Although motocross has gained popularity in recent years in the motorcycle sports industry, many people are unfamiliar with the rules and purpose of the sport. Motocross is a racing sport in which participants ride specialized motorcycles over rough terrain. The courses vary in length from one to four miles long, but most courses have various obstacles the riders must avoid. Each course is unique, making motocross a more demanding, dangerous sport than conventional dirt biking or motorcycle racing. Read below for more information on the history of motocross and how you can stay safe while training and competing.
What Is Motocross?
Motocross first started in the United Kingdom in the early 1900s. The earliest races were called scrambles. The first official scramble took place in Surrey in 1924. The sport came to the U.S. in the 1960s and the first official Motocross Championship was held in 1972.
Motocross participants ride motorcycles as they traverse a course with obstacles and rough terrain. Being an experienced motorcycle rider on the road does not guarantee you will be successful in motocross, but you may have an advantage over novice riders. However, preparing for a motocross race is significantly more demanding than riding a motorcycle on the street. You need to carefully consider the length and complexity of the course before entering.
Preparing for a motocross race requires a lot of preparation including riding, strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Most riders train for their first competition for a minimum of six months. While physical and mental training can help prepare you for this physically demanding sport, track conditions are constantly changing. Therefore, flexibility and the ability to think quickly are important attributes for any motocross participant.
While each motocross track is different, certain standards must be followed. International races must use tracks that are 1 to 3 miles in length. Most riders take less than 45 minutes to complete each heat, and there are usually two heats in a race. The entire race typically takes less than two hours to complete.
Is Motocross Safe?
Once you have decided to start training for a motocross race, you need to understand the risks involved with the sport. To be competitive, you need to ride your motorcycle at incredibly high speeds. You can injure yourself or other riders if you hit something and fall off your bike. The proximity in which participants ride their motorcycles makes accidents incredibly common and potentially hazardous. Wearing the proper gear can help protect you in case of an accident.
What Should I Wear?
All motocross races must wear high-quality protective gear. Your body should be covered from head to toe with the proper equipment to ensure you are protected in case of a fall. The most essential item of protective gear is a durable helmet. Your helmet should cover your entire head and face, not just the top of your head. Your helmet must fit snugly and should come equipped with a good ventilation system to keep you cool during long races.
A less obvious, but important, item for riders to purchase is motocross gloves. High-quality, durable gloves will protect your hands from extreme elements and can help prevent blisters and other injuries. Motocross gloves must fit snugly and should be worn during all races and training sessions.