How to Design & Build a Dirt Bike Track
Dirt biking is an enjoyable activity, especially if you have enough practice to improve your skill and become prepared to face any risks. There are established tracks in very many places, but there is no guarantee that they will be easy to reach.
Instead of taking a long trip to get to the closest track, why not build your own. The good thing about having your own track is that it does not need to be lengthy or elaborate. It just needs to be usable and safe to gain experience and improve your riding techniques.
Certain things require your consideration before building a motocross track. The location of the site also has to meet some criteria. Failure to meeting the set standards could result in a low-quality track.
You need to be keen on the safety protocols to build a safe track for use and allows quick response during medical emergencies. We will look at all the considerations to be made right from the design to construction and, finally, maintenance.
We are talking about constructing a dirt bike track, which cannot be unnecessarily difficult, especially with some power tools and some machinery. The availability of space is a primary factor determining how big and complex the track can be.
There is no need to worry if you do not have a lot of space to make a track that will suit all your needs. Bike tracks can vary in size depending on how much land is available for construction.
Step 1, Preparation
The success of any build is heavily reliant on how well the preparation stage went. To build a track, you need to identify all the requirements. You need land first of all, and then permits to build on the land, and all these are done way before the construction begins.
There are a few things you will need to find out before taking on this project. You will need to know the noise restrictions in the area you plan to build. The construction itself can be noisy, and you may require a special permit for that alone.
Also, it is a bike track, and bikes are well known for their engine noise. If you build there, that means that the surrounding areas do not mind the noise coming from racing dirt bikes. Information on this can be found online or in government portals.
You will need to know what permits are needed for the construction to be legal. You can familiarize yourself with the various permits are required and prepare to cover the cost of acquiring them.
It is advised that you consider your neighbors. Please get to know how they feel about having a track close to their residences. Listen to the various ways the track can affect their daily lives and find ways to agree with them.
It would be best to seek counsel on whether you will need to get insurance for the riders. Usually, some large tracks that attract many riders must have an insurance cover for their riders, but that is not always the case.
After the track construction has begun, there may be unauthorized people wandering into the track. They may get seriously injured, or they may cause damage to your property, so you need to figure out how to keep them away.
It would help if you considered where you would get necessities for the construction and afterward when the track is operational. Water is a key component that needs to be easily available.
Lastly, the site should be determined to be safe to have a bike track. It should not be too secluded to have many obstacles. They may hinder easy access during emergencies or evacuations.
Below are a few issues that need serious consideration during the planning process.
The amount of space available determines the kind of track that can be built. A bigger piece of land allows you to build a better track with more complex designs. With enough land, you can construct a track that has increasing levels of difficulty.
However, this does not mean a track cannot be built on a smaller piece of land. With enough creativity and excellent design, you can have a good track on a smaller space. There are set standard measurements to guide you on the minimum length a track should have.
A track should not be lesser than four hundred feet. The width should be at least two hundred and twenty feet if you are looking to have five or six lanes on your track. There needs to be enough space of about twenty feet between lanes to allow easy access during maintenance.
When you have neighbors, the noise from the track can be a big issue. When scouting for suitable locations, it is best practice to ensure the place is a distance away from residences. Otherwise, you may face closure before you begin to enjoy the track.
Dust can also be a huge inconvenience, so some areas will require you to either put up a fence or have trees around to buffer the dust. It is important to always get the people’s views before beginning construction to arrive at an understanding.
It would be best if you carried out a land survey before construction so that you can avoid encroaching into your neighbors’ property. A survey will show the property lines. Depending on the zoning regulations, you will know to what extent your track can go.
Accidents are bound to happen on a race track. Most people forget to seek counsel on whether they require an insurance cover for the riders that use their track. A cover can protect you against unexpected liabilities.
Track owners assume that since they use their tracks with friends and family, there is no need for all the formalities. However, they ignore the fact that many people at fault do not own up to their mistakes in an accident and shift the blame.
They are then left with a huge bill and may even face closure because they did not get a comprehensive cover. Legal advice could help show you the risks you face and the amount of money you could lose in a lawsuit.
Insurance can be expensive, depending on how you intend to use your track. You need to familiarize yourself and come up with a plan so that insurance costs do not run you under. There is also the option of signing a waiver freeing you from liability.
It may be difficult getting people to sign any release of liability. You can opt to make the track members-only so that the waiver can be signed along with the membership forms. It will help if you put up cameras along the track to protect yourself from false accusations.
Trespassers can be a menace and can be bad for business. If you live far from the track, it is impossible to know who is using the track. The good news is that any injuries they incur will be at their own cost.
The bad news is that if you have many trespassers, the other riders may not feel safe using your track. Surveillance cameras help catch trespassers in action and take action against them, but that increases your cost.
No-trespassing signs should be erected to warn any people that they are now entering private property. You may choose to include your name and contact details on the signs if they want to get permission to use the track.
If you want to open the track to the public, you need to consider how accessible it is and ensure enough parking. Select a flat section and designate it for parking. Most riders love big trailers that may take up a lot of space.
Access to the park is a priority to allow ease of movement for the earth moving machines used in construction. Even after construction, access is needed to make it easy for people to move within the track and during medical emergencies.
The access serves well in case you need to make improvements to the track. Large vehicles need to move freely into and out of the track.
Step 2, Design
It would be best if you rode your bike around the area you want to build the track. It will help you get a feel of the place, and you can identify the directions the track should take. This also helps in determining the bends and curves in the track.
It would be best if you had natural jumps. They will save you the trouble of constructing new ones and may save you some money and time. If there are trees and hedges, you can construct beams out of them.
Using whatever is available naturally in the environment makes the track authentic and is cost-effective. Once you know what the layout of the track will be, you can begin drawing it. A drawing will allow you to make further changes to the design.
Once you have the drawing on paper, determine whether you have allocated enough parking space and other necessary spaces for maintenance. It would be best if you put up fences and security cameras.
Proper draining of water is required. Water can be destructive because it may erode some parts and affect the integrity of the track. The track should be slightly raised to form a gradient that will allow water to flow away from the track and prevent it from stagnating.
If the area experiences heavy rainfall, install culverts to help drain excess water quickly. It would help if you also left spaces in between tracks to direct the run-off water.
Before beginning any dig, it is important to ensure that there are no utilities below the surface. These utilities are usually marked on the surface using signposts, so keep an eye out for them. Secondary transmission cables and water and gas pipes may run beneath the track’s surface.
Underground locators can help identify what is below the surface and where they are so that you may avoid damaging them.
Step 3, Construction
The main construction component for a track is dirt. It would be best if you had clay-based dirt in large quantities to construct a good dirt-bike track. If you are lucky, you can locate your track at the side of a hill where dirt is easily available.
To have a successful construction, you need to have the best machinery for the job. Some of the equipment needed include a bucket loader, a water truck, some stakes to demarcate the area, a measuring tape, and a bulldozer to move the dirt.
An excavator may also be useful, especially if you are constructing a large track. The equipment varies depending on the size of the track and the type of soil on the site. If you are not skilled in operating the machines, you may hire a professional.
Sometimes the weather may be too harsh to continue with the construction that the equipment stays idle, and their cost for hiring goes up. It is necessary to discuss how the payment will be carried out when it is raining.
Jumps and whoops take up the most dirt during construction. However, some sites have natural jumps that only require a little touch-up, thus saving you time and effort. If you have boulders and logs, you should use them to fill up the jumps to reduce the amount of dirt needed.
You also need to ensure the transition of the jumps is correct. You can use as much dirt as needed to make them right. They should be long so as not to cause accidents and injuries. The ideal ratio is three to one, length to height.
The jumps should also be wide to allow for use by more than one rider. This will also reduce the overuse of only one section on the jump.
The construction period can vary depending on the size of the project. The type of machinery you use can also reduce the time taken to build. Other factors are natural factors like the type of soil, the weather at the time of construction, and the state of vegetation.
Anyone with a piece of land can build their own dirt bike track. Bikers are best suited to design tracks because they know the challenges that will help them practice and give them maximum fun.
However, there are a few to be considered before beginning the construction. The correct permits and licenses are needed. The opinions of the people living around the area you intend to develop should be considered.
Reaching a consensus with the community allows you to have a good relationship with them and make adjustments to the track that satisfies them. The track you build should have proper drainage to minimize the destruction of rainwater.
Safety regulations have to be adhered to to ensure there are minimal accidents. In case of an accident, you need to be covered by insurance to avoid paying out large sums. To keep wanderers at bay, you may erect a fence around the track.
The planning and design stage should be carried out to completion if your track will be of high quality. The track’s size does not matter as long as it meets the minimum requirements and has a great design.
The best part about constructing a dirt bike track is that, later on, you may decide to redo everything. It is almost entirely made with dirt and other easily available materials.