What is Motard? All languages, English included, have words that seem identical but are in fact slightly different.
French also has these words, and understanding when to use each adds a lot of nuance to your speech and can make you sound much more fluent. Today, we’ll look at the word “motard,” one way to say “motorcyclist” in French.
What is Motard?
According to authoritative French dictionary LaRousse, the word “motard” is a synonym for “motocycliste.” Both words are nouns that mean roughly the same thing as “motorcyclist” in English, but there are a few subtle differences.
One of these differences is grammatical. The word “motard” is a masculine noun, while the word “motocycliste” is a feminine noun.
That means “motard” should be used with grammatically masculine articles (“le” or “un”). If you want to use “motard” to refer to a woman, you can use the less common feminine form instead: “motarde.”
What is a Supermoto?
Supermotos—specifically supermoto racing—started as a new class where motorcyclists of different backgrounds could come together and compete to find the best all-around racer. In the late 1970s, Gavin Trippe—race promoter and motorcycle journalist—created supermotos with the show Superbikers.
These races combined flat track, motocross, and roadracing on one track, with bikes that could handle jumps as well as tight turns on asphalt.
So what makes a supermoto a supermoto? At the heart are normally a cradle-frame chassis, long-travel suspension, and a single-cylinder 4 stroke engine. From there, you have 17-inch wheels—possibly a 16-1/2-inch front if the bike is race-oriented—and oversize rotors for hard braking on asphalt.
Purists will contend that anything bigger than a 450cc single-cylinder is not a true supermoto, but supermoto-styled motorcycles like the Ducati Hypermotard push that envelope.
After the cancellation of the Superbikers television program, the demand for supermotos fell off, except in Europe. Still considered a niche in the United States—gaining popularity at events like Daytona Bike Week and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, where they hold supermoto races—there has been an upturn in sentiment toward this style of bike.
For a true factory race-ready supermoto, your options are limited to a single bike: the Husqvarna FS 450. Its older brother, the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto, and cousin KTM 690 SMC R are street legal and not as stringent with their maintenance schedules.
The dead-reliable—and unchanged since its inception—Suzuki DR-Z400SM is a great choice to get into supermoto riding with used bikes aplenty. The maxi motard Ducati Hypermotard 950 and Aprilia Dorsoduro 900 are two large supermoto offerings from Italy. If you want to go electric, Zero’s FXS Supermoto is a great pick with hot-swappable batteries.
If you don’t like any of the factory options, you can always buy a dirt bike or dual sport and convert it to a supermoto. Buy some spoke—or cast—wheels, wrap them in sticky rubber, upgrade your brakes, and get to riding.
What CC are Supermoto Bikes?
Smaller bikes up to 300cc usually feature 2-stroke engine technology, while the 400-550cc classes usually mean 4-stroke engines.
When it comes to recreational riding, the most popular custom-built supermotos are usually based on 250-450cc dirt bikes or 400-700cc dual sport motorcycles.
As far as factory-built supermotos go, these machines are typically powered by 400-1000cc 4-stroke engines.
Yes, that’s right, certain models like the KTM 990 SM T and the Ducati Hypermotard 939 have a displacement of 900-1000cc. However, they are a completely different species than the lightweight, dirt bike-based supermotos.
Is a Supermoto a good beginner bike?
Contrary to popular belief, a supermoto can be a great beginner bike. If you are looking for your first bike, you can’t go wrong with a supermoto, just focus on the smaller 250-400 cc engines and lower seat heights.
Larger machines are not only much faster but they are far heavier, and neither is a good point for a beginner!
Besides the weight and engine size, the seat height of the bike is no less important.
Due to their design, the seat height of supermotos averages between 32 and 40 inches, which is much higher than many other street motorcycles. (For example, the seat height of Harley-Davidsons is only 26-32 inches.)
If you can’t reach the ground safely and comfortably with both of your feet on a supermoto, this means that you should look for another beginner bike with a lower seat height.
It’s also highly recommended that you take the safety course before making your purchase.
Purchasing a factory Supermoto
There’s no question that the easiest way to get a supermoto is to invest in a factory-built model. Today you can find a plethora of factory supermotos that displace anywhere from 400cc up to 1000cc.
These modern bikes are equipped with many bells and whistles including lights, mirrors, electronic riding modes, ABS, and even traction control. These advanced features ensure higher safety, which can be a big advantage for beginner riders.
Many riders agree that these modern bikes lack the original essence of supermotos since they are much heaver and less nimble than dirt-bike conversions.
How fast do Supermoto bikes go?
You can expect the top speed of a dirt-bike-based supermoto to be in the ballpark of 60-120 mph. The top speed of the 250cc machines is anywhere from 60 to 90 mph, while their 400-450cc brothers can even reach 80-120 mph under ideal circumstances. The fastest supermotos are arguably the big-inch factory-built machines that top out at 130-150 mph.
The maximum speed of a supermoto depends on many factors like the wheel size, gearing, or other features of the bike.
What does motard mean in motorcycle?
Motard: Pronounced “moe-tard.” A motard motorcycle is essentially a dirtbike or dual-sport bike that has been converted to street use and only street use. It’s not a dual-sport.
What is a super motard bike?
Supermoto bikes are essentially dirtbikes with slick tyres and upgraded suspension and brakes. Tracks are usually 75% asphalt (usually kart tracks) and with a 25% off road dirt section with jumps and berms. A lot of people skip the dirt and just ride on asphalt, so then its just like road racing.
What is the difference between a supermoto and a motard?
A supermoto is a motorcycle built for racing on tracks that have both dirt and pavement sections. It is typically a modified version of a regular motorcycle, with larger wheels and tires, and a stiffer suspension. A motard is a type of motorcycle that has been modified for off-road use.
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