Motorcycle Racing USA – An overview

In the United States the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is the licensing body. The AMA in fact sanctions more motorsports competitions than any other organization in the world. This makes Motorcycle Racing in the USA the most accessible in the world for entering into this sport. Joining the AMA is a relatively straightforward process via the AMA website (americanmotorcyclist.com). In order to participate in an AMA sanctioned event, it is mandatory to join up.

Choosing a Discipline

First you need to choose which discipline of racing you wish to compete in. There are many routes to take, including Enduro, Esports, Extreme Off Road, Flat Track, and Road racing. Once you know which direction you are taking, check out the AMA Amateur Competition Rulebook, which is updated each year. This is your guide to each of the nationally recognized classes which you will be eligible to enter, based upon your age and bike. This rulebook will also provide you with all the information required to ensure that your bike is in a legal state to be raced in the class you desire.

Any minors who intend on competing will be required to complete an Annual Minor Release Form, which it is recommended are completed at least 3 weeks prior to their first event, which can be obtained from the AMA website.

Enduro

Each year hundreds of AMA sanctioned eduros are held across the United States. These events may be local, regional or national events, with the country’s best riders competing in the National Enduro Championship.

Enduros allow for groups of riders to be started at one minute intervals, and follow a marked course. The course will generally be a challenging route which may include varied terrain, including roads, desert, woods and fire roads. As riders pass checkpoints along the route, scores are collected, and tallied at the end once all riders have completed the course.

ESports Competition

So this one is a little different, and no motorcycle is in fact necessary, simply the purchase of the game and an AMA Esports license! Instead, the AMA in 2022 began sanctioning esports (electronic sports) competition alongside promoter Init Esports, and have created the first Worlds Fastest Motorcycle Gamer Challenge.

The platform used for this street bike simulation gaming competition is RiMS Racing by NACOM and Italian studio RaceWard. The game is available for purchase and may be played on PS4 or 5, Xbox and PC. Once you have the game you are able to ride and train with the game before competing over the 7 round schedule.

Extreme Off-Road

When competing in extreme off-road races both your skill as a rider, and the capability of your bike will be put to the ultimate test as you race across the most difficult terrain which may include water or log crossings, fields of rocks and hill climbs, or all three and more! Organizers are free to include as many challenges and obstacles in their event as possible, making these events extremely tough to navigate.

Each year the AMA Extreme Off-Road Grand Championship takes place which is one of the hardest and most prestigious extreme off-road events in the United States.

Flat Track Racing

Flat track racing is one of the United States’s most traditional forms of motorcycle racing and competitors can enter 4 different types of events:

  1. Oval short-track
  2. Half mile
  3. Mile
  4. TT course

Two types of bikes are raced on flat track, being traditional flat trackers which have custom-built frames, and the more popular DTX bikes which are converted motocross or off-road bikes.

There are many local AMA sanctioned flat track events all over the United States every month which allows for grass root racing, in addition to the national AMA Flat Track Grand Championship which takes place each year.

Road Racing

When it comes to professional road racing in the United States AMA is partnered with MotoAmerica. MotoAmerica is also sanctioned by the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).

There are seven classes to choose from within the MotoAmerica championship, with junior riders from age 14 racing on Kawasaki Ninja 400’s and Yamaha R3’s right through to the premier Superbike race class which riders must be at least 18 to compete on. Other classes include Supersport, Stock 1000, Twins Cup, and King Of The Baggers.

There is additionally a junior class, the MotoAmerica Mini Cup which caters for juniors as young as age 6 racing on 110cc minibike machines, up to age 14 racing on 190cc machines. This allows junior racers to get a taste for racing as they join the MotoAmerica events at select rounds. For juniors racing on 160cc machinery (aged 8-14) there is the opportunity for the top 2 riders in the class to represent MotoAmerica in the FIM World Series finale which is held at Valencia in Spain during the last round of MotoGP.

MotoAmerica races take place over almost 7 months, taking in events across the United States at 11 different venues, (although not all classes compete at each venue) including Daytona in Florida, Circuit of the America in Texas, Road Atlanta in Georgia and Laguna Seca in California, to name just a few.

With all the classes available, there is a class to suit for all levels of racing development through from the youngest juniors just starting out, to the seniors at the top of their game.

AMA Supercross

AMA Supercross takes place in stadium settings across the United States. Riders from across the world travel to the United States to compete in AMA Supercross championship, which is classed as the top Supercross series in the world. AMA Supercross takes place from January to May each year and involves riders taking part in a variant to motocross on steep jumps and obstacles on a constructed dirt track.

Conclusion

Motorcycle Racing in the United States is an easily accessible sport which attracts competitors of all ages, and is also a fun family sport to become involved in. There is a huge choice of disciplines to suit all tastes, levels and experience of riding, so choose your disciple, and get riding! You won’t look back!

 

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