Motorcycle Chariot Racing: An Exhilarating Mix of “Ben Hur” and “Mad Max”

Motorcycle chariot racing is a modern take on one of the most popular sports in ancient Greece and Rome. Replacing the horses of old with some real horsepower in the form of two motorcycles, this unusual sport is making a comeback in in the Land Down Under. Originally invented in the early 1900s in Australia, motorcycle chariot racing eventually spread to Europe and the United States before gradually being banned because of the danger to its riders. However, the adrenaline-fueled sport is currently making a comeback in Australia, thanks to a professional stunt rider.  The contraptions are the creation of Australian professional stunt rider Jack Field, who was inspired by the motorcycle chariots of the 1920s. Field designed a more advanced version with the two motorcycles connected by a number of steel bars, and a pair of long sticks attached to each of the handlebars to control the throttles. It’s unclear how the gear shifter and rear break can be controlled from the chariot, but the contraptions seem to work just fine without them. Because the riders try to steer their chariots while controlling a couple of Husqvarna motorcycles churning up to about 100mph, there’s clearly some risk to racing in one of these things.