Motocross during the 50s
The thrilling and exciting sport of motocross originated in the UK in the early 20th century and has since gained popularity around the world. In the early days, however, the sport was better known as “revolts.” Derived from combining the French word ‘moto’ with ‘cross-country’, the sport of motocross is a form of off-road motorcycle racing that takes place on dirt or off-road tracks. These tracks can also be muddy, hilly, muddy, or rocky routes that include hairpin turns and uneven courses.
During the 1920s and 1930s, riots began to rage with sporting events such as the Southern Scott Scramble held in 1924. This is the event that is said to have led to the start of motocross. Many other such interpretations form possible motocross origin tales.
The 1950s witnessed advances in the sport with certain steps towards its formalization and structuring. The early years of the decade saw individual motocross races generating interest fairly quickly. Towards the end of 1950, the Belgian Federation presented a proposal for the start of an event of international stature to the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme) or the International Motorcycle Federation. It was in 1952 that the FIM created the European Championship that used motorcycles with 500cc engines. This was a turning point in the history of motocross racing and the sport in general. In 1957, this event was upgraded to the World Championship category.
Over the years, a wide variety of other motorcycle sports have branched out outside of motocross. One of those sports that gained popularity in the 1950s was Sidecar Racing, also known as Sidecarcross. While it started in Europe, it also attracted fans in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States of America. Europe, however, is the only place where Sidecarcross was actually raced at the World Championship level.
Sidecarcross involves the use of a motocross bike built with a flat deck attached to each side of the rider’s seat. It also includes a handlebar to which the rider of this platform, the passenger, can attach. The role of the passenger is to balance the vehicle while it swerves around sharp turns or bounces off rocky and rough terrain. This variant of motocross has seen a decline since its glory days in the 1950s.
Motorcycles used in motocross have also witnessed an evolution in themselves since the sport began and became popular. Most of the decade saw races in the MX3 category. While in 1952, 1953 and 1954 the winners of the Motocross World Championship were of Belgian origin, the podium gave way to British participants in the second half of the 1950s. The winner of the Motocross World Champion boat in 1957 was Swedish participant Bill Nisson.
The 1950s was a fast-growing era in motocross. He witnessed the formalization of events, the creation of new structures and a new zeal for a highly adventurous sport. It was during this decade that motocross gained its true prominence in the European motorcycle racing environment.