2) Paris-Dakar Rally
This race has perhaps the oddest name of any on our list, as the race doesn’t occur on the same continent as either Paris or Dakar. The name actually comes from it’s original course, which was founded in 1977 and took riders on an epic cross-country journey from Paris, France to Dakar, Morocco. But due to safety concerns and political tension in North Africa during the 2000s, the race was moved completely to its current home in South America, but kept its iconic name.
Spanning an unbelievable 5000 miles or more, the Paris-Dakar rally is without a doubt the longest, deadliest, and most legendary off-road race in the world. Numerous vehicle classes race across half the South American continent over the course of two grueling weeks, which is so long it even includes recovery days at bivouac sites to rest up and perform maintenance on machines. Racing classes vary from massive off-road trucks the size of buses to high performance rally cars – but the toughest vehicles to take across the seemingly endless course are motorcycles, 450cc rally bikes modified with long travel suspensions, tall windshields and massive fuel tanks.
Paris-Dakar is so long, there is ample room and much time for things to go wrong – and they often do. In the last several decades, many racers have bcome injured or killed, and others simply vanished into the desert after a navigation mistake. In all, 61 people have lost their lives during the 39 years the rally has been run. Today, technology like GPS mitigates some of the dangers – but racing for 5000+ miles in a motorcycle is still an epic feat, and completely unparalleled in the world of motorcycle racing.
1) Isle Of Man TT
Often called the world’s most legendary motorcycle race, the Isle of Man TT is the world’s longest running motorcycle race – and also the most deadly. An astonishing 247 riders have lost their lives racing in the Isle of Man, making it not only the deadliest motorcycle race, but the deadliest race in all of motorsports.
But the high fatality rate does not detract from the Isle of Man’s heroic status – in fact, it enhances it. The race is a historic event for the Isle of Man, a small, beautiful, storybook-like island between England and Ireland, where it has been run almost every year since 1907 (except for the years during WWII, from 1939-1945.) The race is a time trial around the tiny island country’s Snaefell Mountain Course, a 38-mile loop traversing the isle’s villages, winding tree-lined streets, and sprints through beautiful pastoral landscapes.
The course, while beautiful and even magical-looking, hasn’t changed much in the last century – and therein lies the danger of the race. The Isle of Man’s narrow roads are lined by rock walls, hedgerows, and even barbed wire fences that didn’t cause much of a problem at the turn of the century, when average speeds were around 36 mph on single-cylinder Matchless and Norton motorcycles. Today, 200 hp Japanese superbikes cover the course at average speeds of a blistering 130 mph or more, and often exceed 200 mph on straights, turning those walls and fences (jokingly referred to by IOM racers as “furniture”) into instant death traps.
Nevertheless, the race persists, and has even seen a surge in popularity in recent years due to the growth of social media and internet video. The face-melting speeds, arms-length distances to spectators, fantastic landscapes, and shocking fatality rate combine to make a race that is completely unlike anything else in motorsports, and tops our list of the most extreme motorcycle races in the world! Click Here…