Getting Started

If you are just getting started in the sport of motocross, it can be very overwhelming! This info has been put together in an effort to help make getting started a little easier for new riders and parents. Hopefully, it will answer a lot of the common questions that are asked and help you concentrate more on having family fun at the Swan MX!

Important Reality Check

Motorsports racing is inherently dangerous. There is always a risk of serious injury. Riders should not participate in events or ride unless they have adequate medical insurance to cover a catastrophic injury. Riders and/or their guardians are solely responsible for using adequate equipment. Ride at your own risk.

Finding a dealer & buying a bike

Whether you’re buying a new bike or own one, securing a reliable dealer for parts, service, and advice is vital. They can also direct you to local AMA races. Ensure your bike fits the AMA racing categories, which match rider age and bike engine size for both youth and adult classes.

If purchasing a bike, use this guide to help pick out the correct machine for AMA Racing.

  • Ages: 4 to 6: 50cc 2-stroke/4-stroke. Max Front Wheel of 10”
  • Ages: 7 to 8: 50cc 2-stroke. Max Front Wheel of 12”
  • Ages: 7 to 11: 65cc 2-stroke
  • Ages: 9 to 15: 85cc 2-stroke
  • Ages: 12 to 16: 112cc 2-stroke or 150cc 4-stroke. Max Front Wheel of 19”
  • Ages: 12 & Above: 125cc 2-stroke
  • Ages: 14 & Above: 201cc 2-stroke – 350cc 2-stroke/4-stroke
  • Ages: 16 & Above: 351cc – Open cc 2-stroke/4-stroke

Safety Gear

In motorsport racing, prioritize safety over style. Accidents are inevitable; the right gear can lessen injury severity.

Helmet: The crucial piece of safety equipment. A correctly fitted, fastened full-face helmet conforming to Snell M2010 or DOT standards is a must for all AMA events participants.

Goggles: Shatterproof goggles worn with a helmet protect from track debris and roost.

Body Armor: Also known as roost or chest and back protectors, they shield your core from impacts and roost.

Clothing: Durable protective pants, long-sleeve jerseys, knee pads, gloves, and elbow pads are recommended.

Boots: For AMA events, boots must have a steel toe, be at least 8 inches high, and secured by buckles and/or laces. Break in new boots for comfort and control. For children, opt for slightly large sizes to allow for growth.

Just For Parents

Motocross is a unique, individual sport fostering discipline, maturity, and personal responsibility. It helps young participants understand goal setting, achievement, and coping with disappointments. However, parents must avoid the “Little League Parent Syndrome,” pushing too hard can risk injuries. Remember, skill development requires time and practice. Periodically, try seeing racing from your child’s perspective, ensuring it remains a fun, family-bonding activity.

Practice makes perfect

Practicing different riding skills, not just riding in circles, prepares you for racing. Master wheelies, power slides, and machine controls like clutch and brakes to understand your machine’s limits. Crucial skills are cornering and proper jumping, as races are often won or lost here. Practice leaning and bike controls through circles or figure eights for speed and safety.

Much like golf or tennis, mastering proper form early in motocross is beneficial. Keeping elbows up and standing on the bike aids in control, energy conservation, and safety, especially when dealing with track obstacles. Consider an experienced riding coach for advanced skill mastery.

Ready to Race

Before heading off to the race, ensure you have your AMA Membership Card, which you can get from the American Motorcyclist Association website if you’re not already a member. Your riding gear, such as your helmet, boots, and jersey should be clean and functional. Your bike should be similarly prepared, and remember to carry extra gas. Your bike should have a large, visible number, which is usually the last three digits of your AMA number.

Financial preparation is equally important, so research the AMA race event to budget appropriately for admission and race sign-up fees. Any required paperwork, like a notarized parental release, should be completed in advance.

Don’t forget to pack spare parts, tools, and comfort items for your pit area such as snacks, drinks, and chairs. A pen and paper will be handy to note down the practice and race order.

Race Day: What to Expect

Before the race, prepare your checklist and arrive early to handle gate admission, parking, and registration. If under 18, be sure to have an adult with you for registration. After receiving your practice sticker and noting down the practice order, take time to walk the track to familiarize yourself with its layout. Gear up and prepare your bike before practice, using the session to explore the track and learn its features.

After practice, attend the Rider’s Meeting for important race information. Arrive at the race staging area three races before your own to secure your gate position. Learn the start procedure from earlier races and remember to adjust for staggered starts if required. Once your race is over, check the results for any errors and await any awards after the protest period ends. In case of a crash, remove yourself and your bike from the track if you’re unhurt, otherwise, stay put and wait for medical aid.

General Race Rules

Review the AMA Rulebook and any event-specific rules diligently. Remember, pit riding is limited to a speed of 5 mph towards the starting gate, with no racing or burnouts. Observe safety flags—yellow flags indicate a problem on the track requiring caution, while Red Cross flags demand even more care due to a hazardous situation or a rider receiving help. Penalties for violations can range from docking positions to disqualification.

Leaving the race course is not allowed; if forced off, rejoin at the nearest safe point without gaining an advantage. Unsportmanlike behavior, including dirty riding and abusive language, can lead to penalties up to suspension from AMA events. Remember, riders are accountable for their crew and family’s actions. Report any inappropriate behavior to Racing Staff. Consumption of alcohol or drugs by participants during the event is strictly prohibited.

See you at the Races!

This information should provide you with a basic understanding of AMA-sanctioned motocross racing, allowing you to focus on enjoying the experience and ensuring safety rather than being preoccupied with organizational matters. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us.

VMX Regional South Central

PVMX/Next Gen MX/ V CC Regional South Central


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