Ice speedway

Ice speedway

Ice Speedway is a developed form of Speedway racing, which features racing on frozen surfaces.

Outline

The bikes race anti-clockwise around oval tracks between 260 and 425 metres in length. The race structure and scoring are similar to that in speedway.

Bike construction

The bikes bear a passing resemblance to those used for speedway, but have a longer wheelbase and a more rigid frame. As with speedway, the bikes do not have brakes. Historically Czech made 4-stroke Jawa motorcycles have been the dominant force in this sport.Fact|date=June 2008

The sport is divided into classes for full-rubber and studded tyres. The studded tyre category involves competitors riding on bikes with spikes up to 3 centimetre (2.5 inches) in length screwed into each treadless tyre, each bike has 90 spikes on the front tyre and 200-500 on the rear (regulations on length and types of permissible studs are controlled by the sanctioning body). The use of these spikes in this discipline necessitate the addition of special protective guards (similar to mudguards) over the wheels which extend almost to the ice surface. The spiked tyres produce a tremendous amount of traction and this means two-speed gearboxes are also required.

Technique

In the studded tyre class there is no broadsiding around the bends due to the grip produced by the spikes digging into the ice. Instead, riders lean their bikes into the bends at an angle where the handlebars just skim the track surface. Speeds approach 80 mph (130 km/h) on the straights, and 60 mph (100 km/h) on the bends. The safety barrier usually consists of straw bales or banked-up snow and ice around the outer edge of the track.

Since the riding style required for studded ice racing is different from that used in the other track racing disciplines, riders from this sport rarely participate in speedway or its other variants and vice-versa.

Competitions

The majority of Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme sanctioned team and individual meetings are held in Russia, Sweden and Finland, but events are also held in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands, and occasionally other countries. Countries that dominated and won the majority of titles in World Individual Ice Racing Championship (held since 1966) and World Team Ice Racing Championship (held since 1979) were the USSR and since 1991 — Russia. Canada's national touring series is sanctioned by the Canadian Motorcycle Association.

Ice Speedway in Britain

Ice Speedway has a minimal presence in Great Britain, largely due to the climate. The longest running event, at Telford, features riders using conventional machines with spiked tyres, and features a different riding style to conventional Ice Speedway. In the late 1960s ice racing was staged at a number of rinks in Scotland but the machines used were "scrambles" type machines fitted with spiked tyres.

ee also

*Ice racing

References

*"Motorbikes", by Phillip Raby and Simon Nix


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