How to get started in Motocross.

Here is some helpful information on getting started in Motocross in South Africa. For any questions you are welcome to e-mail admin@rovermcc.co.za .

Step 1: Choose a class.

Before you look at getting started and buying a bike suited for motocross, it is best to decide which MX class is for you. Based on that, you will know which size bike to buy.
It is always advised to make sure of any Rule Changes that have taken place each year to make sure that you still fit into the correct class based on age and bike capacity.

Motorsport South Africa (MSA) Motocross Classes -current Rover Club Affiliation (  www.msaonline.co.za ; www.samxnationals.co.za )

Below is the MSA guidelines for Nationals but Rover club follows on par.Rover club race classes comprise of mainly >50cc Novice ; 50cc Pro ; 65cc Pro ; 85cc Pro Mini ; 85ccJ Small wheel wheel ; 125cc High school ; MX1 ; MX2 ; MX3 ;  Enduro and lately VMX has restarted ( Vintage MX ).

MSA national classes below

Class Age Bike Size
MX 50cc Open to riders from the year of their 4th birthday, to 31 December of the year in which their 9th birthday occurs 2 stroke (Water cooled motorcycles not exceeding 52cc)
Wheel size – Rear 10” and Front 12”
MX 65cc Open to riders from the year of their 7th birthday to 31 December of the year in which their 12th birthday occurs. (Clutch Lever with gears – motorcycles not exceeding 65cc)

Wheel size – Rear 12” and Front 14”

MX 85cc Junior

Small Wheel

Open to riders from the year of their 8th birthday to the 31 December of the year in which their 13th birthday occurs. (Clutch Lever with gears – motorcycles not exceeding 85cc)
Wheel size – Rear 14” and Front 17”
Will be bore and stroke to capacity only and no further restrictions will apply.
MX 85 Pro Mini

Big WHeel

Open to riders from the year of the 10th birthday, to 31 December of the year in which their 15th birthday occurs. 85cc 2 stroke and 150cc 4 stroke motorcycles
Wheel size – Rear 14” and Front 17” or Rear 16” and Front 19”
(Within the class, 150cc motorcycles must meet the minimum requirement of 10 motorcycles in which case the 150cc will be run in a separate class in 2016. In the event that the 150cc does not meet the minimum number in 2015 for a class on its own, the 150cc will be phased out of this class for 2016)
MX High School Open to riders from the year of the 13th birthday, to 31 December of the year in which their 17th birthday occurs. Wheel size – Rear 19” and Front 21”
Two stroke motorcycles not exceeding 126cc
MX 2 Open to riders from the year of the 15th birthday Wheel size – Rear 19” and Front 21”
125cc -150cc 2 stroke & 250cc 4 stroke motorcycles
MX 1 Open to riders from the year of the 16th birthday Wheel size – Rear 19” and Front 21”
125cc 2 stroke – 300cc 2Stroke & 250cc 4 stroke – 450cc 4 stroke motorcycles
MX 3 Open to riders from the year of the 30th birthday Wheel Size – Rear 19” and Front 21”
Motorcycles of unrestricted capacity
The combined Vets and Masters class will score as one Championship, but will operate on an age related bonus points system. Bonus points per heat for riders will be allocated as follows: 29 – 34 years: 0 points / 35 – 39 years: 1 point / 40 years and older: 2 points. Bonus points will not be added to the day results, but only to the Championship points. In the case of tie points, the rider that finished ahead on the circuit as recorded by lap scorers or telemetry will be placed as having finished ahead of the other competitor. This scenario will typically happen when a Master has the same points as a Veteran competitor. Therefore, by virtue of the Veteran having finished ahead of the Master to reach the same points, the placing for the day ONLY is in favour of the Veteran. This generally also means that in the extreme case where both have equal points & wins over the other, the best second heat finish rule will apply.
MX Ladies 10 + (The same proviso for the 150cc as mentioned under Pro Mini class above will apply)
Open to riders from the year of their 10th birthday. These riders can compete in the MX 85cc Junior class or 150cc 4 stroke class
Open to riders from the year of their 13th birthday. These riders can compete on Motorcycles not exceeding 125cc 2 stroke
Open to riders from the year of their 15th birthday. These riders can compete on Motorcycles not exceeding 250cc 4 stroke
Wheel Size – Mixed sizes as per manufacturer

Step 2: Choose a bike.

Once you have chosen a motocross class you now need to find a bike. Motocross is a demanding sport, not only on the rider but also on the bike so it is suggested that you stick to bike brands that can handle the demands of Motocross.
Some obvious big names: KTM, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Husqvarna.

Buying the wrong bike is a big mistake. Specifically in the 50cc jnr and 50cc pro class , you need to get the right bike for the track. Rather pop in on a weekend before buying and ask around for advice to make sure you make an informed decision.

The club in no way is biased toward any brand of bike or clothing and equipment or materials, its purely personal choice.

Step 3: Buy your riding gear.

Protective MX Gear is not only essential but most of it is compulsory. If you participate in motocross, the rules and regulations require that you wear the correct protective gear. Failure to do so can result in exclusion from races. Besides that, the gear offers the obvious necessary protection that is needed when racing motocross.

MX Helmet
The better the helmet, the better the protection. Make sure you get the correct type of helmet and the correct size. A helmet must fit snug and firm and not be loose at all on the riders head. Make sure you buy the one with a D-buckle. Clip-in type is not allowed
MX Goggles
Essential to keep the eyes protected. Tip: tear offs work well to protect the goggles as well as clear your vision when riding
Neck Brace (optional)
Essential to protect against neck and back injuries. This is an essential for junior MX
Body Armour
You get two types of upper body armour. Full ‘jacket style’ kits or you can go for the more conventional Chest Protector with Kidney Belt and elbow guards.
Chest Protector
Worn over or under a jacket, chest protectors can prevent serious harm in the event of a crash. Constructed from pliable plastic and foam pads, they provide protection for your chest and sometimes your shoulders and back.
Kidney Belt
A kidney belt saves your back and kidneys from a lot of the impact and jarring that you receive when riding around a motocross track.
Elbow Guards

Elbows tend to take a knock if you fall so best advice is to get good protection.

MX Kit
The ever popular riding pants, shirt and gloves come in a variety of striking designs.
Knee Guards / Knee Braces
A good set of knee guards or knee braces can help keep those legs and joints protected.
MX Boots
A vital part of your MX kit, these boots are very hard and rugged and can withstand just about anything.

Step 4: Learn how to ride

Before you jump into racing it is a very good idea to get some riding lessons for motocross. If you are a complete beginner , get in touch with the Rover team on admin@rovermcc.co.za to find out more on training. Some guys (and girls) have the knack and others need some coaching. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, the Rover team are all more than willing to help you. Don’t be shy to ask for assistance on even the smallest matter like what track to ride –rather ask than be sorry.
If you already know the basics we can recommend a motocross trainer. These types of trainers will help teach you the specific skills you will need when taking part in MX. Things like starts, cornering, braking, jumping, body position, racing etiquette and much more.



Step 5: Join Rover Club

There are various costs in maintaining a MX club and track so there is a cost to membership. Currently the membership and practice fees are as follows for 2016:

  • R1500 per year for family membership
  • Practice fees
    • for non-club members R170 per day
    • for club members R70 per day
    • You can pay annual practice fee @ R1500/annum for Junior MX and R2000/annum for senior MX
      • Junior MX is 50cc and 65cc only

Your club fees entitles you to entry and exit and use of amenities. Be sure to sign the indemnity form before practice –this is the booklet where payment is noted each day you practice.


Step 6: Ensure you are medically fit to participate.

It is very important that you are medically fit to participate in motocross. Signing a medical declaration is part of your licence application and it is important you are aware of any banned substances etc in motocross as well as any other medical conditions that you might be required to get special permission for. Full details on this and more can be found on the Motorsport South Africa web site.

Purchase a well stocked 1st aid kit for your car when practicing to care for those cuts and bruises along the way and possible sore leg from the exhaust.


Step 7: Get a licence. ( Racing only)

Once you are a registered club member you need to contact the racing governing body (MSA). You now need to take out a racing licence with them. You will not be allowed to race without a licence.
Licence options are Club, Regional and National and riders of any age can get one as per classes above. Licence costs ranges from the level and value of medical cover you take, ask us for advice if you not sure–do not buy a National licence if you intend riding club races only –rather ask us for advice.
In addition to this you are required to take out medical aid with the MSA whether you have your own medical cover or not. You are not allowed to race without medical cover. MSA can provide you with details of their prices and requirements regarding this.
MSA will also help you choose a racing number which will need to be displayed on your bike. Great companies like RaceStar Graffix can assist in getting those numbers on your bike according to regulations and they can do it in a variety of cool designs so that your bike looks great.

Some riders participate in both the WOMZA and MSA National series so you will need to purchase a licence for both affiliations. You may participate in Nationals of both but for Rover club races (unless otherwise specified–eg fun day) , you will need at least an MSA club licence with medical cover. Proof of your licence must be submitted on your 1st race day

You can contact Lizelle @ MSA in Cape Town for licencing information on 021 556 1026


Step 8: Enter a race.

Once you have everything you need, it’s time to enter your first race. You will be able to pick races according to the type of licence you registered, so if you have a Club licence, then you can enter Club races, etc.
Check with our website or facebook or email admin@rovermcc.co.za to be put on the mailing list. The website calendar is updated as changes occur.
Once you have entered a race, make sure you are completely aware of what the rules and regulations are for it and that you and your bike comply. There is always contact details available for any event in case you have any questions.
Then it’s just down to the big day. Putting what you have learned into practice and to have fun doing it.

Motocross is one of the biggest sports in the world and it is a great social and family orientated environment.
If you have any questions regarding any element of getting started in Motocross, please do not hesitate to contact us on info@rovermcc.co.za

Rover use the web site RaceControl to facilitate the registration process of entering a race day. You need to create an account on Race Control @ www.racecontrol.co.za and then keep an eye out for when entries open for the next club race date. Entries usually open 2 weeks before a race day. All tracks close the Sunday evening a week before a race day , you may NOT ride any track that will be used for a club race.

Race Control registration allows the organisers to process the classes and get the required riders in right classes resolved. Entries close 2 days before race day for the paperwork to be concluded.

Documentation is around 7am normally on a Race day where you need to bring the forms you would have printed from Race Control.

Your proof of licence at the 1st event of the year for record keeping. Scrutineering form is the ticksheet that confirms that you have checked all the various parts of the bike and rider and conform to racing standards. Entry form is the legitimate form that you intend entering a race at Rover.

Race Day fees : for 201 the entry fee for a club race is R150 for the 1st family entrant .

A late entry fee of R100 will apply after entries close on the website(racecontrol)

Each year a Club Championship kicks off for the entire racing season. MX runs throughout the entire year.

Scoring work as follows:

1st Place              25 points

2nd Place            22 points

3rd Place             20 points

4th Place             19 points

5th Place             18 points

and so forth all the way down

If points are tied at the end of a race day between riders , the last race best score decides the rider position.

Example : Rider A gets 44 points and Rider B gets 44 points but Rider B finished in a better position on the last race , then Rider B gets the better position finish.


Fuel and Modifications

Some affiliations allow certain modifications and some allow certain fuels. BE SURE YOU KNOW THE RULES related to the affiliated governing body before you enter the race. Some mods like carburetor size are also limited for certain CC’s so make sure first, ignorance is no excuse.


Step 9: What track to ride @ Rover

Rover tracks are separated into 4 sections

  1. The baby track (only a name for reference)
    • This track is just behind the club house and used for the 1st timers on small peewees and little 50’s. No big bikes on this track please
  2. The 50cc track
    • Located on the left side of the pits around the green watering tanks
    • 50cc only
  3. 65cc
    • This track is part of the main track with a shortcut after the one jump
  4. Senior tracks into 2 tracks
    • All classes 65 and above ( faster than intermediate riders )
    • 65cc class takes the inner loop
    • Check with groundsmen if you are unsure

There is a Supercross track straight ahead of you as you go through the gate by the club house. The track is not maintained and used purely to test shocks and for technical skill.

We kindly ask that riders do not venture outside the bounds of Rover as we are adjacent to Glendore which is private property. There are enormous machines , dozers & trucks and there have been a few close calls, remember in a big construction vehicle that driver cannot see a small bike , apart from being private property , it is extremely dangerous.

We also ask that riders be aware of which track to ride and the right direction , even if you arrive and the track is empty , a newcomer may not see you and accidents happen pretty fast so rather be safe than sorry.



Always be SAFE and think SAFE. 1st lap of practice on a weekend , rather take it easy , one never knows if something has changed in the week or last time you rode.

So who is who @ Rover in 2018

So you see the guys around from time to time but you don’t really know who is the right person to speak to  :

Best is to speak to Yolande Joosten for any info or advice on responsibilities

To be added to the Rover mailing list , please send a request to admin@rovermcc.co.za

Club President       Lloyd Brown

MX Chairman        Neville Townsend

Enduro Chairman  Emile le Grange



Rover Team


Contact Rover Enter an Event