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Classic Bike RacingTypes of Motorcycle Racing

  1. Track
  2. Motocross
  3. Hill Climb and Sprint
  4. Trials
  5. National/Road Rally
  6. Road Race
  7. Speedway
  8. Drag Racing
  9. Quads and sidecars

Track

MotoGP may not be in your grasp, but there are many fantastic track days and races designed specifically for classic motorcycles. Some clubs organise great events for vintage bikes through to some of the early Japanese machines that took the market by storm. Not only are some of these event great fun, they can also make you a much better and safer rider when back on the road.

Motocross

Motocross is circuit racing, but with many ruts, bumps and shaky bits – and very muddy when it rains. Clearly not suitable for any classic bike, but great fun if you have a classic motorcycle that can cope with the rigors of Motocross.

There won’t be as many races organised for classics as for track type events, but there are clubs to help you find the best events for you.

  • Licence: There are various Motocross licences depending on age and engine size. It is best to contact the ACU to find out more.
  • Bike modifications: It is likely that bikes will need a minimum safety standard to cope with the impacts of the race.

Hill Climb and Sprint

You’re here. You need to get there. Go! A sprint against the clock on a point to point. Both Hill Climbs and Sprints are the same apart from Hill Climbs have a… hill!

A cheaper and easier way to get into classic motorsport on your bike, with you being able to have just as much fun competing against yourself as anyone else.

Trials

You see that obstacle course that would prevent you from riding across it? We want you to ride across it, without putting your feet down or falling off!

Don’t worry, there are degrees of difficulty with plenty for beginners to cut their teeth on (no literally – well maybe). Classic trial bikes are still thrown around courses with great enthusiasm. They can be trickier than their modern offspring, but there is plenty of support and opportunity for classic trial bikes to stretch their legs.

  • Licence: For applicants over 16, you will need a standards Trail Registration. Younger riders have different Youth Registrations.
  • Bike modifications: not in most cases – if you have a trials bike!

National/Road Rally

With outright speed not being the objective, Road Rallying can be a very accessible options for classic motorcycle owners – especially with different levels to enter.

Riders are given a route to cover on open public roads with a target time to achieve the route - and control stations on the route to check in at. The races tend to be over several hours and covering a number of miles, making it more of a journey to enjoy than a race. This makes it very accommodating for vintage bikes, which are more about enjoyment than red-line performance.

  • Minimum full DVLA motorcycle licence (don’t require “L” plates)
  • No bike modifications required. It just needs to be road legal

Road Race

The number of road races have reduced over the years, but with the fame generated by the Isle of Man TT, Road Racing has gained a decent level of publicity.

Larger events such as Isle of Man TT and some of the Irish events will allow classic motorcycles to test their metal. Most races, unlike track racing, sees the bikes leaving the start at timed intervals (much like rallying) with timing, rather than first-over-the-line being the objective.

Speedway

Remember to turn left! Oval loose surface circuit with up to six riders competing on track at any one time. It’s essentially drifting, before drifting was invented – with the advantage of being able to fire most of the track at the spectators on the corners.

There aren’t many classic races in this field, but those that are run are just as fun for the classic riders as those on the more modern stuff.

  • Entry level for first timers can compete under a Restricted Licence. However, you will need to get a National Licence
  • Bike modifications: you need a speedway bike, which matches regulations

Drag Racing

Go fast in a straight line for ¼ mile, reaching the end before the bike next to you. Competitions are based on knock-out rounds with the winner of the final pair taking the trophy. Bikes range from standard road machines through to heavily custom classics or one-off projects.

  • Minimum Clubman Competition Licence
  • Level of modification really does depend on what you want. It ranges from no modifications – to “what the hell is that”

Quads and sidecars

We don’t cover quads on this site just yet, as they are still fairly modern stuff, but as the very early versions are arguably heading towards the modern classic field, we hope to add more soon.

For those with sidecar racing in mind, the main difference is that the availability of races are reduced slightly - and you also need a second person mad enough to be nailed to the side of your bike. Believe it or not, sidecar racing is not limited by the type of racing (there are people mad enough to compete in motocross and trials), but instead, it is limited by its limited appeal and additional complication by needing that extra person. You will be able to find races to compete in, but you will find that there are less of them than more conventional bike racing. You will find that the ACU will have specific licence types for sidecars and their passengers.

Classic Motorcycle Racing



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