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Motocross 101

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It's all about big jumps, big engines and big wipeouts. Find out more about the thrills and spills of motocross.

Motocross - History

Motocross racing really began to develop as a sport after World War II, with races being run on dirt ovals or horse race tracks. Races were later held on bigger tracks and the courses were changed to include larger banks and bigger jumps. By the 1980s, the top motocross riders were racing in large stadiums in front of huge audiences. One of the biggest names in motocross racing now is teenage star, James "Bubba" Stewart, who has been winning national races since he was 15. For more on James, click here.

Motocross - Freestyle

In the 1990s, the sport of freestyle motocross was born. Instead of racing around a track filled with jumps, hills and other obstacles, freestyle riders would perform different high-flying tricks on their bikes like backflips, superman grabs and 360s. Besides performing mind-blowing stunts, freestyle motocross riders have also produced some of the nastiest wipeouts in the history of action sports - broken spleens, fractured collarbones and shattered ankles are just some of the gruesome injuries that have resulted from death-defying stunts that go wrong. The masters of freestyle motocross include riders like Mike Metzger, Travis Pastrana and Nate Adams.

Motocross - Getting Started

Motocross is a sport that can be fun, physically demanding and very exciting. The best way to learn, without hurting yourself, is by taking lessons from an experienced rider. For info on lessons or clinics, talk to someone at your nearest bike shop or dirtbike track. Besies being fun, motocross can also be very expensive. The cost of a bike, gear and transportation to a track for races can end up costing some pretty major bling. So before you start planning your future as a freestyle motocross master, start sucking up to rents..

Motocross Facts and Records

  • The longest jump ever landed on a dirtbike is 278 feet by Trigger Gumm.
  • In 2002, Caleb Wyatt became the first motocross rider to land a backflip.
  • Brian Deegan has won ten medals in motocross at the X Games - more than any other rider.
  • Freestyle motocross is now part of the Winter X Games, with riders performing tricks off snow jumps.
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