An Introduction to Lawnmower Racing
Lawnmower racing is becoming very popular; men and women of all ages are becoming addicted to this thrilling but less dangerous racing sport. There is the additional attraction of if being far less expensive than other popular racing sports. The vehicle may be different but the adrenaline and rush from a racing mower is comparable to any other racing equipment.
Lawnmower racing started out in Wisborough Green, West Sussex, England in 1973. Folks there were into racing but the costs involved in racing cars, motorcycles, or boats made it prohibitive for many. Deep pockets are required to maintain and upgrade race cars and motorcycles, so they thought of racing their riding lawnmowers instead.
Since then, the sport continues to gain popularity and respect throughout the sporting world. In Australia alone, there are numerous lawnmower racing associations, and 8-10 races are held each year. The sport is even more popular in the U.S. and Great Britain where it all started.
Turning regular mowers into a racing mower is easy; first you have to remove the blades of course and reinforce the chassis so it can withstand different track conditions. You can also lower the racing mower as lower rides tend to perform better, especially on tight turns.
The steering should also be reinforced to keep it from breaking apart when turning at high speeds. Belts and pulleys should also be changed. One lawnmower racing tip for you is that a larger front pulley will produce a faster mower.
Keep in mind that mowers are not made for racing so you have to upgrade parts and take the necessary precautions to make your racing mower safe for you and for the spectators. Occasionally you might need to build parts from scratch, as some parts (like a reinforced chaise) may not be readily available.
Safety in lawnmower racing is just as important as with any other of motor sport. It is not unusual to see racers in full motocross gear. That means wearing a full faced helmet, chest, shoulder, elbow, and knee pads as well as gloves and boots. Neck and head restraints are also being required by many lawnmower racing associations.
You may think that it’s a little too much but you’ll be thankful the first time you crash for all of yore protective gear. Just imagine plucking track debris out of your skin; that will be image enough for you to wear safety gear on your racing mower.
Now you may be thinking of the costs involved in building and maintaining a racing mower. You’ll be happy to know that you can build a decent racer for as little as $300, even less if you just choose to upgrade your family mower. Don’t forget to ask permission from the wife.
If you have extra cash, you can jumpstart your lawnmower racing career by investing $5,000-$7,000 on a top-of-the-line experimental class racer. Although buying a ready made racing mower also means that you are taking away the fun and excitement of building and tweaking your own racer. Most people find it more fulfilling to build their racers from scratch.
There is no stopping lawnmower racing from taking over the motor sports world. I wouldn’t be surprised if it catches a lot of media attention and soon turns into a full blown international sport.