Types of Dirt Bike Racing

by Chuck Robert
Racers test different skills at the various dirt bike races.

Racers test different skills at the various dirt bike races.

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Dirt bikes are lightweight motorcycles designed for riding through rough areas, including sand, dirt, rocks and mud. These dirt bikes have suspension and tires that are more durable. This allows people to ride at high speed across trails. Dirt bikers can race in several competitions, some emphasizing speed and others emphasizing technical skill.


The Motocross race is the most popular type of race. Those between 4 and 50 years old can take part. Motocross holds races over natural trails. Amateur racers compete for a chance to be in the Amateur National Championships and Air Nautiques American Motorcyclist Association Youth. Professional Motocross competitors received the Motorcyclist Association Motocross Horizon Award from Loretta Lynn Ranch. Manufacturers make Motocross bikes specifically for motocross races. These bikes have more suspension than other bikes.


Supercross is another type of racing. The Supercross is an off-road dirt biking sport using artificial tracks with steeper jumps and obstacles. Supercross comes from Motocross. Major cities hold Supercross. The tracks are not as fast as the Motocross tracks, but they are more technically difficult. Supercross is designed more to be a spectator sport.


Some dirt bike races test endurance. For these races, riders need an Enduro bike. Eduro bikes have lighter frames. Enduro bikes are also four stroke, which makes them more expensive than the two-stroke bike. The Enduro bikes have different gearing, a greater fuel tank capacity and improved ergonomics, which help the racer travel over long distances more easily. Enduro races are primarily off-road, where racers must overcome obstacles and challenges. Mostly, racers complete several stages in time trials, which are races against the clock. This is the format of the World Enduro Championship.


Arenacross is a newer, miniature version of Supercross that people hold in ice hockey and basketball stadiums. Given its small size, smaller cities can host Arenacross races, making this version of dirt bike racing an increasingly popular sport. Arenacross races are held on indoor trails inside arenas. Dirt track racing is the most common form of racing, since dirt bike racing historically began on horse tracks in county fairs.

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