Supermoto was invented back in the mid-seventies in the United States - by a Brit. His name was Bruce Cox and the annual TV extravaganza was called Superbiker.
It was a simple formula to seek out the best multi-disciplined rider by pitting them against each other on mutli-surfaced courses. In one master-stroke of brilliance, dirt track met motocross, met roadracing. The series was a box-office smash.
Then, sometime in the mid eighties, the idea was stolen by the French who re-branded it Supermotards a literal and quite blatant translation of the Stateside name. The theatrical Gallic version culminated in the annual Guidon d'Or, or Golden Handlebar event, which even attracted giants like Eddie Lawson.
Back in the UK, where it was know as Supermoto (French translation: supermotorcycle), the sport bumped along at banger-meeting level, usually in the depths of winter. By the new millennium - largely thanks to visionary Frenchman Alain Blanchard, the sport gradually gained enough momentum to warrant a hotly contested FIM World Championship, a thriving European series and interest from media and factories around the globe.
The key to Supermoto's popularity lies in the lary, scary, sideways corner entry technique and the feet-up power-sliding exits. Bikers love to see what they can't (but would love to) do themselves and backing a bike into a tarmac turn on full opposite lock - feet up - is about as difficult and spectacular as it gets.
Promoted ruthlessly and administered with consistency, imagination and integrity, the future for Supermoto in the UK is clearly ripe for development. Supermoto also provides the perfect transition for adult or junior motocrossers to switch sporting discipline on familiar machinery. With its mix of dirt and tarmac Supermoto is only the logical transgression.
Further information can be obtained by visiting the ACU Motorcycling website: www.acu.org.uk
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