Motocross is a pretty cool sport, and if you don’t agree, check out these videos…
If these videos didn’t convince you, then nothing probably will.
Motocross doesn’t have to be a sport just for the pros, if you have a bike and a track nearby, you can do it too. We’ve compiled a list of 10 tips for beginners to know about motocross.
Wear your protective gear
As a wise man once said, “safety first”. Your helmet is the most important piece of gear you have as it protects your head. You can’t ride when you’re concussed!
You’ll also need:
- Lightweight protective clothing
- Knee Braces
- Back and chest armor
- Well gripped gloves
- Solid motocross boots
- Strong goggles.
And it’s important not to cheap out on your gear, you get what you pay for! And don’t buy second hand, as used gear won’t offer you adequate protection. Safety gear and protection are more extensively covered in Blog 4.
Know what your limits are
As a beginner, it’s important not to be too cocky and to be aware of what your limits and areas for improvement are. Don’t ride over your head and know your comfort zone. If there’s a big jump that you’re not confident with, don’t feel pressured into going for it.
That being said, motocross is about trying new things and building your confidence. It is important as you practice more and more that you start to push yourself a little and work up to the big things. Make sure you take your time to get things right.
Hold your line
If there’s a faster rider behind you, don’t jump to the side, and stay on your side of the track. This is a critical step in avoiding accidents and collision.
It’s all about being aware of your surroundings and where you can move to if you need.
Get out and ride as often as you can
If you have time on the weekends, get out and ride. It’s the only way to really build up confidence and become a better rider.
Once you’ve purchased a bike, start out by getting familiar with the controls, to make controlling your bike second nature to you. Secondly, clutch control is critical to how to drive the bike. If you keep stalling, it’s a sign that you need to practice more. Practising in different terrains such as sand, rocks, mud etc is a great way of getting used to your bike and its capabilities.
Confidence is key
While we did day to know your limits, it does help to have confidence in your abilities when you ride. Knowing what you’re capable of and having confidence in it will help you get better at other things.
Don’t let faster and more confident riders intimidate you, they were beginners once too. Lacking confidence will distract you and causer you to make avoidable mistakes.
Allow yourself to be nervous
A bit contradictive to what we just told you, but letting yourself be nervous can help you build confidence. A lot of people want to race without feeling nervous, as they think it’s a sign of weakness, it's not. Everyone gets nervous in these situations, it’s only natural. These nerves will go away once you hit the track.
Disallowing yourself to feel nervousness will ultimately only make you feel it more. It's expected, so don’t fight it.
Ride standing up as often as possible
Sitting down will subject your body to greater forces. It also reduces your ability to maintain con troll of your bike in rough terrains. Standing up helps you maintain stability and allows your knees and ankles to assist in shock absorption. It also helps if you grip the bike with your legs.
Locate nearby motocross tracks
If you live in the inner city or the burbs, you may have to travel out to find a decent track. It’s important to find a track with different degrees of difficulty so you can advance as you gain confidence. A lot of tracks have strict guidelines so brush up on their rules and respect them. As a beginner, you may want to start on a track with hard-pack soil as it is easier to ride on.
If you’re keen to meet other dirt bikers, joining a local club is great for the social aspect and support.
You’re going to crash, it happens to everybody
Yep, that’s the reality. Everyone has a crash at one point or another, so you might as well accept it. But if you use the correct safety gear, you’ll be okay.
If you constantly worry about crashing, you’ll crash. In order to avoid a bad accident, it is advised that you look at where you want to go, instead of where you’re going to crash. It helps to identify the potential hazards (rocks etc) before you hit them and focus on avoiding them and looking far enough ahead to give yourself time to react.
This involves some fast thinking on your part, which is why it is necessary to have to control your bike down pat.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy yourself
At the end of the day, if you’re not a pro racer, motocross is a fun (and awesome) hobby that’s meant to be enjoyed. If you’re taking a hobby too seriously and not having any fun, then what’s the point in doing it?