Kind of like autocross, but harder, lower, and cooler.

Equal parts technical time trial and motorcycle meet-up, the sport of Motogymkhana has been slowly but steadily spreading it’s wings across the world. Originally developed in Japan, it was quickly and enthusiastically adopted throughout Europe and Asia. Now it’s popping up around North America but our response time has been much slower.

Speaking of response time, that’s one of the many skills that make this motorsport—one that is open to all levels of riders—not just a great challenge but also an excellent idea.

Circuits are comprised of an assortment of cones, set up across a large, flat area—usually a parking lot—that requires the rider to demonstrate their abilities at navigating their bike around tight corners at slow speeds (often staying in first and second gear) combined with little bursts of acceleration along the most efficient lines, to keep the time down. Throttle and braking control, weight transfer, balance, and timing are of the essence to successfully maneuver around a Gymkhana course.

It’s also great for memory development since the course needs to be memorized before it is run, although there are some things that help.

Motogymkhana is also a social event. A non-profit organization, run by volunteers, this Japanese motorsport is as much about developing talent as it is about uniting riders around the globe.

Participants include newbie riders who want to gain confidence, novice, intermediate and advanced riders who want to improve their skills and even expert level riders like motorcycle police stunt squads who want to test their metal (that’s a pun, not a typo!) against one another.

Competitors run their bikes through the course as quickly and accurately as they can. Winners do it perfectly and in the shortest amount of time.

Curious about how to set up your bike and yourself for Gymkhana? Check back soon for Part 2 in this captivating mini-series about the safest motorsport to sweep the globe!

Oh yeah, and this is how we do it in Canuckistan:

Sources: motogymkhana.org, Wikipedia, YouTube

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