Motorcycles… In the X Games?

How many of you picture motorcycle racing on a sheet of ice when you’re thinking about the X Games? Probably not that many of you, but that could all change next year when Harley Davidson brings a new, very dangerous sport to the X Games: motorcycle ice racing.  This sport will make its debut at the 2015 X Games and it should be exhilarating to watch if only because it is so risky and over-the-top extreme. Just imagine 10 people speeding, sliding and skidding around an ice track on motorcycles going nearly 100 miles an hour.

Motorcycle racing on ice was the brainchild of Brad Baker, the reigning AMA Pro Grand National champion and one of the best road and ice motorcyclists in the world. At the X Games, the motorcycle ice racing event will be sponsored by Harley Davidson and all of the bikes will be manufactured by Harley.  ESPN decided to add the sport to the X Games after thousands of tweets came in following a television ad for motorcycle ice racing that Harley Davidson ran on Thursday night during the X Games. The specific bike used for the racing is called the Harley Davidson 750 Street.

“While the Street was designed to handle urban environments, its instant throttle response, lean chassis and super-low seat height make it perfect to ride anywhere,” Dino Bernacchi, Director of North American Marketing Communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, said in a press release. “We modified several Street motorcycles by adding steel screws to the tires and let the world’s best flat track racers tear up the ice at high speeds. We think fans will be captivated by the extreme attitude and beauty they’ll see on the ice.”

Many people hope motorcycle ice racing will break into the extreme sports world, and there is no better place to do that than at the X Games right here in Aspen. Motorcycle ice racing sounds perfect for the X Games; this sport takes the definition of extreme to extremes. For one thing, the spiked motorcycle tires would shred anybody or anything they ran over. This is a sport in which you truly cannot fall.

“To avoid becoming meat for the grinder, ice racers wear a suit of Kevlar – bulletproof body armor – over their clothes,” wrote Phil Marcelo in “The World Championship of Ice Racing,” an article on  He also described ice motorcycles as “dangerously simple machines – essentially steroid-filled chainsaws.”

Usually, motorcycle ice races take place on frozen lakes or rivers, in northern countries like Canada and Norway. Attending a motorcycle ice race can be like going to an outdoor movie – spectators park along the shores of the lake or river and watch from their cars. At the X Games, they will create an outdoor ice track and place straw bales and huge piles of snow around it for protection. The wipeouts in this sport are supposed to be spectacularly scary.