Motorcycles are probably the most exciting consumer good in the world. But, right now, they’re a hard sell. Races take place a long way from the cities where people live. The people that race are nothing like the people with the cash to buy. The actual racing is boring to anyone without a complete grasp of the physics involved. So, how do you involve a non-endemic crowd with something as alien to their lives as dirt bike racing? Auckland’s City Scramble looks like a good start, bringing motorcycles to the people with a city-center location and the kind of track and obstacles they can comprehend and appreciate. Running last weekend, it drew 10,000 spectators.

Photos: Graeme Murray

The key here isn’t just that city center location (cities are good because, unlike remote patches of woods, people live in them), but in creating a race that someone with no experience with motorcycles can relate to. Your non-biker friends don’t understand what’s going on when Jorge Lorenzo stuffs Casey Stoner at big lean angles, but they do understand when a bike rides over an elevated wood track, or through a submerged bridge under the ocean, or over a huge stack of tires. That’s the kind of thing real people, the kind with credit cards and disposable income, can relate to.

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