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Thinking about starting desert racing?

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Excuse me if this is in the wrong section, I wouldn't consider "adventure" bikes desert racers.

I've been thinking about desert racing, I'm in the middle of Utah, there's one that is literally 30 minutes away from my house.

I have a ton of endurance and "desert" riding experience, I'm good at wide open areas, fast trails, you name it. The thing I don't like is jumping 👍

Anyway, anyone desert race here? It looks pretty simple. Compared to motocross how many parts do you break per race? Does it use a lot of gas? Is it more $$$ then local motocross events in general? Should I gear up a few teeth on my bike? Is it easy to get really hurt because you're going so fast?

Any ideas? :smashpc:

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Go try one out.. Utah has some great dez races.. Most notably the Sage Riders put on a primo event.. For the first time I'd go and ride Sportsman class [non-comp], just to get a feel.. They are not generally a wide open race, but a mixture of twisty trail, a bit of sand etc.. Each race is different. But every one in Utah at the Little Sahara area will have a fair amount of whoops..

A stock bike will work just fine.. And you can go as fast or slow as you want.. You will need to set your bike up with some protection, skid plate and good handguards..

The sanctioning org in Utah is the USRA [utah Sport Riders Assoc]

USRA site

Edited by zilla

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Go try one out.. Utah has some great dez races.. Most notably the Sage Riders put on a primo event.. For the first time I'd go and ride Sportsman class [non-comp], just to get a feel.. They are not generally a wide open race, but a mixture of twisty trail, a bit of sand etc.. Each race is different. But every one in Utah at the Little Sahara area will have a fair amount of whoops..

A stock bike will work just fine.. And you can go as fast or slow as you want.. You will bneed to set your bike up with some protection, skid plate and good handguards..

The sanctionoing org in Utah uis the USRA [utah Sport Riders Assoc]

USRA site

Thanks :smashpc:

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i was basically in your scenario a month a go. It is a little pricey getting your bike comfortable for the dez (ex: larger tank, suspension done, steering stabilizer) but honestly its been a great decision. great people, tons of fun and definantly cheaper than mx. Try one out, youll be hooked :smashpc:

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i was basically in your scenario a month a go. It is a little pricey getting your bike comfortable for the dez (ex: larger tank, suspension done, steering stabilizer) but honestly its been a great decision. great people, tons of fun and definantly cheaper than mx. Try one out, youll be hooked 👍

Sweet, already have a 3.9+gal tank, I can handle the shocks, if the front end starts to wobble speed up :smashpc:

I wonder if a 2-stroke would be any good though... They don't seem to like to "travel" very far.

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Sweet, already have a 3.9+gal tank, I can handle the shocks, if the front end starts to wobble speed up 👍

I wonder if a 2-stroke would be any good though... They don't seem to like to "travel" very far.

I ride a ktm 300 with a 3.2 gallon tank and it does just fine. Most loops down our way are 2 or 3 loops with the max distance of anyone of those loops being +- 55 miles. Haven't raced up your way yet, but if they are anything like ours outfit your bike with the appropriate guards because they will pay you back 10-fold! They are a lot faster then MX races but also a helluva lot slower too. The first one I ever did was on a stock CRF 450R and 2 things I learned very quickly were :

1. My bike does have a 5th gear...and its not fast enough

2. My bike does have a first gear...and its not low enough.

But like other people have said; go as fast or as slow as you want...the key is to settle into a pace that you can go for up to 3 1/2- 4 hours straight because these races are usually about 100 miles :smashpc:. Have fun and good luck with your soon-to-be addiction :busted:

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I ride a ktm 300 with a 3.2 gallon tank and it does just fine. Most loops down our way are 2 or 3 loops with the max distance of anyone of those loops being +- 55 miles. Haven't raced up your way yet, but if they are anything like ours outfit your bike with the appropriate guards because they will pay you back 10-fold! They are a lot faster then MX races but also a helluva lot slower too. The first one I ever did was on a stock CRF 450R and 2 things I learned very quickly were :

1. My bike does have a 5th gear...and its not fast enough

2. My bike does have a first gear...and its not low enough.

But like other people have said; go as fast or as slow as you want...the key is to settle into a pace that you can go for up to 3 1/2- 4 hours straight because these races are usually about 100 miles :smashpc:. Have fun and good luck with your soon-to-be addiction :busted:

100 miles and 3 pistons later hahaha "I can change a piston in 5 minutes flat!" 👍

I remember when I tried to desert race my KE100, rode it for 10 hours across 75 miles straight, as fast as it could go, without water, map, or compass. (not saying it was smart, just saying I did it haha). Had a couple energy bars, and a ticket. Got back feeling great🤣

How many races could you get out of a piston?

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I did probably 8 races last season and the weekends I wasn't racing I rode usually a minimum of once a week (sometimes 2-3 times a week). I'm just now doing a top end on my 300 tomorrow morning, and to be honest, I could go a little longer. I'm doing it mainly to freshen it up before a H&H I'm doing this coming Sunday. I will tell you though, less then a year ago my bike was brand spankin' new...now it has been ridden for a season inthe desert and it shows. Desert racing isn't like moto.....your equipment takes a beating. A new set of plastics is included in my annual motorcycle budget :smashpc:

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I did probably 8 races last season and the weekends I wasn't racing I rode usually a minimum of once a week (sometimes 2-3 times a week). I'm just now doing a top end on my 300 tomorrow morning, and to be honest, I could go a little longer. I'm doing it mainly to freshen it up before a H&H I'm doing this coming Sunday. I will tell you though, less then a year ago my bike was brand spankin' new...now it has been ridden for a season inthe desert and it shows. Desert racing isn't like moto.....your equipment takes a beating. A new set of plastics is included in my annual motorcycle budget :busted:

Maybe I should sell my classic mtocrosser first haha, after all, they probably won't let me unload the bike until I get a spark arrestor in it :smashpc:

Plus a set of new plastics are $300, 'cause they're discontinued 👍

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I pre registered for my first desert race today. I have raced mx, but want to try something different. It looks fun.

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I pre registered for my first desert race today. I have raced mx, but want to try something different. It looks fun.

What one are you doing?

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Hey twisted which one are you considering racing?

Not sure, but I would do one just to get a feel for it at first. Though a prize would be a plus :smashpc:

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USDR at Anza.

Not to be critical at all, but that will not be the same as a traditional desert race. I did the race a couple weeks ago hosted by the same people who will be doing the USDR race. It was a blast, they really put a lot of work into the course. If anything, I think this would be closer to a GP. The last round of USDR was more of a desert race, out at Red Mountain.

Either way, welcome to racing. Nothing quite like the quiet before the banner drops, followed by the fury of a bomb run. Rocks, hills, dust, sand.....ah, it has been too long for me. In the SoCal area, check into District 37 as well. There are just two more desert races left this year, both Nationals, but you can do just one loop (40+ miles) to get the feel of it. We also have a couple enduros left, which are my favorite. If you are interested, let me know.

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Not to be critical at all, but that will not be the same as a traditional desert race. I did the race a couple weeks ago hosted by the same people who will be doing the USDR race. It was a blast, they really put a lot of work into the course. If anything, I think this would be closer to a GP. The last round of USDR was more of a desert race, out at Red Mountain.

Either way, welcome to racing. Nothing quite like the quiet before the banner drops, followed by the fury of a bomb run. Rocks, hills, dust, sand.....ah, it has been too long for me. In the SoCal area, check into District 37 as well. There are just two more desert races left this year, both Nationals, but you can do just one loop (40+ miles) to get the feel of it. We also have a couple enduros left, which are my favorite. If you are interested, let me know.

Yeah the Anza course is pretty tight and lots of single track. I just want to try something different than MX. Maybe I'll like it better, maybe I won't. I chose USDR because I have friends who race the series. If I like USDR, I might try a D37 race.

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Excuse me if this is in the wrong section, I wouldn't consider "adventure" bikes desert racers.

I've been thinking about desert racing, I'm in the middle of Utah, there's one that is literally 30 minutes away from my house.

I have a ton of endurance and "desert" riding experience, I'm good at wide open areas, fast trails, you name it. The thing I don't like is jumping 👍

Anyway, anyone desert race here? It looks pretty simple. Compared to motocross how many parts do you break per race? Does it use a lot of gas? Is it more $$$ then local motocross events in general? Should I gear up a few teeth on my bike? Is it easy to get really hurt because you're going so fast?

Any ideas? :smashpc:

I used to race desert. It is simple, you just follow the markers & they're usually marked pretty well. Breaking parts isnt any more common than when you're trail riding, but you do have to carry tools & water obviously. Use the gearing you have now or maybe drop 3 teeth in the rear, but dont go too extreme unless you have a wide ratio trans. Otherwise the slow stuff will be tough. Yes, its easier to get hurt going fast. The faster you go the more hurt you get when you crash.

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Excuse me if this is in the wrong section, I wouldn't consider "adventure" bikes desert racers.

I've been thinking about desert racing, I'm in the middle of Utah, there's one that is literally 30 minutes away from my house.

I have a ton of endurance and "desert" riding experience, I'm good at wide open areas, fast trails, you name it. The thing I don't like is jumping 👍

Anyway, anyone desert race here? It looks pretty simple. Compared to motocross how many parts do you break per race? Does it use a lot of gas? Is it more $$$ then local motocross events in general? Should I gear up a few teeth on my bike? Is it easy to get really hurt because you're going so fast?

Any ideas? :smashpc:

I used to race desert. It is simple, you just follow the markers & they're usually marked pretty well. Breaking parts isnt any more common than when you're trail riding, but you do have to carry tools & water obviously. Use the gearing you have now or maybe drop 3 teeth in the rear, but dont go too extreme unless you have a wide ratio trans. Otherwise the slow stuff will be tough. Yes, its easier to get hurt going fast. The faster you go the more hurt you get when you crash.

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Twisted:

You're welcome to contact me. I'm hear in Utah and have raced everything from roadracing, supermoto to most recently desert. I race in the Bonneville Off-road Racing association series. http://www.borracing.org/ They are more like the Baja SCORE style events where they have classes for pretty much every wheeled vehicle out there!

For bikes they have only 2 classes, Motorcycle A (Expert) and Motorcycle B (Amateur).

Gearing on your bike you would typically go up 1 tooth size on the countershaft from what stock is, leave the rear stock. This is applicable to most stock geared bikes. Their courses are typically fast double track, whoops, sand, gullies, offroad gnarly stuff with some fast dirt roads with big whooops/dips! The fastest I ever reached was 85 mph on a flat straight on my XR650R. That was one 1/2 section of a 135 mile course. I also just soloed a 200 mile course where I bet I only reached 70 mph.

You need a pit crew (to fuel you up, one man/girl will do).

You need a desert gas tank! The better mileage your bike gets means less fuel stops. Usually you can have gas cans dropped on the course at various checkpoints and use your pit crew for the main pits when you blast through them at some point during the race.

You need handguards on your bike, because you WILL crash at least once or twice in a race. Skidplate, I say yes. Otherwise a relatively stock bike will work.

As far as jumps...desert racing doesn't have many mx style jumps. They are more natural whoops and dips and lips you catch air off of.

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Twisted:

You're welcome to contact me. I'm hear in Utah and have raced everything from roadracing, supermoto to most recently desert. I race in the Bonneville Off-road Racing association series. http://www.borracing.org/ They are more like the Baja SCORE style events where they have classes for pretty much every wheeled vehicle out there!

For bikes they have only 2 classes, Motorcycle A (Expert) and Motorcycle B (Amateur).

Gearing on your bike you would typically go up 1 tooth size on the countershaft from what stock is, leave the rear stock. This is applicable to most stock geared bikes. Their courses are typically fast double track, whoops, sand, gullies, offroad gnarly stuff with some fast dirt roads with big whooops/dips! The fastest I ever reached was 85 mph on a flat straight on my XR650R. That was one 1/2 section of a 135 mile course. I also just soloed a 200 mile course where I bet I only reached 70 mph.

You need a pit crew (to fuel you up, one man/girl will do).

You need a desert gas tank! The better mileage your bike gets means less fuel stops. Usually you can have gas cans dropped on the course at various checkpoints and use your pit crew for the main pits when you blast through them at some point during the race.

You need handguards on your bike, because you WILL crash at least once or twice in a race. Skidplate, I say yes. Otherwise a relatively stock bike will work.

As far as jumps...desert racing doesn't have many mx style jumps. They are more natural whoops and dips and lips you catch air off of.

Yeah my bike will barely do 50 on a highway 👍 Probably needs a piston haha.

Thanks for the heads up, I'm going to get a more appropriate bike for it before I destroy my oh-so-beautiful classic :ride:

Is there such thing as winter desert? What do you do during the winter besides sledding?

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