Hillclimb is sometimes regarded as the original “exteme sport” – back in the earliest days of motorcycling, manufacturers like Harley-Davidson and Indian would field factory teams riding custom-built machines with chains on the rear wheels for traction. These days no metal traction devices are allowed in amateur hillclimb, but the goal is the same – set the fastest time to the top of the hill, or make it the farthest up the hill if you can’t make it over. Hillclimb machines can be anything from lightly-modified MX bikes to completely custom-made bikes with motors as large as 2,500cc.
Although all D23-sanctioned hillclimbs are amateur events, there are semi-pro and professional hillclimbs throughout the country, which variously allow riders to use fuels other than gasoline (such as methanol and nitro methane) and sometimes metal traction devices, such as chains on the wheels or bolts through the tires, as well as using paddle tires similar to what one might see in use at a sand dunes.
Occasionally, a D23 hillclimb club will host a “hill drags” event – which is exactly what it sounds like…a drag race on a hillclimb hill. Such events use a drag racing timing system, complete with the “tree” at the starting line, precise staging, and red-lighting of riders who launch too early. As you might guess, sometimes there are collisions on the hill, in which case the rider that is deemed by the referee to have caused the crash is disqualified – however…no crash, no foul. Rubbin’ is racin’, as they say.
There are youth and ATV classes in hillclimb too!