The influence of SX on MX tracks

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5/24/2019 8:39 AM

I watched the Pala track map https://racerxonline.com/2019/05/24/fox-raceway-animated-track-map and while I knew it would not resemble a typical motocross track, I was reminded that each year I am a bit more disappointed when outdoor motocross tracks add more supercross-style obstacles at the expense of straightaways, hills, and natural terrain.

I realize this has been happening for a long time, probably before I was born (1990), but if me as near 30-year old is noticing this and becoming disappointed, what are you old heads and vets thinking? Do you like how things are changing? What tracks have been influenced the most?

Washougal and Southwick are sweet because the appeal isn't just the jumps alone - it's the track following the natural elevation up and down hills, through valleys, on off-cambers, and through the trees!

My home National is High Point and I feel lucky that I get to watch the pros rip up and down the hills of that valley, though I do think the racing could benefit a tiny bit from some of the jumps being removed to allow the racers to shred the natural terrain which High Point has a ton of!

So, what do you old heads, vets, and other young folks think? Which tracks have been influenced the most/least?

I'm really interested in hearing from the older members of our community who have lived through more of this change than me.


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5/24/2019 8:43 AM

I dont care about the tracks itself if im not riding it. If it provides good racing then im all for it.

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5/24/2019 8:46 AM

I think Local tracks at a grassroots roots level , they need to keep it simple and more on the natural side.
But these guys are professionals the best of the best.
I like to see them hitting big jumps , and hauling ass through some deep rollers etc.
Imo variety is good and personally i like the fact that its a different track than last year, i would like to see a couple new tracks every year and maybe rotate , so say glen Helen gets a national every other year ,
And do the same in other states rotate different track in out every other year.

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5/24/2019 8:52 AM

Southwick is my favorite race to watch every year. Jus' sayun.

- TRARNISHED, Esq.

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5/24/2019 8:53 AM

Rotating tracks is a cool idea. It could help get nationals in areas of the country that are visited less by the national tour.

To be clear I'm not opposed to big jumps like Larocco's Leap or the big quad at High Point, and massive rollers are sweet. I more meant that when it's jump after jump after jump with now regular terrain in between, that is the part that I do not prefer.

However, like kb228 said, so long as there is good racing, I will keep watching and cheering!

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5/24/2019 8:54 AM

FWYT wrote:

Southwick is my favorite race to watch every year. Jus' sayun.

- TRARNISHED, Esq.

I Love southwick also, because i love sand tracks
And have wished for years that they would add a couple more, hopefully Florida is sand.

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5/24/2019 8:54 AM

I think it’s a backwards marketing ploy. Amateur tracks should be geared toward C class racers and safety. There should be more single jumps and fewer triples. Landings of gap jumps and tables should be gradual and lengthy. The way things have gotten is catering to the few instead of the many. I’ve thought for years that modern track designs contribute to smaller turnouts. We are not a spectator sport, we survive on participation. I’m roughly 40, and I had my run and enjoyed the big jumps, but had just as much fun on old school courses. As for pro tracks? Throw in a few death jumps mixed with a reasonable amount of old school design.

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5/24/2019 8:55 AM

I love the natural terrain tracks, but to be honest.. I like the supercross style outdoor tracks just as much. I feel like you can see more of the racing. One of the best outdoor nationals I attended was Kenworthy's in Ohio. That track had supercross influence like no other.

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5/24/2019 9:05 AM

Im into the bumps, corners, and the ground. A couple booters, but thats it.

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5/24/2019 9:17 AM

"Supercross-Style" tracks have been the rage since I can remember. I started riding in 1982. Bob Hannah hated the trend.
I like jumps, and I've enjoyed my fair share of airtime. As long as the tracks are built in a safe manner, I say bring it on.

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Braaapin' aint easy.

5/24/2019 9:29 AM

So long as it's good racing, I'm happy. However, to throw my 2cents in on track design, I think that both SX and MX tracks needs to have sections that separate the men from the boys. Big jumps on their own don't cut it in the 4-stoke era. We need more technical sections that require intelligent line selection, rhythm sections with a bunch of combinations, and a new approach to track maintenance. Let the tracks get beaten up!

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5/24/2019 9:54 AM

While I agree that I prefer hills and natural terrain, not every property provides that.

I am in search of my own property where I am going to put 1 or 2 pitbike tracks. I will most likely be getting flatter land, so to compromise I will put some jumps in. Nothing crazy, but when you have flat land you have to add some jumps. Would I like hilly land, yes, but from what I have seen on the market not much hilly, cleared land has been available near me.

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5/24/2019 10:03 AM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2019 10:05 AM

OP, I'm the same age, 29 this September. I'm not a fan of the SX influence in MX. I hate going out to local tracks and seeing peaked out jumps, whoops and other crap like that. I want to go ride an MX track with dirt that is ripped super deep and gets rutted with gnarly breaking bumps. I know I'm the minority though and it's a bummer. My most fun days were at Glen Helen or Perris in the summer around 3-4pm after the pros destroyed the track. My second motos on race day were always better because I knew how to ride rough tracks and most of the other guys didn't.

I'm only 28, but I prefer more old school! I loved The Ranch. That track was badass and Marc Peters built the Carlsbad replica track there to spec. It was badass!

Edit: You don't need hills to make a badass outdoor track and you don't need jumps. Soft dirt and the right prep to get rough and rutted and you're good to go!

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5/24/2019 10:12 AM

Track and Trail wrote:

I think it’s a backwards marketing ploy. Amateur tracks should be geared toward C class racers and safety. There should be more single jumps and fewer triples. Landings of gap jumps and tables should be gradual and lengthy. The way things have gotten is catering to the few instead of the many. I’ve thought for years that modern track designs contribute to smaller turnouts. We are not a spectator sport, we survive on participation. I’m roughly 40, and I had my run and enjoyed the big jumps, but had just as much fun on old school courses. As for pro tracks? Throw in a few death jumps mixed with a reasonable amount of old school design.

Another thing is Even if you are a guy that can do all the jumps but you are a c rider it one thing to go out by yourself and ride and hit all the jumps on a practice day,
And that could be a great time, But to actually try to race on that same track is a different story.
The actual Racing of other riders would probably be better
If you set 2 cones 100 feet apart on a flat field,
And had 2 or 3 guys Race each other around the cones
People with a lesser ability could actually try to RACE ,
Instead of just trying to get around safely.
Usually 1 or a couple guys are a mile ahead and there isnt much Racing actually going on it seems at local tracks these days , except in the A class
In my opinion , do you guys see it that way?

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5/24/2019 11:24 AM

mattyhamz2 wrote:

OP, I'm the same age, 29 this September. I'm not a fan of the SX influence in MX. I hate going out to local tracks and seeing peaked out jumps, whoops and other crap like that. I want to go ride an MX track with dirt that is ripped super deep and gets rutted with gnarly breaking bumps. I know I'm the minority though and it's a bummer. My most fun days were at Glen Helen or Perris in the summer around 3-4pm after the pros destroyed the track. My second motos on race day were always better because I knew how to ride rough tracks and most of the other guys didn't.

I'm only 28, but I prefer more old school! I loved The Ranch. That track was badass and Marc Peters built the Carlsbad replica track there to spec. It was badass!

Edit: You don't need hills to make a badass outdoor track and you don't need jumps. Soft dirt and the right prep to get rough and rutted and you're good to go!

Cool to hear your perspective as someone the same age.

I agree but from an east coast style. Never been to Glen Helen or any west coast tracks, but I grew up riding rutty, rough, chewed up east coast tracks. Those ruts used to swallow the wheels on my kx60 back in the day.

Unadilla is in my mind a great example of what MX should be. Set in a valley, lots of elevation, a big jump, some smaller jumps, and so on. Most people hate the drive to the track because it's in the middle of nowhere, but hey, I enjoy the fact that cows outnumber people around Unadilla laughing

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5/24/2019 11:30 AM

I just turned 40 and I dig more jumps to be honest. I love watching Southwick as much as any other race but I grew up in New England and didn't really dig racing it as much as say Central Village (lot of jumps).

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5/24/2019 11:45 AM

To me, the bigger and more challenging jumps are directly related to the speed increases the 4 strokes brought. Track builders are now forced to make jumps longer, faster, steeper, etc. due to the increased on-track speed.

If you want evidence, watch RV2 on the 125 at Hangtown. There was at least a few jumps where he was giving it everything he had just to be able to case the top of the landing....jumps that 250 class privateers all cleared with ease.

Also, a track like Pala that is mainly flat will naturally be "jumpier" than a natural terrain track. If not, it's going to be speedway style racing with few obstacles to create passing opportunities.

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5/24/2019 11:45 AM

Southwick is cool to me because of the lack of jumps. Make sense? IDK.

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"A link is only as long as your longest strong chain"

5/24/2019 12:01 PM

Stuntman949 wrote:

Southwick is cool to me because of the lack of jumps. Make sense? IDK.

Southwick is cool to be because it's not slot car racing. You can go/make alternate lines and is interesting to me to watch the different choices.

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5/24/2019 1:19 PM

Stuntman949 wrote:

Southwick is cool to me because of the lack of jumps. Make sense? IDK.

like Carlsbad.

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5/24/2019 1:38 PM

If you think today's outdoor tracks are supercrossy you must not have been to Troy Ohio or Red Bud in the 90's. Troy especially was basically a 5th gear supercross track.

The problem today is the ruts, it's all the same dirt.

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5/24/2019 1:46 PM

Mid 90’s Troy Ohio national was the most jumpy outdoor I can recall. It was fun to watch.

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5/24/2019 1:46 PM

McG194 wrote:

If you think today's outdoor tracks are supercrossy you must not have been to Troy Ohio or Red Bud in the 90's. Troy especially was basically a 5th gear supercross track.

The problem today is the ruts, it's all the same dirt.

Beat me to it lol

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5/24/2019 2:07 PM

48, soon to be 49, Vet B/C rider. For watching, I like it all with a good blend of both. But I get super bored if there are no jumps. As for actual riding, I love elevation changes on the track and I also like jumps and rhythm sections with jumps that have a lot of pop, but are not super high speed jumps. Just personal preference. Also dig the amateur SX tracks. SX makes you a better rider as you have to be more precise with throttle control, preloading, body movement, etc. I find myself cornering faster in MX after riding SX, not that I'm all that fast (Vet) lol. Again, this is speaking to local amateur level SX tracks. I like it all I guess.

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5/24/2019 2:22 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/24/2019 2:23 PM

I've never seen the track at Troy Ohio. I watched an archived race from 90s redbud and remember it being different but that was a while back.

Jumps are fun and needed in MX. They have a place and it should be that way. I just also like when there are a couple parts without jumps so I can see how the riders race in those sections.

Now that I am thinking about it... Steel City was the first track my dad took me to as a kid, the 98 national, and that track had a lot of jumps, and I loved it lol. Hypocritical a bit, I suppose. Oh well. Good memory.

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5/24/2019 2:43 PM

I’m 52 now. I started racing in the early 80’s at the age of 15. First race was at Honda Hills. It was not SX oriented, but did have a couple natural doubles, a couple of larger single jumps and a ski jump. On race day, Dick Klamfoth loaded the track with sawdust which made it fairly smooth and fast, but it would develop large roller braking bumps. During practice days during the week, it was dry and hard packed, there were black marks on the dirt from the tires. And it was one rough ass sum bitch. The tougher the tracks, the more I liked them. C riders could buck a large jump, but they sure had trouble getting through the nasty stuff with any speed.

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5/24/2019 3:15 PM

Stuntman949 wrote:

Southwick is cool to me because of the lack of jumps. Make sense? IDK.

endurox wrote:

like Carlsbad.

I miss Carlsbad dearly.

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"A link is only as long as your longest strong chain"

5/24/2019 3:39 PM

I'm old.. I raced the nationals back in the 80's , back when the tracks were still MX . Racing happened on the ground!! And it still does... One of the reasons southwick is so difficult is because your not jumping ( and resting) every 30 ft.

My local track has 21 jumps on it . Its basically jump, jump, jump bowl turn repeat. Is it MX, not a chance...
Jumping or not jumping is dangerous.. a lot more dangerous then racing on the ground.

At the last Amateur daytona sx race 109 riders went to the hospital. Thats seriously messed up.

The reason MX was so popular back in the 70's -80's was EVERYONE could do it.

Now most people are smart enough to stay away because of the jumps...

There's too much money in SX for this to change. I'm just glad I got to race back when the track were real tracks...

I feel bad the pro's have to race tracks like pala...

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5/24/2019 4:50 PM

I have noticed track owners don’t rip the tracks as deep as they used to. Unless you catch a track after some rain, deep ruts are a thing of the past.

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5/24/2019 11:21 PM

I love the natural aspect of outdoors but I think the man-made obstacles are a requirement for the level of riding these guys are on, and the level that their machines can perform as well. As long as the tracks flow and it's more wide open than SX (which has also seemed to get a lot faster/flowier over the last 20yrs), or it gets rough and gnarly and provides good racing then I'm all for it. One of the baddest ass things to see is how the big jumps and obstacles deteriorate over the course of a moto and still seeing the elite few at the front pin it into the blown out faces like it's nothing.
If you wanna see guys pinning it on real natural terrain, the off-road guys these days are on another level whether it be desert racing or GNCC. It ain't outdoors but it's damn good racing.

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