What Is A Super Motard Motorcycle?Credit: http://s2.hubimg.com/u/724293_f520.jpg
The super motard motorcycle is an incredibly fun variant on the motorcycle, and it's one that's gaining popularity every day due to it's overall effectiveness, fun and rideability for all riding styles. The basic premise is simple: super motard motorcycles are really just heavier, larger engine variations of dirt bikes and enduro motorcycles, albeit with different (stiffer) suspension, wheels and tires.
The effect of these modifications is a light, fast and agile super motard motorcycle that has high clearance, light weight, and extreme acceleration. Not only that, they are extremely easy to ride and learn to ride on, and personally I think they're pretty easy on the eyes!
Learn all you'll need to know about super motard motorcycles in this article! A warning, you may be hooked, and I take no responsibility for a resulting addiction to super motards!
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History and Origins of the Super Motard MotorcycleCredit: http://www.fullthrottlemotorcycles.com.au/images/supermotard-feature.jpg
The super motard motorcycle originates from the type of offroad motorbike racing known as 'supermoto' events. The concept of supermoto is a lot like cyclocross racing on a bicycle: you have a race track with three different types of terrain in play, flat track, road track and offroad racing. The idea with this style of race is not to be fastest, but to be the best and most skilled technical rider out there. The super motard motorcycle must then be adept enough to handle all three styles of terrain without faltering.
Supermoto motorcycle racing has its origins in the 1970's, but it was likely conceived as a type of 'best of all worlds' race. The pavement junkies and the tarmac racers could go head to head with the dirt track racers and off-roaders out there in a head-to-head competition.
The Super Motard Motorcycle: Equipment and PopularityCredit: http://www.vibram.com/var/ezwebin_site/storage/images/sports/motorcycling/news/vibram-vsm-tech-campione-del-mondo-di-supermotard/4020-16-eng-GB/Vibram-VSM-Tech-campione-del-mondo-di-Supermotard_large.jpg
The super motard motorcycle is essentially a larger displacement dirt bike or endurocross motorcycle. The engine obviously has to be larger to handle the road sections, and the dirt bike frame handles the bumps and lumps of the off road areas. Super motards usually feature a stiffer suspension and heavy duty forks designed to handle road usage. Motard motorcycles have tires depending on the type of usage they typically get. In a race setting, the super motard motorcycle is likely going to have some significant tread. On the street, it's common to find super motard motorcycles with fully road tires, intended for little off road use.
Due to the popularity of the super motard motorcycle and supermoto racing events, people have started converting enduros and dirt bikes to standard street usage, or taking a super motard motorcycle designed for the race circuit and making minor modifications to make it street legal. You can get kits for super motards to make them street legal. These kits sometimes include wheels and tires too. This can get pricey, and these conversion kits are not cheap!
Super Motard Motorcycle: RideCredit: http://www.supermotardbikes.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/supermotardbikes.jpg
On the road in everyday use, the super motard motorcycle is a really fantastic and fun bike to rip around on! Because there isn't a lot to them, they are very light and will accelerate nicely from a stop. They have high clearance and a forgiving suspension compared to race bikes. This means that bumps and potholes won't be as big an issue. A super motard motorcycle is also capable of things a regular bike couldn't do, such as jumping a high curb or rock.
Supermoto motorcycles are not really well suited for long trips. They are comfortable to ride, but they don't have the fairings and windshields needed for long road trips; the wind resistance will really take it out of you. Likewise they're not the greatest passenger bike, so if you plan on riding tandem you might want to find another route.
For ripping around town, the super motard motorcycle is a fantastic choice, and you can easily handle small amounts of off road and riding that would otherwise require higher clearance.