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BEGINNER'S GUIDE

Presented by:

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DISCLAIMER: Motorsports racing is inherently dangerous. There is always a risk of serious injury. Riders should not participate in events or ride unless they have adequate medical insurance to cover a catastrophic injury. Riders and/or their guardians are solely responsible for using adequate equipment. Ride at your own risk.

          FINDING A DEALER AND BUYING A BIKE

Whether you already own a bike or plan on buying a new/used bike you will still have to find a dealer to get parts and service as well as additional advice on getting started. We recommend Pilson Powersports in Mattoon, IL.

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When purchasing your bike, it’s important to purchase the correct machine for AMA racing. The AMA racing classes are designed to match the age of a rider to a machine's engine size. Youth classes are designated by age and machine CC. Adult classes (125cc and up) are either designated by machine CC and age or rider classification/experience.

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If purchasing a bike, use this guide to help pick out the correct machine for AMA Racing.

  • Ages: 4 to 6: 50cc 2-stroke/4-stroke (Max Front Wheel of 10”)

  • Ages: 7 to 8: 50cc 2-stroke (Max Front Wheel of 12”)

  • Ages: 7 to 11: 65cc 2-stroke

  • Ages: 9 to 15: 85cc 2-stroke

  • Ages: 12 to 16: 85cc-112cc 2-stroke or 150cc 4-stroke (Max Front Wheel of 19”)

  • Ages: 12 & Above: 125cc 2-stroke

  • Ages: 14 & Above: 125cc 2-stroke – 250cc 2-stroke/4-stroke

  • Ages: 16 & Above: 250cc 2-stroke/4-stroke – 450cc 4-stroke

SAFETY GEAR

Crashes happen. The more gear you have on, the more likely you are to go home sore rather than injured if an accident happens.

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  • Helmet: This is the single most important piece of protection you will buy. It is mandatory for all participants taking part in practice and competition to wear a full face protective helmet in AMA-sanctioned events. The helmet must be properly fastened, be a good fit, and be in good condition. The helmet must have a chin strap type retention system. When you strap on the helmet, make sure the strap is snug so if you do go down it will not come off easily. The helmet needs to conform to either the recognized standards of Snell M2010/M2015 or DOT. A certification sticker will be on the back of the helmet.

  • Goggles: These should always be worn while on a bike. Make sure the lenses are shatterproof. Try on different brands while wearing your helmet to find the best fit (flush to your face) and most comfortable. It’s critical to protect your face and eyes from roost and debris on the track at all times. Using a tear-off system is a great way to clear your vision while on the track during the race.

  • Chest Protector: You should learn to ride with these from the beginning because they can take some getting used to later. It is mandatory for all youth participants to wear chest/back protection.  Body armor can help protect your core from an impact injury by spreading the impact over a wider area. It also protects you from roost (hard clods or small rocks thrown up from tires). There is a huge variety available in different colors in both body armor (front and back) and chest-only protectors.

  • Clothing: Protective pants made of a durable material and long-sleeve jerseys are required to race. We do recommend buying some sort of kneepads. Kneepads or knee braces are designed to fit under your gear. Gloves are also recommended. Elbow pads are optional, but also a good idea for beginners.

  • Boots: To race AMA events, boots must be at least 8 inches high, and a combination of buckles and/or laces are required. When you buy motocross boots, take the time to break them in properly until they are comfortable. Racing with boots that are not properly broken in can restrict movement and restrict your ability to use the foot controls. If you are buying for your child get them a little big, but not too big, to allow for growth. Motocross boots can take a pounding. Cleaning and maintaining your boots can help them last a while.

          PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

The best thing that can prepare you for racing is riding. When you go out to ride, don’t just ride in circles all day. There are different things you can do to improve basic riding skills.

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Concentrate on using different controls like the clutch, front and rear brakes, etc., so that you will know your machine’s limits. Using the clutch will help you attack corners harder. Proper use of the brakes will shave seconds off your lap times. While jumping is important in motocross, motocross races are still won and lost in the corners. Practice corners by doing corner drills or figure eights to improve your riding skills with leaning and bike controls, including clutch, brakes and throttle control. This will make you faster and make you a safer rider.

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Motocross is kind of like golf and tennis. Learning proper form early will make it easier in the long run. Keeping the elbows up and learning to stand up on the bike is very important. Learning proper body position will help you save energy and make you a safer rider. Having better control of your machine will allow you to be able to respond easier to what the bike does when it hits ruts, bumps, and holes on the track.

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Working with an experienced riding coach is recommended to master your riding skills.

READY TO RACE

Let’s start with a list of what you need to bring to the race:

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  • AMA Membership Card: AMA-Sanctioned races require you to join the AMA to compete

  • Minor Release Waiver: Any minors who are racing must have a annual minor release form completed prior to the event

  • Riding Gear: Helmet, boots, pants, jersey, chest protector, goggles, knee pads, etc.

  • Your Bike and Extra Gas: Make sure your bike is clean and ready to race and that you have an extra can of gas

  • Large, Visible Bike Number: The AMA does not assign racing numbers but it’s encouraged to use the last three digits in your AMA number, numbers should be white on a black background or black on a white background

  • Cash and Liability Releases: Bring enough cash for the gate admission and race sign-up fees and don’t forget any type of releases that you will need to fill out ahead of time, such as the annual minor release form

  • Miscellaneous Parts and Tools: It’s good to bring some tools, an extra tire tube in case of a flat, spark plug, levers, bike stand, Bel-Ray chain lube, etc.

  • Comfort Items: Snacks, drinks, chairs, paper towels, etc, for your pit area

          RACE DAY: WHAT TO EXPECT

Try to arrive at the track at least an hour and a half early. Giving you time to park, register, unload your equipment, walk the track and get your gear on before practice starts.

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  • Gate Admission: The first thing that you will do when you come into the track is purchase your gate admission (cash only). Everybody will sign the required releases when they enter the park to receive their armband. You must keep this on until the last time you are leaving and not coming back.

  • Parking: Where you park is generally personal preference at most events. When you park, make sure you are not blocking any driveways or roads. Some like to be near the PA system so they can hear when you are called to practice or race.

  • Transponders: Transponders are required and are used to electronically score you and your bike each time you cross the finish line. Transponders are used in addition to the numbers on your bike. Transponders are available for rental at the track from Liveview Timing and are required prior to registering unless you are using the online pre-registration system.

  • Registration: Riders under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian or another adult with a notarized statement authorizing them to sign for the minor. There will be no exceptions to this rule! If someone else has already registered with the same number, you will be asked to add a piece of tape as a slash or add a No. 1. (For example, the number 6 can be changed to 6/ or a 16.) You will also be given a practice band or practice sticker that needs to be put on your helmet to practice. The practice order will be posted at registration. The race order is often determined by class entries and will be made up and posted during practice.

  • Walk the Track: This will help you relax as well as learn the track. Take the time to look at the different obstacles. Find a high spot and stand and look at the track like you are watching a rider go around it while they are racing. This will help you learn the layout. Take your time.

  • Rider’s Meeting: The Rider’s Meeting will be before practice over the PA system and on 88.5 FM. Be sure to pay attention as the race referee will go over the race format, how many laps in a race, starting procedure and race procedures. Following the rider’s meeting or practice there will usually be a prayer and national anthem. Riders in the first three races need to work their way to the staging area immediately for their race.

  • Practice: Ride in first gear to the staging area at the start gate. Be sure to pull into the proper staging lane for your group. Pay attention to the track flags. Be sure to hold your line and not zigzag. Don’t worry about racing with anyone because it’s practice. After practice, go to registration and verify the race order.

  • Race Staging: Make sure to arrive at the staging area about three motos before your race. The Staging Manager will line you up and gate position will be random by computer selection. Make sure to stay in order during staging and while making your gate selection. No tools may be used to groom your starting area, only hands and feet may be used and nobody is allowed in front of the starting gate.  

  • Race Format: The outdoor events are generally two-moto format events. The motos are added together to determine an overall finishing order, and the awards are handed out based on this overall final. See the AMA Rulebook for tie-breaker procedures and motocross scoring.

  • Results: Shortly after your race, the results will be posted on the results board at registration. It is each rider’s responsibility to check the results for errors and notify the AMA Referee or someone in registration. Once the results have been posted for 30 minutes for protest, they will be official unless changed by an AMA Official.

  • Awards: Awards are handed out at registration. Please check the posted results before coming to pick up your awards. No awards will be given out until the protest time for a class has expired. The number of awards given out will be posted.

  • Crashing: If you go down on your bike and are not hurt, your top concern is to get off the racetrack and out of the way of danger. If your bike is in the middle of the track, move it before trying to restart. Do not wait for the track crew to move your bike or start it for you. The track workers’ priority is to let the other riders know there is a problem and to keep you safe. Medical personnel will also be on their way. At AMA-sanctioned events, an ambulance and medical staff are mandated to be on the grounds for rider safety.

GENERAL POLICIES AND GUIDELINES

Please make sure to always look over the AMA Rulebook and any Supplemental Rules for the event you plan on attending.  These rules and many others are enforced by Lincoln Trail Motosports and other tracks across the USA.

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  • RIDER REGISTRATION: AMA membership, MyLaps transponder and last 4 of frame number are required for registration. All riders must properly register before entering the track. ALL RIDERS WHO PRE-REGISTER MUST CHECK-IN AT REGISTRATION. Anyone under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

  • PRACTICE: The staging area will be used for all practices. All riders must have practice stickers on their helmet. No turning around or cutting sections of the track. No stopping on the track. You must practice with your assigned group only.

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  • REFUNDS: NO REFUNDS ONCE PRACTICE HAS BEGAN. Be sure to assess yourself, your equipment and the track before entering the staging area. Refunds for mechanical failures are not the tracks responsibility. 

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  • NUMBERS: If duplicate numbers are found, one rider will have their number "slashed" at random to avoid confusion. You must have contrasting numbers and plate backgrounds. It is your responsibility to have legible and matching numbers on all number plates or YOU MAY NOT BE SCORED.

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  • TRANSPONDERS: MyLaps transponders are required for all racers on race day. Rental transponders are available at the event or you can supply your own Mylaps transponder.  Riders without a transponder WILL NOT BE SCORED.  

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  • PIT RIDING: All pit vehicles must have a pit vehicle sticker. Pit riding is limited to 10 MPH speed limit in the pits. Under 18 must wear helmet at all times on pit bikes and ATVs. No pit vehicles after 9pm. FAILURE TO FOLLOW PIT VEHICLE RULES MAY RESULT IN LOSS OF PIT VEHICLE PRIVILEGES.

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  • RESTRICTED AREAS: No persons or unauthorized vehicles are permitted within the boundaries of the track. Jumping any of the fences could be grounds for disqualification of you or your rider(s).  ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS OR VIDEOGRAPHERS MUST CHECK-IN AT REGISTRATION AND WEAR MEDIA VEST WHEN IN RESTRICTED AREAS.

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  • STARTING GATE: No tools or "farming" in front of starting gate. One mechanic per rider allowed in staging. Jumping the gate will result in an immediate one lap penalty. Report to the starting gate three races before your moto.

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  • RACE RESULTS: Results are posted at the Registration Area shortly after each race. Check your results within 30 minutes of you moto. Do not wait until you are on the starting line for you next moto to verify results.  Live Timing is not official results.

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  • PETS: All pets must be on a leash. No vicious or excessively barking pets permitted.

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  • TRACK RADIO: Please keep your radio tuned to FM 88.5 for up-to-date announcements, rider's meeting and important information throughout the weekend.

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  • WRISTBANDS: WRISTBANDS MUST BE WORN AT ALL TIMES. You will need your wristband to register, practice, race and while in the park. Please put them on and leave them on. If leaving the facility, your wristband will be required for re-entry. If lost, you will be required to purchase a new one.

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  • GARBAGE: Please bag your garbage and place in the available dumpsters for pick-up. If you need trash bags, you can get them at the Front Gate or Pro Shop. Please refrain from dumping gas and oil on the ground.

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  • CAMPFIRES: Reasonable campfires are permitted. 

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  • RIDER INFORMATION: Rider information can be found at the Registration Area.

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  • FIRST AID: First Aid is located at the Action Sports EMS Headquarters next to the Classic Track starting gate (west of Pro Shop).

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  • SECURITY: Security headquarters are located at the Front Gate.

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  • LOST & FOUND: Lost and found is located at the Pro Shop.

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  • MEDICAL INSURANCE: We do not have Rider Medical Insurance. Riders are responsible for their own medical insurance. Rider medical insurance is available through the AMA’s RAMP Program at (800)-556-7614 or visit www.insurance4ama.com.

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  • PROHIBITED ITEMS: No fireworks, weapons, illegal substances, glass containers or any other items that may pose a safety hazard to our guests or competitors are permitted.

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  • SEARCH POLICY: All persons, vehicles and their contents are subject to search at any time. If any fireworks or other prohibited items are found, you may remove them from the property yourself, or we will dispose of them for you. We are not responsible for the safe return of any confiscated items.

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  • GUEST CONDUCT: Motocross racing is a family sport. We will not tolerate offensive or inappropriate conduct and reserve the right to remove anyone from the premises. RIDERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDUCT OF THEIR CREW MEMBERS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

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  • BANNERS: Do not take banner or signage. Violators will be prosecuted for theft and trespassing.

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  • QUIET TIME: Quiet time is 10:00pm nightly. Generators can run all the time.

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  • NEAREST RV DUMP STATION: RV dumping is permitted at Love's Travel Stop in Greenup or KOA campground in Casey.

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  • WATER & AIR: Water and air fill station can be found next to the Pro Shop.  Do not hook up pressure washers to water fill stations.

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  • RACE FUEL: Sunoco Race Fuel can be purchased at the Pro Shop.

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  • ICE: Ice can be purchased at the Pro Shop.

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  • PROPANE GASPropane tanks can be filled at JJET Leasing in Casey.

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