Got a need for speed? While any CFMOTO ATV can satiate it, if you’re looking to take things to the next level you might try ATV racing! It’s one of the many ways to get involved with other riders, master your machine, and have a blast while doing both.

But ATV racing is a little more than riding ATVs fast—it’s a totally different ball game from cruising recreationally around the trails, and if you want to truly enjoy racing, you’ll need to do some prep work. CFMOTO, your preferred ATV company and side by side manufacturer, is here to help. We want to make getting into this side of the sport easy where it used to be intimidating, so below, you’ll find a handy first-timer’s guide.

What Exactly Is ATV Racing?

Generally speaking, unless the term is used informally, it refers to a speed event held on a motocross track. You’ll be pitted against riders of a similar skill level to yours, so the competition is fair and exciting. Competing to finish first, you’ll jockey for position around tight turns, big jumps, and swaths of straight track. The terrain is often loose, so you’ll kick up dirt as you go, creating quite the spectacle!

What Skills Do I Need for ATV Racing?

As you can probably guess from the above description, this sport is not for absolute beginner riders. Even though races near you may have ‘beginner’ classes to enter, these classes are still fraught with speed and goodhearted competition. It’s a blast, sure, but you’ll need to have a few things mastered in order to make it such.

Familiarity With the Track and Safety Equipment

Riding on an ATV-friendly motocross track is a unique experience, one that trail riding can’t completely prepare you for. In addition to the consistent terrain you’ll find on the course, you’ll probably face obstacles at a much quicker pace than you would in the “wild,” so to speak—and we’d be surprised if any trail rider would be completely comfortable with jumps!

Before going up against any competition, haul out to a few practice tracks and cruise around for a bit. While there’s really no way to tell what the competition will be like when you enter your first race, the best thing you can do is get a feel for similar terrain and obstacles beforehand.

And before you even think about pushing your ATV’s speed, get, at minimum, a helmet, goggles, gloves, tough boots, and potentially even a chest protector. Not only will you stick out like a sore thumb if you show up to a race without the right safety equipment, but you risk serious injury, especially if you’re inexperienced.

Some Degree of Physical Fitness

You already know that it takes strength to ride an ATV, but when you need to call on your strength for quick, racing-style bursts, you’ll want as much of it as you can get! While you don’t need to be completely built, getting in shape can aid you in your first racing experience; focus on cardio and arm strength. Trail riding requires sustained endurance, but racing requires quick bursts of energy.

A Basic Knowledge of Racing Flags and Techniques

Checkered flag? Race is over—that’s obvious. However, for your own safety and for that of others, you’ll need to understand what a few additional signal flags mean. While there are no standardized (set) flag colors for every motorsport and there are quite a few more than listed below, here are a few you should know.

  • Black: Disqualification. Go talk with a referee!
  • Red: The event must be stopped, usually because a rider has been injured or the track has become dangerous.
  • White: You’ve got one lap to go!

In addition to flags, you might want to learn a bit about competitive techniques before your first race. There are handling methods, for example, that can prevent other riders from passing you and that thus can give you an edge. You can learn all about flags, skills, and more in racing lessons. We definitely recommend taking them if you want a leg up!

I’ve Got the Skills! What Next?

Now it’s time to find a race! Your CFMOTO dealer can probably direct you to local leagues, clubs, or other associations that center around ATV-friendly tracks. Racing is inherently a social sport, and getting involved is the best way to make it fun.

Plus, once you join up, finding practice spaces and competitions becomes a piece of cake. Searching online can also find you races, but in going at it solo you miss out on a big part of what makes racing fun.

CFMOTOs: The Machines That Can Do it All

From racing to farmwork to recreational riding, CFMOTO ATVs tackle anything you throw at them with power, grace, and efficiency. If you’re looking for a truly standout line of vehicles fit for hard work and hard play, your search is over. Use our CFMOTO Dealer Locator now!