It looks like Motocross and Supercross are awfully similar, but they aren’t. There are clear and distinct differences:
Motocross differs from supercross in that motocross in that motocross riders ride on longer tracks and gain higher speeds, while supercross focuses around stuntwork in stadiums. A motocross track may require the rider to ride for up to 2 miles before finishing a lap, while a supercross track is much shorter between 500 and 750 yards, with many jumps and tabletops to impress the spectators.
Of the two types of dirt bike racing disciplines, motocross is much more popular. In order for riders to get involved in supercross professionally, they need to compete at a stadium while motocross simply requires a dirt track, of which there are thousands in the world.
Motocross Compared to Supercross
It’s understandable to get confused between these two types of racing classes. After all, they both use dirt bikes on well-groomed tracks with audiences watching on.
Yes, they share many of the same elements when it comes to riding competitively.
The similarities are:
- Professional riders. Both are done by professional racers covered by an industry body paired with many spectators. These are a seasonal series where competitors race just about every weekend for a set period of the year to accumulate points.
- Types of dirt bikes. Both use 450cc and 250cc dirt bikes, and smaller classes are available for children and teenage riders. Common dirt bikes include those made by Yamaha, Honda, KTM, Suzuki and Husqvarna.
- Riding style. Riders are expected to ride aggressively on the track and push through past the slow riders. You won’t see any mirrors on their dirt bikes which means there is a high risk of injury.
- Engine type. Most commonly, competitors choose to use 2-stroke dirt bikes due to increased torque and a more aggressive powerband, though 4-strokes are becoming quite popular. They will also have a race team to help them with mechanical issues and repairs.
You’ll also find a loyal fan base between each disciplines of racing. Many famous riders actually compete in both to mix things up a little in their career.
This is probably what you’re looking for: What is the difference between the two types of racing?
Well, the differences between supercross and motocross are quite straight forward:
- Location variances. Supercross events are almost always held in stadiums for all-weather performances, with racing done in the evening under the bright lights. Kids love supercross because of the cool tricks that the riders do.
- Time of Day. Motocross events can be held anytime day and night, with riders often competing in the morning or afternoon on an open motocross track.
- Performance and Speed. The average speed of a supercross dirt bike competitor is much slower than one on an MX bike because of the track design. Long sweeping tracks compared to small man-made stadium tracks.
- Stuntwork. Motocross tracks do have jumps but the main focus is on speed and performance as opposed to seeing motorcyclists doing stuntwork.
- Race Length. Motocross riders do ride for a longer time period because the track is much longer. Sometimes a competitor could be out there for 2 to 3 hours (like a mini-enduro) before finishing up on a race with long sweeping corners and fast-flowing whoop sections, while a supercross rider is there for the aggressive cornering and jumps.
- Terrain. Supercross riders enjoy flat terrain while motocross riders may, in some instances, experience some elevation changes depending on the track location.
One could say that supercross is a scaled-down version of motocross, with a greater emphasis on entertaining the crowd rather than actually winning tournaments. Now, a scaled-down version of supercross is called arena cross, and then there are trials and hard enduro which is another discipline of riding entirely.
It’s fair to say that the differences between the two aren’t that major and many families enjoy watching both types of racing. If you have children, then they’re going to enjoy the supercross events more and given they’re held in stadiums with roofs, you often won’t be rained on in the evenings.