Desert Racing 101


September 11, 2016 1 Comment

"So You Want To Race Desert"

By: Dave Earll / U.S.D.R. Race Director 

Here we will go over the specific steps you need to take to get out to our events and go racing! Check out the other articles in this series for everything you will need to know about getting you and your bike ready and in the best possible condition in order to have a fun and successful experience.

  1. Know Your Class. At U.S.D.R. we pride ourselves on following the half century old traditions of Desert Racing. Basically there are 3 factors that will decide where you compete: Bike Size, Age, and Skill Level. GO HERE to see where you would race according to your age and bike size. Now let's get into "Skill Level" This is often one of the most misunderstood parts of Desert Racing. Listen up! our Skill Level system has nothing to with one's riding ability when they are racing for the first time.....everyone must start in the beginner class if they are new to racing. BEGINNER MEANS YOU ARE A BEGINNER RACER, NOT A BEGINNER RIDER. After you have begun racing, you will potentially begin to move up the skill levels via "Transfer Rides" learn more about those HERE. In Desert Racing, skill levels are earned, often throughout years of hard work and racing achievements. Paying your dues and working your way up through Novice, Intermediate, and possibly Expert, is something to be proud of and something that you will carry with you the rest of your life....it means something!
  2. Get your Competition Licence. A Comp License or "Membership" as it is also known, is a way for us as an organization to get you in our database, assign you a number, and make sure you are set up in the proper racing class. You need to do this ahead of time either online or by mail, we recommend doing this at least 2 weeks before your first race...it only makes it harder on you and us if you wait until the last minute. Get your Comp License HERE.
  3. Sign Up For The Race. After you have submitted your Comp License application, you will be receiving your assigned numbers in the mail. Apply the numbers to your front number plate and cross out any differing numbers you might have on your side plates. You are now ready to enter the event. GO HERE for our Sign-Up page. You must sign up online prior to the event date, it is usually open until 9:00 pm the night before the race. Once you have signed up and received your confirmation e-mail, you are ready to go, you do not need to check in with us at the event.
  4. Get Ready For The Race. The articles by Nick Burson and Chris Blais are a "must read" on this subject....check them out! IMPORTANT! Make sure you have your green or red sticker and spark arrestor. Do not show up without these!
  5. At The Race. Plan on arriving at least 1 1/2 hours before the start time of your race, you will always be able to get the schedule and all other information on the Next Event page HERE. When you get to the race site and get parked, the first thing you want to do is locate the Start Line and Finish Line, these are always marked and are within walking distance of the pit and parking area. If you plan on having to pit for fuel, you can set up your small area in the designated pit lane at this time. If you have signed up for the race online and have your numbers on the bike, you do not need check in with U.S.D.R., feel free to go get your spot on the start line in the proper row for your class. You must be at the start line 15 minutes prior to your race for the mandatory riders meeting! I can't stress enough how important it is to walk the first few hundred feet of the start area to become familiar with the direction the course will be heading and if there are any turns or danger areas....believe me, you do not want to be the guy that misses the turn and heads off into the desert the wrong direction at their first race! Remember, there is no pre-riding on the race course! When you are warming up or play riding, DO NOT ride on the race course until all racing is done for the day. You may be disqualified if you are spotted on the course at any time other than your race.
  6. Here We Go! After the riders meeting, get on your bike and warm it up. Our races are "Live Engine, Start by Row" isn't that great! No worrying about whether or not your bike will start. One row starts at a time and when the dust clears we move to the next. When it's time for your row, watch the starter, he will point at everyone in your row and make sure everyone is ready....then he will wave the green flag anywhere between 5-10 seconds....let her rip! 
  7. Out on the course. Thank God! Now it's time to have fun. All the work, all the nerves, all the prep, all the waiting....it's all over, you're out on the course and doing what you came here for! First of all, be safe. If this is your first race, there is no need to take any chances, you will have plenty of time, years in fact, to get better and better and become more experienced. Second, have fun and enjoy the ride! focus on being smooth and consistent, save your energy and keep your eye on the course markings and any potential danger areas. U.S.D.R. races are always well marked. The courses are marked with directional arrows, ribbon, wrong way signs, and danger markings. We always go over this at the riders meetings. If you should break down or crash, don't worry, our rescue team I.R.R.C. is always there and ready to come help you.
  8. Is It Over Yet? If you got the checkered flag...it is. All of our races are based on a certain amount of laps for "the leader" of the race. When the overall leader has completed the designated number of laps, the checkered flag comes out for everyone behind him. Did you have fun? I bet that you did! Almost everyone that comes out to our events has a wonderful time and gains new experiences that will last a lifetime. At U.S.D.R. we exist to grow the sport of Desert Racing. We fully understand that racing can be for everyone, fast or slow, young or old, man or woman. Pro or Beginner. So come on out and give it a shot, you will go home with a smile on your face.....i guarantee it!  


1 Response

Jon Johnson
Jon Johnson

September 22, 2016

I’ve always wanted to do these races but never get a calendar of events or no info hear about race after it happened
You all get on fb I found this due to Kyle Kurtz Love thatan and his family !!
Si get going get in news letters s&s OffRoad and other ways
Si where I see your calendar
Are u in fb
AWESOME YOU DO WHAT YOU DO I GEAR ALLOT OF GOOD OVER THE YEARS!! HOW DO I GER SPONSORED TO DO THIS. RACE ??

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in New Racer Initiative

U.S.D.R. and The New Racer Initiative
U.S.D.R. and The New Racer Initiative

September 11, 2016 4 Comments

What Is The U.S.D.R. New Racer Initiative?

The new racer is what U.S.D.R. is all about. While it is true that our series is an excellent place for Pro's and Experts to showcase their talent, we have always prided ourselves on providing a place where....

Read More

Physical and Mental Conditioning
Physical and Mental Conditioning

September 11, 2016

Physical and Mental Conditioning

By: Nick Burson / 5 Time U.S.D.R. Pro Champion

When race day is fast approaching and you are looking to get a leg up on the competition it can come before you even get to the race....

Read More

First Time Race Preparation
First Time Race Preparation

September 11, 2016

First Time Race Preparation

By: Chris Blais / Blais Racing Services

Before going to your first race, be sure to know exactly where you are going and where the race location is, some races can be in remote areas....

Read More