Safety improvements to work on in SX/MX

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11/29/2020 10:40 AM

The reason for (re)starting this topic/debate is not really moto-related, but still a reason to consider some of the safety aspects we have in SX/MX nowadays.

Today, we’ve had the enormous crash of Grosjean in F1. He is the driver of the American HAAS Automotions team. The car was completely destroyed, exploded and he was more than 20 seconds in fire before rescuing himself with the help of the medical team. All things considered, he was okay and came off this accident relatively unscratched.
Most of the credits for saving his life, is the continuation of working on safety improvements in racing by the FIA.

Now, I was thinking how we could improve the safety measurements in SX and MX in the future. Just like in F1, the dirtbikes are getting faster and faster. Suspension is getting better, riders are fitter than ever, but safety wise we can make some improvements. Not to bash on anyone, but I think it’s possible to improve in this area around the world.
We had the nets in bowl turns for example, which were implemented in SX a few years ago. The lights on triple jumps, improved helmet technology, neck braces (debatable) and the mandatory by the FIM to use body protection in the GP’s. I like to see that aspect for sure. But the goal is to improve safety, even though you can’t deny that racing is dangerous. That is the reason we love riding/driving anyways.

My question is, are there people around here with idea’s that could improve the safety in dirtbike racing? Would be cool to get together and improve it in the long run and make MX more and more appealing + professional for the regular people that are not familiar with it.

Personally, I would love to see less hard objects around the track. You still see bobcats, poles, piles of dirt to block cutting of on straights around the track that are not needed. Both in SX, GP’s and Nationals.

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11/29/2020 10:45 AM

Keep speeds down with obstacles. Fill in jumps.

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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

11/29/2020 11:04 AM


It is a topic i wanted to start a couple week ago:

Airbags vest are now mandatory in world rally raid.

I am very curious about this, to see if it really works, as if it does it should become mandatory asap.

https://www.advpulse.com/adv-news/alpinestars-announces-new-off-road-airbag-system/

https://nova-moto.fr/en/airbag-mandatory-in-off-road-rally-races/

https://riders.drivemag.com/news/dakar-rally-plans-to-increase-safety-speed-limits-mandatory-airbags/

http://www.lerepairedesmotards.com/actualites/2020/airbag-moto-obligatoire-rallye-terrain.php

There are of course a lot of further safety improvements that can be made (bike weight, slower track design, etc), but I think for instance that equipment is going into the right direction.


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11/29/2020 11:13 AM

Motocross is dangerous, bla bla bla, accept the risks, bla bla bla, it's a mans sport, bla bla bla, no need for improved safety, bla bla bla...

Just a preview of the responses you're about to get.

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11/29/2020 11:21 AM

Has anybody listened to the new chris leatt interview vital did recently?? ... he speaks on the neckbraces and the airbag vests and stuf its interesting.

But implementation is going to be like trying to get Americans to wear masks as an example

If you make a chest protector mandatory, you might have some desert warriors talking about my freedom and stuff.

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"Life is Too Short To Last Long"

11/29/2020 11:21 AM

i really think we need to look at if we need 450's in supercross, every Motorsport has slowed the vehicles down, we have not,

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11/29/2020 11:37 AM

scott_nz wrote:

i really think we need to look at if we need 450's in supercross, every Motorsport has slowed the vehicles down, we have not,

The 250's run the same lap times.

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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

11/29/2020 11:48 AM

Johnny Depp wrote:

The 250's run the same lap times.

True, it would be interesting to see the stats on injuries, if the 450 class have more?

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11/29/2020 11:58 AM

scott_nz wrote:

i really think we need to look at if we need 450's in supercross, every Motorsport has slowed the vehicles down, we have not,

Johnny Depp wrote:

The 250's run the same lap times.

150's small wheels it is then.

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the ultimate MX renegade from the east shore of the big cold pond

11/29/2020 12:17 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2020 12:18 PM

scott_nz wrote:

i really think we need to look at if we need 450's in supercross, every Motorsport has slowed the vehicles down, we have not,

Johnny Depp wrote:

The 250's run the same lap times.

What’s the point of the 450 then?

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11/29/2020 12:22 PM

350s are legal in the 450 class. If smaller is better why isn’t everyone on a 350?

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11/29/2020 12:25 PM

scott_nz wrote:

i really think we need to look at if we need 450's in supercross, every Motorsport has slowed the vehicles down, we have not,

Johnny Depp wrote:

The 250's run the same lap times.

cloud41 wrote:

What’s the point of the 450 then?

Mo’ powah!

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11/29/2020 12:27 PM

scott_nz wrote:

i really think we need to look at if we need 450's in supercross, every Motorsport has slowed the vehicles down, we have not,

Johnny Depp wrote:

The 250's run the same lap times.

cloud41 wrote:

What’s the point of the 450 then?

Exactly. Open Class, run what ya brung. Got a CR500, bring it.

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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

11/29/2020 12:37 PM

Speed and inertia have superseded the threshold of the human skeletal system. We have no roll cages or exterior protection. The bikes have simply evolved into superior machines that create these high risk/reward scenarios. The speeds could and should be reduced in accordance to the human body's threshold. Flame on.

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11/29/2020 12:42 PM

Being from the 80s i’m oldscool. Relative simple jumps, yes high speeds up to 80 mph, but sensible design Of the tracks.

Now we have multiple jumps combo’s, no single straight without obstacle. So no rest and time to exhale and relax. thats a cause for accidents.

But what are we trying to prevent? Severe concussions, broken legs and arms and mainly back and neck injuries.

It starts with track design and removal of trees, tree stumps, rocks, ditches (if not possible then placing of hay bales etc.) and on top of all proper track maintenance.
In Holland we have a national track approval. Every track has to meet minimum safety standards, width, ceetain track design. (No obligation of flaggers during trainingdays though). No approval means no insurance and official competition possible.

Beside mx and offroad, i do some 4x4 offroad racing. Think about this:
Photo

In the world of off road racing we can in no means ride in a safe place, we encounter all above mentioned dangers, nor can we foresee that while we may not recon the tracks.

So we have to expect the unexpected. in the fia car world there a a lot of rules, fire retardant underclothing and overall and helmets, hans neckbraces, fire extinguishers, rollcages, tracking devices, all mandatory no exceptions.

So if we need to have lesser injuries, it starts with the tracks, then protection. And sure good or better helmets, kneebraces, chestprotection and neckbraces should then be mandatory. And still its a motoring speeddriven sport. So risks will always be involved.

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11/29/2020 12:45 PM

I would look at the bikes before I look at the equipment. I understand there are new things we can bring to the table, and upgrades to our current safety equipment. But everyone can agree, no one wants to see everyone running around in bubble wrap and landing on sponges.

I think that’s what makes it so exciting, the risk factor. Take away the risk factor, and excitement goes away. You can’t deny that.

If a rider wants to take the risk, and chooses not to wear a neck brace, chest protection, ect. That’s his choice.

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11/29/2020 12:58 PM

Photo credit: Crush

Photo

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11/29/2020 1:01 PM

Slow the tracks down. Powerful 450s are definitely part but IMO, it’s the speed/design of the tracks. Mx tracks across the country have morphed into high speed SX tracks. Our most dangerous local track is a hard pack 3rd/4th gear rock filled piece of crap track that anyone can go fast on. Recipe for disaster. Slow the speed of the tracks down.

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11/29/2020 1:24 PM

Considering how the moto scene has responded to neck braces I'm not sure anyone really cares. I think you're completely right but this sport just doesn't care about safety improvements in any serious or systematic way, I wish I was wrong. As far as pro racing goes supercross needs to be made safer just because it's hard to sell races when half of the top guys get hurt in the first half of the season. When everyone is lined up the racing is better even with a "less exciting" track.

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11/29/2020 1:35 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2020 1:36 PM

At the amateur end the largest class size is +50 yet our tracks have 30 + doubles/triples and multiple 100ft tables per lap all desinged to physically punish if you dont do them. There is a market for vet friendly race tracks in the usa. On the pro side make the sx tracks wider/shorter/slower since its 20min + 2 regardless

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11/29/2020 1:44 PM

GforceCoatings wrote:

At the amateur end the largest class size is +50 yet our tracks have 30 + doubles/triples and multiple 100ft tables per lap all desinged to physically punish if you dont do them. There is a market for vet friendly race tracks in the usa. On the pro side make the sx tracks wider/shorter/slower since its 20min + 2 regardless

The only reason i signed up to race recently was because the had classes on the vet track. And it was the +30 class lol.. but i hear what you're saying some tracks get damnright gnarly with the speed and size of the jumps.. is it necessary... Its debatable.

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"Life is Too Short To Last Long"

11/29/2020 2:12 PM

Great to see some insights about the power of the bikes, track safety and personal equipment. Some brands are really pushing on the safety side. Alpinestars for example with their vests, 6D started the improvement of helmet technology, Leatt with the neckbraces for the people interested in it, and so on. Another great improvement by the way, is the mandatory of helmets for flaggers during the SX races and during the GP's. Alpinestars and Airoh deliver them.

I remember some intentions from Windham and Canard to get more data from crashes in supercross. The problem here is that there are too many variables to extract data from in dirtbike racing. F1 has a few more things. Money, data collections and a knowledgable team available to improve safety aspects of the sport. A hard thing to do, but we can get way further if we keep the debate going and try some things.

A few things that you can put into discussion:
- A mandatory to always wear chest/back protection. No way that you're not able to ride with that. A neckbrace is another thing. But these bodyprotectors are so light you can barely feel them.
- Are 450s necessary? Not the most popular opinion, but the HALO wasn't in F1 as well. And it did save someone's life today.
- Track obstacles like wall jumps after long straights or a high speed section. These things are always scary to me. The wall jump at the Russian Grand Prix comes to my mind.
- Wider tracks. A great example was the 2005 Supercross season for me. The tracks seemed wider to me, and the racing was awesome.
- No bobcats, railings, cranes and other stuff near the track.
- Certain track obstacles in general.

As I said in the opening post: I KNOW that we are riding dirtbikes. And yes, it is dangerous. But the fact that it is dangerous, doesn't mean we can't improve on safety. What you do in life is not my problem, but for the sake of the sport and the professional representation we have it would be cool to improve. Not only in professional racing, but at practice tracks as well.

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11/29/2020 2:24 PM

You and Nerd would have fun discussing mandatory chest protectors

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Make sure you downvote!

11/29/2020 2:37 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2020 2:38 PM

Was said earlier by a gentleman who seems like an ol bugger like me.
Need to slow it back down. It's too fast now. It's "too" everything

No one will like my responses, so don't really worry about attacking it

I never liked jumping. To me, this sport isn't about jumping and it's not "Evel Knievel-cross"

The sport over the years has de-emphasized cornering, rough tracks and more natural terrain tracks.
These are also the things that slowed it down too.

Amateur MX tracks have no business with triples or a jump over say 90'...or whatever a pro SX triple is...That's it!

If you want to make it safer, slow it down.
I also believe there should be standards on track design, width, max triple distance, jump angles, max amateur-SX height/depth, etc....This has all been shot down a number of times by folks at the top. The claim is that if you write down a jump can be no more than XX feet, you'll have lawyers standing trackside with tape measures.

Fixing something implies that something is broken

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Make sure you downvote!

11/29/2020 2:44 PM
Edited Date/Time: 11/29/2020 2:50 PM

MotofactioN wrote:

I would look at the bikes before I look at the equipment. I understand there are new things we can bring to the table, and upgrades to our current safety equipment. But everyone can agree, no one wants to see everyone running around in bubble wrap and landing on sponges.

I think that’s what makes it so exciting, the risk factor. Take away the risk factor, and excitement goes away. You can’t deny that.

If a rider wants to take the risk, and chooses not to wear a neck brace, chest protection, ect. That’s his choice.

Sorry to quite disagree, I think the risk factor is more making people including introduced ones running away from the sport than attracting new curious people (although this year is quite the opposite). Adrenaline yes, but fear of big injuries or 100k in medical bills plus losing money from jobs or business, that is not worth it for many, and why for exemple more and more former mx riders prefer mtb now. It is all about the risk vs. reward. In comparison, karting can be very exciting too, yet the risks are most of the time quite limited.

I also disagree regarding the bikes. A 450 or 500 can be riden "safely" on a fun but slow track with smaller jumps and long landings. A 85 or 125 or any cc will take much more risks on a high speed tracks with huge rutty jumps and little landings.

When I think about a bad crash I think about this one for instance, 1 mistake and it was almost game over:



And regarding big jumps, I should also add that many riders who can't even brake and turn properly, so are clearly not mastering their bikes and technique, are jumping 60 to 80 table tops. Recipe for disaster to be honest.

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11/29/2020 2:59 PM

We've sat and done nothing until people sacked up and flagged.

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Make sure you downvote!

11/29/2020 4:36 PM

Back in the 70's they did away with the 500s in sx because they were just too much, and yet now the 450 are even faster.

The op also mentioned f1. How about that f1, nascar and other motors ports have taken step because technology has just caused speeds to go up way too much.

Mx and sx are the same.

Slow the bikes down

Restrictor in the exhaust so you get the benefit of less racket.

Let the racing get back to set up and racecraft.

Hell, with half the horsepower they have now it would still be awesome to the average sx spectator.

50' to 75' jumps are still pretty impressive.

Slow the bikes down, make it safer and tighten the racing up and make it better.

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11/29/2020 4:50 PM

JustMX wrote:

Back in the 70's they did away with the 500s in sx because they were just too much, and yet now the 450 are even faster.

The op also mentioned f1. How about that f1, nascar and other motors ports have taken step because technology has just caused speeds to go up way too much.

Mx and sx are the same.

Slow the bikes down

Restrictor in the exhaust so you get the benefit of less racket.

Let the racing get back to set up and racecraft.

Hell, with half the horsepower they have now it would still be awesome to the average sx spectator.

50' to 75' jumps are still pretty impressive.

Slow the bikes down, make it safer and tighten the racing up and make it better.

You can't have the World's best rider's on rental karts. Every practice rider would have more power than the Pro's? A recipe for failure. Totally different for other classes, 125 age restricted and 250 claiming rule. The fast guys should ride what works best for them, whatever that is.

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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

11/29/2020 6:26 PM

JustMX wrote:

Back in the 70's they did away with the 500s in sx because they were just too much, and yet now the 450 are even faster.

The op also mentioned f1. How about that f1, nascar and other motors ports have taken step because technology has just caused speeds to go up way too much.

Mx and sx are the same.

Slow the bikes down

Restrictor in the exhaust so you get the benefit of less racket.

Let the racing get back to set up and racecraft.

Hell, with half the horsepower they have now it would still be awesome to the average sx spectator.

50' to 75' jumps are still pretty impressive.

Slow the bikes down, make it safer and tighten the racing up and make it better.

I quit reading when you said "racecraft" blush

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Ed Johnson

11/29/2020 7:28 PM

All the brands making 350’s. Not because there is anything wrong with the current racing. I just want a 350.

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