If you have ever watched a motocross race on TV, the thought of flying through the air on a motorcycle or skidding around 90-degree turns will most likely cause the adrenaline to flow.
If it looks fun, that’s because it is. Before you take your old road bike out onto some abandoned dirt road, however, there are few tricks to the trade that can help you avoid some of the potentially painful learning curves (both literally and figuratively). Below, we offer a step-by-step guide to help you master the art of becoming a successful motocross rider.
Step 1. Start Out Slowly
If you have never ridden a motorcycle or are only used to riding on paved surfaces, it is worth mentioning from the outset that driving on dirt is a whole different world. Before experimenting with a powerful (and expensive) machine, it would probably be smart to first start out riding a mountain bike on unpaved surfaces.
While mountain bikes will obviously be much slower than a 125cc motor motocross bike, they will give you a feel for how bikes handle on a dirt surface. You can learn the essentials of basic control and on the right trail, even experiment a few small jumps to discover how to handle bikes when airborne wheels make contact with the dirt once again.
Step 2. Practice before Investing in a Motocross Motorcycle
Accidents are inevitable in the sport of motocross. While most of these accidents are harmless both to you and your bike, beginners will most likely find themselves wiping out more frequently as they learn the art of controlling the bike through motocross tracks and circuits.
While a motocross riding schools are somewhat expensive, they offer you an opportunity to develop your skills on someone else´s bikes. Besides learning and practising, motocross schools will also allow you to avoid having to pay potentially costly repairs to a bike that you own.
Another benefit of signing up for a motocross school is that these schools usually have several different types of motocross motorcycles. While practising, you can get the feel of everything from a 65cc motocross bike to a 125cc larger bike so that you can find the best option for your own riding needs.
You can also determine whether you prefer the more common four-stroke engines, or the lesser (though lighter) 2-stroke engines.
Step 3. Buy a Bike and Customise Your Bike
Once you have gotten a feel for riding off-road and gotten enough hours in at your local motocross school or training centre, you are probably ready to invest a bit of money into a quality bike of your own.
While new motocross motorcycles are certainly a temptation, there are also several good quality used bikes that might be best for beginners. If you do decide to opt for a used motocross motorcycle, make sure you look for extensive signs of wear and tear that might cost you a significant amount of money in needed repairs.
Another major decision that you will have to make when purchasing your first motocross motorcycle is whether you want to be able to ride it on the roads. An Enduro model will be able to be ridden on highways and paved roads.
While this will add extra weight to the bike it will help you save on having to purchase a trailer to get your bike from your home to the local Motocross track. Essential bike safety accessories like skid plates and radiator guards should be installed to safeguard your bike in case of minor crashes.
Part of the charm of owning a motocross motorcycle is making it look good. Even old and well-used bikes can be made to look sharp through investing in bike accessories, riding gear, and other gear that will help you to customize your bike.
Step 4: Buy Some Safety Gear
Riding at fast speeds over loose dirt and gravel inevitably leads to a few wipeouts. To avoid injuries and harm, it would be wise to invest in quality safety gear including a helmet, sturdy riding boots, gloves, knee pads and elbow pads.
Chest and back protection that is worn underneath your clothing is also a good way to protect your body from getting hit by rocks and debris as you ride.
Step 5: Find a Local Track to Start Practising
As with any sport, practice makes perfect. Unless you have a couple of acres in the country where you can design your own motocross circuit, chances are that you will have to sign up at a local motocross track or motocross club to find a place to regularly ride.
Due to noise restrictions, many clubs are located a significant distance from urban areas. Signing up for a motocross club will help you discover other local riding areas and even find amateur races to participate in once you feel comfortable enough.
Learning to ride motocross takes a bit of practice and patience. However, by following these simple steps, you will be well on your way to letting the adrenaline flow freely.