If motocross is your weapon of choice, your first step is to join your local motocross club.
Not only is a motocross club a great place to practice your riding skills but it is also a good place to meet like-minded riders and make some friends as well.
Most of the time, a motocross track is open for club members to practice their riding skills.
You are required to pay an annual fee and you will have full access to the track to practice, except on race days where the track is booked for racing or riding lessons.
Motocross is a great place for kids, as the parents can sit back and have a drink in the shade while they watch their kids go around a track. Children also have their own peewee racing days which the kids love.
#1 Always follow the rules of your local motocross club and make sure you have your insurance sorted before riding.
#2 Protective gear is required by the rules if you want to ride.
#3 Always bring some shade with you as it gets hot in the sun and also remember to bring plenty of food and water.
#4 Take your first few sessions slowly at first and consider getting motocross riding lessons from a pro.
#5 Always be mindful of the kids that get around the track
#6 Don’t forget to bring some tools, some gas and some essential spare parts.
#7 Please don’t forget to clean up your mess afterwards and always treat other riders and the park staff with respect.
#8 Protective gear is a must for motocross riding.
#9 Look at volunteering on the track to help out from time to time.
How does it Work?
Simply turn up and ask for an application form, licence application and pay the annual fee.
The club will then tell you the rules of being a member and then you are free to use the track anytime it is open for practice.
When you turn up for practice there is usually also a daily fee to use the track.
The money that you pay in fees goes to keeping the park maintained and safe for both racers and spectators.
The track operators do a whole bunch of work to keep the track groomed before each session, provide pit and spectator facilities and keep the park properly maintained for club members.
And they do a kick ass job for little or no pay!
What are the Rules?
Rules vary from park to park but they generally go something like this –
- Everyone signs a waiver before entering the park.
- No drugs or alcohol are permitted on the park and while you are riding.
- Only club members are allowed to ride.
- All riders to observe the riding rules which includes flags, entry and exit gates, marshals and speed limits in the pit area.
- General track etiquette rules for passing, stalling, crashing and riding safely around other riders.
- Full safety gear is required to ride.
- Abusive behavior is not tolerated and neither is riding dangerously
Depending on where you are in the world, when you pay the annual fee it may include basic insurance which covers the club against liabilities and covers you for death or permanent disability.
Be sure to check this policy though to know exactly what you are getting.
Most motocross tracks in the USA don’t offer insurance at all so make sure that you have the basic insurance to cover you for injury costs and the costs for an ambulance to cart you to a hospital in the event of an injury.
Additionally, you should be taking a serious look at income protection insurance, permanent disability and death insurance for just in case you are out of action for a few weeks.
My Personal Tips.
There are some pointers that I have learnt over the years that will make your experience at a motocross club a pleasurable and safe one, and will also help with promoting the standards of the club.
#1 Bring Shelter and a Chair!
Motocross parks don’t have much money and finding shade to rest under is always an issue in every motocross park I have ridden on.
Especially on really hot days when you are sweating hard and need a place to rest and recover.
You really don’t want to sit in your car as it gets even hotter and the dirt off your gear will wreck your seats.
It is a really good idea to bring a pop up shade tent and a fold up chair with you on track days to have somewhere to park during riding sessions.
I carry a 3×6 (10ft x 5ft) meter tent with me that has room for myself, a chair and also lets me work on my bike under shade. A 3×3 (10ft x 10ft) meter cover will do the job as well and are the most common.
Take a look at the 5ft x 5ft pop up tent from ABCCanopy on amazon. It’s good quality and quite cheap. Mine has lived through a few storms and some really bad weather and it hasn’t torn or broken anywhere.
If I am riding the whole day at the track I also like to bring some camping gear with me to cook food and have a place to lay down for a snooze for a few hours.
Buy a dark colored shade tent as they provide more shade from the sun and don’t forget to pin the tent or it will blow away.
#2 Bring Heaps of Food and Water.
Motocross is a really intense sport and it will take a physical toll on your body.
After the first couple of sessions you will be digging through your car to finding anything to eat.
Try to bring as much nutritious food as possible to keep your energy high throughout the day.
Try not to rely on sugary junk food because it will peak your energy too early and leave you lethargic for the rest of the day.
#3 Take some Motocross Lessons.
Ask the club about local training days. These are mentoring programs usually held by local professional riders and they will accelerate your motocross riding skills and get you up and riding quickly.
Training sessions go for a few of hours a week and aren’t that expensive.
Definitely worth considering if you are a beginner and want to bring your skills up to scratch really rapidly.
#4 Take it Slow at First if you are a Beginner.
At every elite level of sport, sports people go over their track, course (or whatever) hundreds of times to make sure they are completely familiar with it before playing seriously.
Well this is the same for motocross.
Every track is differently designed and built and so it’s really important that you take your time to learn the track.
To do this, take it slow for the first few sessions. I know that you want to fly like the pros, but if you take your time to learn the track and get familiar with it; I promise that you will make less mistakes and become a much better track rider.
#5 Don’t be an Asshole.
The key here is to treat everybody in the motocross park with respect.
There’s nothing worse than some asshole rider that think that they have something to prove to everyone else.
They verbally abuse the marshal’s, cut other riders off, break the rules, and leave rubbish on the ground.
In the end, everyone is there to enjoy themselves and not take things too seriously so please just cool off and have fun. There’s no need to be a dickhead.
#6 Watch out for the Kids.
There are heaps of kids at motocross parks and special competitions are held for peewee 50cc and 80cc riders.
Obviously, these kids are not as aware as the adults and so it’s up to the older riders to be extras aware of the kids so there are no injuries on or off the track.
#7 Tear offs.
If you use tear offs for your goggles, check with the motocross park first to see if they are allowed.
Some parks won’t accept them because at the end of the day there will be hundreds of tear offs on the ground and they can be a bit of a pain in the ass to clean up.
A good alternative for goggles tear offs is a roll off system.
#8 Clean up your Mess Afterwards.
This one really burns me. I really dislike it when people leave their rubbish on the ground after they have packed up and gone home.
It really isn’t that hard to spend an extra 2 minutes to do a clean up after yourself and it goes back to the previous point about not being an asshole.
#9 Gas, Tools and Spare Parts.
Your best bet is to come to the track with a full tank on the bike and bring an extra gas can of at least 5 gallons with you for a full days ride.
Also, don’t forget the oil and mixing bottle if you own a 2 stroke.
Dirt bikes burn through some serious fuel on the motocross track and so having a backup is a great idea. You can also help out a mate if he is stuck for fuel.
Also, don’t forget to bring your tools with you. There’s nothing worse than heading out to the track only to have something break off and ending your day early.
For spare parts, I like to bring just the essentials. A spare chain, spare nuts and bolts, a spare inner tube and some lube spray.
#10 Lever Guards or Unbreakable Levers.
Make sure you have your lever guards installed on your handlebars just in case you drop the bike.
If you don’t like lever guards, get yourself a set of unbreakable levers as these are perfect for motocross.
If you don’t have either of these things, a pack a set of spare levers in the kit because the odds are that you will snap at least one.
#11 Protective Gear.
Helmet, goggles, gloves, pants and boots are required.
I would also highly recommend knee braces and a kidney belt as your legs, knees and back cops a thrashing after a good days motocross riding.
Also, I would recommend wearing a roost guard as there will be plenty of rocks and dirt that gets kicked up from other riders and will hit you straight in the chest.
Very painful if you aren’t wearing a roost guard.
Motocross parks are always short on staff and the dedicated caretakers are always looking for an extra pair of hands to help on race days and maintenance days.
It’s sad to hear that a club may have 400 riders but they cannot find volunteer marshals for race day!
Try to volunteer a few times a year to give back to the club that supports and you and your community.
#13 Make Friends.
People from all walks of life ride in motocross.
Everyone from builders to veterinarians all enjoy the motocross way of life and meeting as many people as you can at the track is great for building friends.
Also, building your contacts can help with things like scoring a job, discovering business opportunities and even getting a date!
You never know until you start mixing with people and motocross clubs are fantastic for networking.
Motocross clubs are a great way to get into motocross and following my tips will help you to start your riding hobby out on the right boot.
Thanks for reading. Let me know if I have left anything out by commenting in the below comments box and if you liked this article, please give it a like and share it with your friends.
Title photo courtesy of Justin Clark