We may think that we may have seen everything that racing as an extremely entertaining sport has to offer today. Well…..not quite. We are yet to see a sort of racing sport which is yet to gain popularity now but which was extremely popular during the 1920s and 1930s. That sport was Motorcycle Chariot Racing.
According to pictures taken around that time in countries all over the world like Australia, New Zealand, the USA and some parts of Europe, this unique sport took place with people driving chariots with motorcycles instead of horses like they used to in the Roman Era.
According to Popular Mechanics magazine, these chariots were made from wine barrels for sporting in 1922 with automobile wheels attached to them with motorcycles in front and “Charioteers” wearing roman era inspired costumes with motorbike riders in front who drove them during the race.
As the sport evolved, more than one motorcycle was attached to the chariot and was driven by the “charioteer” himself instead of a rider which must have been challenging to control using just a pair of reins seemingly made of leather.
One method must have been to attach each rein to each individual motorcycle’s throttle, allowing the racer to steer the chariot by controlling both motorcycles simultaneously at various speeds.
Some riders took daring risks in driving, as seen in this picture, where a driver dressed like a racer like they did during the roman era is riding with three motorcycles attached to the chariot.
Ben Hur was a fictional character in a novel written by Lew Wallace which later inspired the making of a film in 1959 of the same name which went on to win 11 Academy awards with the main attraction being the title character who was a popular charioteer during the Roman Era.
Sadly not much is known about this sport today, although there are still some motor cycle chariots racing enthusiasts who are trying to keep it alive.