Let's talk about being prepared for a full weekend of battling at the track. Being ready for the unexpected can mean the difference between taking home the trophy and pushing your bike back to the pits. Motocross in general is brutal on the rider and the bike. Factor in unexpected circumstances such as bad weather, random mechanical issues or just not being ready and you have your work cut out for you. Let's go over some basics that will help you make race day go smooth and give you just that much more of an advantage.
For the Bike
How frustrating would it be to lose a race or have your riding day at the track cut short because of a clogged air filter or a broken chain, all because you didn't plan for unforeseen situations? Sometimes, you just can't have too much and racing around a grueling motocross track is one of those times. Even though you've checked your bike from front fender to rear fender, something can break, snap or fall off. Changes may need to be made to tire pressures or even suspension adjustments to suit the track, without the correct tools even these simple changes can't be made. Ride with peace of mind by adding these things to your toolbox.
- Gas and oil - Have more than what you need so you don't come up short.
- Tools - Bring Tire Irons, Box end wrenches, A socket Set, A Screwdriver set, Pliers, An air pressure gauge and a tire pump.
- Parts and Accessories - Bring an extra air filter and an extra brake lever and clutch lever. Keeping an extra chain on hand isn't a bad idea either. Flat tires are common so having a spare tube for the front and rear can also prevent your day from ending early. Each of these items are fairly inexpensive but can sure ruin a day of riding if they get damaged or fail. Definitely bring a bolt kit along to replace any of those bolts you may have forgotten to tighten up.
- Fluids - Air filter oil and cleaner if you don't have a spare filter, some engine and/or transmission fluid, quick set grip glue, contact cleaner, radiator fluid and some chain lube.
For the Rider
Racing Motocross will always have an element of unexpected surprises. Whether you tangle with another rider in practice, or the skies open up with rain- you'll want to be prepared to deal each issue as it comes up. The more you prepare, the easier it is to have a solution. Check out this short list before you make the trip to your local track.
- Jersey - Possibly the most common overlooked item, it's always nice to have more than one. A clean, dry jersey your second moto gives you a mental edge. No one feels good soaked and covered in mud.
- Gloves - This should be mandatory. If you fall down in practice before your motos, it's almost guaranteed your gloves will be wasted with mud from the early morning watering. A fresh pair will do the same as the jersey and give you that mental edge knowing your hands are dry and won't be slipping off the grips.
- Goggles - Don't assume nothing will happen to your one and only pair. At the least bring and extra lens and plenty of tearoffs. If the weather is questionable, a roll-off system may be the way to go.
- Pants - I?ve experienced issues with buckles breaking and making the rest of the day difficult. In general, if you just bring your gear from last year as a spare you will be thanking yourself when you need it.
- Socks - Socks are just one of those items where it's good to have a spare set. You never know when your good pair will rip or when you'll dab your foot in a mudhole filled with water.
Before racing, fuel your body with a healthy meal. Don't rely on a pack of crackers and a soda to get you around the track much less, through the day. Eat well, but not too much, to maintain the energy level needed for motocross events and supercross events and stay hydrated. Include these items in the survival kit.
- Bottled water - have a solid supply to keep yourself hydrated.
- Drinks - stay refreshed with specialty drinks like PowerAde or Gatorade.
- Snacks - bring along fresh fruit and protein bars to help refuel throughout the day.
- Chair - Motocross is tough and you need have a comfortable place to sit after coming off of the track. Bring a comfortable chair.
All of these items are an outline of what every racer should have with him or her at the race track. As your skills evolve and you get more competitive you may start to bring additional items for larger or more important races. At least if you have all of this and don't need it, you may be able to help save someone else's day.