Motocross, or MX, is a fast paced, exciting and incredibly competitive sport. Riders don safety gear and whizz around bumpy, tight and treacherous courses, struggling to stay on their bikes while they battle for position.
To the average spectator, Motocross riders must look crazy, nudging each other out-of-the-way one moment, and pulling tricks or show-boating to wow the fans a few seconds later. They do it out of a love of the sport; and for the adrenaline rush.
Crashes are pretty common in MX, but the safety gear that the riders wear usually keeps them from getting hurt. Here’s a look at some of the craziest crashes that the riders walked away from.
Chad Reed – Millville 2011
Chad Reed is an Australian MX and supercross racer. He won his first title in the Junior division in 1997, and is still winning races, and titles, today.
In July 2011, Reed lost control of his bike on the Millville circuit while he had a comfortable lead. He flew through the air for around 50 feet, came off the bike, and landed awkwardly. Fortunately, he was unhurt, and after a few seconds to compose himself he got back on the bike and finished the circuit. He came in 34th place (out of 35 riders).
James Stewart, Thunder Valley National
One of Chad Reed’s greatest rivals is James Stewart. The two riders have had some epic battles. Stewart is an aggressive rider that has had some spectacular crashes over his career. This recent crash is more of a skid or a fall than an epic scene of destruction, but it’s worth watching anyway; notice how, as Steward composes himself, collects his bike, and prepares to ride away, the racers simply navigate around him. That takes skill!
Craig Anderson, MotoX
Sometimes, the best crashes to see are the ones captured by the fans at race-side. In this MotoX event in Perth, MX rider Craig Anderson came up short taking a series of jumps. The landing looks pretty nasty, and Anderson took a minute or two to recover, but he was OK in the end.
The AMA Supercross Season
If you want to see more spectacular crashes, including more of James Stewart, then check out this compilation of crashes from the 2012 AMA Supercross season. There’s no denying it, these guys are tough, and crazy!
FMX, A Recipe For Disaster
Freestyle Motocross, or FMX, is a branch of Motocross that involves racing on slightly smoother, gentler tracks. The emphasis is shifted from navigating the tracks to doing tricks to impress judges. These tricks take skill to pull off, and don’t always work out.
Nick Dunne is a successful FMX rider from Redding, California. He is part of the Metal Mulisha team, and has an amazing catalogue of tricks up his sleeve. Like everyone, though, sometimes he gets things wrong, even with relatively “simple” tricks such as the backflip:
Motocross is a great sport, but after seeing the above crashes, it should be pretty obvious why they say “don’t try this at home”!