Getting into motocross as a sport requires huge mastery of skills to successfully perform exhilarating tricks. One big factor is having access to a good dirt bike track for practice. However, you might be in an area that doesn’t have one and yet you want to hone your biking skills. You can consider making a diy dirt bike track in your own backyard.
For this purpose, this guide will help motocross enthusiasts gain better understanding on how to build a dirt bike track. Information on important steps, factors to consider, and tips will be elaborated in detail.
Table of Contents
Step-by-step to Build a Dirt Bike Track
What to Prepare
When you make your own dirt bike track, the following materials and equipment will be used:
- Land area (minimum ½ to 1 acre)
- Dirt (loam, peat, clay, sand, silt, chalky; about 3000 cubic yards)
- Heavy machinery (bulldozer, water truck, backhoe)
- Large measuring tape
- Garden tools and accessories for barriers and landmarks (shovels, flags, ropes, signs)
- Chosen dirt bike track design
- Permits to allow the building of the track
Step 1: Preparation and Permissions
- Land requirement: Verify if the land is suitable for building a motocross track. Not all terrains are created equal. This will affect your bike performance and your riding skills.
- Location vicinity: You should pay attention if the location is in close proximity with neighbors. They can sue and threaten the closure of tracks for creating excessive noise. You may also opt to relocate in the woods, as trees provide a buffer to diffuse noise and dust.
- Permits: Check with local authorities for building requirements, especially when building a backyard dirt bike track. This depends on the area you live in.
- Insurance: Accidents are inevitable in sports, so consider getting insurance coverage if you let others use your track. Every rider must sign a waiver and release of liability.
- Trespassers: Trespassers can be a concern if your track is far away and not at home. Consider installing poster signs, fences, and surveillance cameras for monitoring.
- Parking and accessibility: Account for easy passage of heavy equipment during building and for opting for public access to your track.
Step 2: Designing a dirt bike track
In motocross track designing, consider your skill level and land size. A good motocross track will let you maximize your skills as you practice.
Generally, motocross tracks are made up of the following sections:
- Start- the straight, first part of the track; allows one to build riding momentum.
- Rollers- Rounded bumps bigger than whoops
- Whoops- Small, continuous bumps best placed after straight paths
- Booter- a huge jump often located at the finale part
- Rhythm sections- continuous parts for performing double and triple jumps
- Rut- deep indentations that can be placed in the corner turns
- Acceleration chop- bumps situated at the corner exits
- Braking bumps- usually placed in soft soil terrains
- Jump sections- areas to perform different jump tricks
- Changing elevation sections- likely present on non-flat terrains
- Challenging obstacles- designed to master complicated tricks
Small motocross track layouts may have lesser sections compared to the bigger ones. But riding experience can still be maximized if the design is well-planned.
When you design your own dirt bike track online, you may use a design software such as SketchUp to create your layout and even include design plants.
For beginners, video tutorials on the web will serve as your guide.
Step 3: Execution
Now it’s time to execute your dirt bike track ideas. On average, clay-based dirt needed is about 3,000 cubic yards, readily available on hilly terrains.
You can work with shovel when building your backyard dirt bike track. However, opt for heavy equipment to make work more efficient and less time-consuming.
When building jumps and whoops, keep a 3:1 ratio of the length with the height of the dirt. Use large logs or boulders, whichever is available, to also serve the purpose of jumps.
In addition, provide adequate intervals between jumps and bumps. This is to ensure rider safety while navigating through your dirt bike track.
The time frame for completion may span from 3-4 days or even weeks. This depends on land quality, weather conditions, design complexity, and equipment.
Best Soil for a Dirt Bike Track
Choosing a soil type for your dirt bike track affects not only your track quality but also your bike longevity. An ideal soil must be able to hold water easily and grow plants.
Common soil options on building dirt bike tracks include clay, sand, silt, loam, peat, and chalky. Each type has attributes that may either make or break your track quality.
- Clay soil- thick consistency makes bike navigation hard, especially when it becomes wet; track will be less prone to gradual erosion
- Sandy soil- can be slippery for bikes to ride on and may cause an issue on the bike’s air filter; those who usually prefer such find handling more predictable.
- Silty soil- a mix of clay and sand’s properties; can be a suitable soil to use on building your dirt bike track when properly prepared.
- Loam soil- is considered to be the popular choice for soil options; bike riders highly prefer this type of soil due to easier navigation and better riding experience
- Peat- another soil highly preferred by bikers; although less consistent compared to loam, it offers better bike navigation and works best when mixed with other soil types.
- Chalky soil- common backyard soil that requires a lot of watering; can also be mixed with other soil types to improve its properties.
Also, mixing the soils, especially with peat and loam, can yield the best soil for your dirt bike track.
Things to Consider When Building a Dirt Bike Track
Consider placing all your thoughts for your design first on paper. Account the areas you wish to include and the needed measurements, such as length and perimeter.
- A dirt bike track usually has a minimum length of 400 meters. When opting for 5 lanes with a start area, the recommended width is at least 220 feet.
- If you are a beginner, several online guides are available on designs created by professional dirt bike track designers. Check if they are suitable for your skills and for your own land.
- Drainage systems must also be included in the design. Depending on the water flow in your area, this may cause soil erosion that could damage the track when not controlled.
- Keep your backyard motocross track plans simple. Costs are expected to increase when the design gets more complex for home made motocross tracks.
- For building cost estimates, it ranges from $50 (backyard) to as high as $10,000 (average pricing). This depends on the following: the amount of dirt needed, the machinery rented, permitting requirements, as well as the completion time.
Motocross is an extreme sport. As accidents may likely happen, a proper insurance coverage is a must. Converse with a reliable insurance agent to help you decide.
In addition, you might also refer to a lawyer to discuss legal implications in case someone gets into an accident. The lawyer may also guide you in creating a waiver.
Even during the building process while using heavy equipment, it is important that the operator of the heavy equipment knows the safety measures to avoid accidents.
Also check if there are underground utilities in your chosen area prior to building operations. This may require the assistance of underground locators.
Maintaining the Track
Track maintenance is a must to ensure its longevity for motocross sports usage. Here are some practices you can follow:
- Have your dirt bike track slightly elevated so water can easily run-off from the terrain. Install culverts to channel water flow.
- Use heavy equipment such as track loaders to facilitate faster and more efficient maintenance operations.
- Lanes should have enough spaces in between. Recommended space is 20 feet for 20-foot lanes. For fenced tracks, a 15-feet distance should be observed.
For a visual demonstration of dirt bike track maintenance, check the following video as a reference:
What are the different types of bike tracks?
Dirt bike tracks can be motocross or supercross. They differ mainly on the following: track setup, track width, number of obstacles, and jump lengths. Motocross tracks are done outdoors, while supercross tracks are done indoors.
Can you build a dirt bike track in your backyard?
Yes, you can. Consider your land size and current bike riding skill level when planning details for your backyard dirt bike track. A one-acre free space in your backyard will even suffice.
How much does building a dirt bike track cost?
Average cost incurred when you make a dirt bike track is between $6,000 to $10,000. Cost factors are based on the following: heavy equipment rented, dirt amount needed, and completion time. The longer the completion, the greater the cost.
What are the minimum dimensions of a motocross track?
An average motocross track is about 400 feet in minimum length. It must have 5 lanes with a start area, with 220 ft minimum width.
Knowing how to build a dirt bike track requires thorough planning and careful execution to carry out its desired function in enhancing your bike riding skills.
There is no such thing as a perfect dirt bike track. However, having the knowledge on considerations, design requirements, and execution processes will guide you to create an ideal track suitable for your needs.