Don't do it, take up golf instead.
A sentiment you might get from those who have taken the path but often with a wink thrown in.
Like all professional sports, a hierarchy exists which players must climb before getting to the top. That road starts innocent enough before wading into the depths of Amateur Motocross where you end up as a small fish in a rather large pond.
In Motocross, riders usually start young, often more as a hobby or family affair, and then hone their skills while working their way up through the ranks. Eventually a decision gets made to make a go of this sport and see where the future on a dirt bike might lead. But all roads first pass through the amateurs where tomorrow's stars fight their way to the checkers while the rest either power down and keep racing fun or come to terms that others possess the necessary talent to move on.
Racing Amateur Motocross offers an undeniable roller coaster ride of ups and downs giving you the highest of highs and unfortunately the lowest of lows. Only those who have stood center podium know the true feeling of winning while those who raced their hearts out only to hit the dirt on the last lap leaving them sidelined for six months know the literal pain and anguish that comes with pursuing a passion that doesn't love you back.
But you'll never know if you don't try so if you plan on entering the realms of Amateur Motocross you need more than just the ability to ride. Check out our guide this guide to racing the Nationals as a youngster and what you need to not only get there but make a statement once behind the gate.
Amateur Motocross Racing
Money and Lots of It
You have probably heard the stories of families mortgaging their future and putting all their eggs in their kid's racing basket. Think of it like playing the lottery - not only do you have to be the best you have to escape career ending injury too.
Say goodbye to playing MX vs. ATV all day with your friends. You need track time and more track time. Plus you have to train. Maybe even get a coach. Expect lots of early mornings and spending afternoons riding the track. Sounds like fun, sure, but Every. Single. Day. Just might get old. Then you have homework. Now you know why so many pros were home-schooled.
All the dedication in the world won't do a bit of good if you don't have the talent. Natural born talent separates the good riders from the best riders. When you mix talent with dedication then you have a recipe for greatness.
No one ever got their start riding dirt bikes and attending races by themselves. You need strong support and depending on your age that usually comes from mom and dad. Support includes the money needed to keep your dirt bike ready to ride, entry fees and transportation. You also need encouragement to get back on your bike after crashing and likely the push to get off the couch and practice.
You might win the race but not without a team in place.
Getting sponsored offers one avenue to help with finances because you get discounts on parts and gear or sometimes it comes free. Plenty of sponsor opportunities exist but applying and keeping track of it all takes lots of time and effort. Your family support can help with resume building and seeking out the best companies to send sponsorship requests.
Sponsorship also gets you name recognition and if the cards play in your favor as you rack up wins and podiums, the manufacturers come to you.
You need more than one dirt bike. Mechanical failures happen, parts break and you might escape injury in a crash but the dirt bike might need some repairs. Having a back-up ride prevents you from a DNS result or even foregoing this weekend's race.
Where You Live Matters
Let's face it, if you live in a metropolis or in an area without a nearby Motocross track you have little chance of making a run in Amateur Motocross. You need track time and without easy access to riding you will fall behind the eight ball pretty quick against those who have a track in their "backyard." And, if you don't burn out from the long rides to and from the nearest track your support staff will.
Your odds of making it are slim and next to none. Remember why you threw a leg over a dirt bike in the first place. Only a select few make a profession out of riding so start slow, have fun and if the future looks bright then review the beginning of this guide, sit down with your support and decide if you might have what it takes to bet on the risk vs. reward.