There are some forms of racing that mix all the elements of going fast and risking harm that make the very notion of the sport narcotic in nature. Some are strange hybrids of combustion, torque, friction and shop wrenching.
Right now there are two-wheeled craft that roar to more than 200 mph down a quarter mile, spitting a rooster tail of dirt 100 feet through the air behind them. This is nitro dirt drag bike racing.
The riders almost seem to wear these bikes, designed specifically for unidirectional sprints that turn kinetic energy into a mainline slam, sending The Fear through the rider’s head in the form of focus and reaction and complete insanity. The machines take on forms that smack of science fiction and apocalypse movies.
The back tires on these machines are essentially truck tires; paddle tread wheels that scoop the dirt and hurl bike and rider forward with the low grumble of top fuel as the wave.
Where did the sport come from? Some will point to a Hell’s Angel named Thomo, and such a legend sounds legitimate enough not to dispute. In fact, we’d settle for an LSD induced night dream as the muse for such a sport. The reality is that dirt drag racing came from the collective imagination of all things speed, dirt, and competitive. It’s an inevitability that sooner or later the elements of drag racing, custom bike building, and the relentless pursuit of speed would spawn a pastime worthy of the hairiest and boldest road maniacs to ever take the track.
Of course, one major venue for dirt drag racing is Australia, which more and more seems to be a mecca for hard-edged motorsports. Of course, as the adage goes, it costs money to go fast, so it’s no surprise that many contenders in this sport come to it later in life, when they have the funds to tweak bikes in such a way, sending the dirt flying and air buzzing with their velocity.
Photo credit: Youtube screenshot