Metric Thunder’s Promotion – Tickets to the Duel At the Docs

TICKETS TO TROY LEE DESIGN’S – DUEL AT THE DOCS at the QUEEN MARY

The next Metric Thunder promotion is all about the new professional sport of Supermoto racing at the last race of the season in Long Beach. It’s got the Stars, the Bikes and the Umbrella Girls!

Details of the Promotion

  • Free Tickets to the Duel at the Docs – November 11, 2007
  • Meet Thunder Bob and the entire Factory KTM Crew
  • Lunch in the KTM hospitality area at the Transporter
  • Meet the Factory KTM Racers
  • Signed Posters of the KTM Racers
  • Signed Metric Thunder baseball caps
  • Pictures of you and the racers posted on the Factory KTM website & Metric Thunder

How to Enter

Watch this space for all the details of this exciting AMA Supermoto Championship Promotion.

Racing At A High Level-Brian Capper, at speed on his KTM 610 SMR Racebike
Factory KTM Racer, Brian Capper, at speed on his KTM 610 SMR Racebike

A brief supermoto history lesson

It began back in the late 1970s when someone wondered who the best all-around motorcycle racer was and from which racing discipline would he come. Would it be a road racer, an off-road racer or perhaps a flat-track pilot?

From that was born the notion of a new type of motorcycle race. It was first called Superbikers and it blended on- and off-road racing by featuring a track comprised of both pavement and dirt. Motocross bikes proved to be the best choice for this new form of racing, and with minimal modifications, a racer could easily build a competitive mount.

The discipline prospered in the United States for awhile and then disappeared, perhaps because of the trend towards specialization. It found a home in Europe and grew modestly. Stateside, local clubs began to emerge as interest returned.

In 2003, supermoto returned to where it all started in the form of an all new national series called the AMA Supermoto Championship, created and sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing.

The next Metric Thunder promotion is all about the new professional sport of Supermoto racing at the last race of the season in Long Beach.
Factory KTM Racer, Kurt Nicoll, catches air at the AMA Supermoto Championship race in Englishtown NJ.

The bikes

As was true during the Superbikers days, a motocross-based bike is the weapon of choice for the AMA Pro Racing brand of supermoto.

Only a few motorcycle manufacturers, KTM being the largest, produce a “supermoto� style machine, so teams and riders are forced to work with one of the many motocross-based bikes as a platform. Key changes are needed to these machines for them to be able to handle the diversity of supermoto racing.

A purpose-built supermoto racing bike has to be able to handle high speeds on paved sections of the track, as well as negotiate large dirt and steel jumps. To handle this range of terrain, a motocross bike’s knobby tires are exchanged for smooth, ungrooved and grippy “slicks�. 17-inch spoked wheels go on the front and rear, coupled with a large diameter front brake better able to handle the higher speeds of supermoto. Suspension parts are reworked, and the entire machine is built to be closer to the ground for better handling.

The production-based racing championship consists of three different racing classes. The Supermoto class is for four-stroke motorcycles with displacement up to 450ccs. The Supermoto Unlimited class features motorcycles displacing 490cc and more. Supermoto Lites, created at the start of the 2005 season, utilizes four-stroke equipment with displacements up to 250cc.

Each class has a distinctive front and side number plate. The front plate in each class includes the rider’s last name. To help differentiate between each class, the Supermoto class machines’ number plates have a white background. The Supermoto Unlimited plates have a blue background.

The riders

With motocross-based machines the real weapon of choice in supermoto, it shouldn’t be all that surprising to learn that motocross racers have so far proven to be the most suited to the new discipline. As the discipline matures and grows, expect supermoto racing specialists to rise to the top.

The tracks

What makes supermoto unique is the race course that the discipline utilizes. It’s a combination of dirt sections, jumps (can be both dirt and steel), and long high-speed straightaways and corners. The course requires a rider to master all types of track surfaces, something of a rarity in today’s specialized motorcycle racing disciplines.

What makes AMA Supermoto unique is the location of the events. AMA Supermoto tracks are built to suit the environment that the race is to be held. AMA Supermoto races have been held in downtown settings and traditional oval car racing facilities. Sometimes the tracks are more pavement, sometimes they’re more dirt.

Jeff Ward continues to defy the odds. Common knowledge would say that a racer of 45 would not be on the top of his game still winning championships against riders half his age. Yet as the 2007 AMA Supermoto Championship season swings into late summer he is in second palce behind Mark Burkhart of Yamaha.

Burkhart will carry his newly earned, 93-89 points advantage over Ward into the fifth round of the series, which will take place following the summer break at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Spring, CT on August 25-26.

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