A lot of people hop on a dirt bike (usually one that’s too big/fast for them), rip down the street once, then say that they’ve “Ridden” one… Well, that’s what I call a hot-headed Poser. They prance around, boasting that they owned the sport of dirt biking, and it’s on to the next “sport”….. This is why too many people say that “Motocross is easy”, even though they have no idea what the actual meaning of Motocross is. In their minds, riding a dirt bike is motocross, so they tried the sport of motocross when they took a bike for a spin down their neighborhood street.
Let me tell you something; a myth that most people (even riders) con themselves into. It’s that the bigger and more powerful bike you have, the faster you will go. In a straight line drag-race, yes, but who can’t ride a straight line? How about on the track, where the real athletes are? Yeah, the torque of a 450cc 4-stroke does make it easier to clear that step-up right after the corner, but it doesn’t necessarily make your lap times lower. More on this later…
I can go through all the gears on my 125cc motocross bikes. Or a 500cc for that matter. If you can’t do that, then you probably don’t belong on a motorcycle. Doing it on the street is one thing. Doing it on the track… Not even comparable. It takes more skill, strength, and endurance to ride on a real motocross track than almost any other sport, and injuries are more so common in this sport that you can almost anticipate one in the future. That’s why it’s a good idea to Get Insurance for Motocross Racing. The top riders in the world are in better shape than 99.9% of athletes. They train harder, longer, and more, as well as practice on their bike (which is more of a workout in itself than many athletes do). Although, the average Joe would have no idea, whether they’ve “ridden” a bike before or not.
I know plenty of people that don’t think motocross is very difficult to participate in. It’s understandable to an extent, because they just don’t know; and probably never will. It’s not something that you can explain either, especially if they play other sports or activities (such as soccer). They often have it in their mind that the sport they do is more straining on the body than others. I’m not saying that you should try and convince them either. Most of them are too stuck up anyway if they believe anyone can race motocross and have success.
Back to the lap times… It doesn’t take a 450cc motocross bike to get the fastest lap times, even though it may help in some areas. Motocross is about 90% rider and 10% bike. Although some may beg to differ, just look at what James Stewart did on an “old and outdated” KX125 2-stroke. This is why I believe a 125 2-stroke is enough power for 99% of riders. Now, one exception is rider size/weight, as some larger guys will do better on a bigger bike because they need more torque to get going. My argument is, if you can’t ride a bike to its full potential, why go bigger? I would personally consider riding 85’s because of my size, but the only adult classes (other than pit bikes) are with full-size bikes. (This is why I’m building an XR100/Motocross Conversion bike over the winter as a play bike, which I’ll cover on a future article…)
So, the act of actually knowing how to and riding a motocross bike is by racing as fast as you can for a certain amount of laps around a motocross track with real jumps, corners, whoops, ruts, braking bumps, natural terrain, etc. (not down your road or a corn field).