So You Think You Know How To Ride A Motocross Bike…

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.

Motocross Goons

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.

Real Motocross Riders

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).

Kelley Fager

I help new riders learn how to safely ride and understand how to tune and fix their dirt bike in their garage.

5 Responses

  1. carl says:

    Very much true on every account. I have been doing roadracing on and off for a number of years and I have done OK at the regional level – usually finishing the season within the top 5 despite usually missing a race. While I dont train motocross seriously, there is noway in hell I could do anywhere as good in MX at the same level – MX is simply harder to setup and much more physically demanding to say the least.

    Although it IS easier to “goof-off” and “play around” on a MX than a road/roadracing bike and certainly a LOT LESS intimidating, but that is decieving. Once a rider goes from “playing” on a dirbike and on to a motocross track it is entirely different – perhaps more different than a road biker that goes onto the racetrack for the first time regardless of how “fast” he is… it is more often than not a shocker.

    Also i may add that a fast motocross can get to speed quickly on a roadrace bike, but not the other ways around – needless to say I have seen this often and we have seen this at the professional level as well.

    • Tom Stark says:

      Thanks for the comment, Carl. While I believe Motocross is one of, if not, the most physically demanding sports, I give major props to road bike racers. I mean, laying rubber down at well over 100mph is not an every day chore… It’s just sad when so many people say they can easily ride a motocross bike or super bike when they have no idea.

  2. cody says:

    Yeah i fully agree ive raced since i was 3 and im 17. its not an easy sport at all. and i hate when people talk like they have a 450 but have never been on a track and they think their pro because they have ran up and down the street a few times. motocross is for a fact the most physical demanding sport their is. it requires your body to be at its highest cardio point for a full 3 motos or what ever.

  3. heriberto salazar says:

    hi this just come on my mind and is the web site i find about motocros… i just wonder wy about you used safety parachute wen you plan to do a big jump of some like that if is no the rightweb please passe it.

  4. MarkP says:

    I agree people do not realize how much skill and endurance is required for MX racing.
    I challenge any video game playin poser to ride a real bike on real track hard for 30 min, see how your wimpy ass video game arms hold up hahah.

    I have never raced, but hung out with racers, and these guys were very fast and committed, with experience that can only be acquired from actual racing. My parents did not like the whole dirt bike thing growing up, so i always rode/bought the low buck beater practice bikes, lack of proper safety gear and I got hurt seriously more then once.
    I definitely learned a few things rollin with these guys though.

    Now I am 42yrs old and looking at getting into vintage MX/old man scene. I’m still pretty dam fast but have no illusions of winning anything. My kids are on a 50 and 65 and I think it’ll be fun to hit a real track with them. I am in good shape, but pretty sure despite working out for years I will be shot after 20 min on a track.

    Got nothing to prove, just need to have some fun and make it to work on Monday!

    Is this what a midlife crisis feels like?

    Off to the classifieds for late 80’s CR 125, and I mean a nice one!

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