50cc single variated moped racing was big in France in the 80’s and 90’s but slowly died early 2000 because of the scooters and 6 speed bikes becoming quickly popular among the new generation more interested in drag racing with 80+cc set-ups.
In 2007 moped racing made a slow come back with old school tuners/racers and few young racers. Since then, the sport has grown every year but still needs new blood to survive.
For the first time this year, companies like Bidalot (pioneer of moped racing and #1 brand for performance parts in the 80’sand 90’s) are stepping in wanting to help the sport grow, by submitting their ideas like introducing an open class up to 80cc the most popular displacement among young racers today (scooters/6 speed in drag racing and speed track racing). The idea is not really welcomed by the hard core an long time 50cc moped racers but could attract new racers to secure the future of the sport. Some argue that Bidalot has always been only about business and fear that they want to jump in just to tap into a new market to sell their modern racing parts, with a risk that they could start controlling the rules like they did back in the days.
The 2012 season is going to be the busiest since 2007 with about 30 bikes in the 50cc open class (no cases and carb size limit, open chassis) in the northern championship with top moped racers traveling for Belgium to challenge the french racers.
The southern championship is packed as well with new crazy bikes this year in each class, 50cc open, 50cc gr1, and the most popular 50cc stock-ish.
Reading all the french blog we can feel that everybody is excited and starting to feel the pressure, working hard to finish their bikes on time for the 1st race starting late march. Some of the teams are even getting a sponsorship this year, that’s a good sign.
Some random pics of current race bikes and new projects under progress, mainly from Northern France. Some of those guys are getting serious for the 2012 season, bringing out the big guns! I’ll try to plan another trip this year and go to one of their races, last year I went to one of the Southern France championship event, gained tons of experience and brought some cool moped parts.
Bonus Video: A look inside Polini Motori.