Dirt disciplines have distinct differences from tarmac. Traction and the capabilities with and without it are important factors to consider. Tire considerations also vary significantly. How power is transmitted to the ground is crucial in both cases. The answers, like mileage, can vary.
These reasons and more make 2024 an interesting year to watch as Triumph, Ducati, and Honda take on new challenges in the dirt racing sphere. While Triumph and Ducati are not traditionally associated with dirt racing, Honda has a history in this area. For Honda, the unexplored territory in 2024 lies in its all-electric powertrain, which will be showcased in the new Team HRC CR Electric Proto bike.
As a result, 2024 will be a proving ground for all three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their respective racing teams in their respective disciplines. Here's a breakdown of each bike and its corresponding racing series.
Triumph TF 250-X
The all-new 2024 Triumph TF 250-X has been in development for some time and will race for the first time ever in two championships: the 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship MX2 class in Europe and the AMA Supermotocross Championship in the US. Triumph also plans to join the FIM Motocross World Championship's premiere MXGP class in 2025 with a 450cc bike, which has yet to be revealed. Here are the specifications for the 250cc bike in 2024:
- Engine: Dual overhead cam, 249.95cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a bore and stroke of 78mm by 52.3mm
- Transmission: Five-speed gearbox
- Frame: All-new aluminum frame purpose-built for the TF 250-X
- Suspension: KYB suspension with a 48mm coil spring front fork and a rear coil shock with high and low speed compression adjustability and rebound
- Wheels: Spoked wheels with a 21-inch unit in the front and a 19-inch unit in the rear
The FIM Motocross Technical Rules Book outlines the criteria that machines must meet to compete, including compliance with maximum power revs, allowed materials, leak-proof fuel tanks, and exhaust pipes and silencers that meet sound control thresholds.
AMA SuperMotocross World Championship
In the AMA SuperMotocross World Championship, riders and teams must first compete in the Monster Energy Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons. Points are tallied across both championships, and the top 20 points scorers in the 450 and 250 classes can then compete in the SuperMotocross World Championship. Two Last Chance Qualifier positions are also available, resulting in a total 22-rider field in the SMX World Championship.
The motorcycles used in the SuperMotocross World Championship are highly modified versions of those available for purchase at local dealerships. The specific modifications made to the TF 250-X for this championship are not yet known.
2024 Motocross and Supercross Championships
The 2024 FIM Motocross World Championship begins on March 8, 2024, in Villa la Angostura, Argentina. It is a 20-round season that spans South America, Europe, and Asia, with the final round scheduled for September 27, 2024, in Italy.
The 2024 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, Pro Motocross Championship, and SuperMotocross Championship are already underway. The season consists of 28 rounds, with the final round scheduled for August 24, 2024, in Crawfordville, Indiana.
Ducati has been secretive about its MX development, but the 2024 Prestige Italian Motocross Championship will be the platform for its debut. The championship consists of six rounds, starting on March 16 and 17, 2024, in Mantua, and ending on September 21 and 22, 2024, in Faenza.
Honda CR Electric Proto
The Honda CR Electric Proto, an all-electric MX machine, will compete in the all-electric FIM E-Xplorer World Cup instead of traditional piston-powered machines. The Team HRC riders for this series are Francesca Nocera, a three-time Italian Enduro Champ and four-time Italian MX champ, and Toscha Schareina, the winner of the 2024 Dakar Rally prologue. The FIM E-Xplorer calendar includes five event weekends, starting on February 16 and 17, 2024, in Osaka, Japan, and ending on November 29 through December 1, 2024, in India.
The full calendar for each championship can be found on their respective websites.