If you consider yourself a bit of an adrenaline junkie, then the world of extreme motorsports is for you. Combining the sheer speed of motor vehicles with the high-octane thrills of other extreme sports, they can offer heaps of excitement for petrolheads and thrill-seekers alike. And while the upkeep for such sports can be expensive, a lot of them are much more accessible than you’d think. Here are some of the most exciting ones you can try out.
ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are four-wheel vehicles that are steered using handlebars, like a motorcycle. This has led to them being popularly referred to as quad bikes in many parts of the world. ATVs have wide, low-pressure tires that make them extremely versatile across a wide variety of terrains. This, combined with the fact that they accelerate extremely quickly, makes them an extremely popular recreational vehicle for motorsport.
As a result, the market for sports ATVs has grown substantially over the years. An adjacent racing scene has also developed alongside their popularity. They are also popular for off-roading, with roll cages becoming a common addition, to prevent occupant injury.
Jet skis are high-speed, motor-powered water vehicles designed for one or two operators. Due to their association with luxurious, exotic lifestyles, jet skis have become a highly popular vacation activity at seaside locales. This has made them substantially more accessible in recent years, especially to rent. As a result, you can easily give it a try the next time you’re at the beach.
Another benefit of jet skiing that is missing from many motorsports is its health benefits. In fact, jet skiing has been associated with a number of them, including improved hand-eye coordination, strengthened arm and leg muscles, and better cardiovascular health.
Snowmobiles, commonly also referred to as Skidoos, resemble jet skis, but are instead designed for traversing icy and snowy terrains. Like jet skis and ATVs, they also are characterized by their super-fast acceleration, making them an ideal choice for adrenaline junkies.
Because they are specially designed for a very specific type of terrain, they are generally only used on a wide scale in Canada, Northern Europe, and Russia. However, you may be able to try them closer to home than you’d think. Snowmobiling is one of the powersports Colorado and other central US states have to offer, for example.
Dirt biking refers to a type of off-roading that uses a specialized motorcycle. Dirt bikes are extremely rugged and hard-wearing, meaning they can be used on a huge variety of terrains and sports categories. You can strap your helmet on and take them almost anywhere, including across forests, desserts, and even over snow. Bikes can vary in design depending on the specific type of terrain and sport you want to engage in. However, most dirt bikes are fairly versatile, providing the conditions are not too extreme.
As for sports you can try with your dirt bike, the options are almost as wide. Motocross is arguably the most popular and well-known of them. This involves racing on an outdoor, closed-circuit dirt track, often consisting of several jumps and obstacles. A popular offshoot of motocross is supercross, which is similar, but takes place in indoor arenas. Perhaps the most exciting (and dangerous) dirt-biking sport is another offshoot, freestyle motocross, where contestants attempt to pull off acrobatic stunts while airborne. Elsewhere, a particularly popular form of dirt biking in the UK is Enduro. This involves racing through extended sections of countryside. Pick up a bike and find out which form you like best.
Rally vehicles refer to a type of modified car used for off-road racing across gravel, dirt, and snow. Since rally cars are usually designed for racing across all kinds of terrain, the sport normally involves high speeds, quick reactions, and drifting. This makes it a perfect sport for petrolheads looking for something high-octane. And like with other sports in this list, the popularity of rally driving has made it surprisingly accessible for those looking to give it a try. As a result, there are nowadays a wide array of affordable rally driving experience packages available to purchase.
Ice racing, as the name would suggest, refers to off-road motor racing across frozen lakes, rivers, and sometimes ice rinks. The sport comprises a similar set of skills as rally driving, although it takes it to new extremes by taking away almost all traction. This makes for a wild, unpredictable sport.
Races normally take place on cars, motorcycles, or snowmobiles. However, because of the specific conditions required for ice racing, the sport can only normally be found in the extreme north, especially in Scandinavia and Canada.
Drifting involves the driver intentionally oversteering while turning around a corner, causing the car to lose grip, and the back end of the car to slide in the opposite direction the car is turning. Controlling the vehicle during a drift therefore includes a great deal of control, as well as lightning-quick reactions.
Drifting gained popularity as a competitive sport in Japan during the latter half of the 20th century, and would quickly spread across the world. Competitive drifting is judged on a variety of criteria, including style and control. For amateurs, those interested can attend drifting academies to learn the sport, many of which are taught by some of the best professional drifters in the world.
Figure 8 Racing
Figure 8 races are huge, multi-car races that take place in dirt track arenas. Unsurprisingly, the event involves cars racing in a figure of 8 loop. As a race, figure 8 racing already incorporates an element of excitement due to the speed required. However, the true thrill comes from the need for cars to cross each other’s paths to complete the circuit. This makes the sport massively exciting, albeit extremely dangerous. Figure 8 racing also comprises several different classes of vehicle races This means that ultimate chaos ensues when huge buses and trucks engage in the sport.