All Speedway bikes run on methanol and the gas tanks only hold
enough fuel to go eight laps—about two minutes.
Speedway tracks are pool-table smooth. The leading link
forks are sprung by elastomer bands. weight forward while standing up on the bike with his left foot out in front, gliding across the ground with his steel shoe. This was a lot easier said than done, because it was such an uncomfortable feeling when on the track. There was a major adrenaline rush required to work up the courage to pitch it sideways. The bike was so powerful that it commanded your attention, and the throttle was the key. You could spin the rear wheel so quickly that you wouldn’t even know it had happened. Once we slowed down and worked on our technique, we started to get the hang of it. It was such a rush and incredibly fun. Our shorthand for how to ride a speedway bike is, “Turn right to go left, speed up to slow down, and slow down to speed up.” OUR SHORTHAND FOR HOW TO RIDE A SPEEDWAY BIKE IS, “TURN RIGHT TO GO LEFT, SPEED UP TO SLOW DOWN, AND SLOW DOWN TO SPEED UP.”
We asked Max Ruml, an up-and-coming Speedway racer on the Hagon team, to describe Speedway to us. He said, “Well, you go zero to 60 miles per hour in 3 seconds with no brakes and pitch it sideways all the way around the corner.” Talk about an adrenaline junkie’s dream! And that's exactly what Max and Under- 21 U.S. Speedway Champion Gino Manzares did to demonstrate
small and located toward the front of the bike (one of our test riders mistook it for a shift lever). When both feet were on the pegs, it felt like we were doing the splits. As we got closer to the track, we faced our next dilemma. We forgot that there were no brakes. Stopping required the Flintstonian act of dragging your feet and using engine braking and quick clutch work to bring the bike to a stop. Once at the track, Billy gave us a quick rundown of what to do, and we started doing laps. Actually, we did eight laps, because that is as far as the bike would go before it ran out of gas. Billy didn’t interfere as we tried to work out our difficulties by falling back on years of motocross experience. We tried coming in hot a few times to get the rear end to step out, but we had no success. We were positive that we could have gone faster on a KX450F with knobbies. Once we had exhausted our repertoire of riding tricks, we were frustrated and came in to get more fuel and to talk to Billy. Now that we had learned the valuable lesson that a Speedway bike is not a motocross bike, Billy began to instruct us on how to do things right. Billy told us to slow down and concentrate on getting the rear end to step out through the middle of the corner. He said that we should roll the throttle on and put all our weight on the outside peg through the middle of the corner. By weighting the outside peg, we would loosen up the rear wheel and get it to float across the smooth dirt. He said a rider should pretty much have his right leg fully extended, putting his