Motocross has come a long way from its initial days when it used to be just another motorcycle trial in the United Kingdom. It is one of the most physically demanding sports as riders use almost all muscles to negotiate the twists and bends of the track.
This whole act makes the sport dangerously risky, and that's where the real fun starts for motocross enthusiasts. To delve deeper into the safety of this sport, we have to assess all the risk factors involved in the same.
The root cause:
The design of the dirt bike is what makes the sport risky, unlike, say a race car. If you fall off the bike, you are going to hit the ground, or the bike is even going to hit you. A smaller displacement bike is definitely the way to go if you're a beginner. I'm sure most of us started out with a 450, isn't it?
The risk in motocross tracks would be lower if they were devoid of bumps and undulations. Each time your bike goes into the air, the risk increases significantly.
Almost 50% of all dirt bike-related injuries happen on motocross tracks. That said, the level of risk associated with the sport quadruples when one enters the professional league.
So you have to make sure that you're not overtraining and that you're not taking unnecessary risks. On the other hand, daily practice can help you become faster and better than what you were before.
Experience too plays an important role in whether you'll complete the jump or end up breaking a bone. Someone who's been in and out of the motor sports industry is going to be jumping further, higher, going faster. They might not crash as often, compared to beginners.
Selecting the Right Gear:
Probably the most important factor after the experience is selecting your motocross gear. To the layman, it looks like the safety gear hasn't changed much over time, but we know better off, isn't it so?
Take for example knee braces. These days, we hardly see any ankle injuries happening due to advancements in the structure of a knee brace. They can cushion a severe blow to the knee. The boots too are way better than those we saw during the late 90s.
Dirt bikes too have undergone improvements. These bad boys now have a lot bigger footpegs. Suspensions have become sturdier and more resilient, and we're essentially using them to jump further!
We know wearing a closed bodysuit can be tiresome, not to mention its weight and the physical stress involved. Been there, done that.
But, this landscape is soon changing. With the merger of tech and textile industry, many companies are using improved materials and better design and production techniques, giving us lighter and much-improved body protection. It's not the early 2000s when we'd just be wearing jackets without shock-resistant materials. Riders now wear a basic plastic protector on top of their jersey.
The motocross scene in the United States is growing, as well as rapidly changing when it comes to safety. With the advent of these huge aerial Super cross tracks, neck protection has been on the top of the priority list of all the gear companies. Helmet manufacturing too, has seen a lot of changes over the years, especially when it comes to design and sustenance.