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Styles Of Dirt Bike Racing

Styles Of Dirt Bike Racing

When you think of dirt bike racing, you may think of just motocross. This is one of the most popular racing styles that many are familiar with. However, there are a large amount of dirt bike racing types that riders and fans can get into, including Supercross, Freestyle, Enduro, and more. Whether you’re starting to dip into dirt bike racing or simply wish to learn more as a spectator, here are the different styles of racing you need to know about.

  1. Motocross (MX): Motocross is a high-speed race on rough terrain with man-made obstacles like jumps and raised mounds of dirt called berms. Each motocross race is comprised of two races called motos. The outcome of each race determines the overall winner, so technically, someone doesn’t have to place first in both to win. For professional racers, the motos are 30 minutes long, whereas they’re 12 to 20 minutes for amateurs.

  2. Enduro: This style of dirt bike racing isn’t for the faint of heart. Designed to test skill, these courses are physically and mentally demanding on the rider. They must weave through natural areas where rivers, tree branches, mud, logs, rocks, and more stand in the way of the finish line. The Grand National Cross Country series (GNCC) is the most popular Enduro race in the country. In this trail loop race, riders combat obstacles that naturally occur in the region the race occurs. Since the GNCC only happens on the East Coast, this could be sand, mountains, streams, or hills. Professional races last three hours, and amateurs race for two. For the West Coast, the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS) takes place. This race incorporates motocross into its course and has shorter racing times for riders. Like WORCS, Grand Prix courses have motocross elements in them, but only last about 45 minutes.

  3. Hare and Hound: You may know this style as simply “desert racing”, for it’s entirely done in desert regions. Riders must battle high dust levels, rocky terrain, steep inclines and declines, and loose dirt. These races can be either in long loop formats or point-to-point.

  4. Supercross (SX): Supercross is another wildly popular style that only professional riders may participate in because the jumps and courses are very dangerous. You’ll find Supercross inside large stadiums where riders take on very high jumps, whoops, and turns in a 20-lap race. The 250F class, however, only does 15 laps. Because they’re inside events, SX draws a great deal of spectators.

  5. Arenacross: This style is on a smaller scale than SX and is often considered the stepping stone to the grand courses of SX. Those working towards competing in Supercross events must first champion Arenacross. If you follow up and coming dirt bike racers, check to see if they’re racing in Arenacross.

  6. Endurocross (EX): If Enduro is tough, EX is even more challenging. This combination of Enduro and Arenacross uses a smaller Arenacross track with natural obstacles. Riders must get past rock formations, water, sand, grounded logs, and more as quickly as possible. EX has 12 laps that last about a minute each, however, the course design is extremely taxing on riders. Physical fitness and superior bike-handling are a must for EX.

  7. Trials: Trials are not necessarily a race, but an ultimate test of rider skill. The bikes used for these are not geared for speed, but for torque and power. Trials are untimed, allowing hopeful champions to take on nearly impossible obstacles like large boulders, waterfalls, tree trunks, cliffs, and streams. To make this even more challenging, there is no seat and riders cannot touch the ground. Penalty points are given for touching the ground for stability, which is also called “dabbing”. They’ll also receive penalties for dismounting, rolling backwards, and veering out of bounds. In Trials, you’ll see riders doing whatever they can to keep from dabbing, like hopping their bikes up onto boulders and landing just right. If they manage to get through a section perfectly, it’s said that they’ve “cleaned” the section.

  8. Freestyle (FMX): This is a style you’ve definitely heard of and seen. You know when riders race off of jumps to hit amazing tricks? That’s called Freestyle. There are many televised FMX events sponsored by industry players like Red Bull where riders have earned world records. FMX is a midair competition of the best tricks riders can pull off. Riders jump from dirt or steel ramps and land on dirt mounds once they’ve completed their trick. Judges award points based on trick style and difficulty. Riders spend months perfecting these tricks to nail them live.