Motorcycle info about licenses, trikes, sidecars, scooters and more!
Riding motorcycles on an ice road, on hard packed snow, or an actual ice racing track sounds like a fun way to spend a winter day if you don’t mind taking a few spills. Motorcycle ice racing, similar to flat track or speedway racing, but the motorcycle tires typically have to have metal spikes in them to get a grip on the ice. It takes a lot of courage to be out there. Imagine crashing and getting run over by spiked tires!
You don’t have to be an ice racer to ride motorcycles on an ice road, frozen lake or on hard-packed snow, but you will still need some help with traction. Aside from tire spikes, tire studs, and ice screws, there is another way to get traction called a Snow Claw. Snow Claws are available from MV Motorrad Technik GmbH in Germany and can be ordered online for about 115 Euros for a set of 5 to fit one wheel, but they also sell a set of 3 for about 69 Euros.
Snow Claws are sort of like strapping an old-fashioned metal snowmobile cleat around your motorcycle tire. If you ever rode snowmobiles back in the 70′s, you will remember well that those metal cleats often came off while riding. So, with that in mind, don’t get any ideas about using snow claws to go fast – they are only to help keep you from getting stuck as you are going very slow on an ice road or hard-packed snow.
Getting back to ice racing, Canada, some European and Scandinavian countries, and Russia have a long history with motorcycle ice racing. If don’t live in those places, you still might have a chance to see a race in person at a touring indoor motorcycle ice racing series event. The motorcycle of choice for ice racing for many years has been the Czech-made Jawa. Not a lot of Jawas are found in the US, so many of the amateur ice racers in the US ride on modified dirt bikes or motocross racing motorcycles. Street bikes are not very well suited for ice racing; however, some folks will try just about anything.
To keep your feet warm and dry and to avoid injury from snow claws, tire spikes and general chunks of ice and snow, don’t attempt this without wearing rugged Motorcycle Boots instead of just wearing regular work boots!
Some of the basic ice racing rules are as follows, but they vary with the different sanctioning bodies:
There are several sanctioning bodies involved in motorcycle ice racing. Here is a partial list which includes international as well as local organizations:
Alberta Endurance Ice Racing Association – Edmenton, Alberta Canada
Albright Shores Ice Racing – Beaverton, Michigan USA
American Motorcyclist Association (A.M.A.) – Ohio USA
Canadian Motorcycle Association – Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Central Wisconsin Ice Racing Association – Wisconsin USA
F.I.M. – Switzerland
Greater Kamloops Motorcycle Association – Kamloops, BC Canada
International Championship Events (indoor ice racing) – Myrtle Beach, SC USA
If you are involved with motorcycle ice racing, have taken a ride on an ice road, or want to add a link your ice racing club or ice racing organization, please leave a comment. If you just have some ice road riding or snow riding tips to share, please share the motorcycle info in a comment below.