Different Types of Off Road Racing

There are many different types of off road racing. Some of the more popular ones are motocross, supercross, freestyle motocross, enduro racing, endurocross, hare scrambles and quadcross.



  • Off-road motorcycle races held on enclosed outdoor circuits.
  • The tracks: dirt, sand, mud, grass/steep hills, dirt roads, and muddy tracks, sharp turns and other obstacles.
  • It evolved from trials and was called Scrambles at first.



  • Similar to motocross except these races are held in large sports stadiums.
  • Supercross tracks generally have much tighter turns and are more technical than motocross tracks due to the limited space of an indoor arena.
  • The supercross season takes place during the winter and spring months, partially due to more controllable indoor climates involved.


Freestyle Motocross

  • A variation of motocross in which motorcycle riders attempt to impress judges with acrobatic stunts while jumping a motocross bike.
  • The riders are scored on style, level of trick difficulty, best use of the course, and frequently crowd reactions as well.


Enduro Racing

  • Off road motorcycle races with a 10+ mile course.
  • Penalties are enforced for completing laps too slow, as well as completing laps too fast.
  • Some events have a mass “le mans” start, typically “Hare and Hounds” type events.
  • You must reach each checkpoint on the route at prescribed times.
  • This sort of event is not technically a Race, but rather it is a Time Keeping event.



  • Similar to Supercross except the track incorporates various elements of extreme off road racing like rocks, boulders, logs, sand, mud, or a waterhole.
  • Endurocross events are typically held in hockey or down-sized basketball arenas.
  • Its main difference with supercross is in there being “hard rock sections” and wooden parts (resembling fallen trees) akin to enduro courses, rather than tarmac in between jumps.


Hare Scramble

  • Traditionally a hare scramble can vary in length and time with the contestants completing multiple laps around a marked course through wooded or other rugged natural terrain.
  • The winner is the contestant who maintains highest speed throughout overall.
  • The most common time period for a hare scramble competition is 1, 2 or 3 hours.



  • Closed-circuit ATV racing across a variety of terrain involving natural and man-made obstacles.


Some of the most popular racing events for these kinds of races are the World Enduro Championship, the International Six Day Enduro Event, the Erzberg Rodeo, the Grand Nation Cross Country race, the Dakar and the Baja 1000.

 Word Enduro Championship

  • Consists of 16 races based on eight two-day events
  • Includes an enduro test, a motocross test and an extreme test


International Six-Day Enduro Event

  • Usually referred to as the ‘Olympics of Motorcycling’ with trophies for best six-rider national, four-rider junior national, three-rider women’s national, three-rider club national and three-rider manufacturing teams.
  • Oldest Off Road motorcycle event in FIM
  • The ISDE can attract entries of more than 500 riders, together with thousands of support crew and spectators.
  • Over the six days and upwards of 1250 miles a rider must contend with strict rules about time allowances and restrictions on mechanical replacements, carrying out his or her own motorcycle repairs.


Erzberg Rodeo

  • Toughest one day enduro in the world!
  • Located in Styria, Austria.
  • Only a handful of riders actually cross the finish line!
  • Whoever rises out of the dust and crosses the finish line first gains the recognition and respect as one of the greatest hardcore enduro riders in the world.
  • In 2010, 1795 riders came to the event and only 16 finished in the allotted 4 hours.
  • 20 checkpoints in 35km with only 4 hours to make it to the finish line.
  • Tadeusz Blazusiak from Poland has the most wins at 5 consecutive. He has not lost a race since he started running in 2007.


Grand National Cross Country

  • 13-round championship, three-hour races, tracks ranging in length from eight to 12 miles.
  • Tracks include hills, woods, mud, dirt and rocks.
  • Tests survival and speed.
  • Dirtbikes and 4 Wheelers compete in this series.


Baja 1000

  • An off-road race that takes place on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula in November.
  • Approximately 650 miles starting and finishing in Ensenada.
  • Although motorcyclists participate and are often the overall winners, many competitors drive modified or stock 4-wheel vehicles such as cars, trucks, ATVs and dune buggies.
  • There are 2 types of races: Point to Point and Loop Race.
  • American actor Paul Newman was the oldest participant when he competed in the 2004 event at age 80.


Dakar Rally

  • Despite its name it is an off-road endurance race, called a rally-raid rather than a conventional rally – the terrain the competitors traverse is much tougher and the vehicles used are true off-road vehicles rather than the modified on-road vehicles used in rallies.
  • Off-road, crossing dunes, mud, camel grass, and rocks.
  • Distances of each stage covered vary from short distances up to 500–560 miles per day.
  • Most events since the inception in 1978 were from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, but due to security threats in Mauritania which led to the cancellation of the 2008 rally, the 2009 Dakar Rally was run in South America (Argentina and Chile), the first time the race took place outside of Europe and Africa.It has stayed in South America from 2009 to the present (2011).
  • The three major competitive groups in the Dakar are the bike (moto) class (including the quadbikes sub-class), the car class, (which ranges from buggies to small SUVs), and the T4 truck class.


Which is your favorite type of off road racing and why? Let us know in the comments! :)

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