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Modern Motocross

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

What is Modern Motocross?

In my opinion modern Motocross is a very refined yet extreme version of dirt bike racing that people either evolved with or were likely introduced to as second and third generation riders, there are very few new riders these days that aren't 2nd or 3rd generation riders. (Though there are some)

Motocross is a little bit like Nascar racing either you evolved with it and are on the inside or you are likely on the outside looking in and most likely thinking its fun to watch not something you could do.


In My opinion Modern Motocross is anything 1990 or newer (but maybe that's because 1990 is when I started riding) Some would say modern racing is on 4 stroke bikes.

I started a little late to start 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 freestyle BMX dirt Jumping and riding half pipe ramps so when I got on a dirt bike I was already very comfortable on two wheels, and when I got my first dirt bike it was a pretty mellow powered Kawasaki Kd 80cc trail bike. It was perfect to learn, on for the first year.

Then I got my second bike, a 1987 Honda CR80 and I started racing Then From there I moved up to my third, a 1991 KX125

by then I was completely comfortable with the power and I was already a good jumper my BMX experience helped a lot.


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 all at different times 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, (Or maybe didn't want to period)

1. The First friend was 15 years old and he didn't have much experience on two wheels, he had a hard time adapting to the power, (I was scared watching him jump) Every time I watched him ride I would hold my breath because every time he hit a jump it was either an endo or an air wheelie, unfortunately 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 he also did air wheelies or endo's off of every jump he was very very slow (which was good) he raced several times and got dead last every time and wasn't catching on unfortunately he showed little if any improvement. He also also eventually 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 at the time.

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 an ex pro Heath Voss if anyone knows who that is)

Anyway he only raced one time. He was very slow which was probably good because he didn't get hurt but he was embarrassingly slow and he knew it, he was air wheelie's or endo's off of the jumps or rolled over them and was dead last in his one and only race, and he quit and sold the bike. Its not that he expected to win but I think he was discouraged by how fast everyone else was, and also he didn't want to get hurt. It was obvious that he shouldn't have been racing at least not on that bike.

All three of them started on 125 two strokes which was the most logical place for them to start with the classes that were available at the time but they just didn't catch on.

In hindsight I personally don't think they should have been on 125 two strokes, I think they should have been on 100 or 150 four strokes or even low powered air cooled two strokes.

My opinion is that for at least a season they should have been on less powerful bikes (and you could easily make the argument that they shouldn't have been racing at all and should have gotten more riding time, and I wouldnt dis agree) but in a lot of areas these days people don't have places to ride and people are trying to learn on actual motocross tracks as opposed to in fields or on trails like people did in the 1970's and 1980's.


So what can we learn from this story?

All Three of these guys liked dirt bikes and wanted to like the sport they all three wanted to be motocrossers bad enough that they all bought their own bikes!

IMO What we can learn is this

There is a big Gap between a 50cc bikes and current adult size motocross race bikes.

If there had been a true beginner class with a adult sized beginner friendly bike's with less power I truly believe they would have all three stayed in the sport and eventually moved up to the 125cc two strokes that they were trying to learn on.

I know a lot of people are gonna disagree, I can hear it now, whaaat! moved up to a 125cc... but they have very peaky power and aren't easy for beginners especially when hitting jumps on a motocross track.

I believe if there had been 100cc or 150cc air cooled four stroke race bikes and race class for them that these guys and many others would have had more fun and likely would have caught on and continued Racing.

We don't have a bunny hill in this sport and there are some huge missing links or (gaps) in the sport of motocross in my opinion.