In this article I’m going to show you how to train for motocross so you can improve your overall racing results and even win a few races if you push hard enough.
These tips are not only based on my experience but from the many coaches and pro riders that I have had contact with over the years.
Follow these steps and I can guarantee a substantial improvement in your motocross riding game.
All serious athletes that want to improve their game perform daily drills and motocross riding is no different.
Drilling is basically practising the same technique over and over and over again until you are so good at it that it is permanently drilled into your brain! and becomes second nature.
Pro riders drill EVERY part of a motocross track and the bike until they know it backwards.
You should be drilling all types of cornering, berms, whoops, jumps, balancing, braking, clutch work, brake work, throttle work and take off among others.
Your drills should be planned out so you can cover them all over a weeks worth of motocross training.
Begin drilling and you will feel yourself getting better every week as long as you are disciplined and stick to the plan.
To learn more about motocross drilling read my article about the most popular motocross drills you can practise to improve your motocross skills here.
If you need help with putting together and practising a drilling plan, jump to the next step.
Getting a coach or joining a motocross training school is probably the fastest way to progress your motocross skills.
Why? because a coach will show you the correct riding techniques from day 1 and will also help you to drill properly.
They will also help you to stay motivated and kick you in the ass when you start to get lazy.
This is really important because developing bad riding habits is detrimental to your racing times.
A coach or school will help you eliminate bad riding habits or even avoid getting them in the first place.
A coach will also show you the trade secrets of riding and they will even help you to setup your bike properly to make sure it is at optimal condition to maximize your lap times.
Additionally, a riding school will also be able to help you to achieve a better mental state in motocross races.
What I mean by this is racing can be nerve wracking and the pressure of holding your position while out in front is not easy and the fear of messing up and losing the position can creep into your mind.
This is one example of a mental state that needs to be overcome with a better mental position.
A coach will help you with this and will show you how to use pressure and nervousness to your advantage.
If you do nothing else, a motocross riding coach or school is the ticket to help you get ahead in motocross races.
To find a coach or motocross riding school in your area, check out my motocross training schools and camps page that lists schools and coaches all over the USA and Canada.
In a motocross race, if you are in first place into the first turn of the race, then you have got holeshot.
Holeshot is just like pole position in an auto race and it is the most sought after position in a motocross race.
Why? Because when you are in first place to the first turn you are not eating the dirt from other riders in front of you! which is a distinct advantage over other riders.
And that advantage wins races.
To get holeshot, there are specifics techniques you need to use for getting the bike off the line at an optimal pace.
Launching your dirt bike off the line, like any other motocross skill, is a drill and you will need to drill your take off technique as often as possible until you are supremely confident of your skills.
You will also need to learn your holeshot technique with other racers so you can get used to riding in a group and handling that unique type of pressure.
The best way to learn how to do it properly is with a holeshot practise gate just like this one!
This cool piece of gear is electronically controlled by the rider or by the coach and mimics an actual starting gate at a race.
With a practice starting gate you practice your gate drops whenever and wherever you like.
To learn more about holeshot devices and techniques, read my 10 tips for launching your dirt bike like a pro.
Riding with a motocross rider that is more skilled than you is a hack that can also develop your skills quickly.
The idea here is to follow a more experienced rider around a motocross track so you can observe the way the ride, the lines they take and the way they handle their dirt bike.
By copying their riding techniques your skills will automatically improve and you will be more motivated to go faster to keep up.
Be realistic with your abilities with this tip because if you push too hard and put on too much speed to early in your training, most likely you will crash and inure yourself.
If you are still a newbie or intermediate rider, make sure you look for a rider that is more experienced than you but will not be moving at a good pace but not at racing speed.
This is where a riding coach or a school really comes very useful to your skills as you can ride with more experienced riders that know that you are following them and will move at the right pace to test you.
Motocross riding is probably the most physically demanding sport out there and your cardio and general fitness needs to be on point if you want to be a motocross racer.
Your fitness needs to be good enough to easily handle an entire motocross race that takes a huge toll on your back, arms, legs, neck and your entire muscular and skeletal system.
To strengthen your body to handle the forces of motocross racing, you will need to do some specific exercises that strengthens your core muscles while providing as much flexibility as possible.
This topic is huge and there is a lot online that is written about it so I have condensed the best motocross exercises into my article – How to workout like the motocross pros.
Riding tracking apps are a fairly new addition to the motocross world.
A riding tracking app is a data collection device that sticks to your helmet and collects all kinds of riding data such as racing lines, speed, air time and a host of other racing, dirt bike, biometric and track information.
After you have finished riding, the data is then downloaded into a phone app or a laptop and it will crunch your data and will find opportunities in your riding skills and racing lines to make you a faster motocross rider.
The industry standard tracking app is LitPro and they guarantee to shave 2 seconds off your race time or they will give you your money back! Not bad.
LitPro is used by most pro motocross riders that I know of to train with in the off season to help them stay at the elite level.
LitPro is one amazing system and calling it an app really doesn’t do it justice. I have dedicated an entire page to LitPro in my blog here if you want to learn more about it.
There are also a couple of LitPro alternative apps out there that are pretty good that I have reviewed here.
If you really want to get great at motocross you must practise, a lot! Daily if possible.
But more than that, you should be practising in real races as well. It is one thing to go really fast when you practise but can you book the same speeds while you are jostling your way through another dirt bike riders at top speeds? Not as easy.
When you are in a race, it is important to control your nerve and use the pressure of racing to your advantage.
Do you let pressure get to you in high stress situations? If so then it will be your enemy in races. Instead you need to use pressure to make you a better rider. A coach will help you reach this positive mental state.
You also need to keep your focus on your techniques and on the finish line without being distracted by the commotion that’s happening around you, and its a lot harder than it sounds.
The way to get better is to practise, practise, practise!
So try to enter yourself in as many races as possible to get used to racing environments and get out to the track as much as you can.
Is your suspension worn out or is not properly set up for your weight? That will add 5 seconds on your lap time.
Are you running the wrong type of tires for the track you are racing on? Or are your tires at 75% tread? Add another 5 seconds.
Are the valves in your 4 stroke bike worn? Add 5 seconds.
Low compression? 5 seconds.
I can go on but you get my point. If your bike isn’t up to scratch then you will never get your best times and you will always be behind the pack.
Make sure your bike is setup optimally to your settings and the type of track you are racing on.
If you aren’t sure about the right settings you should be using, have a chat with an experienced mechanic, talk to a riding coach or go see your motocross bike dealer and they will point you in the right direction.
Use my above strategies and you will watch your motocross skill skyrocket!
Let me know if you use any of the above tips in the comments below and if you liked my article, please give it a share on social media.
- How to get Started in Motocross. 7 Tips.
- How to Become a Pro Motocross Racer.
- Tips for Joining a Motocross Club Near you.