Racing Motocross can make you money but for most people it usually just drains the bank account.
Undeniably, riding dirt bikes certainly shows what an expensive hobby resembles. Add Motocross into that mix and you have a premium sport few can afford. For adrenaline junkies and competitive personalities, racing Motocross offers a fix like nothing else but try paying for this rush and you can see why so many in the industry fear a much sooner expiration date on the pastime of racing dirt bikes.
But Motocross doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, well, at least in the figurative sense. Veteran riders know full well the potential physical cost. At any rate, with some ingenuity and a bit of effort you can get more track time and bar-banging without taking such a big hit to your bank account.
Volunteer at Your Local MX Track
Most riders get their start at a nearby Motocross track where they spend much of their racing time and get to know other riders and the track owner. Operating a track costs money and owners need to make a living. This explains why on race day you have gate fees and entry fees that make going to the movies look like a cheap date.
Volunteers help keep costs down and if you can get to know the track owner and offer your services as a flagger, help pick up trash or even work the food booth you might get rewarded with reduced entry fees or a free practice day. It doesn't hurt to ask and if you have a desire to make a go of this racing thing, it also helps to have a good industry reputation.
Pair up with a Friend
Know someone else who races? If not, find someone. Riding to and from races empties your wallet by way of the gas tank. Pickup trucks don't have the greatest of gas mileage and hauling a dirt bike in the bed, or worse, a trailer only adds to the cost. Find a friend you can commute with and split the gas money.
Ride Practice Days
You don't get the same shivers as race day but riding practice days not only costs less but you can ride for as long as you want. No arriving at the track by 6 a.m. and waiting for your gate drop to log four laps. Ride your own race on track day and maybe even try a "pick-up race" with other riders and have some bar-banging fun without the pressure of the checkered flag.
The best way to ride for free, or at a reduced cost, comes from sponsorships. You don't have to be a pro to get companies (like MotoSport) and industry brands to help you out. Basically, you need to show your passion for the sport, race frequently and give whoever has sponsored you some ad space on your dirt bike and/or gear plus a shout-out on social media and especially if you land on the podium.
You won't get cash but you can expect discounts on product or even free parts. The better you get the more stuff you can expect so get riding!
Little else compares to the feeling of crossing the checkers first. And when you get the bonus check you want to do it all over again. Regional racing series generally have a pretty good payout for those who reach the podium and winning can get you several hundred or even a few thousand dollars. Don't expect to make a living but certainly the chance to break even or put a few bucks away for a top-end suspension kit is not out of the question.
Ride the Right Dirt Bike
Some bike manufacturers offer a contingency program at select racing series (usually the prominent events everyone attends). Depending on the manufacturer you can win big money if you reach the podium. And take first place? Now the cash starts to flow. Check for contingency programs offered by the manufacturer of your dirt bike and follow their process. You probably need to register with the company (and make sure you read the rules!) which allows you to simply submit the necessary paperwork and proof of win after the race to claim your bounty.
Maintain Your Dirt Bike
Yes, it cost money to change the oil and replace the filters but pay a little now or spend a lot later. Don't cut corners and definitely don't stretch the maintenance intervals. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for your specific dirt bike and don't neglect the small stuff.
If times turn tight, you can stretch the life of your tires by cutting new edges in rounded knobs to gain better traction once they begin to wear down. This offers a temporary solution though and will never compete with new tires. Ideally, you need a tread doctor for easy application.
MotoSport always carries deals to help you save money. Apologies for the shameless plug but if racing fuels your blood, keep an eye out for deals and if finances allow, mine the sales and grab what you eventually need now, instead of paying a premium when left in a pinch.
A number of ways exist to lower your riding costs and hopefully keep you from making poor decisions now that might bite later or force you to choose between enjoying your passion and leaving your gear in the garage. With a little luck maybe you even get Motocross racing to pay for itself.