Motorcycles used in motocross racing are modified to improve off-road performance and handling. The motorcycle pictured here has a light, powerful engine; large wheels with knobby tires for improved traction; and flat, wide handlebars to maximize the racerís control in bumpy terrain. A racerís gear is equally important. It must protect against injury without trapping body heat or overly restricting movement. Racers wear ventilated helmets, plastic body armor, heavy gloves, flat-soled boots, and knee pads.
Motorcycle Racing, speed contests on motorcycles. Motorcycle racing has many different forms: road racing over open roads; circuit racing over specially built tracks; speedway racing over oval-shaped dirt tracks; motocross racing over natural terrain, incorporating hill climbs; and race trials, also over natural terrain, but with the addition of artificial hazards.
A world championship Grand Prix series holds a season with various categories for machines with engine sizes from 125 cubic centimeters to 500 cubic centimeters. Major events are the world championship, which began in 1949 (the blue ribbon event is the 500 cc class), and the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, the principal race of which is the Senior Tourist Trophy.