How to Build a Motocross Track? Cost, Soil, & Design - Risk Racing

February 25, 2021 10 min read

Dirt bikes are meant for adventure and what better way to push you and your bike to the limits than a motocross track. Unfortunately, you may not always have access to an MX track. That’s why you might be considering building your own track on your land, giving you a way to enjoy motocross whenever you want.

Here are the steps to building a motocross track:

  1. Verify whether or not you can build one on your land.
  2. Design the track that works best for your land and your needs.
  3. Bring in any necessary equipment and dirt.
  4. Build your track, test it, tweak it, and enjoy it.


 

Can I Build a Motocross Track on My Land?

The biggest question that you may have is whether or not you can build a motocross track on your land. There are few things that you need to ask yourself to get this answer, some of which we will look more closely at in this section. These important questions include:

  • Are there noise restrictions in your areas?
  • Does your location require permits before you construct a motocross track?
  • Will your motocross track interfere with the quality of your neighbors’ lives? Will they react negatively to the track?
  • Can you control unauthorized riders from using your track?
  • Do you have access to water for your track?
  • Is the area safe enough to build a track, such as not having trees or rocks?

Location is one of the most important considerations. You may have enough land to build a motocross track, but you may live too close to your neighbors where the motocross track would bother them. If they are bothered, they could report you to the local authorities every time that you use your track. This means that where you live, the size of your land, the noise restrictions in the area, and how close you live to your neighbors will determine whether or not you can build a motocross track on your property. 

Another consideration when building a motocross track is whether or not you can handle the insurance. It’s expected that you get insurance to protect yourself from any liabilities should someone else get injured while using your track. You should get a comprehensive plan to protect yourself.

Lastly, when wondering if you can build a motocross track on your land, you need to think about access to your land. If you can’t get the necessary large equipment, such as a bulldozer, onto your land to work, you aren’t going to be able to even build a motocross track on your land. If you intend on having gatherings with other riders, you also need to be sure that they have plenty of room to park to get to your track.

Ideally, you will want to live in a more secluded, wooded area that’s far enough away from your neighbors where you won’t cause trouble with the noise.



 

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Motocross Track?

A major question that you likely have is how much does it cost to build a motocross track. There’s no definitive answer, as there are different situations for every person, so it varies from project to project. However,the average range for these types of projects is between $6,000 and $10,000. There are several factors that can impact the price of this project, such as:

  • Amount of Dirt Needed

If you need to have extra dirt hauled in to complete the design of your track, then you will have to pay extra.

  • Equipment Required

Sometimes you need heavy machinery, or you may already have some of the equipment necessary for the project. You may even have friends or family that will lend you or get you a discount on this equipment.

  • Time Necessary to Complete Project

Depending on the difficulty of the design, the quality of your land, and weather conditions, the project can take as little as a few days or as much as a few weeks. The labor costs for projects that take longer can add up.



 

How Much Land Do You Need to Build a Motocross Track?

As previously mentioned, you will need a decent amount of land in order to build a motocross track. You could create some tiny track in a yard or an okay size one if you have about an acre of land. However, to get the best sized tracks you should have several acres to work with, somewhere between 3 to 5 acres at minimum for a great motocross track. 




What is the Best Dirt for a Motocross Track?

If you are new to motocross, you may wonder why the type of dirt even matters. There is a significant difference between “bad” dirt and “good” dirt that can not only impact the longevity of the track but also the longevity of the bikes. There are different soil types across the country, but the best types of dirt are the kind of dirt that helps plants grow. That soft dirt that can easily hold water. That’s the ideal type of dirt for a nice, loamy track. Bad dirt can be hard to ride on and even hurt your bike’s tires. 

This section will take a closer look at the different soil types to help you see the pros and cons as well as which type is the best choice.

Clay Soil

When you think of clay, you likely think about pottery. That’s essentially what this is. This soil type can be hard in nature, which gets even harder and more compact as you ride on it. This type of soil is bad because it can eat away at your bike’s tires. When this type of soil is wet, it can be hard to get traction and you may end up falling more.

Clay is a resilient soil type, which can be both a negative and positive when building a track. Clay can damage your rubber tires because of its resiliency. But, it’s a resilient soil that will not erode as quickly with heavy wear. It can be a decent option, but there are plenty of cons to consider with this one.

Sand

Sand is a tricky soil type. There are some riders who thoroughly enjoy riding around in sand, while others find it more difficult to deal with. Have you ever tried running in the sand at the beach? Imagine that but doing it while riding your bike. The riders who enjoy sand tracks find the handling more predictable than other surfaces.

Sand can be very slow and tricky to ride on, as well as require a specific set of tires to accomplish it. Because sand is so slippery, it’s hard to get traction and will require you to keep the throttle on to successfully ride on this type of dirt. There’s also the issue of sand wreaking havoc on your air filter on the bike.

Silty Soil

Silty soil resembles clay when it’s wet, with that muddy substance that just hugs the tires. When it’s dry, it tends to resemble sand. It can be a good option for dirt for your track, but you do need to make sure that it’s properly prepared before riding around.There’s a careful balance that you need to achieve between wet and dry to achieve the best results when riding. If you have too much moisture, it can be like riding in thick mud. If it’s too dry, you can end up with a very dusty situation as you ride around.

This is an option that is commonly used by motocross tracks because it offers a great level of traction for riders. Some prefer to solely use this type of soil while others prefer to mix silty soil in with another type of dirty to get the best consistency for riding.

Loamy Soil

Loamy soil is considered to be the most popular choice for motocross tracks. Most people tend to prefer this option to any other type. What makes this type of soil so great is that it has the perfect balance of silt, clay, and sand for the best riding experience. You get the traction that you need to enjoy your ride and reduce your risk of falling. You get the drainage that you need to ensure that the track doesn’t get too muddy to ride on. And if you do fall, the track offers a much softer landing. 

Peat Soil

Peat soil is tilled earth or topsoil mixed in with peat. This is an excellent option for motocross tracks because it does offer a lot of traction when compared to many other types of soil, as well as supporting better maneuverability. This isn’t a consistent soil type, which is one of the downsides of this option. It’s also best when used in combination with other types of soil.

Chalky Soil

Chalky soil is primarily the type of soil that you will find in backyards. This can make up a major portion of backyard motocross tracks. The issue with this type of soil is that it does require regular watering because otherwise it becomes way too dry and it dries out very quickly. This can be used with other types of soils to improve the density and drainage issues that is typically experienced with this soil.




How Long is the Average Motocross Track?

Earlier, it was discussed that you need to be sure that you have enough space to complete a great motocross track. There are some minimum requirements to the size of a motocross track. These minimum requirements include:

  • The track should be at least 400 ft. in length.
  • To have a 6-lane track or a track with 5 lanes and a start area, the track lanes should be at least 20 ft. in width. 
  • You should have plenty of space between the lanes of the track (roughly 20 ft.) so that you can properly maintain it using heavy equipment.

Of course, if you have the space you can go larger if you want. These are just the minimum requirements that are required to have the best track possible.



 

Motocross Track Design

You do need to have a design in place before you start building the motocross track. Which design are you going with? After you determine the location, consider the location carefully. Are there any natural hills and terrain that you can work with here? You don’t want to have to work against the natural terrain, especially since this can make your project more expensive. It can be better off to work with what you have, planning out the track based on your terrain.

When designing a track, consider these popular obstacles that people tend to enjoy riding on. These parts of the track include:

  • Starting area (gate and first corner)
  • Berm turn
  • Rollers
  • Rhythm section of continuous jumps
  • Step-down
  • Double jump section
  • Single jumps
  • Tabletops
  • Triple jumps
  • Step up

These are just some of the obstacles that could be designed into your track. You will also need to consider whether you want to build a supercross style track or a motocross style track. Motocross tracks tend to be more natural based tracks, depending on the natural terrain. But, if you have flat terrain you may be better off going with a supercross track. There are different designs for these tracks, which is why this is another important thing to think about.



 

Building the Motocross Track

There are two parts of this process: the design and the build. Before anything else, you need to have a location on your property in mind for your track. The size and location of this area can have an impact on your design, which is why this should be one of the first things you consider. 

To start with, you need to make sure that you have the proper equipment. You will need items like stakes, flags, and measuring tapes in addition to equipment like a bucket loader, water truck, and bulldozer. You also need to think about dirt. Do you have dirt available to you on your land? If you don’t have enough, you will need to bring some dirt in to make your track.

The bucket loader will pile up the dirt and then you can use the bulldozer to get the desired shape. But, if you are building a smaller and simpler motocross track, you can get away with only using one of these types of heavy machinery. As you build this track, you want to be sure that you focus on creating motions that are flowing and sweeping, with jumps and hills mixed in. 

The entire track needs to be smooth and works seamlessly together for an optimal riding experience. Think about how you ride and the types of tracks that you enjoy, then create a track that was made for your perfect riding experience.  The good news is that you can make changes to your track as needed, whether because you want something different or you are ready to move onto a more challenging track. 

Here are some tips that you should keep in mind when building your motocross track.

Drainage

It’s crucial that your track has proper drainage. Without proper drainage, your track will have issues with erosion. You will likely need to buy expensive dirt to get the best track and it wouldn’t be good to have your money wash away. This means that during the build, you should consider adding drainage pipes to help reduce this problem.

Keep the Design Simple

The more complex the design, the more difficult it will be to make. It will also be costlier to do if you are hiring another company to take care of this process. There is a great balance between a simple design and one that is incredibly fun, which will give you the best experience.

Call Before You Do Any Digging

Whenever you do any digging on your property, it’s always a good idea to call the utility companies to see if/where there are any buried utility lines. They typically do this for you for free, which is a good investment for a few reasons. One reason is that this ensures that you are safe when digging into the property. This also makes sure that you don’t cause any damage that could be dangerous and/or expensive to repair.



 

Final Thoughts

Motocross is such an exciting sport, but it may not always be the convenient option to travel to a motocross track. For those people, it can be a good idea to consider building their own motocross track. However, there are plenty of things to consider before you make this type of investment, as building a motocross track can be very expensive. The advice here can help you determine if this is a great choice for you as well as offer the tips that you need to make sure that you have the best motocross track that you can get.


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