Moped racing in California

Photo: Polini Cup 2009

Moped racing is trying to make a come back in California with the 2011 season officially open. No sponsors, just a race organized by the hardcore moped racers welcoming anybody who wants to try moped racing.

I just got confirmation that the NoCal and SoCal minigp series (running under YRRUSA association) will welcome moped racers to compete unofficially either on Saturday practice ($45)  and/or Sunday race day. (Up north, The Tom Dash Speedway in Atwater even has an open track day at $25 starting Jan 29). So far, there is no official moped class added to their schedule but they will update their website with the moped class rules. In SoCal, for practicality and to keep it affordable we will probably decide to race on Saturday evening only after practice session.

I’ve also been recently informed that Gary from ASRA http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=162615725885 (a 1989 scooter association) is trying to bring back scooter racing and is talking to Mike at NoCal minGP to try to create an official OPEN scooter class that could include moped racers. That would probably mean signing for a membership though. The scooter association is in the same position we are, they’ve got very few racers left and are trying to bring some interest back into racing with better rules. We might join our forces to make scooter and moped racing happen this year.

Check those websites for schedule and tracks:

http://www.ncminigp.com/

http://www.scminigp.com/

http://www.youthroadracing.com/    (YRR USA)

Mike runs the NoCal series (541) 292-3943

Josiah runs the SoCal series (626) 673-0145

1- NoCal miniGP schedule:

Race 1 – Stockton Motorplex – March 19/20

Race 2 – Buttonwillow Raceway – Apr 23

Race 3 – Infineon Kart Track – May 13/15

Race 4 – Prairie City Kart Track – June 11/12

Race 5 – Tom Dash Speedway – July 9/10

Race 6 – Buttonwillow Raceway – Aug 20/21

Race 7 – TBD – Sep (not set yet)

Race 8 – Stockton Motorplex – Oct 15/16

My suggestion for NoCal racers, 5 races a year – $45 x 5 = $225 max yearly budget:

March 19    Stockton (1h30 from SF)

May 14        Infineon, Sonoma (1h10 from SF)

July 9           Tom Dash, Atwater (2h15 from SF)

Aug 20        Buttonwillow “NoCal vs SoCal” summer event (4h30 from SF)

Oct 15          Stockton (1h30 from SF)

2- SoCal miniGP schedule:

Race 1 – Grange Motorcircuit – March 12/13

Race 2 – Buttonwillow Raceway – April 23 (NCminiGP Round)

Race 3 – Grange Motorcircuit – May 28/29

Race 4 – Adams Motorsports Park – June 5

Race 5 – Adams Motorsports Park – July 9 (night race)

Race 6 – Buttonwillow Raceway – Aug 20/21 (NCminiGP round)

Race 7 – TBD – Sep (not set yet)

Race 8 – Grange Motorcircuit – Oct 15/16

Race 9 – Adams Motorsports Park  – Nov 6

My suggestion for SoCal racers, 5 races a year – $45 x 5 = $225 max yearly budget:

March 12   Grange, Apple Valley (1h45 from LA)

May 28       Grange, Apple Valley (1h45 from LA)

June 5         Adams, Riverside (1h15 from LA)   or   July 9   (night race)

Aug 20        Buttonwillow “Nocal vs Socal” summer event (2h from LA)

Oct 15          Grange, Apple Valley (1h45 from LA)

MOPED CLASS:

After a couple of months talking to the moped community and moped  racers we decided to run an OPEN class to let ANY type of moped compete from a stock 50cc to whatever monster engine you want to build limited to 80cc moped kits maybe.

Now, within that same class we’re adding a Gr1 class with more restricted rules for those who want to compete at a more “leveled playing field” but with room for tuning and decent performance. For a slightly bigger budget, we’ve chosen the 50cc variated french bikes over the 50cc one speed puch bikes because their single variated engine offers more options and is more competitive on a race track. To keep it cheap and more reliable, we are not allowing any clutch system which means that your Gr1 bike won’t idle.  Every moped racer (probably including open bikes) will have to bump start the race like the old school “Le Mans” style.

Remember: You can always re install your lights, your stock variator with clutch function (or rear clutch pulley) after each race to be able to ride your Gr1 bike on the street.

A second class for stock mopeds has been requested but we have nothing set yet. We’re going to wait until the first couple of races to see how many stock moped racers show some interest. We can adapt quickly and build a last minute class with the rules you want to set.

THE RULES:

OPEN:

There are no rules ! Just bring your fast kitted moped.

GR1:

Engine:

French variated Motobecane or Peugeot
50cc air cooled
19mm carb limit
Stock cases (Polini and Malossi cases will be allowed for now)
Any crank with a stock stroke
Open ignition
Open exhaust

Transmission:

Open variator (no clutch function)
Standard pulley (no clutch function)
Open engine spring
Open belt
Launch lever ok

Chassis:

Stock Motobecane or Peugeot frame (brace modifications ok)
Any stock moped frame that can fit a french variated engine
Front disc brake ok
Rear drum brake only
No slick tires

– Quick Note:

To be able to know what moped you’re racing against, we’ve chosen 2 different color combination  for the sticker/plate numbers placed  in front and on both sides of your bike to separate the Open bikes from GR1 bikes. It might change but so far here’s what we agreed on:

OPEN moped:  BLACK  background + WHITE numbers

GR1 moped:     WHITE background + BLACK numbers

Make sure to build your race moped with a minimum of safety to protect yourself and the other young kids racing in the MiniGP organization. Stuff happens on a race track but let’s try to avoid any potential accidents due to mechanical failure, like loose suspensions or wheels, weak frame, any type of oil or coolant spilling, etc… That organization is very loose with the safety rules and bike inspection but let’s give a good impression so that we can build a long lasting relationship.

I hope to see few moped racers on the track this year and build some momentum for season 2012. We’re  keeping our fingers crossed.

7 comments

  1. Pingback: cool post! « mopeds
  2. electricbiker

    Potential to be coolest sport on planet. Now, wouldn’t you guys just blend in to the Motored Bike racing that’s taking off. 60-70bikes at Willow Springs last June 18th. Next event Grange Oct 22. Be there or be . . . . . .

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