First enduro race, any advice? (Update)

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1/20/2020 10:49 AM

I’m doing my first enduro race in March, I raced mx all of my youth until I was 22. Had a few years away from riding completely and have only ridden practice days since 2013. I’m 34 now and feel like doing some racing again but not 8 minute motos hours apart.

Anyone got any advice? They’re 3 hour races which I know will kick my ass but looking forward to the challenge. Not looking to break any records just want to have a bit of fun! Any tips or insights into what to expect are greatly welcome. Cheers.


1/20/2020 11:22 AM


1/20/2020 11:27 AM

Dont try to be the fastest out of the gate. Its a long day just focus on being smooth and that will take you a long way. Also make sure you have a camelbak or hydration system of some sort. Go into the first one and focus on just learning how to ride off-road. A lot of moto guys transition easy but some try to moto the whole thing and it gets them in trouble.


1/20/2020 11:29 AM

Its all about throughput. You really have to tell yourself to keep up the pace as you are riding alone. Make sure u bring water, gas and food.


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1/20/2020 12:06 PM

If your bike is still set up for MX, you’ll be sorry!!!
Have it set up form woods riding!
Soft susp, bark busters etc....


1/20/2020 12:07 PM

Don’t over think it, or over stress about it, just because it’s a race...for all but the fastest riders, it just turns into a trail ride after about mile 10 because we aren’t in good enough shape to run a “race pace” for 3 hours.

So prepare yourself for a long trail ride.


1/20/2020 12:09 PM

I rode a few long races like that (hare scrambles, enduros) and wowzzaaaa, they were crazy hard to me... I was used to riding on a track, doing 3 hours in hardcore off road conditions left me totally spent... One of the races had a water crossing that looked like Blackwater... long lines of guys buried to the bottom of the tank in mud......

No, I don't ride them anymore... LOL

Die Antwoord

1/20/2020 12:17 PM

When I did enduros, things like having a good understanding of how to keep your lights working each day (as per requirements in Parc ferme) and change a tyre quickly challenged the motocrosser in me. Riding the thing was the easy part.


1/20/2020 12:27 PM

The first 2hr enduro I did I tried to get a good start and “sprint away”. What a terrible idea that was. I was smoked after about 30 minutes in and spent a long time trying to recover. The next two races I got decent starts and then just settled into a groove and had fun. I didn’t try to attack every obstacle like an Mx track but tried to ride a gear higher and smoother. I did do better and managed the whole two hours when I was riding for the long game. Also I got a camelback which helped a lot. you will be amazed at how fast those guys go and you will probably hate it about halfway through and say “wtf was I thinking?!” , which I did, but couldn’t wait to do another one.


1/20/2020 12:39 PM

Are there any enduro's in cali? Im 31 and seriously want to give it a shot.. either a grandprix or or something where im on the bike for awhile


"Life is Too Short To Last Long"

1/20/2020 1:22 PM

Buy a tool fanny pack, put basic things like spare rotor bolts, sprocket bolts, seat bolts, axle arm nut wrench, plug wrench, and a multi tool with screw drivers/knife and small 1/4 inch wrench and a couple sockets for above bolts. Some enduros you could be miles from a truck to make a repair at a check. My small tool pack has come in handy more times than I can remember. Roots and trees aren’t kind to bolts.

Buy yourself a cheap watch, attach it to your handlebar, so if you make a stop in a main pit area, you don’t loose track.

Train for base and duration, with occasional sprint thrown in. You’ll ride hard for 20-30 min, then get a break. Those small sprints can catch up to you if you don’t have a really good base. Recovery at the checks is key.


1/20/2020 1:40 PM

A camel back will be your best friend.


1/20/2020 1:54 PM

O p are you sure you're doing a enduro and not a Hare Scramble the few Enduros I've been to we're all over three hours. Unless it's a Sprint Enduro all three are different.


1/20/2020 2:07 PM

I’m sorry for the confusion, over here enduros seem to be what is known as in America as a hare scramble 🤦🏻‍♂️ I looked at the links garagedog posted and realised it was slightly different to what I am doing.

Thanks for the replies though, some good advice in there. What should I be looking at to set my suspension up like, just softer all round? I’ve bought a camelback and will be trying it out this week. Got 4-5 enduro loop practice days before the first race so can try and simulate the day. Got to remember to pace myself and be in it for the long game.

I know it probably sounds stupid but what food are you guys taking for the day?


1/20/2020 2:18 PM

Don’t hit any trees.


1/20/2020 2:30 PM

Pre hydrate and wear a camelback. Add a tooth to the countershaft vs. mx for most and go easy on the clutch. Chill, relax and get in a zone, don't worry about being stuck behind someone, there will be plenty of time to get around so don't crash trying stupid stuff. Finish the 1st one and see where you are.


2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart

1/20/2020 2:52 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/20/2020 2:52 PM

Monkey Butt powder. Not kidding.


1/20/2020 2:53 PM

Teejay wrote:

I’m doing my first enduro race in March, I raced mx all of my youth until I was 22. Had a few years away from riding ...more

Start slow......


1/20/2020 2:54 PM

Hydrate well at least a week in advance. Your loo visits will increase- that's ok.

Food. Eat normally leading up to it. Visit the dumpster morning of. Don't wait. It will come looking for you at the least opportune time.

Race day I like to have something to burn long term- oatmeal or similar. I eat fruit through the morning- oranges, bananas, grapes. And maybe a clif bar or a PB&J sammich. Drink some dill pickle juice before and after. Seriously. Your quads (and the incredible pain they can cause you when they seize up an hour after the checkers) will thank me. Right before the start I take on one of those fruit puree baby food pouches. Take one with you in your fanny pack, or at least have one for the break.

Drink from your camelback before you get thirsty.


1/20/2020 3:04 PM

I race the A class in the ECEA SERIES. Been doing it for 15 years & have alot. With that being said, I suggest riding as fast as you can. The long section might be 10 miles then you get a reset more then likely. You then can regroup, shake off the arm pump & charge again. That's what I love about Enduro's, you dont have to suffer with arm pump because of resets. It's a great form of racing & you get a good 5 hours or more of seat time.


1/20/2020 3:48 PM

CG118 wrote:

Monkey Butt powder. Not kidding.

Yes sir...fill your underwear til it's pouring into your boots. Ever had blistered bloody hands...imagine that on yer backside. Also, when they say hydrate...they mean starting on Monday, not the night before.

Pass when you can but hold your line so faster guys can get by (I try to point left or right to let them know which side). It's a long race, 1/4 to 1/3 of the field won't finish due to mechanical, crash or fatigue. Try to find a comfortable pace but don't forget to push when you can.

March in England is probably gonna be cold and wet...maybe even snowy. You know the drill...don't overdress but take a light waterproof jacket just in case.

Not sure what bike you have but if it's got a stock moto won't make 3 hours (and moto tanks don't have a reserve on the petcock) pay never run out near the pits.

Have fun...imo it's the best bang for the buck.


If it ain't yer's don't take it, If it ain't the truth dont say it, If it ain't right don't do it...Marcus Aurelius

1/20/2020 3:49 PM

I recommend doing some sprint enduros as well if you have any around you. I do some races in the Kenda Full Gas series and they’re a blast.


1/20/2020 4:05 PM

What race are you doing? I'm not too far from nottingham (Lincoln) and have raced enduro (hare & hounds) for a good few years now. I might even be doing the same race!


1/20/2020 5:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/20/2020 5:56 PM

Hare scramble.... pace yourself!!!! Take the first lap fairly easy. Don't take the same line as everyone else because someone will fall in front of you. I like to go into turns on the outside, look across the turn, see what's ahead, and plan my next turn and the speed in between from there.

Stand up as much as you can.

On a MX bike, gas up in an hour. Have small cans of 1 to 1.5 gallons that you can dump faster w/out trying to wrestle 4-5 gallons of fuel.

If you can, and it's dusty, change your air filter. A pit person is VERY useful.

Breathe. Relax. Use your legs. Save your arms.

As the race progresses, the traffic will usually thin out and you'll get your marks down.

Slime or similar in your tubes. A mousse is better, but I've done okay with extra heavy duty tubes and ATV sealant.

Mostly... just ride and have fun.

Here's a dusty hare-scramble from CO last summer. I didn't finish the last lap because my air filter was clogged and I didn't want to blow up my bike for nothing. Fun notes... the guy ahead of me and to the right in the previous line was riding with a prothetic attachment on his right hand- RESPECT!!! The guy to my right on my start was on a CR500.

My son is faster than me, but notice how he over-cooks the first lap:


2019 KTM 150 SX
2019 Husqvarna TX300
2015 Yamaha YZ 250

1/20/2020 6:20 PM

I wear bicycle shorts with the padding when I race them. That's mostly because I'm an out of shape fat 32 YO and sit WAY to much.


2018 CRF250R

1/20/2020 8:08 PM

EVS shorts are not a bad option. I haven't seen this mentioned, and it's purely preference, but if your chest protector only covers the front you may want to consider purchasing one that covers the back too.


1/20/2020 8:15 PM

eat bananas .. lots of 'em.



1/20/2020 8:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 1/20/2020 8:39 PM

I never ride w/out padded shorts. I have 3 sets that I rotate around, all with padded crotch, tailbone, and hip pads. I forgot all 3 pairs once and felt terrible w/out them.

For chest, I like either a Leatt Airlight suit or I'll take the front and shoulder pads out and wear a Fox Raptor over that. This way, the Leatt shoulder and elbow pads stay in place, the Fox Raptor gives me much better chest/back/side protection, and I get more air flow. I'll do that if there are a lot of trees with branches and I'm worried about getting poked by them. Most of the time, though, I just go with the Leatt suit.

I've got compression knee sleeves and long socks. Then I have some gel pads ShoeGoo'd on the inside of my Leatt Z-frame braces. This all makes for a good supportive knee package that's padded and braced. Knees are my weakest spot and real compressive knee sleeves make a huge difference for me.

I used to use a bladder but got tired of the hose and never took a drink while riding anyway. These days I just carry water bottles in a pack that are mostly in case I get stuck out in the boonies. At a pit/gas stop, my crew hands me an open water bottle and I guzzle/splash it down. Nice when it's hot.

For real enduros, I carry a spare set of goggles and gloves in my back- nice when the others get wet/muddy. In a lap race, I have spares at the gas stop. I like to pull the used ones off as I'm rolling in and let my hands and face get some fresh air flow for a few seconds before putting the clean stuff on. Amazing how "fresh" clean goggles/gloves will make you feel.

Food-wise, I have two Clif bars in the pack in case of a breakdown. I have bananas at the pit stop and eat one 1/2 way thru a long race. For breakfast, I usually have scrambled eggs, real butter, salmon (StarKist packets are great for this), bulletproof coffee (coconut oil, butter, creamer). That sticks with me ALL day. I don't do well on carbs- oatmeal, etc- they run out of me too fast. If I think I really need carbs, I get a nut-based candy bar... Snickers, PayDay, etc.- and eat 1/2 of it and drop the other 1/2 in my pack to go with the banana later on.

Being on keto, I drink a LOT already- electrolyte replacement- so I'm pretty hydrated. I like Ultima but I'll also drink Monster Hydro sometimes.

I spend 10-15 minutes stretching (esp my arms and shoulders), doing Tae Bo sort of leg raises and kicks, and squats, I want to be really warmed up before I get on the bike, esp when it's cold in the morning. Really helps keep me from getting arm pump/cramps.

That's how this 58-year old handles a 65-75 mile enduro and 2-3 hour hare-scramble. .


2019 KTM 150 SX
2019 Husqvarna TX300
2015 Yamaha YZ 250

1/20/2020 8:40 PM

Put a stop watch on your bars and set a timer for 2 hours, try to ride as fast as you can until the 2 hours are up. This will help you realize the pace you can sustain over a long race.


1/20/2020 8:46 PM

Hydrate heavily the full week prior. Run hand guards. If you are not running mousses, run
heavy duty tubes, lots of baby powder and a couple extra PSI to try and prevent flats.

Treat your first one as a learning race - just figuring it out, staying in till the finish.
Don't crash and have a good time. They are so fun!!!! Push hard your next event.

Best thing NOT to do: Do not get discouraged by how fugging fast those "trail riders"
go for an entire three hours! laughing laughing laughing