Updated: Nov 29, 2020
What is Modern Motocross?
In my opinion modern MX it is a very refined yet extreme version of dirt bike racing, that people either evolved with or were introduced to as second and third generation riders, there are few new riders these days that aren't 2nd or 3rd generation.
Its a little bit like Nascar racing. You either evolved with it and are on the inside. Or you are on the outside looking in and likely thinking its fun to watch but that its not something you could do.
In My opinion Modern Motocross is anything 1990 or newer but maybe that's because 90 is when I started. Some say it's racing on 4 strokes.
I love Motocross even though I started a little late by current Standards, I was 12 years old when I got my first dirt bike but before I started I was on a bicycle all day everyday riding BMX Jumping, riding half pipe ramp etc, so when I got on a dirt bike I was already very comfortable on two wheels, and when I did get a dirt bike it was a pretty mellow tame Kawasaki Kd 80cc trail bike. It was perfect to learn, on I rode it around for one year.
Then I got a 1987, Honda CR80 and went Racing. And it was no problem for me. Then From there I moved up to a 1991 KX125
by then again I was completely comfortable with the power and I was already a good jumper from my BMX experience.
Here is where this story takes a twist and I think the motocross industry could learn from this story.
When I was Racing 125cc dirt bikes in the early 1990's I got 3 friends into the sport one at a time, all three of them liked dirt Bike's and wished they could have done it sooner but they didn't have a choice their parents didn't want to get them into it a younger age.
1. The First friend was 15 years old and didn't have much experience on two wheels, he had a hard time adapting to the power, and I was scared watching him jump. Every time I watched him ride I would hold my breath every time he hit a jump because every time he jumped it was either an endo or an air wheelie, he ended up getting hurt pretty quickly and quit racing.
2. Friend number two was the same way, very enthusiastic loved the sport and couldn't wait to do it. But again had no experience. And did air wheelies or endo's off of every jump.
He Was very very slow he raced several times and got dead last every time and wasn't catching unfortunately.
He also got hurt and quit, and he really really wanted to like it and do it.
3. Friend number three that I got into it was 20 years old, with no experience. He was my roommate.
I was into MX and he liked it but had never ridden a dirt bike he was gung-ho about getting into it. He went and bough a CR125. It was used but really Nice
(It had previously belonged to Heath Voss if anyone knows who that is)
Anyway same thing he raced one time. He was very slow which was good because he didn't get hurt but he was embarrassingly slow and he knew it was air wheelie's or endo's off of the jumps and dead last in his one and only race, and he quit and sold the bike. Its that he expected to win but I think he was discouraged by how fast everyone else was, and didn't want to get hurt.
All three were on 125's which was the most logical place for them to start but they just didn't catch on. I personally don't think they should have been on 125's they should have been on a 100 or 150 four stroke in my opinion for at least a season, and you could argue that they shouldn't have been racing and should have gotten more ride time, and I agree but a lot of places these days don't have places to ride and are trying to learn on motocross tracks as opposed to in fields or on trails like we did in the early 1990's and earlier.
So what can we learn from this story?
All Three of these guys wanted to like the sport, they wanted to be motocrossers bad enough that they all three bought their own bikes!
What we can learn is.
There is a big Gap between a 50cc bike and adult size motocross bikes.
If there had been a true beginner class with a adult sized bike's with less power they would have all three stayed in the sport and eventually moved up to the 125's that they were trying to learn on.
I know a lot of people are gonna disagree, what! moved up to a 125cc... but they have very peaky power and aren't easy for beginners especially when hitting jumps.
I believe if there had been 100cc or 150cc air cooled four stroke race bikes and race class that These guys would have had fun and probably would have caught on.
We don't have a bunny hill and there are some huge missing links in the sport of motocross in my opinion.
But we could fill in the missing links.
In the 1970's the Air cooled bikes were a lot easier to learn on and had less horsepower.
And when did the most bikes ever get sold?
How many XR75's did Honda sell?
Kids are filling the gaps on their own right now with 110cc bikes but there isn't a recognized class for them.
I have some Ideas that include those in Combination with a couple other size bikes,
It could be a whole new type of motocross racing.
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