If you live in countries with a warm climate the snow season is quite sparse, but there are countries where they have plenty of white mantle. From the snow-covered mountains in the central European countries to the breathtaking Scandinavian fjords. As motorcycle people are getting crazier, and we like to do more weird things, now a competition called Snow Speed Hill Race has been pulled out of the race.
This comes to be like climbing slopes, but on a ski slope with a lot of slopes and in races by groups of seven riders. Even if it looks like it does, it doesn’t look like it’s anything simple. It is not enough just to look at the slope and gas, we have to deal with jumps, rollers and a surface that does not have very much grip.
The Snow Speed Hill Race is quite rare outside the borders of Austria, but charming at the same time. It runs both day and night on a 550-metre-long track with a 40% drop in level. Motocross or enduro bikes (and snowmobiles) are used with minimal modifications. Motor and suspensions can be touched, but nail tires on the rear axle are strictly forbidden.
At each exit, seven competitors start in parallel as at motocross. The first obstacle before getting gas to the bottom is a two-meter descent. Once you face the climb it is very important (and the most complicated) to keep track of the rear wheel, otherwise, the climb is over. You have to keep a steady pace and no sudden maneuvers that can make you lose grip. The key to winning is in the rear tire, as well as in the hands. Nails are not allowed so use compounds the softer the better it is vital, as well as low inflating pressures. Apparently it is quite common to see motorcycles in the paddock with heaters (not heaters) so that the rubber does not get hard with low temperatures. The tires suffer a lot at every exit, so pro pilots change wheels if necessary.
In each sleeve, the top three go to the next round, and as some finish the climb, others leave again. The rhythm is frantic with almost one exit per minute, so despite the cold, the audience is having a great time. The competition took place in the ski resort of Reiteralm in Austria, so there was no shortage of KTM supporting the event. His official driver Matthias Walkner was there, but he sat in a chair and on crutches due to the injury he suffered running the Dakar. It is not something that has been pulled out of the sleeve, these Tyroleans are very crazy and started climbing on the snow in 2003, but it is gaining followers every time. Walkner already won this competition on one occasion and came second on another, and I’m sure if he could have run this year he would have won again.