Motocross is one of those state-of-excitement kind of experiences accelerating uphill, downhill and uphill again. In motocross world, injuries are an ordinary thing and you have to do everything you can to prevent them, or at least make them hurt less.
Types of injuries vary, but there are those most common in the motocross world. According to UPMC Health beat these injuries are typical for a motocross riders:
- Ankle sprains
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears
- Broken collarbone
- Broken or sprained wrist
- Rotator cuff tears and other shoulder injuries
“THE SPORT OF MOTOCROSS IS PRETTY VIOLENT, IT’S PRETTY AGGRESSIVE, BUT THERE’S DIFFERENT LEVELS. A GUY WHO’S BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS IS GOING TO BE JUMPING FURTHER, HIGHER, GOING FASTER. THEY MIGHT NOT CRASH AS OFTEN, BUT WHEN THEY DO, IT’S PROBABLY MORE VIOLENT.” Chris Sackett, Bell Helmets for wired.com
How to actually stay safe? Well, there are a few things you can do to try and prevent injuries while riding a dirt bike.
If you’re a beginner, make sure to choose a smaller bike. Most beginners think they can handle a stronger machine like 450, but in reality they can’t, because as a beginner you are prone to panic, you might take a handful of throttle and the bike might just go the way it wants or it can take you faster into a section where you should be slowing down.
- You should always be wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants, as well as gloves, especially designed for racers, because the material on these is much more durable than for any other sports gear.
- You have to make sure you wear your dirt bike helmet at all times. It should fit your head properly and should have a certified sticker on it so you are positive it meets safety regulations.
- Properly fitted boot with a steel toe is also a requirement.
- If you want to make sure you have extra coverage on your upper body, you should wear body armor, chest and neck protectors. There are a lot of different shapes, colors, sizes, so you can suit them to your performance.
- In case of a fall or a crash, a lot of debris is going to come your way. You want to have your eyes protected. Shatter-proof goggles are the only thing you need to protect your vision.
- Ligament injuries can be prevented by wearing knee pads and knee braces.
Other things to look out for
- Stretching and warming up your muscles is a very important activity prior to any physical activity. It is a good thing to have someone with to you, a friend or a family number, especially if you know you’ll be riding alone for the most part of the race or a practice.
- Essential part of a good preparation and a safe race is to know your track. Take a walk around the circuit and get to know to challenging parts of the trail. You can resonate better while driving, if you can expect a trouble point.
- Inspect your dirt bike. If there are some parts that need to be replaced, replace them. Inspect all of the moving parts of your machinery and your engine. Install an hour meter on your dirt bike, so you will know exactly when it is time for your regular service and rebuilding. Check all of your external moving parts like chains, suspension, sprockets, spokes and linkage bearing kits. You should write down when you oiled and/or replaced them so your bike can run to its full potential always.
- Check the tires on your dirt bike and inflate them if needed. Inspect the frame of the bike and check for any cracks.
- Know your limits and don’t go off the track. You’ve already walked through to the end of the track and the last thing you want to do is to be lost somewhere in the woods, showing off your skills to yourself just to run on an obstacle you can’t bypass and you end up crashing in the middle of the trail you don’t even know. You have to be aware of what you can and can’t do. Don’t ever try to tackle a dirt bike bigger and stronger than you. No matter how strong you think you are, you are going to end up trying to tackle it while you know you can’t.
If you crash or better yet, when you crash, it is crucial to stay calm and not panic. If you’re not severely hurt, you should try and move your vehicle from the track so other racers don’t crash into it. If you’re severely hurt, don’t try to move. Stay where you are and wait for help. If you and your team have an SOS signal, you should send it as soon as you can.
Motocross Advice is the go to place when you are looking for a quality, experience based information about dirt bikes and dirt bike gear. The author of motocross advice has been riding motocross for the past 23 years and has now taken up the journey to educate as much motocross riders as possible.