Tips On Building Motocross Tracks

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There are a few things to keep in mind when building motocross tracks of any sort. My goal for this page is to get you to think carefully about the location you intend to design and build a motocross track before you mount a bobcat or bully and waste your valuable riding time. Once you’ve finished reading this page make sure you head over to MOTOCROSS TRACK CONSTRUCTION where I go into more technical detail as to how to actually build your dirt track.

First of all, when I talk about building motocross tracks I’m not talking about designing and constructing the latest circuit for the AMA series… I realize not all of us are lucky enough to have 20 acres of private undulating land that we have permission to carve up with a D6 Bulldozer (oh how good would that be?!). I have however included some excellent Youtube clips below that you have to watch if you’re serious about building an MX track. If you’re limited with paddock space and it’s just a couple of jumps and a berm or two that you have room for, then this info will help you too.

The first track (right) I helped build was with my brother on our old man’s property. It consisted of a step-down, a step-up and a table top that we gradually built up as we gained confidence. This is one of the awesome benefits you gain when you build your own track – you can increase the size of the jumps as your confidence grows.

The lessons we learned from this experiment were…

1) You need clay-based dirt on the jump faces otherwise the soft, loamy stuff quickly ruts out and gets regurgitated out the business end of your bike.

2) The importance of getting the transition/angles of the jumps right and having enough dirt to do the job properly.

I should also mention we didn’t actually ask our Dad for permission first! Initially, he threatened to tear it down but he did eventually succumb to the fact that we weren’t going take no for an answer. Good luck to you if you’re seeking permission from your folks to rearrange their backyard.

I’ve been lucky enough to be able to share many good laps on this private track (below) with a few mates. It was built by my brother on his mate’s farm using the machinery from my bro’s construction company he works for. He had the dirt carted in from a work site he was supervising and spent a couple of weeks shaping it up with the company digger. The paddock was more or less flat so he didn’t have much to work with, hence the tons of dirt brought in to form the jumps. Below is a picture of it during one of our mid-winter sessions. The soil in this part of New Zealand is volcanic so it drains quickly – allowing us to ride all year long. No snow here to slow us down my North American friends!

If you wanna see more pics and vids of this track ‘Like’ DBTP on Facebook.. it’s over there on the right  —>

Permission, Permits & Neighbours When Building Motocross Tracks

We’ve heard the stories of people who have poured the time, money and energy into building a motocross track, only to have ridden it a few weekends before the locals / neighbors kicked up a stink and had the council shut it down. Don’t let this happen to you.

Believe it or not, some people don’t enjoy the exhilarating sound of half a dozen dirt bikes screaming around a track on a Sunday morning. And how can they not like the large clouds of dust swamping their back deck and blocking out the sun?

Location is super important. Think about where the noise will travel. What are your neighbors like? If they all own bikes then you’re in luck! If not, it may pay to talk to them first. Compromise with them by designating certain days you will ride.

What sort of soil will your track be made out of? Think about ‘the dust factor’. If you live way out in the sticks then you don’t have to worry about coating your neighbors cereal. But if you ride upwind near some houses you will probably end up with a bullet through your fuel tank courtesy of Grandpa Larry, or the local council issuing you notice to close the place down.

So think carefully about your surroundings before you go building motocross tracks of any size. Get it right from the start and save yourself the gut wrenching anticlimax you’ll inevitably experience if you have to tear it all down.

Have you got a good location ready to build on? Click through to MOTOCROSS TRACK CONSTRUCTION for the how to’s.

Some Excellent MX Track Building Clips

Motocross Track Design & Layout

For those of you that ask for motocross track designs and layouts, I’ve found a few tracks that have aerial photographs taken of them. Hope this helps..

Another helpful source on building tracks is

Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

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