Home Tricks Events Equipment Bikes Pro Riders History
History of Motocross

History of Motocross

In 1924, the first known British off-road event known as the Scrambles was held at Camberley in Surrey. This would become the earliest known origin of freestyle motocross as we know it today.
History of Motocross

Over the years, the event would evolve, largely through the efforts of riders from Europe who shortened the tracks while adding laps and various obstacles through the course such as jumps.

The sport's popularity would increase during the 1930s, particularly in Britain where events involving teams from various districts and companies would be held regularly. Bikes used in those competitions at the time would be barely distinguishable from those used on the streets.

1950s to 1970s

As the competition intensified and the terrain increased in difficulty, the technology used for the design of competition and special-event motorcycles would improve, particularly with the introduction of the swinging arm suspension during the early 1950s.

The international motorcycling governing body held the 500cc displacement formula European Championship in 1952 that was subsequently upgraded to World Championship status in 1957 followed by a 250cc equivalent in 1962 where two-stroke motorcycles began to make their mark in the industry.

Various companies throughout Europe from countries such as Sweden, Czechoslovakia and Britain thrived by creating models that became renowned for their lightness and maneuverability. The introduced improvements in motorcycles during the 1960s would relegate the older and heavier four-stroke machines to smaller, niche events.

In the late 1960s, companies from Japan would rival their European counterparts in the manufacture and production of high-quality motorcycles for motocross enthusiasts. In fact, in 1970, Suzuki would claim the first world championship for its motherland after being victorious in the 250cc event.

1975 would see the introduction of the 125cc world championship and the sport experienced significant growth due in no small part to the increase in popularity of motocross in the United States. While European riders would continue to excel in events held during the 1970s, the Americans would gradually improve before winning international competitions during the 1980s.

1980s to 1990s

It was during the 1980s that rapid technological enhancements in motocross would take place thanks to the innovation of companies from Japan. These included the creation of water-cooled machines as well as the monoshock rear suspension device.

During the 1990s, new laws were introduced to ensure that the production of four-stroke motorcycles would adhere to environmentally conscious standards.

Motocross Today

Recently, motocross has gradually developed new forms of riding and disciplines ranging from indoor stadium arena events such as Supercross and Arenacross to Freestyle Motocross where riders display an array of skills while performing thrilling jumps and stunts.