resurgence with Husqvarna, Husaberg, and KTM winning world championships with four-stroke machinery.
The sport evolved with sub-disciplines such as stadium events known as supercross and arenacross held in indoor arenas. Classes were also formed for all-terrain vehicles. Freestyle motocross (FMX) events where riders are judged on their jumping and aerial acrobatic skills have gained popularity, as well as supermoto, where motocross machines race both on tarmac and off-road. Vintage motocross (VMX) events take place - usually for motorcycles predating the 1975 model year. Many VMX races also include a "Post Vintage" portion, which usually includes bikes dating until 1983.
The FIM Grand Prix Motocross World Championship is predominantly held in Europe, but also includes events in North America, South America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. It is the major Motocross series worldwide. There are four classes: MXGP for 450cc machines, MX2 for 250cc machines, MX3 for 650cc machines and Women's MX. Competitions consist of two races which are called motos with a duration of 30 minutes plus two laps.
The AMA Motocross Championship begins in mid May and continues until late August. The championship consists of twelve rounds at twelve major tracks all over the continental United States. There are three classes: the 250 Motocross Class for 0–125 cc 2-stroke or 150–250 cc 4-stroke machines, the 450 Motocross Class for 150–250 cc 2-stroke or 251–450 cc 4-stroke machines and a Women's Class.
The annual Motocross des Nations is held at the end of the year when National and World Championship series have ended. The competition involves teams of three riders representing their nations. Each rider competes in a different class (MX1, MX2, and "Open"). There are three motos with two classes competing per moto. The location of the event changes from year to year. The United States, Belgium and Great Britain have had the greatest success.
The Maxxis British Motocross Championship is the main UK off-road competition and organised into classes of MX1 and MX2. MX1 is for 250 cc to 450 cc (fourstroke) and MX2 for 175 cc to 250 cc fourstroke motorcycles. In 2007 an additional youth class, the MXY2 class, was added to the programme at selected rounds.
A "Veterans" series was introduced in 2009 with just two rounds but the demand for places was so high that from 2011 the Veterans series will have three rounds, held over six races.
A number of other types of motorcycle sport have been derived from Motocross.
Freestyle Motocross (FMX), a relatively new variation of supercross started by the South African champion, Marco Urzi, does not involve racing and instead it concentrates on performing acrobatic stunts while jumping motocross bikes. The winner is chosen by a group of judges. The riders are scored on style, level of trick difficulty, best use of the course, and frequently, crowd reactions. FMX was introduced to the X Games and mainstream audiences in 1999.
Supermoto uses motocross bikes converted for racing on tracks consisting of three sections: flat dirt, dirt obstacles, and paved road. The bikes have special road-racing tires with grooved tread to grip both the pavement and dirt. Some tracks for these race events have jumps, berms, and whoops like motocross tracks. For special events, the Supermoto track may incorporate metal ramps for jumps that can be disassembled and taken to other locations. Supermoto races may take place at modified go-kart tracks, road racing tracks, or even street racing tracks. There are also classes for children, such as the 85 cc class.
Supermoto began in the US the late 1970s when TV journalist Gavin Trippe envisioned a racing event that would prove who the best motorcycle racer was. From 1980 to 1985, he organized a yearly event called "The Superbikers", which pitted the top riders from three disciplines, flat track, road racing, and motocross against one another on modified bikes raced on special tracks on the television show. Its first exposure to a wide audience came on the American television program ABC's Wide World of Sports in 1979. After 1985, the sport declined and received little exposure in the US, but in Europe, it started gaining popularity, and in 2003 it was revived in the US, when the name became Supermoto.
Throughout the United States and the United Kingdom there are many quad racing clubs with enduro and quadcross sections. GNCC Racing began around 1980 and includes hare scramble and enduro type races. To date, events are mainly held in the eastern part of the United States. GNCC racing features many types of obstacles such as, hill climbing, creek and log crossings, dirt roads and wooded trails.
The ATV National Motocross Championship was formed around 1985. ATVMX events are hosted at motocross racetracks throughout the United States. ATVMX consists of several groups, including the Pro (AMA Pro) and Amateur (ATVA) series. Championship mud racing (CMR) saw its infancy in 2006 as leaders of the ATV industry recognized a need for uniformity of classes and rules of various local mud bog events. Providing standardized rules created the need for a governing body that both racers and event promoters could turn to and CMR was born. Once unified, a true points series was established and lead to a national championship for what was once nothing more than a hobby for most. In 2007 the finalized board of directors was established and the first races were held in 2008. Currently, the CMR schedule includes eight competition dates spanning from March to November. Points are awarded throughout the season in several different competition classes of ATV and SxS Mud Racing. The 2008 year included Mud Bog and Mudda-Cross competitions, but the 2009 and future seasons will only have Mudda-Cross competitions. Classes range from 0 to 499 cc, to a Super-Modified class which will allow any size ATV in competition.
Supercross is a cycle racing sport involving specialized high-performance off-road motorcycles on constructed dirt tracks with steep jumps and obstacles. Compared to regular motocross, supercross tracks generally have much shorter straights and tighter turns. Professional supercross contest races are held almost exclusively in professional baseball and football stadiums.
The supercross season takes place during the winter and spring months, with races in a different city every weekend. There are 17 races in the AMA Supercross Championship schedule, normally beginning in Anaheim, California, and ending in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 250 cc class is split into two series, east and west. The 450 cc class has one large series with events across the US and Canada.
Sidecar racing, known as Sidecarcross has been around since the 1950s but has declined in popularity since the mid‑1980s. This variant is common in Europe, with a few followers in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. The premier competition, the Sidecarcross World Championship, is contested on European tracks only and almost exclusively by Europeans.
Motocross sidecars are purpose built frames that resemble an ordinary motocross-cycle with a flat platform to stand on attached to either side and a handlebar at waist height to hold on to. The side of the "chair" (slang for the platform) usually follows the side of the road the nation in question drives upon, but not always. The passenger balances the bike by being a counterweight, especially in corners and on jumps. It is driven on ordinary crosstracks.
It is very physically demanding, especially for the passenger. This is reflected in most in the Swedish term for passenger, burkslav, roughly translated as trunk/barrel-slave. This name comes from the early sidecars which resembled road motorcycle sidecars and not today's platform.
The major frame builders today are VMC, BSU, AYR, EML and Woodenleg. Ordinary engines can be used, but size matters and two engines purpose built for sidecars exist, Zabel (Germany) and MTH (Austria) are most common. Four-strokes are becoming more common, usually KTM (Austria).
Pit bikes are small motorbikes that participants in powersports events use to ride around the pits, which are the staging areas where team support vehicles are located. More recently, they have been used in races held on either supercross or motocross tracks. Numerous performance and aesthetic upgrades are often applied to pit bikes.
Originally, there was only one way to acquire a pit bike. A rider would buy a child's minibike, usually a Honda CRF 50 or Kawasaki KLX110, and apply all the necessary upgrades and modifications to build a competitive pit bike. Of course, a rider could also buy a used bike. Since 2004, manufacturers like Thumpstar have begun designing, manufacturing, importing, and selling already complete pit bikes. These bikes are less expensive, and require less time to complete.
Pit bikes are powered by 4-stroke, horizontal, single-cylinder engines ranging anywhere in displacement from 49 cc to 195 cc. A typical pit bike is usually a small dirt bike, but it has become common to be able to buy pit bikes with street-style wheels and tires. Pit bikes with street tires, as opposed to knobby tires, are used in Mini Supermoto Racing.
Pit bikes are frequently heavily customized with decorative add-ons and performance-enhancing parts. Many riders and mechanics bore-out or replace engines in order to increase displacement and therefore power output. Heavy duty suspension systems, are often a necessary addition, since the stock mini-bike suspension was designed for a small child. Wheel, brake, and tire upgrades are sometimes performed to improve handling.
Pit bikes also have their own separate competitions held with classes generally corresponding to wheel size. This is a notable difference from Motocross and Supercross competition, where classes are separated by engine displacement. Pit bike racing is a relatively new niche of motocross, and as such, there is no official governing body similar to the AMA.
Manufacturers that have ceased production
Motocross is governed worldwide by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), with federations in many nations.
The AMA Motocross Championship is an American motorcycle racing series. The motocross race series was founded and sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1972. The series is the major outdoor motocross series in the United States and is managed by MX Sports Pro Racing.
The series began in 1972 with the introduction of two classes based on 500 cc and 250 cc engine formulas. A 125 cc class was added in 1974. As motocross technology developed, 500 cc two-stroke motocross bikes became too powerful for the average rider and, faced with diminishing numbers of competitors, the A.M.A. discontinued the 500 cc class after the 1993 season. A women's national championship series was introduced in 1996.Due to the low relative power output of a four stroke engine, compared to the then-dominating two stroke design, the A.M.A. had increased the allowable displacement capacity for four-stroke engines. By 1994, the displacement limit of a four stroke power motocross bike was up to 550cc in the 250 class, to incentivize manufactures to further develop the design for use in motocross. In 2006, the 250 cc division was renamed the MX Class, with an engine formula allowing for 150–250 cc two-stroke or 250–450 cc four-stroke machines. The 125 cc class was renamed the MX Lites Class, allowing 0–125 cc two-stroke or 150–250 cc four-stroke engines. In 2009, the MX class was renamed the 450 Class and the MX Lites class was renamed the 250 Class, to reflect the fact that all the competing manufacturers had adopted four-stroke machinery.AMA Supercross Championship
The AMA Supercross Championship is an American motorcycle racing series. Founded by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1974, the AMA Supercross Championship races are held from January through early May. Supercross is a variant of motocross which involves off-road motorcycles on a constructed dirt track consisting of steep jumps and obstacles; the tracks are usually constructed inside a sports stadium. The easy accessibility and comfort of these stadium venues helped supercross surpass off-road motocross as a spectator attraction in the United States by the late 1970s.Alpinestars
Alpinestars is a manufacturer of clothing and protective gear for motorsports and action sports founded in 1963, and located in Asolo, Italy. Its lines include specialized products for MotoGP, motocross, motorcycling, Formula One, WEC and NASCAR, mountain Biking and surfing, and motorsports-themed, non-sports clothing, with fashion design centers in Italy and California.BMX
BMX, an abbreviation for bicycle motocross or bike motocross, is a cycle sport performed on BMX bikes, either in competitive BMX racing or freestyle BMX, or else in general on- or off-road recreation. BMX began when young cyclists appropriated motocross tracks for fun, racing and stunts, eventually evolving specialized BMX bikes and competitions.BMX racing
BMX racing is a type of off-road bicycle racing. The format of BMX was derived from motocross racing. BMX bicycle races are sprint races on purpose-built off-road single-lap race tracks. The track usually consists of a starting gate for up to eight racers, a groomed, serpentine, dirt race course made of various jumps and rollers and a finish line. The course is usually flat, about 15 feet (4.6 m) wide and has large banked corners that help the riders maintain speed.
The sport of BMX racing is facilitated by a number of regional and international sanctioning bodies. They provide rules for sanctioning the conduct of the flying, specify age group and skill-level classifications among the racers, and maintain some kind of points-accumulation system over the racing season. There is a list of plates that are able to obtain the list is Gold Cup state Race of Champions roc N. A. G sport is very family oriented and largely participant-driven, with riders ranging in age from 2 to 70, and over. Professional ranks exist for both men and women, where the age ranges from 18 to 40 years old.Cagiva
Cagiva is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer. It was founded in 1950 by Giovanni Castiglioni in Varese, originally producing small metal components. Giovanni's sons, Claudio and Gianfranco Castiglioni went into the motorcycle industry in 1978. The name is a portmanteau derived from the founder's name 'Giovanni Castiglioni' and the founding location, i.e. CAstiglioni GIovanni VArese.
In its history, Cagiva won races in Dakar and Motocross competitions, as well as in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.Freestyle motocross
Freestyle motocross (also known as FMX) is a variation on the sport of motocross in which motorcycle riders attempt to impress judges with jumps and stunts.
The two main types of freestyle events are:
Big Air (also known as Best Trick), in which each rider gets two jumps — usually covering more than 75 ft (22.8m) — from a dirt-covered ramp. A panel of judges evaluates the style, trick difficulty, and originality and produces a score on a 100-point scale. Each rider's highest single-jump score is compared; top score wins.
Freestyle motocross, the older of the two events, in which riders perform two routines, each lasting between 90 seconds and 14 minutes, on a course consisting of multiple jumps of varying lengths and angles that generally occupy one to two acres (.4 to .8 hectares). Like Big Air, a panel of judges assigns each contestant a score based on a 100-point scale, looking for difficult tricks and variations over jumps.Notable freestyle motocross events include Red Bull X-Fighters, NIGHT of the JUMPs, the X Games, Gravity Games, Big-X, Moto-X Freestyle National Championship, and Dew Action Sports Tour.
Freeriding is the original form of freestyle motocross which started in the hills of southern California; due to professional racers such as Jeremy McGrath and Phil Lawrence "play riding" in the hills of reche canyon. It has no structure, and is traditionally done on public land. Riders for natural jumps and drop-offs to execute their tricks on. Some freeriders prefer to jump on sand dunes. In many ways, freeriding requires more skill and mental ability. Notable freeriding locations include Ocotillo Wells and Glamis Dunes in California, Beaumont, California, and Caineville, Utah.Husqvarna Motorcycles
Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH (Swedish: [²hʉːsˌkvɑːɲa] (listen); marketed as Husqvarna) designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes motocross, enduro, supermoto and street motorcycles.
The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a subsidiary of the Husqvarna armament firm. Today, Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH is owned by Austrian KTM AG.James Stewart Jr.
James Stewart Jr. (born December 21, 1985), also known as Bubba Stewart, is an American professional motocross racer who competed in supercross riding the No. 7.
Through his years of racing, he earned the nickname “The Fastest Man on The Planet”, due to his extraordinary talent, speed, athleticism and innovation. James is also known for innovating the "bubba scrub" or just "scrub", which revolutionized the sport and became a fundamental skill needed to compete in Professional Motocross. In 2008 he won every race and every moto of the AMA Motocross season. The only other person to do this is Ricky Carmichael. James is #2 in all time 450 Supercross wins(50), and #2 all time in Pro AMA wins(98). He was the first to bring major outside sponsorship to the sport (Nike), and the first to host his own television show "Bubba's World" which brought even more attention to the sport. He is arguably the most financially lucrative racer, bringing in endorsement deals paying him over $10M a year throughout his career.
Known for his vibrant personality and big smile, James has been featured in news outlets like Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Maxim, ESPN The Magazine, GQ and many more. Additionally, Teen People named him one of “20 Teens Who Will Change the World”.
He has the record for best rookie season, having won 10/12 Motocross races in 2002.
James has 5 FIM World Champion titles from Motocross of Nations, and World Supercross. 4 AMA Supercross Champion titles, and 3 AMA Motocross Champion titles. He won the Redbull Straight Rhythm in both 2014 and 2015. He's a Motocross legend who battled the greats of multiple era's.List of 2007 motorcycling champions
This list of 2007 motorcycling champions is a list of national or international touring motorcycle sport series with a Championship decided by the points or positions earned by a driver from multiple races.List of motocross riders
This is a partial list of notable current and former motocross riders, many of whom have competed in the World Championships, National Championships, and supercross competitions.Motocross World Championship
FIM Motocross World Championship is the premier championship of motocross racing, organized by the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM), currently divided into two distinct classes: MX1 and MX2. Race duration is 30 minutes plus 2 laps per moto. The series runs 18 events with two motos at each round.Motocross des Nations
The Motocross des Nations (in French) is an annual team motocross race, where riders representing their country meet at what is billed as the "Olympics of Motocross". The event has been staged since 1947, where the team of Bill Nicholson, Fred Rist and Bob Ray, representing Great Britain, took home the Chamberlain Trophy for the first time.The event as it stands today is an amalgamation of three separate events, the original Motocross des Nations, raced with 500cc motorcycles, the Trophée des Nations, raced with 250cc motorcycles, and the Coupe des Nations, for 125cc motorcycles. Before 1984, the three events were held in different locations on different weekends, whereafter they were combined into a single event with one rider per class.
The scoring for the event works on the position system, i.e. first place is awarded one point, second place two, etc. Each class (currently MXGP, MX2 and Open) races twice, each time against one of other two classes, for a total of three races. The worst score of three races is dropped, and the lowest combined score wins.
The event's name has been officially anglicised (as Motocross of Nations "MXON") since 2004, when Youthstream was awarded promotional rights for the World Motocross Grand Prix, although the general moniker Des Nations or MXDN is still very much in use.
Historically Great Britain dominated the early years, before the competition became more fierce. With the rise of motocross in North America from the 1970s, the USA embarked on a famous winning streak, lasting 13 years from 1981 to 1993.Motorcycle boot
Motorcycle boots are associated with motorcycle riders and range from above ankle to below knee boots. They have an outside of a typical boot but a low heel to control the motorcycle.
To improve motorcycle safety, motorcycle boots are generally made from a thick, heavy leather and may include energy absorbing and load spreading padding, metal, plastic and/or composite materials to protect the motorcycle rider's feet, ankles and legs in an accident. For use in wet weather, some boots have a waterproof membrane lining such as Gore-Tex or SympaTex.
Depending upon how form-fitting the boot is, to allow a rider to easily get the boot on or off, the shaft may be designed to open lengthwise. If so, Velcro or other hook-and-loop fasteners are typically used on the inner sides of the opening to allow the rider to close the boot over the foot, ankle and leg. This allows for some flexibility for the rider to control the boot's tightness. Some manufacturers also include an internal quick-lacing system between a soft inner leg and the harder outer shell of the boot shaft to further ensure a tight, but comfortable fit. The heel of a racing boot is typically very low: not more than 1/2-inch (13 mm), and sole of the heel and foot is typically rather smooth. A curved plastic or composite plate may be included to cover the shin of the boot to protect the rider's shin.Ossa (motorcycle)
Ossa is a Spanish motorcycle manufacturer which was active from 1924 to 1982 and reborn in 2010. Founded by Manuel Giró, an industrialist from Barcelona, Ossa was best known for lightweight, two-stroke-engined bikes used in observed trials, motocross and enduro. The company was known originally as Orpheo Sincronic Sociedad Anónima (O.S.S.A.) and was later renamed Maquinaria Cinematográfica, S.A.. In 2010, the Ossa brand was reborn when the trademark was purchased and a new company began producing motorcycles.Rick Ware Racing
Rick Ware Racing (RWR) is an American motorsports team which currently competes in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The team has competed in NASCAR, the ARCA Racing Series, the WMA Motocross Series, AMA Arenacross, Motocross and Supercross Series, Summer X Games and Rolex Sports Car Series since 2008, and is owned by former driver Rick Ware. Since RWR's inception, the organization has won championships in the SCCA (1988), the WMA Motocross Series (2006, 2007) the AMA Arenacross Series (2007, 2008, 2009), in partnership with Tuf Racing, the Whelen Modified Tour at Bowman Gray Stadium (2009) in partnership with Tim Brown Motorsports, as well as "Top Performing Independent Team" in the Motocross and Supercross Series'.Ricky Carmichael
Ricky Carmichael (born November 27, 1979 in Clearwater, Florida) is a former motocross racer known for his success in motocross in the early 2000s, having won the AMA Motocross Championship 450cc class seven times and the AMA Supercross Championship 450cc class five times. His unrivaled successes in the sport of motocross have given him the nickname "The GOAT"; standing for Greatest of All Time.Travis Pastrana
Travis Alan Pastrana (born October 8, 1983) is an American professional motorsports competitor and stunt performer who has won championships and X Games gold medals in several events, including supercross, motocross, freestyle motocross, and rally racing. He runs a show called Nitro Circus, and previously competed in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for Roush Fenway Racing the Global RallyCross Championship for Subaru Rally Team USA, and the Monster Jam circuit, in his own Pastrana 199 truck.
He last competed in NASCAR in the Camping World Truck Series, driving the No. 45 Chevrolet Silverado for Niece Motorsports.
Pastrana replicated three of legendary daredevil Evel Knievel's most famous jumps without injury in record-breaking fashion while in Las Vegas.Česká zbrojovka Strakonice
Česká zbrojovka (ČZ a.s.) is a Czech company producing components for the automobile industry and former firearms manufacturer also known for making ČZ motorcycles. ČZ was established as a branch of the Škoda Works Armament in Strakonice, Czechoslovakia in September 1919.