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Mopeds + Motocross track leads to Mayhem.
Motocross (or Scrambling as it was originally known in the UK), has been around for as long as there have been motorcycles. Bikers stripped down their road machines, cut grooves in the tyres and took the bikes off-road, scrambling around for traction – hence the sport got its name. The latest incarnation of this sport uses mopeds, and the largest organised event in the UK is called Moped Mayhem.
A bit of history of the sport:
Neil Brooks started racing in the original Moped Mayhem in 2007 at the Peterborough Showground when it was part of the BMF show. In 2014, BMF said it would no longer be having the moped race. Many people were very disappointed by this – not just teams but spectators too. Neil decided to have a bash at organising an event at Weedon MX track. He posted all over Facebook (Moped Mayhem Events LTD) to try and get as many people involved as possible.
Neil Brooks: “By the time the first race came round we had seventy-one entries and over two hundred and fifty riders, each rider must have had two or three people that went to watch, too. Needless to say, it was packed.
“I can say organising the first event was so stressful and time-consuming, but to have each and every team thank you for putting it on made it worth it.”
Due to Neil and his wife’s work they had to hand over the management of the event. Robert and Susi Bull took over this year and all is going well. They are currently working hard to get the second race of the season ready.
Moped Mayhem – What’s it about?
It is a combination of Le Mans-style racing, using any type of sub-90cc two-wheeled bike, split into three classes. Teams are made up of a minimum of two riders and a maximum of four. No rider can be on the ‘Moped’ for more than thirty minutes in one stint.
All teams support a charity of their choice as the overall aim of the event is to raise money for good causes while having lots of fun.
Fun is the underlining theme of this sport – although it is highly competitive it’s clearly nowhere near as serious as proper Motocross. Riders help each other maintain and repair Mopeds so everyone can ride for as long as possible. This really is a case of ‘winning is not everything’, entering and taking part is. Teams arrive the day before the event and create a festival-type spirit, lighting up BBQs, playing music and even having firework displays.
The team completing the most laps of the course within the fours hours are the winners. Every bike has a transponder which sends information back to the judges and timers, notifying them of completed laps.
Naturally any sport needs rules – to cover the safety of the riders and the public, mainly – but there aren’t many.
Entrants love the sport because it is inexpensive, fun, entertaining and easy to enter.
All engines must be from a road production bike.
Boring of the cylinder which results in the capacity exceeding the class limits is NOT permitted. In the event of a dispute, the Clerk of the Course’s decision is final.
Machines with motocross engines will not be allowed to compete.
Frames, wheels and all other parts are open i.e. can be changed or modified.
Stands must be removed or wired in the ‘UP’ position.
Headlamp glass must be taped or preferably removed.
Number plates must be removed.
Two independent braking systems must be working.
No dangerous bits/sharp edges must protrude.
Tyres must be treaded type and in sound condition.
Machines must be fitted with a front and rear mudguard.
Silencers and baffles must be fitted and working. Teams with the excessively loud exhaust will be excluded. Bikes must be started up during scrutineering. Noise limit 94 dB.
All machines must carry three number discs – one either side and one covering the headlamp. (Black numbers on white background).
Teams must consist of at least two riders and a maximum of four.
A team captain must be declared for all administration purposes.
Riders must be between the ages of 16 and 65 on the day of the event.
Each rider must present a valid photo ID at signing on.
Replacement riders are not permitted.
Each rider must attend the mandatory drivers’ briefing.
No rider may ride for more than half an hour continuously.
Each rider must complete a track walk and be confident they are able to ride the track safely.
Full face helmet must be worn and be either road or race approved.
Eye protection must be worn e.g. goggles or visor
Motocross or race boots only (no work boots).
Gloves and upper body armour must be worn (road leather jacket will suffice – no t-shirts or shorts).
Driving standards and behaviour towards other competitors and officials will be closely monitored, if it is deemed an infringement has occurred you will be warned and then docked laps should it persist. The organisers operate a “3 strikes and you are out policy”. They have varying levels of riders and abilities and it is important that everyone shows respect to one another.
Results will be based on most laps completed within the four hour time limit. In case of a tie, the winning team will be the team who completed the most laps in the fastest overall time.
Prizes will be given for 1st, 2nd and 3rd of each class. There will also be an additional prize for the best fancy dress.
I spoke to Gareth from Kymco UK who decided to take two ‘off the shelf’ mopeds from the company’s range and enter them into the first Moped Mayhem of 2019. The teams of Kelvin, Gareth, and James on bike 17 and Mark, John and Gary on number 24 slightly adapted the scooters. Motorcross tyres were put on the standard rims, and the exhaust changed. Kymco also wrapped all the lights and added numbers to both bikes. They saw it as a test of the scooters’ reliability and enjoyed it so much they are continuing to enter further races.
They are hoping to enter a 4-stroke model and potentially the Kymco Ionex Electric scooter later this year following its launch. It will be on show at the London Transport Museum on 26th and 27th June if you fancy seeing it in the flesh.
Gareth Hughes: “The scooters performed way better than we could have imagined, we raced against other scooters that were braced so they didn’t break and others that had been modified to a point that you couldn’t tell it was a scooter, so to finish four hours off-road was a true testament to the brand. There was one point I was riding around laughing to myself in my helmet saying ‘I’m on a moped on a fully blow Mx track – what am I doing?’ The whole camping overnight with the team and racing was great fun and everyone at moped mayhem was friendly, and all there to have fun. Getting on the podium just put the cherry on the top of a great weekend.”
Fancy it? Get along to the next event and watch this mayhem or even enter and having a cracking good time.
Moped Mayhem 4hr Enduro – 2nd Round
Weedon MX Track
23rd June 2019
[email protected] for entry information and more.
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