Whether you’re into Motocross, Supercross, Enduro, or any of the rest, it’s hard to deny that bike-racing is so much more than just a part-time hobby. For most of us, it becomes a full-time sport and a competitive one at that.
Bike-racing is something that pushes your mind, body, and emotions to the absolute limits, making it one of the most demanding and dangerous extreme sports you can take part in. Of the thousands of different biking races and tournament worldwide, there are a select few which can truly be classed as global sporting events.
These are the events that offer millions of dollars in prize money, draw crowds of tens of thousands of people, and invariably make headlines all around the world. One thing that all of these major sporting events have in common is that they tend to veer on the extreme side of motorbike racing, offering maximum adrenaline and maximum danger.
This is, of course. why these races draw such huge crowds. Everybody is attracted to danger, not just the bike riders themselves but also the audience. If you want to know which motorbike racing events are the most extreme in the entire world, read on to find out.
Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
One of the most famous motorcycling races in the world and America’s oldest, having started back in 1916, the PPIHC, also known as The Race to the Clouds, takes biking to a whole other level. The goal of this grueling race is to get your bike to the summit of Pikes Peak, a 4720ft mountain in the heart of the Rockies.
The track is over 12 miles long and attracts some of the best racers from all around the world, all vying for the $50,000 grand prize. Although this certainly counts as an extreme race by anyone’s standards, it used to be considerably more so.
Back when the race first started there was no paved track at all, meaning that the race was essentially an off-road dirt biking marathon. Naturally, injuries and fatalities were high. Back in 2011, they finally finished paving a proper track up the mountain, allowing superbikes to take part as well.
The current record finish-time was set in 2017 when a KTM Super Duke 1290 R bike made it to the top in just under 10 minutes.
The Erzburg Rodeo
The largest enduro event in Europe and possibly the entire world, the Erzburg Rodeo takes place in the vast mining quarries of Styria in Austria every May. The event regularly attracts the most famous and highly-skilled enduro riders from all around the world, putting their abilities to the absolute limit as they must traverse near-vertical climbs up incredibly difficult terrain consisting largely of ore.
One of the most epic aspects of the race is the mass start; over 500 riders compete with each other from the exact same starting point, with only a few ever making it to the end of the grueling four-hour race. The location changes every year but it is always a giant quarry in the same region of the heavily-mined Austrian countryside, meaning riders have to navigate deadly cliff-edges and highly unstable tracks.
Last year’s winner was UK enduro legend Graham Jarvis, who won the Rodeo with the help of his trusty Husqvarna bike. Jarvis has won the Rodeo for four out of the last five years.
The Isle of Man TT
Quite possibly the most notorious bike racing event in the world by virtue of its sheer brutality. Over the 112 years that this annual event has been running, a jaw-dropping 247 bikers have lost their lives, making this by far and away the most dangerous bike racing tournament on Earth.
Nonetheless. people flock in droves to witness this white-knuckle race, with the Isle of Man basically coming to a complete standstill during the weekend that the TT usually runs. Millions of people worldwide tune in on TV or try to get in on the action with online betting, with bookies even offering odds on how many crashes there’ll be in the race.
All of the major betting platforms offer up-to-date odds on the Isle of Man TT, with betting comparison platforms even showing where to get free bets and bonus credits. Every June the picturesque Isle of Man turns into an arena of biking carnage, one that is truly unmissable.
The Paris-Dakar Rally
As far as biking racing goes, it doesn’t get more ambitious than the Paris-Dakar Rally. Starting in 1977, this 5000-mile race features only the toughest off-road biking machines. Although the location has changed in recent years, the original race which ran for over three decades started in the French capital and required contestants to race their way through over a dozen countries to the capital of the African country of Senegal.
The race took place through searing heat and unforgivable desert terrain, with an extraordinarily high level of injuries and casualties. These days the action has moved to South America due to safety concerns, but that doesn’t make the rally any less intense. It typically kicks off in the Peruvian city of Lima and finishes at the southern end of Argentina, typically taking several days to complete.
Unlike the other races featured on this list, the rally is open to amateurs as well as experienced professionals, with over 80% of the contestants typically consisting of amateur bikers. There’s no denying that this is one of the most exciting sporting events on Earth.
Whether you’re an experienced rider or just a fan of the sport, these events offer thrills that just can’t be had anywhere else. Mark them in your calendar and make sure to stay tuned in the year ahead.