Let's Grow the Sport of Motocross, back to the level of the 1970's
So what was the sport of motocross like in the 1970's?
The sport was very different when it comes to speed. Other than that it was still the same idea, having fun bouncing around an off road track, hitting jumps railing corners, throwing roost, and racing others on equal equipment, the biggest difference was the was the speeds, and capabilities of the bikes.
These days we think of XR100,s and similar air cooled bikes as trail bikes, but it is still fun to ride and race on a track on slower bikes, against others on equal equipment.
The biggest issue I see is that they don't make any high quality air cooled bikes, in my opinion if they made Something like an XR100 but with a racing chassis and good suspension I believe it could be a game changer.
Most people wouldn't think this without doing some research but the sport of motocross actually began to decline in participation in the early 1980's.
The Participation level was still high so people wouldn't likely think of that as a time of decline but looking at the numbers it was already declining by then. So the question is why?
After a lot of research I strongly believe that the biggest reason was the evolution of the bikes, with advances in performance the perception of the sport changed from something anyone could do to something that was more serious, it rapidly became an extreme sport.
Some of the biggest changes were liquid cooling, long travel suspension and disk brakes, all good things but together they raised the speeds and capability of the bikes big time and with that the frequency and severity of injuries went way up, which also changed the public perception.
So to simplify could we recreate the sport and purposely create a new version that's almost like starting over?
Not by replacing or taking away anything that we have now, but by adding in some new bikes and classes, I believe that if we can do that we can help new people get started and help more people get to the advanced level that's become the norm.
I think we have some missing links, some voids in the sport that if we can fill will drastically help more new people get into the sport.
An example of this is looking back to what the sport was like on the 1970's prior to the bikes being liquid cooled, which happens to be the time period when the sport had the most participation, they were racing air cooled bikes like XR75’s. I feel very strongly that if they had separated the classes at that point and made a new class that raced separately for the liquid cooled 80cc bikes. It would have changed the trajectory of the sport.
So with that could we still do that now?
I think the answer is yes.
The most commonly talked about reasons why people say they think the sport is declining in participation are,
The danger/ fear of injury.
Lack of places to ride.
Letting people try it for the first time.
Do you believe that if 10 people or more in one area got together and put their heads together, and resources together that they could find a place to make a track?
If you believe the answer is yes than how could we get 10 plus people in area to come together?
I have ideas of ways we can help bring people together, to create new tracks, ways to introduce new people to the sport and ways to let new people try riding! Including a social enterprise, website, vlog, blog, and live events that will help with creating community, and help the industry work collectively to promote events and put an organized focus on growing the sport of Motocross racing at the grassroots level.