Bike Classes at the North West 200
At the North West 200, there are 4 different classes of bikes. From the sheer power of Superbikes, with speeds exceeding 200mph, to the more accessible realm of Superstock where minor tweaks can transform stock bikes. In the Supersport class, 600cc machines engage in riveting battles, while the Supertwin category introduces modified 650cc twins. Find out more on each class below.
Superbikes competing in this class are race machines developed from production road-going, litre-class sportsbikes of between 1000-1200cc. Stripped of lights and road-bodywork, the machines are lightened significantly and fitted with up-rated suspension, chassis, engine parts and full race exhaust systems. The result is a machine that produces in excess of 200bhp and is capable of speeds of 200mph. In 2016 Bruce Anstey was clocked through the speed trap at 209.8mph, the current record.
The NW200 features two Superbike races on race day and these races are seen by the fans as the main events. Past winners have included some of the road racing greats, such as Joey & Robert Dunlop, Phillip McCallen, Carl Fogarty and of course the likes of Michael Rutter and John McGuinness.
As the name Superstock suggests, this class is for ‘stock’ road-going production motorcycles which feature only minor modifications, including, the removal of all stock road equipment such as lights and mirrors. The rear shock can be replaced and front fork internals can be modified. The exhaust system can be replaced and the fitment of a power commander is also allowed.
Despite the Superstock bikes being very close to standard, a 1000cc machine still produces in excess of 180bhp and can lap most circuits only a few seconds off full Superbike specification machines. The class is a breeding ground for up and coming racing talent and provide rider’s with a great chance to showcase their talent without spending big money. Past winners have included Alastair Seeley, Bruce Anstey and Keith Amor.
The Supersport class features road-going, production based ‘showroom look-alike’ machines, although changes are permitted to exhausts, suspension internals and also tyres.
They are powered by engines over 400cc and up to 600cc four stroke four cylinder: 600cc up to 675cc four stroke, three cylinder with minimum weights of 161kg for all configurations.
This popular class has seen some of the most exciting races ever at the NW200, with past winners Alastair Seeley, Ian Hutchinson and Steve Plater.
Supertwins are four stroke twin cylinder machines originally sold for road use with a water cooled engine of up to 650cc. A number of changes and modifications are permitted to the frame, swing arm, suspension, exhaust, brakes etc as deemed in the technical regulations.
This class was first introduced to the North West at the 2012 event and proved extremely popular as it gained a very strong entry. The KMR Team proudly claimed the top 3 positions on the podium, Ryan Farquhar in first, Michael Rutter in Second and newcomer Jeremy McWilliams in third.
For 2022 two Supertwin races are scheduled, the first on Thursday evening and second during Saturday race day.