Got a kid considering jumping on a bike and hitting the dirt track? Maybe you’re looking into racing yourself. Either way, Motocross is an awesome sport for all ages. As team sponsors of a few professional motocross guys, at OGIO we get geared up each time we have a chance to educate others on how to start.
This OGIO Motocross Guide for Beginners covers the basics, from finding a bike, to getting the right gear, to prepping for your first race.
Finding a Dirt Bike
We’ve considered renaming this section to “Finding a Dealer” because ultimately, that part matters the most. It’s important to find a dealer whose owners and employees either currently race or have in the past. They will have intimate knowledge on how a bike should feel, what size you need, and what kind of power you can handle. They’ll understand if you show up to get parts for your bike without an appointment. Start searching online, and don’t be shy about asking them for racing experience.
Quick Tips for Choosing a Bike:
- Let the dealer know you are going to be mainly riding tracks
- Start with a bike that lets you put both feet on the ground
- Be honest about how heavy of a bike you’re able to keep control of
- Choose something “crashable” – meaning it won’t be so expensive to fix
- Look for “low mechanic maintenance” machines like a two-stroke bike that you can learn to work on
- Start with lower power bikes and graduate your way up
Getting the Gear
There are two groups of gear: safety and handy. While we cover both, safety comes first – and then the handy stuff.
Helmet – Look for helmets with a certified safety rating. Make sure it’s snug but not uncomfortable, and always keep the strap tight enough that it won’t slip off should you crash.
Goggles – Choose ones that have a thicker padding around the inside, as they’ll offer more comfort and grip.
Padding – knee pads, elbow pads and body armor. They are all for your protection during a crash, but also for objects getting kicked up by the rider in front of you.
Clothing – Long sleeves, made of sturdy material. You’ll eventually want to get racing pants, as most knee pads are designed to go inside them.
Boots – Boots must at least cover the ankle. Get a sturdy pair, break them and they’ll last a long time. When buying for kids, buy a little bit bigger so they have room to grow.
Hydration Packs – When you’re out there practicing, you don’t want to stop for a drink. Carry a light-weight hydration pack from OGIO to stay cool.
Travel Bags – Sometimes you have to travel to get to a track. Pack it in one with a travel bag from OGIO.
Tool Case – Stay on the go with the OGIO MX Flight Vest. Carry your tools, hydration pack, goggles, and more with this light-weight vest.
Time to Practice
Getting used to your bike and the way it handles is the first step to racing on the track. Go out to different terrains, try out different speeds. Get used to the way your brakes, clutch and other aspects of your bike work. Once you gain confidence, start with tricks like wheelies and small jumps. Practice tight turns, because how you handle corners is going to impact your race time. Learning proper body positioning like keeping your elbows up will make a huge difference.
And never forget the buddy system. Motocross is a dangerous sport. If you go out riding by yourself and end up getting hurt, no one will be there to help you. Plus, having someone to race with will push you to do better, go faster and overall improve your skill.