Hillclimb competition essentially is a drag race up the face of a steep hill, with each rider allowed at least two attempts. The winner is the rider who reaches the top of the hill in the shortest time. If no one reaches the top, the winner is the one who made it the farthest.

Some hills are speed hills, where most riders make it to the top, and the time determines the winner. Other hills are technical, where few riders reach the summit, and the distance a competitor covers determines where the rider places.

Many professional hillclimbers started their careers in AMA amateur hillclimb competition before reaching the pro ranks. The best amateur riders in the country compete each year in the AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship.

AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship

Photo by Zayne Watson

Each summer, working with a top AMA-chartered promoter, the AMA sanctions the AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship. The event features hundreds of the nation’s best amateur hillclimbers, who converge on one of America’s most challenging hills to battle for AMA national championships.

As with most AMA grand championships, and in recognition of the range of participants in amateur competition, the event includes multiple classes to provide ample opportunity for amateur racers to compete. Both age-, displacement- and bike-configuration classes are featured.

Grassroots Racing

In addition to the AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship, the AMA sanctions many local hillclimb events across the country. Riders meet to battle for bragging rights, trophies, district or state points season awards and pro-am purses.

Hillclimb Rules

AMA-sanctioned events operate according to the rules developed and written by AMA Competition Commissions, the volunteer bodies that consider, disseminate, amend, interpret, and assist in the enforcement of technical and operational rules for amateur and pro-am competition events sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association.

The AMA Amateur Competition Rulebook (available below) is for the exclusive use of AMA-chartered clubs and promoters running AMA-sanctioned events.

The rule book applies to all AMA-sanctioned competition. Supplemental regulations are additions to the rule book based on the needs of a specific series. All supplemental regulations must be approved by the AMA.

Hillclimb rules are included in the AMA Amateur Competition Rulebook.

2022 AMA Hillclimb Grand Championship

Provisional License

A Provisional AMA Pro Hillclimb License will allow a current amateur Hillclimb competitor, with the qualifications listed below, to compete in up to, but no more than, four races in the AMA Pro Hillclimb sanctioned events, while maintaining their amateur status in American Motorcyclist Association-sanctioned event. If a rider elects to compete in more than four races, his Pro HIllclimb license will be upgraded and amateur status removed.

  1. Riders who have finished within the top 30 percent in the 450cc-600cc-750cc open classes only at the previous two seasons the AMA Amateur Hillclimb Grand Championship.
  2. Riders must by 16 years old when applying.
  3. Must comply with the AMA Pro Hillclimb rule book.

AMA Amateur Competition Rulebook