To the uninitiated, motocross might seem like an intimidating sport filled with danger and risk—and it can be! But the fun and exhilaration of this exciting sport are what keep people coming back, and if you’re just getting started in the world of motocross, there are certain steps you need to take before you’re ready to enter your first race. For those who want to test their limits, there is no greater trial – but how do you get a taste for it?
For many, motocross seems like an unattainable dream. It can be expensive and difficult to get into from a competitive angle, especially at the higher levels. This bars many would-be enthusiasts from giving it a go…but that does not mean that all entryways into the sport are unattainable. Let’s take a look at how you can become a motocross athlete and work your way to the top!
What is Motocross & How do Competitions Work?
Firstly, what is motocross? A popular worldwide sport, motocross events happen during spring through autumn (March through October). These events happen on purpose-built, off-road tracks that are designed to test the competitors’ ability. These roads contain everything from hairpin turns and extreme curves to enormous hills.
At a beginner level, tracks are less challenging, but at the highest levels, they can be difficult enough to cause even the bravest riders to pause before taking them on. Nevertheless, there’s something for everyone out there, so don’t push yourself before you’re ready and a master of the basics.
Depending on the level of the competitors as well as the complexity and scope of the track, most races last between 10 minutes and half an hour.
Motocross is Only for Bikes, Right?
While you might think the answer is of course “yes”, there are different variations of the sport that may in the future break off and form their own sports, but for now are considered subdivisions of motocross.
QuadCross is one version, where instead of bikes, competitors ride quads. While most do it at tracks that allow them, competitions are starting to spring up in the USA and beyond, as well as many locations offering courses and classes.
If full-sized bikes aren’t your thing, there are lots of mini-bike classes out there, too. These require a great deal of skill to operate, but they can also be lighter, easier to control, and more affordable to buy and maintain, especially at the lower levels.
What exactly are mini bikes?
They are small, motorized bikes designed for racing are produced alongside their more popular cousins, go karts, following World War II. In the fifties, the U.S. defense manufacturing industry began to produce smaller gas powered engines for civilian devices such as lawnmower, and these small racing bikes became increasingly popular. Today they are a niche community, but nevertheless are extreme.
Another discpline is SidecarCross. It’s more well known within the extreme sports world – it’s the sport of preforming motocross stunts, but with a pal in a sidecar! Considered more of a team sport, this is perfect for a little extra style and a different challenge while working with a teammate.
From Beginner to Professional
Seeing high-level riders preform at the top of their game is definitely inspiring, but at the same time, it can be off-putting for others who’d like to give motocross a go. You might think it just takes that extra “Something” to be able to pull off the stunts and skills needed to complete at that level, but remember – all the greats started out exactly like you, with a goal and a dream, and sheer hard work got them to where they wanted to be. It takes time, grit and determination to reach your goals, and why not see if motocross is your calling by giving it a go?
Starting as a junior graded rider, you can progress all the way up to expert status, allowing you to compete in more complex and challenging events and challenge yourself on the most challenging courses.
What You Need to Get Started
If you are new to motocross, you can try the sport without first having to buy a motorbike. Many clubs have bikes, quads, and other equipment that you can use or borrow, as well as basic equipment for you to borrow.
Additionally, you will need to protect your chest and back as well as specialized footwear; all of these can be purchased online, but it’s better if you can go to the outlet and make sure everything is fitted properly. Most retailers will help with customization and individual fitting.
Now that you’ve got the basics down, how does your chances of being a pro athlete look? If you ask us, we’d say pretty good – if you truly want to be great, give it your all (and then some), be ready for anything, and you’re on the path to success.
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