Moto heads probably think that Supermoto vanished like pink gear, open-face helmets, conventional forks, twin shocks, and 20-inch front wheels. In the grand scheme of things it came in like a tsunami back in 2003 and then receded back just as far toward the start of 2009 when the economy and the motorcycle industry took a huge hit. There was even a glossy magazine all about the sport from 2003-2009 called SMR Magazine. The sport is still out there but it’s very much an underground and grassroots venture, yet still very much there. There are still organizations holding races in several regions across the country including Nor Cal, So Cal, Colorado, Michigan, and Florida to name just a few.
Still one of the largest and longest-running race is the Stateline Supermoto Challenge that takes place just outside of Las Vegas at Buffalo Bill’s Casino located on the California/Nevada border. Other big races to look out for this year are the Virginia City Grand Prix where you will be able to see racers take to the streets of the city, as well as the race in Montana at the Evel Knievil Days that takes place in Butte. Ogemaw Hills Bike Week in West Branch, Michigan is taking it to the streets with a SuperMoto race as well.
There was a big effort to bring back a National Pro Series in 2012. The series was on the calendar but at the last minute the series promoter was forced to pull the plug due to health issues. Well that small glitch was not enough to stop the wave of would-be racers from taking to the track. When the news hit, a small group decided THE SHOW MUST GO ON. In a matter of a few days the race and ideas to create a different series was back in full force.
So what now? Well, if you live in So Cal and want to see some motocross on pavement combined with dirt riding with knobby-less tires, you might want to take a venture out to Willow Springs this weekend. Two days of racing is planned with a Pro National on Saturday and amateur races all day on Sunday. And if you have the need to race, you can ride a full moto bike with knobbies if you would like, but we suggest at least finding some street tires for your stock wheels.
Who says SuperMotoCross never had a reason for being? If you look at some of the young talent that is road racing now, there are a slew of racers that started their careers racing motocross bikes on pavement. Chris Fillmore, Tyler O’Hara, Michael Corbino, Josh Chisum, Elena Myers, Cameron Beaubier, Bobby Fong, JD Beach, Joey Pascarella, and Frankie Garcia to name just a few. All of these riders may not be where they are now if not for a sport that flourished from 2003-2009.
In a nutshell, SuperMoto is Motocross on pavement minus the braking bumps. It is a sport where you can twist the throttle to the stops and bang through the gears until the last second before slamming on a huge 320mm four piston brake while sliding the rear end around before taking on the next turn.
This weekend at Willow, Jeff Ward’s son Brandon will be racing as well as former 125 AMA Motocross Champion Micky Dymond. There are a few imports from overseas that will also take on the specially made track with a sick dirt section as well as the use of sections of the Streets of Willow course.
For more information, check out Motocross.com