In essence, dirt bike racing is all about going outside with your dirt bike and having fun. It’s about putting up a lot of thrill in your life while dealing with a track full of dirt. Over the years, as the sport gained popularity, dirt bikers have invented many events like Motocross & Supercross for different riders to give them more satisfaction.
The main differences between Motocross and Supercross are the venue where the races are arranged. However, the tracks, obstacles used in the tracks to create bumps, bikes used to race, laps counting, and technical elements can vary.
Between different types of dirt bike racing, Motocross and Supercross are the most popular ones. Despite similarities, both kinds of racing have differences too.Let’s delve further to learn more about the difference between Motocross and Supercross in detail.
Types Of Dirt Bike Racing
Motocross, Supercross, Enduro, Trails, and other types of dirt bike racing are all popular. Let’s get to know about all of them a little bit first.
In 1909, Motocross was first raced in the UK. It is a summer sport usually organized in May. Motocross is often called MX and is always played outdoors.
Motocross is actually what people imagine while thinking about dirt bike racing – high speed, many jumps and obstacles, tight turns, a track full of natural and simulated terrain. The route is longer, wider, and more extensive. Motocross tracks are specially designed to examine the ability of the rider.
There are two races in this form of racing called motos. One is called Professional motos, which lasts for 30 minutes with two laps long. Another one is Amateur motos which last for 12 to 20 minutes.
As there are two races, if a rider even manages to become second in both motos, he can be the winner of the day!
This is an American dirt bike racing competition. It’s an indoor race that takes place in the early part of the year.
If a rider is specialized in Motocross, Supercross won’t be a big problem for them. Supercross riding includes short and narrow tracks, tight turns, jockeying, and night lights. The obstacle used for bumpy jumps is called Dragon’s Back.
The event is divided into two parts and consists of 20 laps for the 450cc class and 15 laps for the 250cc class. Supercross tests the quick decision-making ability of a rider. As there is only one race, the faster rider will be crowned as the champion.
Enduro racing is just what the title suggests. The riders’ endurance is put to the test in this race.
Unlike Motocross and Supercross, Enduro includes boulders, streams, limbs, etc. The obstacles used in this race are unpredictable such as hanging trees, logs, rocks, splashing through streams, etc.
Usually, bikes with 450cc are used in Enduro racing, but they always keep larger gas tanks. Because Enduro racing can last anywhere between three hours to a full day, this race is very intense and creates a lot of physical and mental pressure on the rider.
Trails races are like Enduro to race through logs, trees, rocks, cliffs, and other natural obstacles. But the only difference is if a rider puts his leg on the ground, he will earn negative points each time.
Passing through a section without touching the track is called cleaning a section. To earn minor points without touching the ground as much as possible is the goal of every rider. This race focuses mainly on completing the challenges, not on racing.
Arenacross is similar to Supercross. The only difference is it is arranged in smaller arenas instead of stadiums. There are also the same rules and restrictions. But the race starts with a two-row state depending on their ranking.
Riders test their ability in Arenacross before joining Supercross. Though the track is smaller, riders have to face challenging jumps, sharp corners and turns, and many other obstacles.
Difference Between Motocross And Supercross
Now that you know what is Supercross racing and Motocross racing, you can proceed to find the key differences between Motocross and Supercross. Let’s dig in!
Supercross racing events are arranged in the spring season, usually in the first half of every year as in January.
On the other hand, Motocross racing is scheduled just after the Supercross event is finished, providing the racers a break for one month. It is usually arranged in the summer season, most likely in May.
Supercross dirt bike racing is organized in an artificial arena or indoor stadium. The majority of the races are held at night beneath the lights of the stadium. And these stadiums mean gallery, seats, cheering, and a lot of viewers.
On the other hand, Motocross is held in an open sports arena or a rural outdoor venue. As the tracks are longer, the crowd can only enjoy a part of the race. All that matters in this race are the view, sound of nature, small crowds.
- Bikes Used
In Motocross and Supercross, both 450cc and 250cc engine bikes are used. In Supercross, riders of 250cc race either on Eastern or Western series. 450cc bikes are under the high-level race, and 250cc bikes are under the regular race.
In Motocross, as the bikes require higher speed for more extended and rougher tracks, the suspension needs to be tuned for irregular contacts. On the other hand, bikes used in Supercross races need tighter suspension for quick and tight cornering.
Motocross racing tracks are longer, wider, and more prominent as they are held in an open arena. The length of the route can be half a mile to two miles, and the width is between sixteen to forty feet.
Naturally built terrain is used to build the track, and obstacles and bumps are created to help high jumps. The track is sometimes sprinkled using pumping stunts to create obstacles.
On the other hand, Supercross tracks are more miniature than Motocross tracks as they are held in an indoor arena and can be different. The track is smaller, shorter, and narrower.
There is always the chance of Supercross tracks to be larger than Motocross as they are artificial. The organizers have to build bumps and obstacles using dirt such as soil, mud, beam, etc.
Supercross racing uses a 20 laps race to determine the champion in the 450cc category, and the season consists of 17 races. The same goes for the 250cc bikes. And the lap time is around one minute every time.
On the other hand, the Motocross season consists of 12 races. All the bikers start with zero points after the Supercross winner is declared. There are two motos in Motocross racing. And both motos are of 30 minutes plus two laps.
- Technical Elements
As Motocross races are held outside, the organizers have to consider many things such as humidity, sun exposure, temperature, brightness, etc.
These things mean that the racer taking part in Motocross needs to have a diverse set of skills. As long straightaways can help the bike speed up, the biker needs to always be careful of the upcoming bumps.
On the other side, Supercross tracks are more technical, which requires more strategy, close jumps, faster turns, etc. And the height of the stadium determines the jumps sometimes.
- Obstacles Used
As Supercross is arranged in a small arena and artificial terrain, the riders have to race through high bumps, a lot of corners and turns, whoops, etc.
Motocross also includes jumps, turns, and bumps. But the track is made using the natural terrain, and the riders get more time to think and take turns while crossing the long straightaways. This category includes natural obstacles such as logs, fallen trees, rocks, etc.
After the end of 17 races, the champion is declared in Supercross. The first biker holding the most points to cross the finish line after finishing 20 laps is declared the champion.
At the end of 12 races, the rider who crosses the finishing line after the flag is waved is usually the winner of Motocross. But as there are two motos in Motocross, both motos play an essential part in determining the winner. A biker who becomes second in both motos may end up being the champion.
What Is Better Motocross Or Supercross – The Final Battle
Motocross is the superior option, in our opinion. That’s because it is the basis of every kind of dirt bike racing.
Whether you are a fan of the sport or a dirt bike rider yourself, you have to start with Motocross. It’s all the things that come to your mind when you hear the word “Dirt bike.”
Motocross teaches the essential things and tests the ability of a dirt biker on a fundamental level. If a rider is specialized in Motocross, Supercross won’t be a big problem for them.
Any racer taking part in Motocross needs to have a diverse set of skills. As there are two races in Motocross, if a rider even manages to become second in both motos, he can be the winner of the day!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between motocross and enduro bikes?
Enduro bikes are much heavier than Motocross bikes as they carry more giant gas tanks. They are more comfortable for the long journey than Motocross bikes as the duration of the Enduro race can vary. In comparison, the Motocross bikes are made for a 45 minutes race.
Is Supercross harder than Motocross?
Yes, Supercross is harder than Motocross. Because it is more technical and requires tight corners, more jumps, and the straightaways are shorter than Motocross. So the rider has to be always alert in Supercross.
What is the difference between a Motocross bike and a dirt bike?
A standard dirt bike is just like other motorcycles. These are made with knobby tires just to ride off-road in the dirt. On the other hand, Motocross bikes are made with special care to ride through obstacles and corners in the natural terrain made track.
How high do Supercross riders jump?
3 feet is the typical height of a Supercross whoop. In comparison, the height of a Supercross triple jump can be 35 to 70 feet.
Are 2 strokes allowed in Supercross?
No, 2 strokes are not allowed anymore in Supercross. After 1998, the AMA Supercross league declared their new rule to compete for four strokes against 250cc bikes. So, all the investors and developers shifted to four strokes, leaving behind the glorious memories of two strokes.
The two most popular and most prominent events in dirt bike racing are Motocross and Supercross. Winning both competitions requires high-quality bikes and a lot of skills as both are equally dangerous.
In both races, riders have to go through high jumps, many hurdles, and tight corners. Expert riders from all around the world are required for both races. Even though they appear to be the same from the outside, they are quite different in the sectors stated.
If you are a fan of dirt bike racing, you can now enjoy the race with a clear concept and understanding as we have tried to explain the difference between Motocross and Supercross clearly. Now, go and enjoy the next racing season!