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How to get started in Motocross

Here is some helpful information on getting started in Motocross in South Africa. For any questions you are welcome to e-mail info@mxsa.co.za.

Step 1: Choose a class.

Before you look at getting started and buying a bike suited for motocross, it is best to decide which MX class is for you. Based on that, you will know which size bike to buy.
It is always advised to make sure of any Rule Changes that have taken place to make sure that you still fit into the correct class based on age and bike capacity.

Motorsport South Africa (MSA) Motocross Classes (2015 changes tba)
Once a rider attains the actual age, which makes him eligible to change classes, he may elect to do so on his birthday, provided that:
- His licence is suitably endorsed by MSA, prior to his competing in a higher class;
- The limit for the minimum age starts on the date of the rider's birthday and the limit for the maximum age finishes at the end of the calendar year in which the rider reaches the maximum age (i.e. 1 January)
- The original or certified copies of birth certificates or any proof of age must be produced to MSA on application for licenses by all Junior competitors.



Bike Size

MX 50cc

4 - 8

2 stroke (Water cooled motorcycles not exceeding 52cc)
Wheel size - Rear 10” and Front 12”.

MX 65cc

7 - 10

(Clutch Lever with gears – motorcycles not exceeding 65cc)
Wheel size – Rear 12” and Front 14”. .

MX 85cc

8 - 12

(Clutch Lever with gears – motorcycles not exceeding 85cc)
Wheel size – Rear 14” and Front 17”. Will be bore and stroke to capacity only and no further restrictions will apply.

MX Pro Mini

10 - 14

85cc 2 stroke and 150cc 4 stroke motorcycles.
Wheel size – Rear 14” and Front 17” or Rear 16” and Front 19”.
(Within the class, 150cc motorcycles must meet the minimum requirement of 10 motorcycles in which case the 150cc will be run in a separate class in 2014. In the event that the 150cc does not meet the minimum number in 2014 for a class on its own, the 150cc will be phased out of this class for 2015.)

MX High School

13 - 16

Wheel size – Rear 19” and Front 21”. Two stroke motorcycles not exceeding 126cc.

MX 2

15 +

Wheel size – Rear 19” and Front 21”. 125cc -150cc 2 stroke & 250cc 4 stroke motorcycles.

MX 1

16 +

Wheel size – Rear 19” and Front 21”. 125cc 2 stroke - 300cc 2Stroke & 250cc 4 stroke - 650cc 4 stroke motorcycles.

MX 3

29 +

Wheel Size – Rear 19” and Front 21”. Motorcycles of unrestricted capacity.
The combined Vets and Masters class will score as one Championship, but will operate on an age related bonus points system. One bonus point is allocated for every 5 years of age starting from 35, per heat e.g. 35 – 1 point, 40 – 2 points, 45 – 3 points, etc… In the case of tie points, the rider that finished ahead on the circuit as recorded by lap scorers or telemetry will be placed as having finished ahead of the other competitor. This scenario will typically happen when a Master has the same points as a Veteran competitor. Therefore, by virtue of the Veteran having finished ahead of the Master to reach the same points, the placing for the day ONLY is in favour of the Veteran. This generally also means that in the extreme case where both have equal points & wins over the other, the best second heat finish rule will apply.

MX Ladies

10 +

(The same proviso for the 150cc as mentioned under Pro Mini class above will apply)
Riders 10 years old and older will compete in the 85cc Jnr class or 150cc 4 stroke class
Riders 13 years old and older can compete on Motorcycles not exceeding 125cc 2 stroke Riders 15 years old and older can compete on Motorcycles not exceeding 250cc 4 stroke
Wheel Size – Mixed sizes as per manufacturer.

Step 2: Choose a bike.

Once you have chosen a motocross class you can now need to find a bike. Motocross is a demanding sport, not only on the rider but also on the bike so it is suggested that you stick to bike brands that can handle the demands of Motocross.
Some obvious big names: Yamaha, Honda, KTM, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Husqvarna.

Step 3: Buy your riding gear.

Protective MX Gear is not only essential but most of it is compulsory. If you participate in motocross, the rules and regulations require that you wear the correct protective gear. Failure to do so can result in exclusion from races. Besides that, the gear offers the obvious necessary protection that is needed when racing motocross.

MX Helmet
The better the helmet, the better the protection. Make sure you get the correct type of helmet and the correct size.

MX Goggles
Essential to keep the eyes protected.

Neck Brace (optional)
Essential to protect against neck and back injuries.

Body Armour
You get two types of upper body armour. Full ‘jacket style’ kits or you can go for the more conventional Chest Protector with Kidney Belt and elbow guards.

Chest Protector
Worn over or under a jacket, chest protectors can prevent serious harm in the event of a crash. Constructed from pliable plastic and foam pads, they provide defense for your chest and sometimes your shoulders and back.

Kidney Belt
A kidney belt saves your back and kidneys from a lot of the impact and jarring that you receive when riding around a motocross track.

Elbow Guards

MX Kit
The ever popular riding pants, shirt and gloves come in a variety of striking designs.

Knee Guards / Knee Braces
A good set of knee guards or knee braces can help keep those legs and joints protected.

MX Boots
A vital part of your MX kit, these boots are very hard and rugged and can withstand just about anything.

Step 4: Get some lessons.

Before you jump into racing it is a very good idea to get some riding lessons for motocross. If you are a complete beginner facilities like African Dream Adventures (for adults) or our very own Junior Motocross Academy can help you learn the basics.
If you already know the basics we can recommend a motocross trainer. These types of trainers will help teach you the specific skills you will need when taking part in MX. Things like starts, cornering, braking, jumping, body position, racing etiquette and much more. We have a list of trainers on our MX Trainers page.
If you want more information on training, please contact us on info@mxsa.co.za

Step 5: Join a club.

Once you feel you have learned what you need to know, it is then time to start racing. The next step is to join a Motocross Club. Many clubs have their very own club races and its a great way to get experience.
You will also need to join a club in order to get your racing licence. The governing bodies can provide you with a list of their affiliated clubs so that you make sure you join the right club for the races that you intend to race.

Step 6: Get a licence.

Once you are registered with a club you need to contact the racing governing body again. You now need to take out a racing licence with them. You will not be allowed to race without a licence.
Licence options are Club, Regional and National and riders of any age can get one.
In addition to this you are required to provide proof of medical aid or take out medical aid with the governing body. You are not allowed to race without medical cover. The organisation can provide you with details of their prices and requirements regarding this.
The licencing process will also help you choose a racing number which will need to be displayed on your bike. Great companies like RaceStar Graffix can assist in getting those numbers on your bike according to regulations and they can do it in a variety of cool designs so that your bike looks great.

Step 7: Enter a race.

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to enter your first race. You will be able to pick races according to the type of licence you registered, so if you have a Club licence, then you can enter Club races, etc.
Check with your local MX club or on sites like ours for racing dates (Race Calendar).
Once you have entered a race, make sure you are completely aware of what the rules and regulations are for it and that you and your bike comply. There is always contact details available for any event in case you have any questions.
Then it’s just down to the big day. Putting what you have learned into practice and to have fun doing it.

Motocross is one of the biggest sports in the world and it is a great social and family orientated environment.
If you have any questions regarding any element of getting started in Motocross, please do not hesitate to contact us on info@mxsa.co.za.




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