Riding a motocross bike is NOT like riding a street bike! The motocross bike needs more maintenance (Whether it’s a four-stroke or not!). It helps to be a bit of a mechanic yourself if you want to save money. I always made sure I had someone around who knew about repairs before I did them myself. Often I would make a drawing of the part and how it was hooked on the machine, just to make sure I wouldn’t mess up when the time would come to rebuild!
Despite the common idea, motocross riding is extremely tough on the cardio!
The forearms are very much solicited, so are your core muscles, but the cardio-vascular aspect of the sport is what is most challenging. Not only does this sport put you in great shape, it also thrills the hell out you! A powerful speeding machine taking you from curve to curve, jump to jump: an exhilarating combo indeed.
But the sport is not just about thrills. You also get to meet new people because you rarely ride alone. In Quebec it is possible to take part in a Championship and travel the whole province with the help of two organisms called “Challenge Québec” and “CMRC”, but also with the help of local promoters like the popular “Valleyfield motocross championship”. Having participated in its setup for three consecutive years, I can tell you it’s a lot of work. Racing in these competitions demands not only a good physical condition but also a very good financial one! But the experience is like no other. Not too many things compare to the rush of racing on a motorcycle!!!
The practice of motocross riding is also a good introduction to Physiology 101. Indeed the motocross lover will quickly learn the name of the parts he either will injure or break! Might I remind you though that more people are injured or killed while driving cars. People get injured going down the stairs or walking on a icy street, I would rather say I took the biggest jump of my life motocross riding and broke my ankle! Oh and the better you, the least chances of NOT knowing what you’re doing!!! No excuses then. Like with everything else, time and experience make you better.
Let’s not lie to each other, money can be an issue! But… There are used machines that you can buy. As a matter of fact I believe it is better to buy a used motorcycle to start with and learn to fix it yourself. I was lucky enough to have parents to fund me to begin with and as I got older I got myself a job as a dish washer, which help start to pay for my machines myself when I was 14.
Places to go
No matter where you are you can practice this sport :
Worst case scenario is you will be needing a trailer (And a car of course), but whether you like enduro or closed circuit, you will be able to find places to go to if you research the web.
There are two main types of machines. The most famous one is of course the one you see mostly on TV: the closed circuit motocross bike.
Its principal characteristic is no doubt its light weight. Its frame was built to survive big jumps repeatedly and at great speed. It is shock resistant. Because of its light weight it is easier to control and put back on track. Now the second family of motocross is known as the enduro type machine. This one comes with a few extra gadgets such as a head light, a bigger fuel reservoir and a tougher built exhaust system just to mention a few. Autonomy and reliability are greater on the latter type of machine, but both come with more or less the same engine so you can actually swap them on circuits. Makers are no longer building two-stroke engines but you can still find them on the market.
If you buy a brand new motorcycle it will automatically come with a four-stroke engine. The latter is more powerful although the former is lighter and consequently easier to handle. Both engines have supporters and both are criticized on their life span. Because the four-stroke is a little more powerful, it also needs better maintenance.
The makers all build good machines, but each year a make or a model is surpassing all the others so it helps to know people who know about that stuff! Not the sales people I mean!!! Quality is the main thing you’ll be looking for of course. It is actually possible to pay less and get higher quality (Or the opposite around)! Saving a lot on the sale but having to do repairs on a daily basis is NOT a deal.
Also, if you are going to do modifications on your machine, you are NOT going to be a better rider! Get a good suspension kit if you are going to invest money. A better suspension makes handling easier!
I hope this helped shed a light on the world of motocross !