How Much Does It Cost To Race Motocross
I’m really glad you’re considering participating in this extravagant and addicting extreme sport, but there are some downsides to doing it as well, unfortunately. Cost is the biggest reason why so many people aren’t able to race motocross, whether it be the cost of bikes and maintaining them, or having to pay for entry fees, gas for bikes, gas for vehicles, food, etc.
Your dirt bike is probably going to be the most expensive part of motocross racing. You can find a good motocross bike for $1500 or less, as I show you how in that article. But if you want to go the four-stroke route, you will probably have to pay more for the bike, and it will cost more in the long run to maintain and repair.
Depending on the route you go, the amount you can spend on keeping a bike running can vary greatly. Two-strokes generally require a little more maintenance, but when it comes time to rebuild the engine, they’re usually much less than a four-stroke. Now when I say maintenance, I’m talking about your regular oil changes, air filters, tires, chain, sprockets, and fluids.
Which Stroke Will You Choose?
If you’re going the four-stroke way (not that it’s bad, but it will more than likely cost more), maintenance should consist of changing your oil every 2-3 rides, and replacing the oil filter every other time you change the oil.
Air filter should be cleaned/replaced every 1-3 rides, depending on riding conditions. This simple and cheap maintenance will keep your four-stroke running much longer, which is why they appear to be cheaper to race. You may end up finding out that this is not always true, unfortunately, when the engine grenades on you.
It’s important to know When & Why to replace your valves and timing chain on a four-stroke, because these parts can fail in the blink of an eye. Many people fail to realize that these parts should be considered maintenance on a four-stroke motocross bike, so keep that in mind.
On the flip-side, you don’t have to deal with a valve-train on a two-stroke, which is why they are cheaper to keep running in the long run. Maintenance is similar to a four-stroke, other than the oil filter, but you may go through top-ends quicker if you’re constantly wringing it out.
This is another reason why many people think that two-strokes are just as expensive, if not more. But they are only looking at the intervals of engine rebuilds, when the real difference is how much they cost to rebuild. A two-stroke can last 15-20 hours, even with a fast A-rider on it. A four-stroke may or may not last longer than that before you start replacing engine parts.
Next you have to consider gas, both for your bike and your mode of transportation. This all depends on what bike you’re running, what gas, how many classes you’re racing, and what vehicle.
A two-stroke uses pre-mix, so oil will cost a couple bucks extra, but some four-strokes require race-gas (i.e. high compression), so they may even out. If you’re running two classes, that’s twice as much gas you’re going through (duh!), so consider that factor.
Trucks and SUV’s can be gas hogs, so if you want to save money on that, either get a small truck (S10/Ranger), or you can get a Motorcycle Carrier to insert into the hitch of your van or truck instead of pulling a trailer.
Next thing to consider is the cost of entry fees and memberships. An average cost of one class of racing is $30 around here, and usually a little cheaper if you do more than one class. Yearly memberships (District and AMA) add another $40-50 each. So the cost of entry fees comes down to how often you’re going to race and how many classes.
Don’t forget about food! You have to eat and drink, whether you pack for a picnic at the track or buy food there. Camping will also cost extra if you spend the weekend at the track, which many riders do if they have a camper or RV. Also, you will sometime or another have that unexpected problem; a blown tire, or crash on your bike that breaks several parts.
There are probably a couple more things you could have to add to the cost of motocross racing, but do you see now why so many people cannot afford it, especially when they’re not prepared? I really don’t want to scare people away from this terrific sport, I just want YOU to be well informed of how much you can expect to pay if you want to start and continue racing for years to come. After you figure out that you are able to do it or have enough money, check out my tips for first-time motocross racers so you won’t be left in the dirt. Also, don’t forget to get footage of your first race with an HD Helmet Cam!
That should cover just about everything, so here’s an overview of what it will cost (based on if you race about every other weekend:
- Dirt Bike: $2000 (guesstimated cost of a good running used motocross bike)
- Maintenance (Oil, filter, lube, etc.): $50 every couple races
- Engine Rebuilds (Varies greatly): Two-stroke top-end $150 every 20 hours, $300-800+ every 25-40 hours
- Gas: Depends on vehicle, $10-30 depending on how much racing
- Memberships: ~$90 for District and AMA
- Race Fees: $30 Each race (more if you do multiple classes)
- Misc (also varies greatly): This is one category I cannot really determine for you. It all depends on how much/where you eat, what you buy, what breaks, and all that jazz.
Much Cheaper Than Road Racing
There are many factors in motocross that can cost more or less. Using this guide as a reference will give you a good idea of how much this sport can really cost. Compared to other motorsports, Motocross racing is cheap.
I’d you’re going to race, you’ll want to start practicing as much as you can to be competitive. Once you have some experience under you belt you will start to understand how your dirt bike works and how you like it set-up.
A properly set-up bike is not only safer, but it give you more confidence and makes you ride faster, which is what we all want to do.
Exhaust and engine mods are usually the first mods we think of doing to upgrade a motocross bike, but those aren’t the best mods to start out with. You need to service and tune the suspension for your weight and type of riding otherwise you’re wasting your time with other modifications.