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Hello everyone, I was wondering about when or how to tell if you are ready to race motocross. I've been riding for a while and I feel pretty good (don't get passed very often at the track anymore) what is the best way to know when to start? I'm looking at doing C class for the local winter series.

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ANYTIME you think you are ready but also if you are underage when your parents also believe you are ready, especially if you are already at the track getting a good idea of what all is involved and you are getting some great seat time against others. Sometimes that gate start can be overwhelming, but you are starting off right, sign up as a C or D level. If AMA sanctioned that is required and you will move up as your skill level/speed improves and you get transfer points. There are rules based on all this and how you can move up and down in these events.

Most tracks have sanctioned or amateur race events/series and many that will support ages from 5 yrs to 70+ years. Especially down in Texas, just depends in what part you are in. Age is not the real issue, it does take a certain type of person or maturity level to race. Also as starting out you need to keep in mind there is always someone faster, hold your lines, watch the jumps but have FUN. If you are not having fun then maybe you are not a racer but more a recreational rider and that is OK too. There is a lot of fun with racing and you meet some great people.. usually. But there is always 1-2 in every crowd that rubs everyone the wrong way.  

What kind of bike do you have, bike mods, your age, safety gear, support system... How long have you been riding and what type of terrain?

Good Luck...

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As soon as you can ride and not crash into others, understand and follow track rules and regulations, you are ready. Key is not to be a danger to others and yourself. Be prepared to come in dead last. Have fun. If you are any good, practice and do everything needed to excel, you will move up the ranks. Not everyone who races wants to win. Many just want to have a good time.

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ANYTIME you think you are ready but also if you are underage when your parents also believe you are ready, especially if you are already at the track getting a good idea of what all is involved and you are getting some great seat time against others. Sometimes that gate start can be overwhelming, but you are starting off right, sign up as a C or D level. If AMA sanctioned that is required and you will move up as your skill level/speed improves and you get transfer points. There are rules based on all this and how you can move up and down in these events.
Most tracks have sanctioned or amateur race events/series and many that will support ages from 5 yrs to 70+ years. Especially down in Texas, just depends in what part you are in. Age is not the real issue, it does take a certain type of person or maturity level to race. Also as starting out you need to keep in mind there is always someone faster, hold your lines, watch the jumps but have FUN. If you are not having fun then maybe you are not a racer but more a recreational rider and that is OK too. There is a lot of fun with racing and you meet some great people.. usually. But there is always 1-2 in every crowd that rubs everyone the wrong way.  
What kind of bike do you have, bike mods, your age, safety gear, support system... How long have you been riding and what type of terrain?
Good Luck...

I've got a 2015 KTM125SX full FMF and that's about it, got all the gear already, I'm 16 and my parents will allow me I ride everything but mostly track for almost a year now nearly every other weekend

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ANYTIME you think you are ready but also if you are underage when your parents also believe you are ready, especially if you are already at the track getting a good idea of what all is involved and you are getting some great seat time against others. Sometimes that gate start can be overwhelming, but you are starting off right, sign up as a C or D level. If AMA sanctioned that is required and you will move up as your skill level/speed improves and you get transfer points. There are rules based on all this and how you can move up and down in these events.
Most tracks have sanctioned or amateur race events/series and many that will support ages from 5 yrs to 70+ years. Especially down in Texas, just depends in what part you are in. Age is not the real issue, it does take a certain type of person or maturity level to race. Also as starting out you need to keep in mind there is always someone faster, hold your lines, watch the jumps but have FUN. If you are not having fun then maybe you are not a racer but more a recreational rider and that is OK too. There is a lot of fun with racing and you meet some great people.. usually. But there is always 1-2 in every crowd that rubs everyone the wrong way.  
What kind of bike do you have, bike mods, your age, safety gear, support system... How long have you been riding and what type of terrain?
Good Luck...

Thanks! a good friend once told me "if you finish your first race you won your first race"
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Soon as possible .  I started at 16 got a bike and went racing.  Lasted twenty years straight took last 3 years off. You can ride at practice tracks all day but you'll never get as fast as racing up threw the ranks. 

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Soon as possible .  I started at 16 got a bike and went racing.  Lasted twenty years straight took last 3 years off. You can ride at practice tracks all day but you'll never get as fast as racing up threw the ranks. 

Alright man thanks! My current plan is to start for the local winter series.
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AviationTexas129, Great starter bike, especially for racing at your age. As William1 and MotoX367 stated along with your friend... To finish first, first you have to finish, do not focus your first races on trying to win but just trying to stay up and smooth, with smoothness comes speed. The seat time against others is priceless and will allow you to gauge yourself against your peers. An you will only get better through seat time, competition and training. Bike set up is also huge so getting to know local tuners that can help you adjust your forks and shocks properly will also build your confidence on how you hit jumps, bumps, ruts and corners. Don't trust your friends that tell you to just crank the compression/rebound/high speed to the MAX. There is an art to getting it balanced out and adjusting it mildly based on condition changes and such keeping you in the stroke. 

You can also search the forums here for your bike and how to set things up properly. Your stock motor is going to be plenty for you for sometime, 125's are awesome bikes because they do teach you how to ride. You have to learn about staying in the power along with shifting to make best use of the bike. Too many 4 stk riders and new racers tend to only stay in a couple gears and get lazy asking the bike to grunt things out. Shifting, braking, throttle control and body position is going to make you a better rider/racer and build confidence as you advance. With speed you will find things tend to smooth out but it isn't always easy running fast, that is why the set up, seat time and your conditioning is key here.

I race mostly GP/WORCs, Desert and NHHA with a little MX since I'm old (HA) but I live by Pala and Cahuila along with going to Glen Helen here in SoCal for some MX which is great practice an conditioning especially when the dez is too hot. I have a friend who's son just won 2 Loretta Lynn Qualifiers for the 36th Annual. So it is awesome to see new racers doing so well and having fun along with growing the sport. And remember if you aren't having FUN it isn't worth it. Many times you may get discourage because you're not up front but don't, in racing there are awesome battles at all levels and in many small groups within the race. You even see this in the PRO's, watch the outdoor MX series and you see some incredible battles between 6-12th place very often. You will find that reflection and bench racing brings a smile to your face as you create some awesome memories. BEST OF LUCK!! ENJOY the ROOST!!

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1 hour ago, Diamond-Dave said:

AviationTexas129, Great starter bike, especially for racing at your age. As William1 and MotoX367 stated along with your friend... To finish first, first you have to finish, do not focus your first races on trying to win but just trying to stay up and smooth, with smoothness comes speed. The seat time against others is priceless and will allow you to gauge yourself against your peers. An you will only get better through seat time, competition and training. Bike set up is also huge so getting to know local tuners that can help you adjust your forks and shocks properly will also build your confidence on how you hit jumps, bumps, ruts and corners. Don't trust your friends that tell you to just crank the compression/rebound/high speed to the MAX. There is an art to getting it balanced out and adjusting it mildly based on condition changes and such keeping you in the stroke. 

You can also search the forums here for your bike and how to set things up properly. Your stock motor is going to be plenty for you for sometime, 125's are awesome bikes because they do teach you how to ride. You have to learn about staying in the power along with shifting to make best use of the bike. Too many 4 stk riders and new racers tend to only stay in a couple gears and get lazy asking the bike to grunt things out. Shifting, braking, throttle control and body position is going to make you a better rider/racer and build confidence as you advance. With speed you will find things tend to smooth out but it isn't always easy running fast, that is why the set up, seat time and your conditioning is key here.

I race mostly GP/WORCs, Desert and NHHA with a little MX since I'm old (HA) but I live by Pala and Cahuila along with going to Glen Helen here in SoCal for some MX which is great practice an conditioning especially when the dez is too hot. I have a friend who's son just won 2 Loretta Lynn Qualifiers for the 36th Annual. So it is awesome to see new racers doing so well and having fun along with growing the sport. And remember if you aren't having FUN it isn't worth it. Many times you may get discourage because you're not up front but don't, in racing there are awesome battles at all levels and in many small groups within the race. You even see this in the PRO's, watch the outdoor MX series and you see some incredible battles between 6-12th place very often. You will find that reflection and bench racing brings a smile to your face as you create some awesome memories. BEST OF LUCK!! ENJOY the ROOST!!

Well said:thumbsup: congrats to your freinds son he's hauling ass . I've won area qualifiers myself in 25+ but never made it past the regional qualifier tough class and just wasn't quite fast enough.  It's tough if you make it to LL in any class you're going good. My close freind and mentor will be there for +45  I believe he only made one class this year. Has made it every year since 02' one of fastest vet A in upstate Ny and great guy. If the OP can find a freind like that will also help big time. Talk to the faster riders make freinds and forward you may go. Race to race again is what I tell local kids :ride: 

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23 hours ago, William1 said:

As soon as you can ride and not crash into others, understand and follow track rules and regulations, you are ready. Key is not to be a danger to others and yourself. Be prepared to come in dead last. Have fun. If you are any good, practice and do everything needed to excel, you will move up the ranks. Not everyone who races wants to win. Many just want to have a good time.

:thumbsup:

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3 hours ago, aviationtexas129 said:

Haha thanks for the inspiration! I definitely plan to get our local suspension place to do my suspension before the season.

Be very sure you know what you need before you take that step. 

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On 7/17/2017 at 10:41 AM, aviationtexas129 said:

 

Hello everyone, I was wondering about when or how to tell if you are ready to race motocross. I've been riding for a while and I feel pretty good (don't get passed very often at the track anymore) what is the best way to know when to start? I'm looking at doing C class for the local winter series.

 

If you are a lawful age and have the finances to do it,  then go when you want.  Bob Hannah gave some people who were already racing some really great advice that I got to listen to and it concerned racing mx and conditioning,  paraphrased per my memory "I wouldn't start racing until I could run 6 ten minute miles in a row."   ie go out and see if you are in good enough shape to do that.   He went on to say "if you want a job like I have, you need to be able to turn those times around."  which I took to mean you need to be able to run 10 6 minute miles.  Just going out and riding with the novices at their pace may be all you need to be satisfied though,  and don't get pushed into more than what you are satisfied doing.  Pull away when it loses it's ability to make you happy. 

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If you are a lawful age and have the finances to do it,  then go when you want.  Bob Hannah gave some people who were already racing some really great advice that I got to listen to and it concerned racing mx and conditioning,  paraphrased per my memory "I wouldn't start racing until I could run 6 ten minute miles in a row."   ie go out and see if you are in good enough shape to do that.   He went on to say "if you want a job like I have, you need to be able to turn those times around."  which I took to mean you need to be able to run 10 6 minute miles.  Just going out and riding with the novices at their pace may be all you need to be satisfied though,  and don't get pushed into more than what you are satisfied doing.  Pull away when it loses it's ability to make you happy. 

The past few times I've been working on my endurance but I definitely won't be going too high of a level for myself

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I see a lot of guys who are capable of the track in limited amounts really underestimate what it is going to be like to actually race.   It can be a pressure thing, or you don't really realize how much "resting" you do when you just ride a track day.   But once you are in condition it will just be a matter of getting used to the pressure and what your body likes as far as hydration and food.   

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I see a lot of guys who are capable of the track in limited amounts really underestimate what it is going to be like to actually race.   It can be a pressure thing, or you don't really realize how much "resting" you do when you just ride a track day.   But once you are in condition it will just be a matter of getting used to the pressure and what your body likes as far as hydration and food.   

Yeah I definitely know there's gonna be a difference during a race, I'm choosing winter series since it would be even worse in the summer here in Texas

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I made a late april start in central calif,  so i think you are being smart.  nearly 50 years ago and I never quite got passed the love for it.   just remember the part about how satisfying it is or is not.

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An don't forget to just BREATHE... It is funny how much that sounds like an easy thing but on the line, adrenaline rushing people forget and you do not start until a few hundred feet into the mix. Then you are playing catch up, O2 in the blood also helps some combat armpump so breathing is good. Helps you stay relaxed and focused. Winter series will be a good place to start for you and help you with set up for muddier conditions, adding foam/, tire choices, line choices. It's always fun getting muddy but the clean up sucks. Take that serious as it is all part of the prep, tear that bike down and get the mud off all the electrical under the tank, seat and airbox. 

Racing does require a little extra prep that most weekend riders take for granted. DNF's suck so you have to be spot on as you get more familiar with your bike as you will be doing a lot more basic tear downs and reassembles. Just giving the machine a whore bath, filter and oil change is going to bite you sooner or later. You would not believe what we go through when prepping for racing Vegas to Reno or a 100 mile National. Keep us posted on how things progress for you... Pics n race n prep reports.

I'm 56 and a AMA District Steward along with being an AMA Congressman and I too still love it but I can tell you I enjoy riding or racing a lot more than spectating. If it comes to going and watching Supercross in person or doing my own race or even chasing/supporting for others the race always wins out...

 

Edited by Diamond-Dave
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Ive been out 3 years now :thumbsdn: coming back at 40 :ride: Anyway the first few years are so fun I remember crashing all over the place on a cr500 my first year got smoked on it . slow out of control flapping off back type stuff. I was 16-17 . Then met Darryl, got a 125 next thing was winning 125c class within few race's was awesome.  Kicked me out next year and raced mid pack 125b class for few years.  a top 10 and I was pumped.  Competition was fierce here back then. Moved to a 250 for few more years got going pretty good they kicked me out again but to A class:thumbsdn:. Did that for while got few wins in +25 and +30 was winning alittle money back and that feels very good . But I had to be in top shape to run that pace it's not easy and money makes you really push it. honestly not as fun as was them first few years.  You gotta have fun and don't ride over your head . Take it easy listen to others and you could have some good times as I have. Gotta put the time in tho have fun it's addicting. I sacrificed alot to go racing every weekend kept me out of trouble.  Goodluck definitely lets us know and don't be afraid to ask anything 

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52 minutes ago, aviationtexas129 said:


Yeah I definitely know there's gonna be a difference during a race, I'm choosing winter series since it would be even worse in the summer here in Texas

Austin, Houston or Dallas area?

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