Types of Dirt Bike Racing – When it comes to dirt bike riding, there is no one way to ride a bike. For one thing, there is motocross riding and trail riding for riders to enjoy. If you are someone who has a love for speed, then you may be interested in dirt bike racing. Dirt bike racing has its own thrills and for anyone unfamiliar with the activity, it would seem like there is only one type of dirt bike racing. Just like there is different types of dirt bikes, however, there are different types of dirt bike racing. If you are interested in exploring the world of dirt bike racing, there are a few things to know.
What Types of Dirt Bike Racing Are There?
There are approximately six types of racing for aspiring dirt bike riders to try and each one has their unique features;
Motocross and Supercross
Motocross (MX) races happen outdoors on tracks that are 1-3 miles long with hills, jumps, and turns. Racers start together and ride two sessions, each lasting around 12-30 minutes plus two laps. The winner is decided based on the combined score from both sessions. The races take less than two hours, and the terrain can be dry, wet, sandy, or muddy.
Supercross (SX) is similar to MX, but races happen in stadiums and arenas, making it easier for fans to see all the action. The courses are tighter with bigger jumps and shorter straight sections, and racers can jump up to 35 feet high and cover 70 feet of distance. Supercross draws more fans than any other motorcycle racing sport in the United States.
Hare scrambles, also known as XC, are off-road motorcycle races that take place on natural terrain. The courses are usually three to eight miles long and can include difficult terrain, such as rocks, roots, mud, water crossings, and steep hills. Unlike motocross or supercross, hare scrambles do not have high jumps but they are still very challenging.
Racers start in rows based on their racing class, and they start at 30-second intervals to reduce passing on narrow trails. Races last between one and two hours, with racers completing as many laps as possible to win. The winner is determined based on the number of laps completed and the shortest elapsed time.
GNCC is a lot like hare scrambles, but with longer and faster courses that go through the woods, and sometimes have grass tracks and MX sections. These races can last up to three hours, and cover up to 12 miles per lap. GNCC also has classes for ATVs and electric mountain bikes (eMTB).
Enduro races come in a few different types, such as traditional time-keepers, restart, and sprint enduros. Like hare scrambles, they take place on natural terrain but over a much longer course, sometimes spanning 100 miles or more, including paved sections on public roads. All enduros offer a break to refuel, make repairs, and eat, among other things.
In traditional time-keeper enduro races, racers start in groups and their clocks are set to the same time. Along the way, they pass through checkpoints and must arrive on time to avoid penalties. To keep track of time and distance, they use odometers and enduro-specific computers. The goal is to finish the race without encountering anyone from another group. Racing with friends is encouraged, but solo riders may find new friends on their team. Winning an enduro requires strategy, such as knowing when to go fast or slow.
Restart or start control enduros
Restart or start-control enduros are similar to traditional time-keepers, but with a twist. They include timed and transfer stages, with racers going as fast as possible during the timed stage, which is generally more challenging. During the transfer stage, they cover easier terrain or low-speed on-road sections to make it to the next timed stage, where they restart on their minute. Racers who suffer delays can catch up during built-in breaks, ensuring they stay on schedule.
Sprint enduros are a new format that combines hare scrambles and enduros. Racers race against the clock on several short test sections, with varying terrain. Racers get multiple attempts to set their best time, with the fastest lap times across all tests determining the winner. Rules and structures may differ by region or organization. If you prefer shorter loops but still want to race the clock, consider trying a sprint enduro.
AHRMA stands for the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association and it offers racing events for older bikes in most of the disciplines mentioned before. Racing can be expensive, but AHRMA provides an option for those who want to have a good time without breaking the bank. You can buy an inexpensive vintage bike and join a race for a reasonable cost.
Types of Dirt Bike Racing: Getting Started
Do any of these racing types appeal to you? Dirt bike racing is exciting, but it’s important not to rush the process. Before joining a race, make sure you’re confident in your riding skills, have prepared your bike, and have the necessary safety equipment. This means making sure you have all the essential dirt bike gear such as good dirt bike helmets and dirt bike boots.
To start dirt bike racing, find a local organization that promotes racing and look for regional and national race series online. Sign up for the race separately, pay a fee between $40 to $80, and you’ll be assigned a transponder and number sticker. Make sure your bike is in good condition, bring spare parts, fuel, water, and food, and wear proper gear. During long races, carry items like fuel, water, and food. Races may have fuel and lunch stops for racers. Ensure your motorcycle is street-legal and check for tech inspection. Stay hydrated and fueled during the race, and have fun.
If you want to explore different bikes to try different types of racing, you may be interested in checking out Dirt Bikes for Adult Beginners and Street Legal Dirt Bikes.