Type the question into Google and you get very little information. Crumbs in fact. I called the official association, AMCA, and they couldn’t tell me. Where is Stephen Hawking when you need him? It might be one of those questions with no real answer. Like do crabs think we walk sidewards? One thing you can say is that MX is definitely cooler than its seventies brother.
The image of motocross or scrambling as it was called back then was based around men who had a passion for fixing bikes as much as racing them. It was the domain of mechanics and farmers who spent as much time tampering with a machine as racing one. But it was a touch of fast action for men who had speed coursing through their veins.
Back then it was quite rare to even have a bike. Boys trained on a Yamaha 50 before graduating to a Greeves or Husqvarna. Money was tight and a generation grew up seeing the sport on Grandstand but unable to come out of the 3-day working week and high unemployment with enough spare cash to buy a bike.
Back then and even old in the seventies, Murray Walker would add his voice and commentate on such luminaries of the sport as Arthur Lampkin, Jeff Smith, Derek Rickman, Dave Bickers. They raced around tracks in Kent wearing very little protection – with balls the size of Spacehoppers resting in their handlebars.
But the sport was far from in the doldrums. Viewing figures would have been in the millions.
Attendances at motocross events in the 60s and 70s were huge. For instance, at one of the UK’s most famous tracks, Hawkstone, they would have had over 50,000 attending single events. Today however they would be lucky to get 6,000 through the door so the crowds are not as big but there are more events to attend.
Fast forward to 2013 and with the advent of Nitro, indoor events, tricks and a pro circuit, the sport has evolved from its muddy roots. It’s fair to say that most children could get a bike and certainly any working person could buy a race machine. What has happened is that the sport has become accessible.
There are more clubs, more tracks, more girls, and more events. Today there are over 200 clubs and 30,000 licensed riders. The machines don’t break like they used to and the Internet had made everything attainable from Ebay for bikes to online trading companies like moto41 who specialise in the clothing. Whatever you want, you can order and it will be on your desk the next day.
Riders might not know how to change oil but they always come prepared with a new pair of underpants.
*Moto41 is a new, exciting and driven online motocross apparel store. Our customer service has always been paramount to us and we are constantly enhancing your shopping experience.
You will find our staff, dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate about your sport and the service we give to you.