Types of Dirt Bike Racing
Image by Adriano Bonfim from Pixabay

Types of Dirt Bike Racing

Like other sports, Motocross riders have a language of their own. Some Motocross terms are clear while others, not so much. If you’re not up-to-date on the latest Motocross terminology, you may find yourself scratching your head wondering what to say or do.

To give everyone a jump start, I thought it would be helpful to list a few basic dirt bike terms. There are many special words in the Motocross terminology dictionary with new ones added all the time. You’ll learn motocross terms soon enough but for now, I’ll start with some basics.

Block Pass

A block pass is when a racer passes another racer in a corner and makes them slow down or lose momentum. Sometimes contact is made with the intentions of the rider fumbling or falling over. This is a good technique to pass a rider who is hard to get around or matches your speed (whether or not this maneuver is fair, is up to you).

I would be honored to get block passed by the great Kevin Windham.

Brake Check

See “block pass.” While in front of someone, typically in a corner – brake checking can be used to foul up a racer’s momentum behind you. Think of it like a reverse block pass, the rider leading someone momentarily brakes in the corner causing the rider behind them to do the same in hopes of throwing off their momentum.

About 45 seconds in, lets just say these two have history.


This is a big part of the “moto language.” It’s a universal term (or noise) used in multiple situations. It can describe actions, end a conversation, or tell a story. It comes from the wonderful sound a 2 stroke bike makes while someone is riding it fast. Brrraaaaap!

Josh Hansen and Chad Reed, prime example.


What you don’t want to do on a triple. Casing a jump means to come up short and landing on the backside of the landing. The frame and where the crankcase sits usually smacks the dirt from your suspension completely compressing (as well as your ego).


Clapped Out

Used to describe a bike that has seen better days. Usually a few years old and looks like nothing has been maintained. If it sounds bad and looks bad, it probably rides bad and is clapped out.

Picture Joe Dirt’s car as a Dirt Bike.


Did Not Finish. You don’t want to see this next to your name on the results sheet. Well, typically you don’t since you are either scrambling to get your bike working for the next moto- or someone is asking you what day of the week it is in the back of an ambulance.

Ryan Hughes could’ve given up and taken the DNF, but then he wouldn’t be Ryan Hughes.

Goon Riding

The easiest way to describe goon riding would be to picture “Squid” but on purpose. Typically from a faster rider just having a laugh.

Trey is one of the best.


This happens at the start of the race. Once the gate drops and the riders take off, the first one to the first corner gets the holeshot.

AC shows us his best “Mike Alessi”.


A lapper is someone during the race that is a full lap down from the leader or someone else. Usually happens to someone who has fallen and is slow to get back up and back in the race. For example, a last place rider becomes a lapper once passed by the leader.

Blake Baggett doesn’t like lappers!


Last Chance Qualifier. Some races will have an LCQ built in to their race program to give those who had a bad first Moto or heat one last chance to qualify for the main event. This is more common for big events where there are more riders signed up than starting gates.

If you are going the LCQ, better be ready to fight for the transfer spot.


If you ever are talking to someone at the track who mentions they “just kept it pinned” through a certain section of the track, they are describing that the throttle was turned completely wide open.

Good example of stretching out the throttle cable.


If someone says “they got roosted” they are talking about the dirt flying up from the rider in front of them accelerating. Roost comes in varying forms depending on the track conditions but almost always hurts. Throw in some rocks and it quickly becomes motivation to pass the guy in front of you and make sure he gets his fair share.

Roost hurts.


Used to describe track conditions. “The face of that jump is rutted out.” It indicates the dirt is relatively soft and the tires have been digging into the dirt causing ruts. This can happen anywhere on the track and causes inexperienced riders much difficulty.

Master riding rutted tracks and you’ve won half the battle.


This term is used most often to describe someone who is riding in a class that is slower than their own capabilities. Sandbaggers will do this in order to have a better chance at winning. “That guy totally sandbagged the beginner class, I had no chance winning today.”

If the winner rides back to the pits and drinks a gatorade before you finish the race, he may be a sandbagger.



Source: www.motosport.com
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