Battletrax is a type of motorcycle competition conceived and organized by Reg Kittrelle. It is essentially an autocross (gymhkana) with motorcycles. Affiliated with Buell Motorcycles USA, they are often held in the parking lots of Buell dealerships. Othertimes they are held in conjunction with other motorcycle events such as rallies or motorcycle shows. Buell riders are encouraged to compete but any motorcycle is allowed. Riders get numerous timed practise runs before the actual competition. At that time riders must declare a target lap time, then run a certain number of laps. Whoever's average of their timed competion laps are closest to their target time wins. Sometimes there were prizes for fastest lap time of the day (FTD) as well.

Having competed in car autocrosses off and on since I was 19, I was very curious to see if it was possible with motorcycles. I imagined a lot of crashed bikes. What I found was an incredibly fun and safe event. I only attended three events in total but only witnessed one low-side at slow speeds and with minimal damage to the bike. I always ran my street-tire-shod XR100 and it was nearly the perfect weapon of choice - small, nimble, and light. And of course I always focused on FTD, but the emphasis was on consistency, taking pressure off riders to go fast. Most participants had never even heard of Battletrax, much less competed in one, but that didn't stop everyone from having a great time. Reg always put on a nice event.

I would highly recommend you attend an event but sadly it appears the series has shut down. Reg, if you're out there, let me know! In the meantime maybe a grassroots series will spring up somewhere. Every rider should get a chance to ride their bike in an autocross. Take a look at the photographs and short videos from the three events I attended:

October 10, 2004 - McGuire Harley-Davidson, Pittsburg, California
October 3, 2004 - Treasure Island, California
May 24, 2003 - Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos, California



Rider zooms past the timing lights.


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