If you're not practicing the whoops on a regular basis you may find your skills a bit diminished at your next race. We all lapse from time to time and it's not just on our bikes.
Like a lot of sports, there's a certain etiquette usually written, but sometimes unwritten, that goes with racing on the motocross track. Whether you're a new rider or a veteran it's a good idea to know proper motocross track etiquette and to brush up on the rules from time to time.
- Hold Your Line
It is perhaps the most important #1 rule on the motocross track. Hold your line. Don't swerve or weave and like we pointed out in our What You Need to Know First Time at The Motocross Track, it's actually not a good idea to move out of the way of faster riders. You expect other riders to hold their lines and they expect the same from you.
- Respect the Flags
Yellow or red - flags tend to slow down your momentum. It's part of the sport and if you're the reason for the flags you'll be thankful when others show good etiquette and obey the flags. Bottom line: If you don't understand what the individual flags mean, know before you ride. When you do see a flag during a race, follow the rules. Violators can get kicked off the track.
- Enter the Track in the Appropriate Area
Technically, you can enter a motocross track from just about anywhere. But there are designated track entrances for not only your safety and other riders but to prevent the track from breaking down. Once you get comfortable on a "home" track sometimes it's easy to forget this one rule so remember to always enter the track at the designated area.
- Look Both Ways Before Entering the Track
When entering a track treat it just as you would a street - look both ways. Of course you don't want to cut someone off who is blazing past you, but in that second of looking for oncoming traffic, another rider might have gone down in front of you or sometimes a track official or a member of a ride team might be crossing on foot not realizing you're getting ready to open the throttle.
- Ride Within Your Ability
Never try and prove to yourself or whomever that you're really good, when you've been riding for a month, and enter a race where you're going to get smoked. Conversely, don't enter a race for beginners just to shore up some personal confidence. You won't make the other riders look bad, you'll just look bad.
- Ride With the Appropriate Class
Don't try and rock your 450 with the 50 class during practice. Most tracks probably prevent this anyway by having designated practice times for individual bike sizes but if there is open practice and it's a bunch of young kids learning the ropes stay off the track until you can ride with bigger bikes.
- Clean Up Your Trash
Track owners and operators work hard to give you a place to ride. Don't make life even harder by forcing them to pick up after you. Throw away your trash and that includes any damaged parts removed from your bike.
- Don't Cop an Attitude
No one likes to lose and no one likes their race to end prematurely thanks to a bike malfunction but in either case it's no reason to have a bad attitude. Treat Motocross like any sport - be a good winner and a good loser. Also, don't fight with other riders, ride hard, but fairly.
- Don't Pit Ride
The track is for riding. The pit area is for fueling, working on the bike or to simply take a break. Don't wheelie through the pits or throw roost, your pit neighbors will appreciate it.
- Know the "Home" Rules
You'll find that, overall, motocross doesn't have a lot of suffocating rules. Just ride! Most rules, like the flags are universal, however individual tracks may have their own set of rules. You can probably find these rules posted in the pit area or where you sign-up but, when in doubt, ASK.