The AMA Supercross Championship (American Supercross Motorcycle Championship) is one of the motorcycle racing events in the United States. The AMA National Motorcycle Championship is an American motorcycle racing series, established by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1954. It originally included five different racing formats: one-mile cinder track race, half-mile cinder track race, short track race, TT off-road obstacle race, and road race, also known as flat track racing. From the early 1950s to the late 1970s, the AMA National Motorcycle Championship was the premier motorcycle racing series in the United States, until Supercross races held in major league stadiums became more popular.

Race Format:

Supercross races consist of dirt roads, steep slopes, and obstacles. The competition runs from January to mid-May each year, consisting of 17 rounds of 450cc, 8 rounds of 250cc in the West, and 8 rounds of 250cc in the East, spread across 14 venues in North America.

Race Introduction:

One-mile race

A race held within a one-mile circular cinder track, this race’s popularity is due to the ubiquity of racetracks in the United States. This event supports the installation of larger motorcycle engines, such as Harley-Davidson’s XR-750. The race is characterized by countless lead changes and speeds exceeding 140 miles per hour.

Half-mile race

Similar to the one-mile race, it is also held within a circular track, but with a shorter distance.

Short track race

A race held on a roughly quarter-mile long circular cinder track, many of these races take place in indoor venues similar to the Houston Astrodome. Lightweight off-road motorcycles with two-stroke engines are more advantageous in this competition.

TT off-road obstacle race: A race held on an irregularly shaped cinder track, characterized by a right turn and a jump platform. Lightweight motorcycles have an advantage in this race, but there are also successful examples of larger motorcycles.

Road race:

A race held on a specially constructed track, with the most famous in the AMA event schedule being the Daytona 200.

Race History:

The AMA National Motorcycle Championship is a purely American motorcycle racing series, approved by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) in 1954. It includes five different racing formats: one-mile cinder track race, half-mile cinder track race, short track race, TT off-road obstacle race, and road race, also known as flat track racing. From the early 1950s to the late 1970s, the AMA National Motorcycle Championship was a renowned motorcycle racing series in the United States, until Supercross races held in major league stadiums became more popular. The AMA Grand National Championship

In 1932, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) organized a series of races called the Class A Off-Road Championship, allowing motorcycle manufacturers to participate with prototype vehicles. In 1937, the AMA initiated a new series called the Class C Series, permitting the use of legally registered motorcycles with unique features. This event aimed to enable ordinary motorcyclists to participate in motorcycle races at a lower cost. When manufacturers drastically cut racing budgets during the Great Depression, the Class A competition ended, and the Class C races became the most important championships. In the pre-World War II days, the Class C races sparked intense competition between the two most important motorcycle manufacturers of that era, Harley-Davidson and Indian. Motorcycle championships were suspended during the war years from 1942 to 1945.

From 1946 to 1953, the AMA National Motorcycle Championship succeeded as a single event, the Springfield Mile, held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

In 1954, the AMA National Motorcycle Championship introduced five distinctive race formats, four of which were held on cinder tracks, and the fifth on asphalt tracks.

With the demise of the Indian Motorcycle Association in 1953, Harley-Davidson began to dominate the races. Harley-Davidson rider Joe Leonard won the AMA National Motorcycle Championship for the first time in 1954 and claimed two more titles before transitioning to car racing.

Carroll Resweber became the first four-time champion, winning consecutively for Harley-Davidson from 1958 to 1961.

In 1963, Dick Mann won the national title for BSA, giving foreign manufacturers their first championship.

Triumph rider Gary Nixon won back-to-back titles in 1967 and 1968 and claimed three AMA National Motorcycle Championship titles in four years.

Gene Romero won another championship in 1970.

Mann won a second title for BSA in 1971, before British motorcycle manufacturers lost the fierce technological competition to Japanese manufacturers.

In 1973, Yamaha rider Kenny Roberts won the first AMA National Motorcycle Championship for a Japanese manufacturer.

When Yamaha withdrew from the AMA National Motorcycle Championship after the 1977 season, Harley-Davidson once again began to dominate the races. By 1983, the AMA National Motorcycle Championship had become the most popular cinder track race in the United States for both two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles. This was the peak of the AMA National Motorcycle Championship, as by 1984, the popularity of other forms of motorcycle racing, such as motocross and road racing, gradually surpassed cinder track racing. In 1984, Honda joined the AMA National Motorcycle Championship, breaking Harley-Davidson’s hold, and Ricky Graham won the title. Before Honda withdrew from the competition in 1987, Bubba Shobert won three consecutive championships for the team, after which Harley-Davidson once again became the primary manufacturer in the series. In the past twenty editions of the competition, Harley-Davidson has won 15 championship titles. In July 2014, Harley-Davidson began partnering with Breakthrough Lubricants, and with excellent teamwork and racing performance, rider Kenny Coolbeth ultimately claimed the championship.

From the 1970s to the 1980s, the AMA National Motorcycle Championship proved to be a fertile breeding ground for road racing world champions. AMA cinder track riders such as Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, and Wayne Rainey successively won the 500cc Motorcycle Road Racing Championship. The advanced technology of late 1970s road racing motorcycles endowed engines with horsepower that exceeded the capacity of the frames and tires of that time. The resulting tire weaving technology created a new driving style reminiscent of cinder track motorcycle racing, using the rear wheel sliding to one side as a method of controlling the motorcycle through corners. This proved to be a significant advantage, as cinder track racers were already accustomed to drifting their bikes. When the Motorcycle World Grand Prix evolved into today’s MotoGP formula, electric friction control limited rear wheel sliding. Even though the AMA National Motorcycle Championship is no longer the premier motorcycle racing event in the United States, it still has many followers.

Race Rules:

Have you read the “AMA Off-Road Motorcycle Rulebook”?

1) During the gathering, no rider is allowed to receive any form of intravenous fluids… “Consider Doug Henry’s rule. If a rider needs intravenous fluids for heatstroke or physical exhaustion, they will be withdrawn from the race.

2) Smoking is prohibited in the maintenance area, grid, signaling area, or other restricted areas.

3) No one under the age of 16 is allowed in the maintenance area, grid, signaling area, or other restricted areas. “Pets are not allowed.

4) At any time, no rider shall endanger the life or limbs of other riders, officials, or the public. “If the rule is violated, the rider will be disqualified.

5) 125cc Supercross riders can compete in both the East and West regions, as long as they are not ranked in the top 10 in their home region. “For regional divisions, the AMA is best suited for their coastal region postal mailboxes. No RM, CR, or YZ

6) The front license plate must be flat… Any slimming operations, such as bending the license plate, are prohibited…

7) In the National Off-Road Motorcycle Championship, riders can only participate in one level of competition. “However, they can participate in any level of Supercross events.

8) Swapping gate positions with other riders is not allowed.

9) The height of the boots must be at least eight inches.

10) Riders and mechanics must maintain a neat appearance.

11) Riders will be penalized for “receiving radio transmissions during the race.”

12) Riders will be punished for “engaging in fights.”

13) Alcohol level should be zero. Any rider or official found with a measurable blood alcohol content during a professional race will be… prohibited from participating in the event.

14) Electronic devices specifically designed for traction control are prohibited.

15) All former national champions will be exempt from qualification requirements.

16) There will be no modifications in front of the starting gate… Modifications are allowed behind the gate if no shovels, tools, or other tools are used. …Watering the starting line is prohibited.

17) The use of starting blocks or other lifting devices is prohibited.

18) The length of the starting area must be 120 feet…

19) Tires with lugs greater than 0.750 are not allowed.

20) No one is allowed to ride a motorcycle in the wrong direction at any time…

21) Pit area rules: The signaling area is off-limits to persons under 16 years of age and pets. Pets in the paddock must be leashed or stored properly. Shirts must have collars. Open-toed shoes, shorts, and sleeveless shirts are prohibited.

22) Assistance: Apart from corner workers or officials, no external help is allowed during the race. In off-road motorcycle and supercross motorcycle races, help can be obtained at the starting gate before the first turn (only at the start of the race).

23) Minimum Motorcycle Weight: 250 off-road motorcycle class: 194 lbs (two-stroke) / 212 lbs (four-stroke); 450 off-road motorcycle class: 212 lbs (two-stroke) / 220 lbs (four-stroke). Weight limits must be met after qualifying and after the race. The chief technical inspector may request the removal of excess dirt from the motorcycle prior to weighing. Official AMA scales will be available before qualifying and during the race for weight checks. No liquids may be added to the motorcycle, except for water in the engine cooling system. Fuel must be drained from the fuel tank. Ballasts are not allowed on the motorcycle.

24) Race Schedule: The race program includes two practice sessions per class. The first session is free, with a qualifying race; the second session will only be a timed qualifier. Timed qualifiers will be used to determine the order in which riders select their starting positions. The starting position of riders in the second National Motorcycle event will depend on their finishing performance in the first National Motorcycle event.

25) Goggles: Riders and passengers are prohibited from throwing any riding apparel or similar items into the spectator area, especially during podium activities.

26) Audio/Video Equipment: Drivers are prohibited from using any personal audio listening devices while driving on the track. The use of any onboard or helmet-mounted video recording devices is prohibited unless approved by MX Sports.

27) Starting Procedure: Riders or mechanics are not allowed to make modifications in front of the starting gate. Grooming is allowed behind the gate if no shovels, tools, or other tools are used. Riders or crew members are not allowed to water the starting area. Ten minutes before the race starts, riders will be released for sighting laps. Sighting laps are optional. During the sighting lap period, riders may receive maintenance in the signaling area. Four minutes before starting, all riders must complete the sighting lap and re-enter the starting gate. Once the motorcycle enters the staging area and is called to the starting line, the motorcycle is prohibited from returning to the paddock. If the motorcycle is removed from the staging area after this, the rider will not be allowed to start the race. Riders may not swap starting gate positions with other riders.

28) Intravenous Hydration: Riders are not allowed to receive any type of intravenous hydration at any time during the event, unless emergency medical treatment is required for the rider during the race or due to such circumstances (e.g., heatstroke), and medical personnel deem the hydration medically necessary for participation in any practice, qualifying race, motorcycle race, or other activities. Once a rider receives such hydration during a race, the rider will not be allowed to participate in any other race activities, including but not limited to further practice, qualifying races, motorcycle races, or other activities in that race, unless and until medical personnel release the rider, who has been treated by medical personnel for the specific emergency medical situation in question. Any rider who has received treatment from the event medical director and, in cases where the treatment includes a recommendation for transport to an emergency medical center, should be prohibited from participating in any further practice or motorcycle races at the event.

29) Disciplinary Actions: The following violations will be subject to disciplinary actions by AMA Pro Racing: falsifying age, competing under a false name, intentionally participating in any race with a “fixed” outcome, offering or accepting bribes to circumvent AMA Pro Racing rules, participating in rider boycotts, any improper conduct, misconduct, or actions detrimental to the sport, physical or verbal assaults on AMA Pro Racing officials, failing or refusing to submit to drug testing. At no time may any rider ride in a manner that endangers the lives or limbs of other riders, officials, or the public. Any rider or official found with a measurable blood alcohol content during a professional race will be prohibited from participating in the event.