Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Motorcycle racing history at Woodside, SA

Motorcycle races at Woodside, October, 1949.
Motorcycle races at Woodside SA, October 1949. National Motor Museum Collection

Racing and competition have been an important element of motorcycle culture from the start, beginning with friendly club competitions and road races. 

In the 1920s and 1930s Speedway racing, held on oval-shaped dirt tracks, became a popular form of entertainment and the excitement drew large crowds. After the Second World War disused airfields were turned into road race tracks using the bitumen surface of the airstrip. 

Gawler Racecourse, 1924

Motocross racing developed throughout the first half of the century but grew significantly in the 1950s and 1960s. In this sport, riders raced on rugged dirt circuits with a series of obstacles. 

Although the motor car has largely replaced the motorcycle in volume, scooters are still well used in congested city areas while sports and touring motorcycles are used for leisure cruises and longer trips as a lifestyle choice. These luxury motorcycles can cost as much as a car. 

In rural areas, dirt bikes are still used as a practical means of transport as well as for fun, particularly by younger people.

- part of the extensive historical display at the National Motor Museum, Birdwood SA 

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