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.
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
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.