As extreme sports go, motocross is one of the most high-octane. There’s a real degree of risk inherent in it but also a lot of fun and some seriously adrenaline-inducing moments. For those who want to test their mettle, there is no greater trial – but how do you get a taste for it?
For many, motocross seems like an unattainable dream. Glamorous and high profile, it can be incredibly expensive to compete in, especially at the highest levels. This bars many would-be enthusiasts from giving it a go.
But not all entryways are as costly. Here, we look at how beginners can get involved
What is Motocross?
Firstly, though, what is motocross? For those who love extreme sports in general but haven’t yet had a specific taste of the discipline, you may not be au fait with how it works.
Around the world, most motocross contests are held between spring and autumn (i.e. March through to October). Events take place on purpose-built, off-road tracks that are designed to test competitors’ mettle. These incorporate everything from hairpin bends and fast corners to jaw-dropping jumps.
At a lower level, tracks are naturally less challenging, but at the highest echelons, they can be enough to make even the bravest rider pause before tackling them. That said, there’s something out there to suit every skillset, so no need to throw yourself in at the deep end before you’re ready.
In terms of duration, most races last between 10 minutes and half an hour, dependent on what level the competitors are racing at and the complexity and scope of the track.
Like most sports nowadays, there are ample opportunities to bet on these contests. Many online sportsbooks offer the chance for those who want to do so remotely, and there are specialist websites dedicated to sharing safe online betting in your country and many other areas. In a variety of languages, including Thai, English, and Chinese, among others. These review your various options and the products they offer, so you can make a fully informed decision. Key areas that are assessed include the best odds, bonuses, responsible betting options, and the payment methods offered to name just a few.
Does Motocross Only Include Racing On Bikes?
Interestingly, the answer to that question is “no”. There are lots of different ways to enjoy and participate in the sport, with options including:
QuadCross. This is where competitors ride quads. There is a range of adult classes available for those with an interest in getting involved.
SidecarCross. This one is a little different again but can be a lot of fun. If you’d prefer more of a team sport, this option allows riders to take a passenger along for the ride.
Minibike racing. If full-sized bikes aren’t your jam, there are lots of mini-bike classes out there too. These require a lot of skill to successfully manoeuvre but are lighter and better suited to some riders. They can also be less expensive to purchase and maintain, especially at the lower levels.
Is There a Class for You?
Seeing high-level riders competing can be inspiring but simultaneously off-putting for many individuals who’d like to give motocross a go. However, there are classes to suit every skill level, so bear this in mind if you want to get involved.
Gender isn’t a barrier either, and both male, female, and mixed classes exist.
If you’d like to try motocross, you’ll need a bike that’s 125cc up and an appropriate license to ride it. Most adult clubs group riders based on their ability and the type of bike they ride, although some do offer age-appropriate contests too, such as over 40s races.
You’ll typically start as a junior graded rider, who then has the option to progress all the way up to expert status. This will allow you to compete in more complex and challenging events and to test yourself on the most difficult circuits.
What You Need to Get Started
There are lots of ways to dip your toe in the world of motocross without initially buying a motorbike. Many clubs will have bikes, quads, and so on that, you can use or even loan, as well as basic equipment for you to borrow.
However, as you become more involved in the sport, we recommend getting certain pieces that have been especially fitted to you, including an approved motocross helmet. Try to buy the best option you can within your budget and have it professionally checked (otherwise your head may not be properly protected).
You’ll also need to wear appropriate chest and back protection, along with specialist boots. Most of these items are available from online retailers but don’t be tempted to buy them remotely unless you have a specialist who can check their fit for you post-purchase. If you don’t, go to a proper retailer and have them professionally fitted to you.
Tell us, is motocross something you can see yourself getting involved in?