ATV Racing 101

There are many types of ATV racing. Before you start ATV racing, you will need to determine which type is the best for you, and be sure that you've got the proper ATV insurance. Certain types of racing may be limited to certain parts of the country.

These races are run over natural terrain and man-made obstacles. The motocross races have stepped classes. They begin with 50cc races for four- to eight-year-olds and range to unlimited engine size for riders that are 16 and older. Each event has two or more heats, known as motos. Each moto has a certain number of laps, which are determined prior to the race, and may be dependent on the course. Riders earn points based on their finishing position in each moto.

Tourist Trophy
Tourist trophy (TT) scrambles are held on dirt tracks. The tracks include left turns, right turns and jumps. The rider must qualify to take place in the main race. Qualifying determines the rider's starting position. Similar to BMX racing, TT races require a good amount of physical strength to handle the bumps and jumps on the track.

Short Track
Short-track races are run on oval dirt tracks that are 3/8 mile long. There are no jumps or right turns. Like stock-car racing, these events are all about speed.

Cross Country and Hare Scrambles
These races are run on a marked course. The terrain is natural, but rugged. Each event has a set number of laps or a set amount of time. A rider needs to be fast, but must also be physically fit so that he or she can handle the rigors of a one or two hour race. Endurance and stamina play as much of a role as speed.

Ice Racing
For those who live in areas with cold winters, there is ATV ice racing. Most ice races are run on ovals, but you'll also find TT courses with left and right turns. It takes an experienced rider to handle an ATV at speed in these slippery conditions.

ATV Racing Rules and Regulations
There are established guidelines for races in the ATVA/AMA rulebook. Each district may also have supplemental rules. Pick up a copy of the rulebook prior to attending your first race. In order to compete, you must be a member of the ATVA Competition or a full AMA member in good standing.

When attending events, you must sign an agreement that you will not sue the ATVA/AMA or the organizer for any injury or damage to your ATV. You must release them from any indemnity. You are also required to know the rules of conduct during a race, so study the rule book before attending an event.

You will also need to get protective equipment before you can race. Safety equipment is required for all events. You will need to purchase a helmet, eye protection, a long-sleeved shirt and boots that are at least eight inches high. Helmets with full visors may or may not be allowed, depending on the materials used in the visor. Check local rules before you buy a helmet to make sure you've got one that meets all requirements.

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