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How to ride motocross

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How to ride motocross by learning the correct techniques for success

Motocross is a timed motorcycle race that takes place over a closed course which has been modified for the riders. They will race over hills, take to the air in gravity-defying jumps, maneuver their way through sharp turns, and sludge through often muddy race-day conditions.
Sound like fun? For those beginners out there, learning how to ride motocross can be a dangerous, yet gratifying and invigorating endeavor. It takes both time and effort in order to hone their craft and become the best. Learning proper techniques, buying the correct safety gear, and always riding with a buddy will be key in one's journey.

Below, let's find some of the best resources out there for beginner's and adrenaline junkies alike.

How to Learn the Basics

A stellar introduction to safety, techniques, and guidelines of the sport comes from WonderHowTo and Chris Kelley, a professional rider and stuntman, who will show you -- in a series of exciting videos -- how to ride.

Kelley offers his insight in a 16-part online video where he covers a wide range of topics, from:

  • Changing tires
  • Setting up suspension
  • How to properly jump your dirt bike
  • Using the clutch
  • How to take tight turns
  • Replacing the chain when needing to change the tire
  • How to perform a wheelie, and more
It is important to note that close to the first thing out of Chris' mouth involves the dangerous nature of the sport and the fact that he will be wearing proper safety gear during all his rides. Proper safety gear is of the utmost importance, due to the unstable nature of riding on rough terrain.

Helmets, protective gear, gloves, boots, goggles, long pants, full arm protection, and kid's protective gear should be the first stop for any interested riders (and their parents). But once you're set up with that, what's the best way to get out and ride?

Head Out to Your Local Bike Shop

In order to get started in the sport, C.K. says it's best to head out to your local motorcycle shop. There, you can find out where the local tracks are, ask any questions on your mind, find out if there are any local professionals willing to speak to you or give lessons to new riders, as well as find out if there are any nearby motocross schools.

In addition, certain tracks will have open practice days which will take place on non-race days; you'll be able to ride, test out your new techniques, and not have the pressure of racing against others weighing on your mind. Finally, C.K. offers up the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) homepage as a website to check out in order to find out about local races, events, news, and more about riding.

AMA Resources

The AMA offers a solid foundation of information on the sport in their article, "6 Truths About Dirtbike Riding." They discuss important aspects of always riding with a partner, buying your first bike used, proper safety attire, and riding by the rules.

One of the more interesting aspects of the article is the best way to learn how to ride motocross. According to the author, James Holter, in order not to develop bad habits early on, it's important to find the right school/instructor. In certain instances, even top riders can make poor teachers, as their skill level and natural talent just doesn't translate into the realm of teaching.

Holster singles out the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's DirtBike School as a great place to start for beginners. Open to anyone six-years-old and above, the school offers one day, hands-on training courses where riders will learn the basics of responsible riding.

After mastering the early techniques, Holster recommends a performance-based class like Raines They offer 1-day, 2-day, or 3-day class structures based out of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Virginia. It's a high intensity schedule meant to transform the rider into a beast.

In the end, it's about learning the right techniques, forming a camaraderie with other riders, and testing your limits in a competitive and rewarding environment. So get out and ride!

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