Updated: Nov 20
The sport of Motocross seems to have lost its way at the grassroots level, and unless you have been doing it for a long time or you were born into a family that has, its not an easy sport to get into.
We have pee wee tracks for little kids on 50's or full blown mile long MX tracks. Nothing in between.
Motocross racing evolved similar to Nascar racing in the way that the vehicles being used are very high tech race machines.
However in Motocross it's not just at the pro level, The bikes being used at the Amateur and local level are also very advanced.
I would argue that the bikes are better than 95% of the people interested in the sport of Motocross would really need and especially would need when just getting started, even most amateur riders that have been riding for many years never reach the point of using these modern bikes to their full potential.
The modern motocross bikes being Raced these days are easy to go fast on, maybe to easy. They are amazing but with more capable bikes the tracks have evolved to accommodate them.
The speeds have gone up and with the faster speeds the severity of the injuries increased.
A friend that raced motocross for many years describes the modern 4-stroke dirt bikes we
race now days as being more like riding a street bike on dirt vs how dirt bikes used to be.
(I don't know if that makes sense to you but it does to me) Just that they are smoother than ever and pretty easy to ride fast on.
Now days just about any kid can jump on a modern 4 stroke bike and grab a handful of throttle and clear every jump on the track, but It used to take more experience to keep your speed and momentum up to clear the jumps which requires more skill, back in the 1990’s even in professional Supercross the 125cc class bikes weren't doing all the triples all of the time.
The question is would you want your kid to be next to a beginner thats hitting all the jumps when the inevitable mistake comes? Unfortunately Sometimes it may not even be your own mistake that hurts you. Not to mention that in this sport we all know we are going to crash at some point, it not if its when!
but the regularity and severity of injuries these days backs up the fact that the speeds have just gotten to fast for some.
So what do we do to fix it ?
When people want to try out Car racing do they Start out in a Nascar?
The easy fix in motocross is to Create more options.
Lower the barrier of entry with lower performance bikes and organized race classes for them.
(for both adults and kids)
By adding more options, NOT not taking anything away!
There is a large area between 50cc and 250cc race bikes, I don't think 65cc and 85cc is enough, I think we could do a better job of Stair stepping.
Less powerful dirt bikes do exist but they aren't race quality bikes, lower performance good quality race bikes are needed, and separate classes for them are a must.
nobody wants to race slow bikes against fast bikes, that's not fun, but racing others on equal equipment is fun even if they are slow.
Infact sometimes it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow.
I believe that if There was a XR100 Type bike preferably with good suspension, that would be an excellent race bike and a great class for older kids and adults Just getting Started. (Like a pw50 class for older kids and adults)
some may enjoy it and not want to move up, some people like a bike they can fully put through its paces and feel like they have mastered it.
Some people will want more power and will move up quickly, but either way it's an area that is completely void and missing right now, it was an option in the 1970's and nobody purposely planned to end it, the bikes just evolved, however in hindsight They could have and in my opinion should have separated them at thar time and kept a class just for these type of bikes, (XR75's) and other air cooled bikes, but we could still do this now, and I do believe this is exactly what is needed and would help the sport grow
On a side note and in addition to to adding some air cooled 4 stroke race classes, I also think adding back in 125cc two stroke classes that race separate from 250f race bikes would be a step in the right direction when it comes to helping the sport grow, they are more affordable, and super fun to ride, they are a perfect stepping for kids just moving up to full size bikes.
The only downside right now is that it's not fun to race them against 250f's, I'm also curious to see how electric affects things? Because they could perhaps help with Stair stepping the classes better as well.