How to Become a Pro Motocross Racer
Becoming a professional dirt bike racer is a dream for many riders. They can do what they love and get paid for it. They also get chances to gauge their skill level against other racers now and again.
Although this dream is attainable, there are several steps that a person has to take to qualify and even be better. You will need to have a desire for the sport to stay focused on your goal when the going gets tough.
What distinguishes professional riders from every other rider is the amount of time they set aside for practice. They use training as a means of elevating their skills and sharpening their reflexes. Practice sharpens the riders and makes them grow their skills more.
There is constant pressure from all sides during races, with each rider clamoring for the top position. Riders have to contend with making numerous decisions on the spot to gain the edge over all other races.
We will discuss nine easy steps to take to become a pro dirt bike racer. These steps are general suggestions and do not have to be carried out sequentially. You may also take additional steps if you feel the need to be better prepared.
Step 1, Learn to Ride a Bicycle.
Like everything else, it is crucial to begin by learning the essentials. Bikes are an excellent way to learn how to balance, control, and outperform other racers. You can understand some concepts similar to the ones in dirt biking.
The preferred types of bikes are a BMX and a mountain bike. Riding a BMX gives you an avenue to learn leg speed, riding with others in a group, aggressiveness, bumping, and jumping. They get your body and especially your feet well-conditioned to react as fast as needed.
Once you have your bike, you need to get protective gear because there are bound to be accidents during initial tries. You can then begin freestyling anywhere you feel comfortable. You may choose to ride at home in the backyard in the beginning.
As you get more comfortable, you should go to skate-parks and see what other riders are doing and make attempts to recreate them. If you have a group of friends to ride with, you can practice together.
Remember that as your skill improves, you should increase the difficulty of the challenges you are doing. More stringent routines make you challenge yourself and are very rewarding once you pull them off.
Some skills to get you started are bunny hopping and doing pump ramps. The more practice you do, the better your skills are going to get. Aside from that, enough practice tunes up your body to have quick reflexes.
Some people prefer training using a mountain bike. It would be best to prioritize safety because some bike trails can be pretty challenging and may result in accidents and falls. Once you have the appropriate gear, you are all set.
Take your bike on different trails. This way, you get to face various challenges and learn to deal with them. You need to ride in a group to reduce the chances of being stranded.
Mountain bikes will improve your braking skills, and the challenging trails will push your body to the limit. You will keep in shape while your skills improve. Some riders prefer to use both the BMX and mountain bikes to develop their skills.
Braking requires you to have situational awareness always. Going on trails that require you to brake continually will enable you to improve your judgment. Tracks that have steep descent need you to be able to brake in time several times.
Additionally, your shifting techniques will improve exponentially. Mountain bikers frequently fall, and as such, you should prepare yourself to minimize injuries to yourself and your bike. Protective gear is advised.
Step 2, Learn to Ride a Dirt Bike.
Getting a dirt bike is not easy. This is not due to them being unavailable in the market. It is because of the many considerations that should be taken to account before selecting a dirt bike. As a beginner, you should consider getting a used bike.
Beginners are still learning the ropes, and during training, a lot of damage can be done. Accidents and falls could seriously damage a bike. Also, the lack of proper maintenance that is common among new riders could harm the bikes’ mechanisms.
Second-hand bikes are a better option for anyone starting. The cost of these dirt bikes is also significantly lower than the new models. You should not spend a fortune on an activity you may drop after several rounds of practice.
Used bikes can go for anywhere between five hundred and two thousand dollars, while new bikes can go up to eight thousand dollars depending on their quality. If you go for the new bikes, pick out the ones that suit beginners and leave the premium bikes for pros.
Bike riding has a learning curve, so you will outgrow your beginner’s bike as your skills improve. Most dirt bikers prefer trail bikes because of the wide range of terrain they can perform in. Motocross bikes are suitable for high speeds, such as in races.
After getting the bike, the next step is to learn the basics. You can begin by learning how to sit on the bike. The position should be one where you are comfortable, have easy access to controls, and have a perfect balance.
You need to learn how to use all the bike parts and interchangeably apply them to achieve better performance. Sometimes, you will use your legs in rounding corners, so you need to practice.
Step 3, Get Quality Protective Gear.
Safety is a top priority in dirt biking, whether you are a beginner or a pro. The dangers involved can be life-threatening, and some injuries are fatal, so you need to be safe every time you are on the bike.
You need a helmet that is of good quality to protect your head. The available helmets are typically made of carbon fiber, polycarbonate, or fiberglass. These materials make the helmet light and can withstand high impacts.
They should fit perfectly on the head so that they do not hinder movement. They usually are accompanied by a mouthpiece so that air can move freely into and out of the helmet. The helmets should be DOT certified for quality.
Good helmets have removable inner pads that make them easy to clean to eliminate sweat and dirt. Aside from the helmet, you need good goggles that will shield your eyes from flying debris, wind in your eyes, and dust.
The lenses can be of any type provided that visibility is not hampered. They should also be easy to clean. The goggles should fit because if they are too tight or loose, then your vision will be impaired, and that could be disastrous.
The gloves should be tough because they will be in constant contact with bike parts. They should also fit well and allow easy movement of your hands. Gloves made from leather are widely preferred because of the flexibility and toughness they offer.
The best jerseys are the ones that provide both comfort and protection in perfect balance. They are typically made using light materials so that they are not cumbersome. There are also jerseys for different weather conditions.
Jerseys for the warm weather are made with mesh clothing to allow for comfortable wicking of moisture, whereas cold weather jerseys are made with inner linings that help keep you warm. Either way, jerseys are made with padding to protect your joints because healing joints take a very long time.
Riding boots keep your feet protected from debris and from the bike itself. Some high-quality boots have metal linings that keep your feet straight in the event of an accident. The shoes should not be too bulky because that could impact your performance.
Other protective gear includes pads, chest protectors, and neck braces.
Step 4, Regular Practice
The best way to better your skills is to practice continually. Go to a dirt bike track and ride your bike to experience the various challenges. Bike tracks are also designed with levels, so once you are ready to take on more challenges, you can try out a more complicated route.
There are strict guidelines to be followed in the tracks. That way, they can be accommodating to everyone. You should make sure the track you choose is up to standard and has safety measures in place.
Once you select the best track for you, you need to make regular visits to get more hours on your practice. Riding on a track is beneficial because there are riders of all skill levels you can learn from.
Step 5, Get a Coach.
Coaches give proper training and motivation. You need a good coach to get better at riding. The ideal coach is involved in dirt biking and, as such, can give more nuanced training and perspective.
Choosing a good coach is paramount to excelling in any career. The coach has to be a rider and be able to analyze races and keep track of their riders’ performance, health, practice hours, and progress.
If the task of finding a coach becomes too difficult, you can enroll in a motocross training school where you are sure to get professional trainers and guides. The right trainer will impact your style and techniques positively.
Step 6, Have a Practice Schedule.
The right schedule is one that is personalized to your level. There is no central plan that is followed by riders everywhere because no person is the same. Your program depends on your body, targets, and health status.
Your plan should include enough time for riding and equally ample time for self-care. The schedule should work to improve your skill while also looking after your health. You should have a balance because constant riding could be detrimental to your health.
You should focus on some key areas that you have allocated time to your program. Exercise to improve muscle strength to be able to handle shifting and braking better. You should also give priority to good nutrition to build your body and heal faster from injuries.
Step 7, an AMA Pro Racing License
A license from the American Motorcycle Association will allow you to participate in races legally. The association advocates for riders’ rights and provide guidelines that make racing safe and fair.
Upon becoming a member, you will get the rule book and guide on how to configure your bike to be competition-ready. They also have tournaments where many riders participate and can be great for you, especially if you are new.
Step 8, Medical Cover
Insurance saves you from huge hospital bills that result from treatment and rehabilitation following an accident. Most insurance providers stay away from giving covers for high-risk sports, so that you will need a specialty insurance provider.
You also need a policy for your bike that will also cover anyone you hit with your dirt bike. There are different packages that a rider can get. There is a standard cover and a comprehensive cover.
A comprehensive cover can take care of replacing the bike if it gets stolen. It can also have an air ambulance policy that allows you to be airlifted from remote areas for medical care.
Step 9, Get a lot of practice.
Pro riders leave nothing to chance. This is because they continuously practice being prepared for any scenario on the race track. A good schedule could help balance your training time so that you do not spread yourself thin.
Focus on only one skill at practice until you get better at it, then move on to the next. Practicing in different weather conditions helps you build endurance under harsh weather and gain the necessary skills to navigate challenging terrain.
You can become a professional rider by following the outlined steps. What you need to pay attention to most is getting enough practice, getting health insurance, and obtaining a license. You may get the help of professionals to help you become better.
You always need to wear protective gear. Even though the danger in dirt biking makes the sport thrilling, an accident’s effects could be catastrophic.