1970sABCJim LampleyOther SportsWide World of Sports

Motorcycle Racing – 1978 – Super Bikers Competition – From Motocross + Dirt Bike + Road Race


ABC Sports created a motorcycle racing competition during the late-1970’s that they tagged The Super Bikers Competition….which brought together the world’s best motorcycle racers from the three major classes of racing….motocross, dirt bike and road bike….and aired the competition on their popular weekend anthology sports program, Wide World of Sports.…as this particular segment seen in this video herewith is hosted by Jim Lampley….so, I thought it would be good to give our viewers a little background on the three different classes of motorcycle racing. 

Motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing….which is held on enclosed off-road circuits….as the sport evolved from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom….when the sport evolved with sub-disciplines such as stadium events known as supercross and arenacross held in indoor arenas. Motocross is the direct equivalent of road racing but off-road with a number of bikes racing on a closed circuit….which are constructed on a variety of non-tarmac surfaces such as dirt, sand, mud, grass, etc…..and tend to incorporate elevation changes either natural or artificial….as advances in motorcycle technology, especially suspension, have led to the predominance of circuits with added “jumps” on which bikes can get airborne. Motocross has another noticeable difference from road racing, in that starts are done en mass with the riders alongside each other….as up to 40 riders race into the first corner…and the winner is the first rider across the finish line, generally after a given amount of time or laps or a combination.

Road racing is the sport of racing motorcycles on hard surfaces resembling roads….which are usually paved with tarmac….as races can take place either on purpose-built racing circuits or on closed public roads….where as, historically, “road racing” meant a course on closed public road. This was once commonplace but currently only a few such circuits have survived….and they are mostly in Europe. Races take place on public roads which have been temporarily closed to the public by legal orders from the local legislature. Two championships exist, the first is the International Road Racing Championship and the other is the Duke Road Racing Rankings….with the latter accounts for the majority of road races that take place each season with an award for the highest placed rider. 

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