Local Race Observations

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9/13/2021 9:59 AM

How is your local series doing these days?
Any thoughts off the top of your head that might make it more enjoyable?

For Me Start time is one, I've always disliked how early they start. Sign ups start at 6:30 am and practice at 8:00 am
I would rather try to arrive at 8:00 than be ready to hit the track at 8:00 am
The tracks are pretty spread around the state if your doing a series and you have to wake up at 3:00 or 4:00 am to make the couple hour drive most of the time.
If I could change one thing it would be start time
I think 10:00 to 6:00 would be good and if it runs later no problem in the summer it stays light until 9:00
Maybe it's just me but I'm in no condition to be trying to ride that early.
I've never tried a night race but I think I would like it, I'm just not a morning person. Photo

Start time for local races

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9/13/2021 11:03 AM

One thing I think plays a huge factor is that a lot of the watering gets done the evening before, and the track will be at its best from 8am-noon and then sort of goes to shit afterward with trying to keep moisture in the ground. If races started at 10am, a lot of the moisture would be gone and then the track would be a dry dusty mess for the majority of the motos. (This is coming from the west coast so conditions in your area may differ).

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Kawasaki, The Bike That Builds Champions

9/13/2021 11:10 AM

Off Road Scene is popping off - big time. Massive turnouts.


Moto seems to be dying a slow painful death.

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9/13/2021 12:28 PM

My state is probably more of a practice state than race state but we still get great turnouts. My only issue is they have over 30 classes. Need to trim
The fat a little. Beginner needing a 250 class and 450 class is head scratching. If you are a beg bike size doesn’t matter.

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9/13/2021 12:52 PM

Sign up 6am. Practice at 7am. Racing starts at 9am. Hasn’t changed in 40 years.

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9/13/2021 12:57 PM

I prefer to start the day as early as daylight allows, particularly during the summer

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9/13/2021 1:28 PM

bierbower105 wrote:

Off Road Scene is popping off - big time. Massive turnouts.


Moto seems to be dying a slow painful death.

Not here. We had close to 400 at a local race this past weekend. I went to Casey IL over Labor Day and it was 780 on Monday. I wasn't there Sunday, but heard it was about the same.

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Take it to the limit, one more time!

9/13/2021 1:54 PM

GrapeApe wrote:

I prefer to start the day as early as daylight allows, particularly during the summer

I would guess you live in a really hot state?

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9/13/2021 2:58 PM

I've seen threads about the state of grass roots Moto racing before and it always astounds me how many classes US clubs tend to run.

Our local races in the UK, usually follow this class set up give or take a few, all classes 3 races, 8am signing on, 9am practice straight to racing after practice, races could be shortened due to any potential delays:

Autos, 10mins +1lap
65's. 10-12mins +1lap
85's 12 mins + 1 lap (big and small wheel together if there aren't enough entries to run separate races, sometimes entries are limited to 20 SW and 20 BW so it can be run as 1 race, but scored separately)
Veterans 35 or 40+ 12-15mins + 1lap
C1 12-15mins + 1lap
C2 12-15mins + 1lap
B 15mins + 1lap
A/expert 15-20 mins + 1lap

A-C minimum age 15, open capacity
Some clubs run a 125 rookie class up to 18 yr old.

They try and make sure the start line is full, although certain classes will never be mixed due to speed and skill differences.

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9/13/2021 3:04 PM

bierbower105 wrote:

Off Road Scene is popping off - big time. Massive turnouts.


Moto seems to be dying a slow painful death.

mx317 wrote:

Not here. We had close to 400 at a local race this past weekend. I went to Casey IL over Labor Day and it was 780 on Monday. I ...more

What are the entry fees and how long are the race durations? Are riders getting value for money?

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9/13/2021 7:05 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/13/2021 7:06 PM

bierbower105 wrote:

Off Road Scene is popping off - big time. Massive turnouts.


Moto seems to be dying a slow painful death.

mx317 wrote:

Not here. We had close to 400 at a local race this past weekend. I went to Casey IL over Labor Day and it was 780 on Monday. I ...more

Mucktub wrote:

What are the entry fees and how long are the race durations? Are riders getting value for money?

I ride at LTM in Casey IL as well. He's been getting 500 plus riders per race for a few years now. Track prep is excellent.

He's actually a victim of his own success. He gets so many riders, race day is very long and it gets old sitting around.
But he continues to get huge turnouts.

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9/13/2021 7:25 PM

bierbower105 wrote:

Off Road Scene is popping off - big time. Massive turnouts.


Moto seems to be dying a slow painful death.

mx317 wrote:

Not here. We had close to 400 at a local race this past weekend. I went to Casey IL over Labor Day and it was 780 on Monday. I ...more

Mucktub wrote:

What are the entry fees and how long are the race durations? Are riders getting value for money?

Also what’s an average turnout for a race around you?

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9/13/2021 7:55 PM

mx317 wrote:

Not here. We had close to 400 at a local race this past weekend. I went to Casey IL over Labor Day and it was 780 on Monday. I ...more

Mucktub wrote:

What are the entry fees and how long are the race durations? Are riders getting value for money?

Indy mxer wrote:

I ride at LTM in Casey IL as well. He's been getting 500 plus riders per race for a few years now. Track prep is excellent.

...more

I've always Heard that's a Good area for Motocross, Right up there with Upstate New York, and California.
Goes to show that sometimes the grass grows where you water it, because there is no reason other that the people running it that it should be better than other Midwest states, and some have a very little local scene.

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9/13/2021 8:46 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/13/2021 8:50 PM

I’ve become a big fan of the off-road and gp series lately. A lot more value for money. Because of the big tracks they can run multiple classes. The XC series that I’ve done and it’s been multiple have been 11am start, 2 hr race and done and heading home by 2pm at the latest.

The jday style races are great too All A classes, all B classes All C classes etc are on the line and everyone gets two 30 minute motos. Usually have an hour between motos and home at a respectable time. I just don’t have the patience or the money to stay at the track for 8 hours and ride for 35 minutes the whole day.

A local track here had a practice the day before the race and split into 8 classes! They had a class for pw’s, 50’s, 65’s, 85, C, B/A and two quad classes. That was the first and last time I went there.

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9/14/2021 4:06 AM

Pirate421 wrote:

I’ve become a big fan of the off-road and gp series lately. A lot more value for money. Because of the big tracks they can run ...more

Yeah thats crazy.
We've never run quads here at our tracks. We run 85/65, A/B, C/D, Vet +40 and 50cc.
So we rotate thru those 5.

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9/14/2021 4:38 AM

Mucktub wrote:

I've seen threads about the state of grass roots Moto racing before and it always astounds me how many classes US clubs tend ...more

I would kill a man to race 15 min +1 motos. Around here it’s 5 laps on a 1:10-1:30 lap time track max.

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9/14/2021 4:47 AM

Mucktub wrote:

I've seen threads about the state of grass roots Moto racing before and it always astounds me how many classes US clubs tend ...more

bh wrote:

I would kill a man to race 15 min +1 motos. Around here it’s 5 laps on a 1:10-1:30 lap time track max.

We're building a new track here. Hoping to have 2 min plus lap times. We'd like to run A & B 7 or 8 laps. C 6.
The number of classes can be a problem though.
But we aren't AMA so we can run the classes that we want.

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9/14/2021 5:06 AM

Mucktub wrote:

I've seen threads about the state of grass roots Moto racing before and it always astounds me how many classes US clubs tend ...more

bh wrote:

I would kill a man to race 15 min +1 motos. Around here it’s 5 laps on a 1:10-1:30 lap time track max.

Indy mxer wrote:

We're building a new track here. Hoping to have 2 min plus lap times. We'd like to run A & B 7 or 8 laps. C 6.
The number ...more

If you run longer motos you can probably have fewer classes, but it will impact the bottom line unless you increase entry fees. When a track is running 4 lap motos you sign up for extra classes so you get to spend more than 20 minutes on the track.

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9/14/2021 5:19 AM

bierbower105 wrote:

Off Road Scene is popping off - big time. Massive turnouts.


Moto seems to be dying a slow painful death.

mx317 wrote:

Not here. We had close to 400 at a local race this past weekend. I went to Casey IL over Labor Day and it was 780 on Monday. I ...more

Mucktub wrote:

What are the entry fees and how long are the race durations? Are riders getting value for money?

I think the popularity of off-road/hare scrambles has a few factors:

1. Show up 1-2 hrs before race start, race 1-2 hrs, go home. You spend 4 hours at the track and half of it is spent on track/course. ~$50 for a race including gate fee. This is possible because they will start 2-300 riders in one race. GNCC is bigger yet. This probably explains why there are so many guys who are practice riders on MX tracks but don't race. A practice riders gets to ride until he is tired for half the cost of racing two 10 minute motos. He isn't sitting around all day either.

2. Few if any jumps which appeals to less serious riders, older riders, parents of kids, beginners, or anyone else that associates jumps with hospital trips.

3. Lower speeds in a lot of cases so see reasons for 2.

4. I don't know if this is a factor, but the courses are mostly in forests so no blazing sun beating down on you.

5. Your entry fee lets you camp all weekend. Quads generally run one day and bikes the other.

We have at least 6 off-road series that run in Indiana. That doesn't count the regional series that run a race or two here. April-October you can race almost every weekend and both days on several weekends.

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9/14/2021 5:23 AM

bh wrote:

I would kill a man to race 15 min +1 motos. Around here it’s 5 laps on a 1:10-1:30 lap time track max.

Indy mxer wrote:

We're building a new track here. Hoping to have 2 min plus lap times. We'd like to run A & B 7 or 8 laps. C 6.
The number ...more

wrc777 wrote:

If you run longer motos you can probably have fewer classes, but it will impact the bottom line unless you increase entry ...more

Yes. We've been doing this for many years. Too many classes has been an issue for a long time.

A large number of riders want to do multiple classes. But you have to make that option available to everyone. So you end up with all these classes. Everybody wants classes reduced, just don't eliminate theirs.
Plus as someone who manages the money and pays the bills, promoters need the entries to make the whole thing work. There's just no magic bullet here.

Our group has discussed this extensively over the years, and we've yet to find a good solution.

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9/14/2021 11:18 AM

Start earlier, potentially longer motos.
Washougal Top Gun on day 2 and 3. Motos start at 7:30 AM. Only makes sense if you camp or live 20 minutes away

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Gone:
2006 CRF230F
2008 KTM 200 XC
2017 KTM 250 SX
2019 CRF250R
Current: 2021 YZ250F

9/14/2021 11:53 AM

If I were running a track...and I'm not (I'll stay in the desert)...but if I were...I'd do it like this:

Natural terrain track...nothing to intimidate the D, C, and vet guys...The slow guys and vets pay the bills (way more of them, than fast guys...so I'd cater the track to them a bit more...but I would look for pro class sponsors...and do 100% pro payback + whatever money I could drum up from local businesses to pay to the pro's...just to hopefully use a good pay check to get more pro's since they might find the track a bit boring).

For all big bikes there would be a total of 5 classes...A, B, C, D and pro...all bike sizes, all ages in every class...Just race people of your skill level regardless of what bike they are riding or how old they are, or their gender.

They'd each get 2, 30+2 motos...

I have a separate track for all pee wee's (A and cool and I'd run the beginner 65 and 85 on that track. (4 lap moto for peewee's...6 laps for 65's and 85's)

A and B mini's...the 65 and 85's...I"d run 10+1 motos.

Big bikes go first...so their dads/moms can race their moto's, and still help the kids.

Practice at 7:00...racing starts at 8:00...That's about 6 hours of big bike moto's (big bike motos done by 2:00)...kids start racing at 2:30 after some prep work on the main track...

For the kids, 8 moto's on the peewee track...and 8 moto's on the big track...another 2 hours of racing...

Everyone done by 4:30....dads/moms got over an hour of track time (not counting practice)...kids got almost a half hour...peewee's get a taste of racing...everyone within a couple hours of the track is home for dinner.

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9/14/2021 12:00 PM

I can only speak about the west side of Michigan, but motocross is definitely on the decline with enduro, hare scrambles, and sprint enduro booming. The biggest complaint is track time. Typical race day is 1 practice and 2 motos totaling around 15 laps and about 30minutes of total track time. For a single person racing it's about $50 for race fees ($20 for gate fee & $30 for entry fee), not including the cost of gas, food, etc. Whereas you can spend $30 to practice and ride as many rounds within the open hours for your group as you want. So, say the track is open from 11am-4pm for practice and splits the hour by thirds (20min for A&B, C, and Minis separately), you could ride 5 times for a total of 100mins which is three times the amount of ride time for $20 cheaper. What tracks have done to stop people from coming to practice days only is to not have practice days or very limited practice days on odd days like the Friday before a race weekend they will hold practice from 12pm-5pm. Another complaint is the amount of waiting time between motos. Mainly, the number of mini-classes to sit through until your first moto. You might practice at 9am, but your first moto isn't until 1pm with your 2nd moto at 4 or 5pm. With sprint enduros, what most mx guys are transitioning to around here, you have two "tests" or tracks. You ride each test 2-3 times with laps being about 10-15min long and a 20-30min wait in between each run. You get much more run time in and the atmosphere is great too. $40 to race with about 90min of seat time. D14 mx one year did a split program where the morning was minis and vet classes, then the afternoon was big bikes. Morning crew started at 7am ending at noon, then afternoon group started at 1pm done by 4 or 5pm. People liked it, but they reverted back to the straight program. Honestly, I would like to see tracks go to a split-day format for mx. Saturdays are for minis and Sundays for big bikes. This would cut down on parking issues (mainly parents bringing 50ft fun haulers for one KTM 50) at smaller tracks and also cut down on wait times in between races. I've seen people who can only race one day on the weekend have issues finding a pit space or turn around and leave because of the sea of fun haulers parents come to the track with for one day of racing. You could start each day at noon and be done by 5pm with a break for lunch. I've left the moto scene and am transitioning into sprint enduro scene. Most of my old moto buds tell me it's super fun so gonna go rip in the woods for a while.

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9/14/2021 2:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/14/2021 2:24 PM

Titan1 wrote:

If I were running a track...and I'm not (I'll stay in the desert)...but if I were...I'd do it like this:

Natural terrain ...more

And you would go broke after 1 race. As I explained, you need to understand the finacial side as well. I figure when we do a race we need 110 entries just to pay the bills and break even.
With the class structure you're proposing the number of entries would be way down due to riders only being able to run 1 class. And you need lots of enries to make money.

We've been at this for a long time and have tried lots of things. Split 1 day programs are nothing new. It was tried in the 90's here.
Also splitting into 2 days has it's problems as well. Double the expenses and track prep for the promoter. And families that race would have to come both days.

But I'm always open to try something that is good for the riders and is financially sound for the track owner.

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9/14/2021 2:55 PM

Titan1 wrote:

If I were running a track...and I'm not (I'll stay in the desert)...but if I were...I'd do it like this:

Natural terrain ...more

Indy mxer wrote:

And you would go broke after 1 race. As I explained, you need to understand the finacial side as well. I figure when we do a ...more

I'd maintain that this structure would increase participation because it would eliminate the two biggest complaints at the local racing level (not enough seat time, and to much standing around waiting), and the lesser complaint by slower riders and vets (the tracks are to dangerous). Off road is thriving and moto is dying...so anything that can be done to make moto as much like off road as possible-but still be moto-seems like a good idea to me?

So if you need 110 entries, and gates hold 40 riders...and there are 5 classes...5 X 40 is 200 entries (not counting minis and peewees).

But yes, with the current (broken) system (that is driving riders away from the sport), and 5 riders in a class, I'd go broke...but I wouldn't expect 5 riders per class with this system.

Sure, it may take some time to get the full gates...but I honestly believe it would happen (and possibly even force a "qualifier" system for the main moto as there would be more than 40 riders in a class). As a FORMER (one of many many former local mx'ers who has moved on to off road), I'd race a track like that, and a program like that...and I can guarantee you I'm not alone.

It would take some publicity to get the new format out...but that isn't overly expensive these days with social media...but I'd make sure and get the word out about 30 minute moto's, safe natural terrain track, and shorter day...blast that on social media in popular dirt bike pages...

Even further, I'd aggressively seek out local business to "sponsor" the event (with cash)...It would be the " Motel 5 moto X races"...and the "Dr. Pain Chiropractic Holeshot"...and the "Jims auto repair trophy's" and the "Sally's diner start line"..."Local Honda dealers pro payout"..."Oil express finish line jump"...etc etc etc...anything to raise a few extra dollars to make ends meet and/or put more money in the rider/promoter/track owners pocket.

But I don't know what I'm talking about...no experience...so this probably wouldn't work either.
Maybe Moto just isn't fun enough to get a good turn out, and that's why its dying?

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9/14/2021 5:59 PM

Titan1 wrote:

If I were running a track...and I'm not (I'll stay in the desert)...but if I were...I'd do it like this:

Natural terrain ...more

Indy mxer wrote:

And you would go broke after 1 race. As I explained, you need to understand the finacial side as well. I figure when we do a ...more

Titan1 wrote:

I'd maintain that this structure would increase participation because it would eliminate the two biggest complaints at the ...more

Well,

Having all the answers is easy when you don't lose anything if you happen to be wrong.

This coming from a former promoter, over 400 racing events of my own, and way more than that working for and helping other promoters.

I am with indy on this one.

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9/14/2021 6:30 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/14/2021 7:06 PM

Indy mxer wrote:

And you would go broke after 1 race. As I explained, you need to understand the finacial side as well. I figure when we do a ...more

Titan1 wrote:

I'd maintain that this structure would increase participation because it would eliminate the two biggest complaints at the ...more

JustMX wrote:

Well,

Having all the answers is easy when you don't lose anything if you happen to be wrong.

This coming from a former ...more

Like I said…I don’t know anything about this…I’m just suggesting to eliminate the things that turned me off to Moto…and turned most all off road guys-who used to moto and now race off road-I know, away from moto. So I don’t see how fixing those issues wouldn’t result in higher turn out.

I just honestly don’t see how not making changes is a solution to dying grassroots moto…I know I’ll never race moto again with the current class structure and track layouts.

But you know more than me….those changes wouldn’t work. With your experience, what changes do you think will work to increase attendance?

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9/14/2021 7:06 PM

Imo if keeping all classes is a Must, than do half on Saturday and half in Sunday, Make a Slit option that goes around The biggest or more Dangerous Jumps on the track, and use those lanes in all but A,B classes and maybe Super mini.
Plus experiment with some different types of racing, maybe Try Some one hour long or even two hour long Endurance races, with very Limited Classes and either you sign up for them or you don't.

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9/14/2021 7:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/14/2021 7:47 PM

I would return to racing every weekend if AMA district 16 eliminated 75% of the classes. Our riding season is 5 months tops. Most races are mudders. There has never been a pro from WI or even a LL top 10 in any class. Why follow the LL class structure in this climate? I get it the tracks do it for the AMA insurance rates. I’m good just riding for fun as a pro practicer. Add to that every track has multiple punishing jumps on every single straight. Last time I checked a track that does not separate riders provides closer and better racing. Unfortunately every track does the opposite. What the hobby side of the sport needs is natural no man made jumps for the beginner and vet riders separate from the what we have now. Track owners just don’t get it. There are far more riders in the +40 classes and C classes than the B and A classes. Not sure how this is lost on all the track promoters.

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9/15/2021 5:08 AM

Titan1 wrote:

I'd maintain that this structure would increase participation because it would eliminate the two biggest complaints at the ...more

JustMX wrote:

Well,

Having all the answers is easy when you don't lose anything if you happen to be wrong.

This coming from a former ...more

Titan1 wrote:

Like I said…I don’t know anything about this…I’m just suggesting to eliminate the things that turned me off to Moto…and turned ...more

You make a lot of assumptions here. But nothing wrong with thinking outside the box.

That said LTM in Casey IL regularly gets 500 plus enties for a race and well over 250 on a practice day.. And yes the day is long. But he would never get that many under your format becauce many of those are riders running multiple classes. I'm not sure there's a good answer to this.



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