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Following on from our profile on Aussie sliding sensation Tom Drane, we thought we'd simplify what Flat Track actually is to our Aussie audience.

Flat Track share similarities with our Dirt Track style of racing, and is a very popular form of competition in the USA. It began in the USA in the 1920’s and gained wide spread popularity after WW2 and is probably the most common motorsport in America. Bikes in the singles class are based on available motocross bikes usually a 450cc machine but bikes in the twins class are 750cc monsters usually purpose-built from the ground up.

Flat Track was the original battleground for Harley Davidson and Indian who both had legions of followers as both built bikes specifically for this style of racing. BSA were the first foreign make to win the national title in 1963, repeating it in 1971. Triumph won in 1967, 1968 and 1970 and the Japanese scored their first title in 1973 when Kenny Roberts rode a Yamaha to victory. None of them could match Harley Davidson’s record though of holding the title for 17 years with their legendary XR750 flat tracker.

The Grand National Championship was a perfect training ground for world champion road racers as, AMA dirt track racers Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey all went on to win the 500cc Road Racing World Championship. Road racing bikes of that era all produced more power than they could put to the ground so sliding and rear wheel steering skills were a great advantage. Let’s not forget that Wayne Gardner, Casey Stoner and Gary McCoy  also honed their skills riding Dirt Track with Gardner winning the 500cc World Championship and Stoner winning two MotoGP World Titles.


The Mile races are held on an oval-shaped dirt course approximately one mile in length and usually favour larger engine displacements such as the Indian FTR750 and Harley-Davidson XG750R with speeds of up to 225km/h

The Half-Mile is similar to a mile race, on an oval-shaped dirt course with a shorter lap distance. Despite the distance, tracks may vary in length, because they are often held on the same venues that hold World of Outlaws car events.

A Short Track race is held on an oval-shaped dirt course approximately half a kilometre in length usually indoors at venues such as the Houston Astrodome and favours lighter motorcycles based on two-stroke motocross machinery.

TT Steeplechase is a race held on an irregularly shaped dirt course which usually features one right hand turn and one jump also favouring smaller bikes, but larger ones have been successful. The initials TT stands for Tourist Trophy, from the days when street-legal motorcycles were known as touring motorcycles hence, a tourist trophy (TT) signified a race classification for street-legal motorcycles.

MIDDLETOWN, NY – July 8, 2023 American Flat Track at Oramge County Fair Speedway In Middletown, NY..