What is Speedway?

There is only one word that can describe speedway and that is excitement. It’s a form of dirt track racing, where stripped- down motorcycles race around an oval track. The motorbikes used for speedway are not remotely like any machine you will ever see on the roads, they are fundamentally simple in design. They have acceleration on par with a Formula One race car (0 – 100km/h in under 3 seconds) but rather surprisingly have no brakes or rear suspension and there is only one fixed gear (modified by changing the sprocket). The engines 500 cc single- cylinder four valve, four strokes with air cooling. Methanol is used instead of gasoline allowing them run at very high compression ratios.

The bikes go counter clockwise around an oval dirt track consisting of clay, crushed stone mix. The dirt allows the riders to slide their machines around the bends only to scrub off enough speed while still providing lots rear wheel drive through the turn. Tracks generally range between 200-440 meters in length and are often surrounded by a safety barrier.

Most races (known as heats ) consist of four riders racing over four laps from a clutch start. There (invisible) gate positions when the riders line up at the starting tapes. They are numbered from the inside (nearest center green) gate 1 to 4. Gate 4 is often considered the worst gate, however this isn’t necessarily the case based on track conditions and the individual’s riding style.

The rider must not touch the tapes with his tire. If this happens they are put back 10 yards from the gate and they have start the same time as the others without rolling forwards.