Off Road

We might have just found our new favourite bike sport

Motorcycle hill-climbs in the are quite possibly the most insane form of motorsport we’ve ever seen!

THINK OF HILL CLIMB RACING in the UK and you tend to imagine rich retirees, tweed and the smell of Castrol R.

Don’t get me wrong, I love hill climbs, I grew up at places like Shelsley Walsh and Prescott, it’s just the image is a little dated. Well not in the good ol’ US of A, where hill climbing is not only alive and well, it’s super-sized (obviously) and pulling in young riders with modern machines.

Most of the machines are modified motocross bikes running on nitromethane instead of petrol, with extended swingarms to try and prevent the bike from flipping over on the near vertical hill. From what I’ve seen a popular engine is the parallel twin lump out of Yamaha’s XS650, with most racers opting for mechanical fuel injection and what look like billet machined cylinders that we can only assume must be running some insanely high compression ratio.

The racers take it in turns to try and reach the top of the hill, which in some cases can be over 1000ft in length, in the fastest time possible. The classes of bike allowed to take part are:

Entry class – This caters for almost any motorcycle and any rider can compete in the. The limit for this class is 450 cc single and it’s mandatory for all the riders to wear a neck brace along with the helmet, gloves and boots. All bike competing must be fitted with an engine cut-off switch that cuts the engine if the rider and bike become separated.

Xtreme – This class allows four-cylinder engines up to 700 cc and twins up to 750 cc. The rules for this class allow custom frames and any fuel up to nitrous or nitro. It also allows paddle tires which can be wrapped in chains or studded with bolts.

Top Class – This class is for the pros only and allows machines with custom frames and running engines that are larger than 700 cc or twins larger than 750 cc.

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