Over the years I have had the pleasure of meeting hundreds of kids interested in Motocross. I have also met a ton of parents considering whether or not to let their kids pursue the sport.
As a parent, I know this isn't always the easiest decision. There are quite a few things to consider when getting your kids involved. If they do well and enjoy the sport, you will need to spend more than a few hundred dollars, so they can participate. Actually, you can count on spending thousands of dollars. The gear alone is going to run you a few hundred bucks.
Then, you need to consider a truck and/or trailer so you can get the bike to the track. Next you need an AMA membership, so you can race, then you will have race fees, practice fees, money for parts, gas money, food, etc. It's Expensive! Consider that I haven't even mentioned the purchase of a bike yet! Depending on the age of your child this can cost anywhere from a couple thousand to well over 10K.
Ok, if you are still willing to let your child go racing, here are a few more things to consider. Motocross is dangerous. Your kid will first need to learn to ride. This means that they will have to endure many accidents. Bumps and bruises come with the territory, and they will get plenty of them! In the beginning they will struggle. I have seen some kids spend more time in the dirt than on the bike.
After much practice, they will start getting the hang of it. When they do start getting it, they will get faster. This is a good thing and a bad thing. With more speed comes more danger. With more confidence come more horrific accidents. Broken arms and legs are common place in the Motocross scene. I can tell you that getting hurt was more of a joke than anything. My buddies have seen me taped-up, wrapped up and broken. It's just part of the game. Even with all of that pain, most of us would not change a thing.
How To Get Your Kids Into Motocross
Now before you jump to a conclusion here, I'm going to tell you why it's still a good choice to say "yes" to your child.
First off, Motocross is without a doubt a family sport. Going to a local race you will see Mom in the motorhome, Dad working on the bike, and the siblings running around with their friends cheering on their brothers and sisters.
As a parent, you will spend more time with your child than you can imagine. This isn't something that usually ends quickly. Most of the kids involved in the sport start young and continue well into their teens. Some continue riding in their adult lives. You will have countless memories of spending time with your children, and you will have tons a friends you met while participating in the scene.
Second, there are many life lessons that can be learned from Motocross.
One of those lessons is "Nothing worth having ever comes easy." This will become clearly evident to your child if they want to ride Motocross. It's so deceiving. Those who are good at it make it look so easy. No one who participates in this sport will ever tell you it's easy. You have to work at it to just compete. It's a whole new level of dedication if you want to be good at it. All that being said, you are literally learning to fly. This is the only sport you can do where you literally can fly.
Third is the thinking part of the game.
Your child will learn to ride within their limits. They will learn how to take care of mechanical things; they will also learn how to make quick decisions and think on their feet. All these things will help them in their day-to-day lives.
Lastly the lifestyle is a good one.
You must be in good shape to ride. The heroes of the sport represent a solid, clean lifestyle. Staying in shape, eating healthy and staying drug free are common place here, unlike the rest of the world we live in. Being ready to race is what is cool here. These are good role models for your children. Highly overpaid athletes with huge egos rarely are successful in this sport. Natural talent only takes you so far here. You have to earn it.
Yes, Motocross is expensive, but consider the benefits. There are much worse things your kids can be doing with their time, and more than likely, they will be doing them without you being around. Consider it an investment in your child's life. It's worth every penny!
About Lowell Anderson: Lowell Anderson has been working in the motorcycle industry for over 20 years. He got his start working for KTM USA where he was responsible for the design, production and sales of the Hard Equipment/Power Parts/Power Wear product lines. Since leaving KTM in 2009 Lowell has worked for various companies and is still very active in the industry.