World MX Rules Changes

Off-road Regs Get Tweaked

By Kevin Duke, Dec. 21, 2007
The group that controls world motorcycle racing, the FIM (Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme), sent out a press release today that outlines the future direction of rules for the Motocross and SuperMoto classes, which may turn out to be quite controversial.

These new rules were bandied about during a meeting of the Motocross Grand Prix Permanent Bureau on December 1.

There are currently three classes in the off-road world championships: MX1 (250cc 2-strokes or 450cc 4-strokes), MX2 (125cc 2-strokes or 250cc 4-strokes) and MX3 up to 500cc 2-strokes and 650cc 4-strokes).

This class structure will be revised for 2010. Although the wording of the press release is a bit vague, it appears that 4-stroke bikes will be competing against 2-strokes, and they will do so without the displacement advantage current rules allow.

Interestingly, the FIM hasnt yet decided on the engine rules for the headlining MX1 class. The new MX2 rules will require single-cylinder motors with a displacement of 250cc, either a 2- or 4-stroke. The MX3 class will allow multi-cylinder bikes of up to 650cc.

The MX1 class is currently the headliner of the series, leaving the big bikes of the MX3 class somewhat in the shadows. But the allowance of multi-cylinder bikes in the big class should spice it up. The concept of riders competing against each other on twin-cylinder 650cc machines sounds exciting to us.

New rules in the MX2 class restrict it to riders under 24 years of age. Also, an MX2 champion is allowed to defend the title only once.

Swimming against the 4-stroke tide, all the classes in the FIM Junior World Championship will be 2-strokes. A new 65cc division is added to the existing 85cc and 125cc classes.

The FIM is also planning to study the issue of electronic rider aids such as traction control, as is already the case in world championship roadracing. Although the release doesnt explicitly state the FIM is against such electronic controls, it seems thats the case by the following statement from the release: Riders should be able to show their riding skills and talent without costly technical means.

One of the hottest issues in the off-roading world is concern over noise emissions, and the FIM is taking steps to turn down the exhaust volume. The FIM will undergo field testing of the bikes during this upcoming season in advance of setting new regulations for the 2009 championships. The current limit is 96 dB/A.

In addition, the minimum weights for all classes will be reviewed by the FIM Technical Panel, so we expect some changes there.