Do We Really WANT Motocross to Grow?

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3/27/2018 7:51 PM

A hot topic throughout the motocross community is the growth of the sport. Some people think it is growing, some people think it is remaining stagnant, and some may even think that the sport is dying. There are some strong arguments being made on all sides, but there is a question that comes into my mind after hearing all of this, and I’d like to get everyone’s thoughts on it: Do we really WANT motocross to grow?

Sure, it would be nice to see some growth, but if it were to become too mainstream, then that might not necessarily be a good thing. I think most of us can agree that at least part of the reason why the sport is so amazing is that it is not too popular. This is why the motocross community is so tight-knit. I have to say that it’s pretty cool how you can share a strong connection and make an instant bond with some random person who rides just by seeing their fox t-shirt or whatever. The people who we ride with often end up becoming some of our closest friends in life. My point is, all of this is a lot harder to come by in more traditional sports.

Personally, I grew up in a city of around 800,000 people and got into the sport completely on my own four years ago, when I was 15. Most of the kids where I’m from play traditional, mainstream sports like golf, tennis, basketball, baseball, etc., and it felt great to break out of that and get into something completely different. When people ask you what type of sports you play and you say “I race motocross.”, you always get some type of crazy reaction. (Some reactions include: “Woah thats crazy!”, “Where the hell do you do that around here?”, or even “Wait, what’s that?”)

But even if you’re not from an urban area, there is still definitely a great type of camaraderie that all riders share that probably wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the sport being so unconventional. Another thing to keep in mind is that the sport may become even more regulated with growth. For example, I’ve heard so many stories about the “good-ole days” of freeriding in the hills in cali, and how so much of that was banned with growth. Just imagine how much worse this type of regulation would be if motocross became mainstream.

So, what do you guys think about all this? Anything I missed? I’m NOT trying to start any type of argument here, but I just wanted to get some other perspectives.


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3/27/2018 7:56 PM

at this point its more about not shrinking anymore.


3/27/2018 8:10 PM

If moto was as big as football or NASCAR,had that kind of money lawsuits would be flying everywhere for everything.

Money brings lawyers and moto is rich for lawsuits.


3/27/2018 8:48 PM

Yes, before it goes away. Noobs.


3/27/2018 9:00 PM

You aren't missing anything, you're dead on point with this. Keep it small within reason, mainstream isn't where it's at and it will just introduce even more politics and regulatory crap that we don't want. I don't see it dying and I don't know why everyone around here thinks it is, I see plenty of people having fun on bikes around here whether its at the tracks or in the hills.


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3/27/2018 9:03 PM

Yes, there are maybe 5 tracks within a 4 hour drive of me and none are open on weekdays that I know of. I can think of a few that have closed in the past 2 - 3 years. It makes it hard to justify spending a small fortune on bikes and gear. There is always off road or dual sport riding, but those just don't do it for me.


3/27/2018 9:54 PM

I get your point but to me " Motocross " is about racing in organised competition, not play riding, professional practice riding or whatever. Where I live I could race up to 40 open senior race meetings a year, now there are only 4.
I believe that that the racing side of the sport needs to grow, that initiatives must be taken to build new race venues and provide value for money race events as opposed to events with 30 or more separate classes on the day ,where nobody gets much track time.
If this isn't done...motocross racing will disappear altogether


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3/27/2018 10:24 PM

Compared to the late 70's through the late 80's this sport is on life support. It's had a few good years since, late 90's till bout '03, but it's never going to be mainstream nor will it get back to where it once was.
Globally for every new track I'd guess two or three are closing, not a good ratio.


3/27/2018 10:55 PM

I think motocross growth is important. Supercross, not so much. Supercross is a horrible way to get people into riding dirtbikes.

Perhaps what I read a while back on here was correct(sorry, don't recall who said it). "Dirt bikes are just not cool anymore". I think this may be the answer we didn't want to hear.


3/27/2018 11:10 PM

KMC440 wrote:

Compared to the late 70's through the late 80's this sport is on life support. It's had a few good years since, late 90's till ...more

Agree with you totally there. My racing heyday was during the late 70's to the mid 80's and the participation then as compared to now is like night and day. I think a lot of reasons for this have been discussed on numerous other threads here. It was much cheaper to race back then, bikes, fuel, equipment & supplies didn't cost an arm and a leg, Traffic was much lighter and it didn't take as long to get there and back home. Less snobby people complaining about dust & noise. More subdivisions being built and riding areas that were abundant at one time being taken away. Hoping for the best, but I don't see it going back to the old days either.


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3/27/2018 11:39 PM

To me there are two aspects, growth at the pro level and growth locally. Do we need to grow locally? Sure, more bikes on the line is always good. But we have so many damn classes now it's overkill. If there's not 40 bikes on the line we don't need another class. Run 250/450 as beginner, int, pro (3 classes total). And age classes if you want to run a second class - youth (under 25), +25, +40. That's 6. 50, 65, 85, supermini, womens, small kid beginner. 12 classes tops. Last race I went to there was something like 18 classes, all had 6-10 bikes all running around with a 5 second gap between them. And a 3 hour wait between your 10 minute motos.

At the pro level, growth is nice so there's more jobs for the top level guys. And so us old slow fuckers get better TV coverage. It would be good to for more bench racing. Take NFL for an example, it's boring as hell but it's interesting because everyone is talking about it, not because the games are entertaining.

What I don't get is the guys saying we need better prizes etc at the local level and that they can't/won't race if there's no money on the line. Guess what, for 99.999% it's a hobby and will cost you money - same as every other sport out there.


3/27/2018 11:50 PM

make1go wrote:

at this point its more about not shrinking anymore.



3/28/2018 4:10 PM

We need to find a way to survive the generational turnover that is coming very soon. Boomers will stop buying bikes and riding. Gen. Y may not be able to afford to provide children the opportunity to participate. Generation Z may not have much interest in moto, as it is a tough sport and they may want to spend money and money on gizmos and gadgets.

I'd like to see a motocross gross domestic product broken down at 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020.

My guess is we peaked around 2000 and we are downsizing due to cost. Thanks, four-strokes!


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3/28/2018 4:58 PM

Do we want motocross to grow? Yes. You need new riders to replace the old ones.


3/28/2018 5:30 PM

You can grab a 1500 dollar two stroke 250, show up in used gear you got from offerup and use your weed eater gas can and have just as much fun as someone with toy hauler, factory edition and a 6D helmet.
If no one in the kids family rode, they probably won’t grow up doing it either. Shit isn’t like it was. A lot of us were lucky to do so.


3/28/2018 5:41 PM

Yes because with more riders comes more bike sales, more riders on local tracks, bigger team budgets for more riders.

More bike sales means a bigger r&d budget from the manufacturers.

More riders on local tracks means tracks stay open and prices (hopefully) stop rising.

Bigger team budgets allows for more factory rides and plays for more of an even field, avoiding an F1 like situation where the best 2 teams WILL ALWAYS win.


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3/28/2018 5:59 PM

Definitely some solid points here. But maybe I should have been more clear about one thing. I personally think it would be great to see the sport grow, but if the sport were to actually become MAINSTREAM, then that may not be as ideal as some think it would be.


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3/28/2018 8:10 PM
Edited Date/Time: 3/28/2018 8:10 PM

mx4life413 wrote:

Definitely some solid points here. But maybe I should have been more clear about one thing. I personally think it would be ...more

Why would being mainstream not be good? Being mainstream wouldn’t change one thing about moto for me.
Oakley and Fox going mainstream and selling themselves in the Malls stores......didn’t change 1 thing for me!


3/28/2018 8:30 PM

Whether it is growing or dying is in direct relation to where you go. The big national amateur races seem to be growing.....The grass roots local Sunday morning races are hurting.

There was a big explosion in the late 90's/early 2000's that fizzled by 08-09. Based on history of the 70's and late 90's we are about due for another explosion, but I'm not sure it will happen. If electric bikes were cheap that could drive it, but they aren't.