Motorcycle Ice Racing is Not Just A Fad

excited guys participating in motorcycle ice racing

The Need for Speed Doesn’t End in Winter – Enter Motorcycle Ice Racing

 

When we think about motorcycles, we tend to think about cruising down the highway in the summertime. The weather is hot, the sunlight hours are long, and the wind whipping by doesn’t hurt your face yet.

But any real gearhead knows that the need for speed doesn’t end when the snow starts falling and the wind is more punishing than forgiving. Wintertime is great for motorcycle ice racing and it’s not just a fad.

The cold weather is almost egging you on, don’t you want to take a ride? Better yet, don’t you want to race? Every rider knows that feeling of the itch you can’t scratch, and this is nothing new.

That’s why when Jack Frost comes to visit you can still see those dedicated racers hitting the frozen tracks with studded tires, kicking up the ice and having a great time. Motorcycle ice racing is one of the most exhilarating ways to feed the speed demon that lives inside of all of us.

 

tracks on the lake from motorcycle ice racing

 

So you know a little about motorcycle ice racing, but you’re curious and want to know more. Great! We’re here to share more about the sport’s long history in Europe, the racers in America, and why it’s definitely NOT a passing fad.

Motorcycle Ice Racing in Europe and the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme

 

The FIM is the global sanctioning body for motorcycle racing, governing races and organizations in six continents and over 100 countries. They were founded in Paris, France all the way back on December 21st, 1904 (happy belated 114th birthday!). The headquarters have moved several times and currently reside in Mies, Switzerland.

The first records of putting bikes on the ice happened in 1924 in Switzerland. Racetracks were made on frozen lakes with many of the same rules and regulations as Speedway racing. The bikes used studded tires to grip into the ice just like they would on a dirt track.

The first official motorcycle ice racing competition put on by the FIM was held in 1939 in Moscow. After the second world war, ice racing started to gain traction all across Eastern Europe. The first international competitions began to be held in the late 1950s.

The races used 500cc Speedway bikes, but eventually, new classes were added to the competition: 125cc, 350cc, and sidecar (because everybody has that friend who needs to be close to the action). The first FIM Ice Racing Cup was held in 1963. A Russian rider took the championship, and the Soviets dominated the sport for many years.

 

motorcycle ice racer holding a cup filled with snow

 

While the Europeans may have led the way in sanctioning these events, the North Americans weren’t far behind. And of course, they had to put their own spin on it.

 

Motorcycle Ice Racing in America

 

The American Motorcyclist Association is the governing body for American races, and it’s very similar to its European counterpart. The real difference in AMA racing is the type of bikes.

FIM races use Speedway bikes, which tend to have two-speed gearboxes and do not have front brakes. AMA races, on the other hand, feature motocross, or dirt bikes, but use the same studded tires to grip into the ice.

AMA races run on counter-clockwise oval tracks, as well as GP-style road courses that have both left and right turns. Turning can be pretty difficult in these environments, which is why spikes in the tires fan all the way out to the side. Riders can lean into turns, nearly scraping the surface of the ice. Check out this YouTube video to see just how incredibly low these racers can go.

The AMA holds yearly events called the Ice Race National Championship. There is a huge variety of events and races that happen. The motorcycle ice racing competitions are for riders as young as four years old and up. Vehicles in the competition range from lightly modified bikes and ATV’s to fully custom-built ice racers.

In 2019, the Championship Race will be held in Wisconson on January, 20th. There will be a 3-hour endurance race, as well as shorter 30-minute circuits for younger competitors.

Also, motorcycle ice racing has even become part of the yearly X-Games competition. Check out these Harley riders talking about riding and competing!

 

sun setting over a lake that is perfect for motorcycle ice racing

 

Motorcycle Ice Racing is Not Just a Passing Craze

 

It seems like almost as quickly as humans invented the motorcycle, we started racing them. We look for the thrills of death-defying speeds and being crowned the fastest seems as natural as the sky being blue and the grass being green.

As motorcycle riders, we’re always going to be a little on the fringe of the mainstream. We might not have the numbers that NASCAR does, but don’t let anyone tell you that all of this is going to just blow over. Racing bikes, on land or on the ice, is here to stay!

Finally, it’s important to realize that motorcycle ice racing is just about as safe as riding in the summer on the road, and twice as fun! So look out for those kooky riders hauling their bikes to the lake this winter, because there’s no reason the fun has to stop when the roads aren’t safe.

10 Fun Snowmobiling Events Coming Up!

this woman on her snowmobile, looking out at the mountains and trails, is ready for an excellent snowmobiling events season

Mark Your Calendars for an Amazing Snowmobiling Events Season

 

There is no shortage in America of people who love speed, sleds, and winter sports. At TMS Parts we want you to enjoy the best winter riding experience by attending awesome snowmobile events across the country. Having an excellent riding season isn’t only about what you’re riding. It’s also about where you’re riding.

 

when the snow covers the evergreens like it is here, you know lots of awesome snowmobile events are happening

 

But maybe you don’t have time to research and plan which snowmobile events you want to attend. Check out this list of 10 snowmobile events that are on our calendars this year!

Where Do You Want to Start Your Snowmobiling Adventures?

 

guy snowmobiling at one of the many winter snowmobiling events across the country

 

Iron Dog

December-February, Big Lakes, Alaska

While the registration period for “The World’s longest, toughest snowmobile race” is over, that doesn’t mean you can’t catch some of the excitement.

Riders put their skills and endurance to the test on over 2,000 miles of rugged Alaskan terrain during these events. Snowmobilers face the elements as well as each other for a shot at the glory of beating the world’s toughest snowmobile race.

Come see riders who live and breathe snowmobiles, and enter their raffle for a chance to win a new sled or even a tiny house!

 

East Coast Snocross

January-March, All along the East Coast

East Coast Snocross puts on some of the most exciting snowmobiling events and races all over the East Coast. Each race takes advantage of its state’s own geography and beautiful sights.

This year ECS will host their first event in Southern New Hampshire. If you’ve never visited this beautiful state, this might be the perfect opportunity to see some majestic mountains and get your adrenaline pumping!

Take a look at their event schedule to see where and when you can join the fun.

 

USSA Prostar Cup

January-March, Midwest, and Canada

The United States Snowmobile Association is the longest running sanctioning body since organized snowmobile racing began. They have a long-standing history of excellent and exciting snowmobiling events. They have sanctioned races in over 25 states across the country and even Canada.

Think you have what it takes to win? Sign up today to test your skills against some great riders in a competition that has stood the test of time.

 

amazing scenery with snow covered tress and evergreens is what you might see at many snowmobiling events

 

Take a Friend Snowmobiling!

January 19th, Hudson Crossing, NY

Are you a newcomer to the sled scene? The snowmobile clubs from Saratoga and Washington County are hosting a  Take a Friend snowmobiling event. Beginners can get tips from more experienced riders and test them out on the trails.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, it’s a great chance to give advice to new riders who are just starting to explore snowmobiling events. Just think of all the things you wish you knew when you started sledding.

Bring a friend along and spread your love for this great sport.

Best of all, it’s FREE! There are no entry or admission fees, just show up and get ready to have fun!

 

Annual Moose Jaw Safari

January 19th, Harbor Springs, Michigan

On the third Saturday of January, the Harbor Springs club hosts their annual Moose Jaw Safari. No registration or trail permit is required for vintage sleds at this event. You just need to show up at the right time and get ready for an expedition!

The ride is about 30 miles through wintery terrain to beautiful Lars Lake (about a 2-hour ride out). Witness some of the finest trials you’ll ever come across in Michigan and make sure to try the famous Bean soup waiting for you at the finish line.

What more could you ask for from a snowmobiling event?

 

Lake George Winter Carnival

February, Lake George, New York

Every weekend in February, come to Lake George for fun with the whole family at their annual Winter Carnival! There are ATV races and a polar plunge for the daredevils in your family. Kids can enjoy pony rides and marshmallow toasting on the beach, and plenty of great food and fireworks for everyone to enjoy.

There’s no reason you need to choose between having fun in the snow and having fun with your family. Check their event calendar to see everything there is to enjoy.

 

man snowmobiling down a mountain

 

A Snowmobile Parade For the History Books

February 1st, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Have you ever wanted to be part of snowmobiling history? Join this once in a lifetime experience at Sault Ste. Marie as the city attempts to break the world record for the longest snowmobile parade in history! They need at least 1,048 snowmobiles (you read that right) to partake in this event and get their name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

It’s a snowmobiling event for the ages!

If you’re interested in going down in the history books check out their facebook page. Make sure you give them a like and stay updated on their progress.

 

51st Annual International 500 Snowmobile Race

February 2nd Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

So what do you do the day after you get in the   Book of World Records? Well, how about going to see “Nascar on Ice”? February 2nd is the 51st Annual International 500 Snowmobile race, and it is one of the biggest snowmobile events for racers in the world!

Watch some of the fastest sleds in the world break speeds up to 100 mph and prepare to be awed when you learn that they put this together every year with 100% volunteer effort. These volunteers do it all with their passion for sleds and speed, and it’s sure to be a great time. But don’t just take our word for it, go see why Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan says, “if you enjoy NASCAR you will love the I-500 Snowmobile race!”

 

Snowmobile Expo and Powersports Show

March 15-17, West Yellowstone, Montanna

Santa comes in December, but there’s no reason you can’t start next year’s wishlist early, right?

Visit the Snowmobile Expo and Powersports show to see all of the newest innovations in snowmobiles and motorsports from the biggest names in the industry.

If you’re not interested in the new stuff, it’s also a great chance to come and show off your vintage sled! Enjoy the vintage snowmobile races at one of the classic snowmobiling events, and see how fast those beasts can still fly through the snow.

 

beautiful snowmobile trail in the winter

 

10th Annual NYSSA Vintage Sled Show

April 27th, Niagra Falls Convention Center, NY

Got love for the old school? Head to the Niagra Falls Convention Center to check out some incredible vintage snowmobiles! Held in conjunction with the SLEDNY education forum  this event is the place to be for any and all lovers of snowmobiles.

This is a great opportunity to meet like-minded riders who have a passion for the sleds of yesteryear.

 

Which Snowmobiling Events are You Heading to This Year?

 

No matter what kind of rider or spectator you are, there are all sorts of great snowmobiling events taking place this year. Get prepared, get your family and friends, and get planning now to make the most out of your winter season.

 

snowmobile rider speeding down hill

 

Can’t make these awesome snowmobiling events? Check out the 25 Best Snowmobile Trails in the USA for Every Level of Rider.