Just Add Ice!

What can fans of motorcycle racing do in the wintertime? Just add ice! Ice racing is one of the fastest-growing winter sports, and local enthusiasts can witness all the excitement firsthand when the X-treme International Ice Racing (XiiR) event returns to the Peoria Civic Center on January 17, 2018.

“We are excited to bring this event back for a second year,” declares Clare Zell, Civic Center marketing coordinator. “It’s something we don’t get to see very often in the arena.”

Ice racing certainly ratchets up the thrill factor, taking motorcycle racing to new intensities. The bikes are similar to those used for speedway racing—but with more than 2,000 metal studs added to the tires to increase traction. Oh… and these bikes don’t have brakes!

Their engines are equivalent to a 1200cc “crotch rocket” engine in a mountain bike frame—a four-stroke, four-valve engine that runs on nitro methanol (meaning they go really fast). The events consist of 20 to 25 preliminary heats, leading up to the final race. The heats typically consist of four riders racing handlebar to handlebar for four laps—they’re kept short to prevent engines from blowing and to keep the studded tires from digging beneath the ice.

Ice racing is an affordable and family-friendly event, but because of the risks involved, spectators should be prepared to see a few crashes throughout the evening.

Anthony Barlow, owner of the XiiR series and a previous Ice Racing World Champion, brings rising young stars of the sport from around the world to race in these events. Here in Peoria, local flat-track riders Robbie “Bugs” Pearson, Andrew Hobson and Shane Vance will be featured, enhancing the activities with a community connection.

XiiR is sponsored by Walter Brothers Harley-Davidson of Peoria. Tickets are available at their Maxwell Road location and the Toyota Box Office at the Peoria Civic Center, by calling 1-800-745-3000, or at ticketmaster.com. a&s