Making the transition from MX to SX

Making the transition from MX to SX

Author: Media/Tuesday, November 15, 2016/Categories: State News

The Australian Supercross Championship has just wrapped up, bringing new interest into the season discipline. Queensland Motocross and Supercross Coach Barry Surawski lets you know how you can start to prepare for next year’s Supercross season, and how to do so safely in this article:

Every year in September marks a change in the season’s not only winter to spring but Motocross to Supercross for our very best riders in the country. For people starting out in Supercross this can be an uncertain time. Do I race SX? Or pass?  

Some regular things you hear are “I don't have Supercross bike set up”,  “The Aussie MX juniors are on” , “I am racing against factory riders” and “I have nowhere to practice”.

Well, now there is a Supercross track at Queensland Moto Park (QMP) that you can build your confidence and learn how to ride SX. Yes, you have to be accredited or you can attend coaching with a coach until you are confident and ready to pass accreditation.

Supercross can work out great for some and not so great for others which brings me to a good way to start practicing and racing Supercross . Planning is a big part of everyday life, and you’ll need a plan for Supercross as well (not a week or two out from a National Supercross Round!). The National Supercross Series is designed for professional, seasoned racers, so you need to be prepared starting out as a junior or senior to chase your goals.

A majority of Supercross riders have a good technique, style, balance (weight distribution) from standing to sitting, weighting pegs, moving their body to the best position to manoeuvre the bike over triple jumps with precision timing, to land big jumps within inches.   Then there’s also throttle control, guts, skill to skim across the top of  whoops (hip high), and understanding lines and cornering to set up rhythm sections.

Like anything you’re looking to progress your skill and experience, and you have to put in the work and time. A good background of riding and racing Motocross would be a good base point, with sound jumping competences, confidences, and a sound general control around a MX track with good speed.

The trick to get into Supercross is to plan a year ahead, like planning out your race season to suit your budget, or fit SX into your yearly plan. Start practicing on a basic technical Stadium Motocross track, or easier SX track if you have access. Practice as much as possible, and remember that riding different tracks is good for a change and can develop new skills. Some coaching would help you fast track and understand how to tackle a SX track, helping you to become a smooth, safe and faster rider.

You will also need to set up your bike correctly for the discipline. The first things to look at is gearing and suspension, following by jetting or fuel settings and ignition timing. Suspension needs to be much stiffer, and a stiffer spring rate is used. Generally, a bigger sprocket is used on the rear -  1 to 2 teeth larger can be a good starting point (as obstacles in Supercross are much closer together).

Another thing to think about is that Supercross is much more anaerobic , shorter, and more intense, so off bike training will need to be adjusted. Some plyometric exercise with a well thought out strength program can help make you more explosive, quicker. It can also help you cope with the g forces of hard landings, pre loading and the regularity of jumping. Short, sharp circuit training with cardio and strength can also be a good way to train off the bike.

Planning to be a professional rider means being good at both Motocross and Supercross, and your Supercross skills may just get you a factory team ride.

This year, the Australian Supercross Championships have been televised on the big screen, and bringing big name USA riders like Justin Brayton, Wil Hahn, Jimmy Decotis and Gavin Faith downunder. This has brought Supercross back to life in a big way, and brings the possible opportunity to attract sponsorship outside of the industry, and help build rider profile.

So set some goals, and chase your Supercross dreams.

Barry Surawski is a Motocross / Supercross coach located in SEQ. To start learning, or improve your Supercross skills, get in touch with Barry by email:,  telephone:
0422 649 318, or view his Facebook page here.



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