The differences that separate Motocross from the world of Enduro may be subtle, but those differences transform the riding into a completely different sport!
‘Enduro’, short for Endurance, perfectly describes the fundamental quality required by both rider and machine when taking on this challenge. Enduro races last anywhere from 3 hours up to several days and are the ultimate challenge in endurance, stamina, planning, preparation, navigation, engineering and overall off-road riding ability across rugged, difficult and potentially dangerous terrain in some of the more remote, yet beautiful, places on the planet.
Race types differ depending on the event you enter and are reflected in their location and duration.
Shorter races (half or whole day events) will generally consist of several hours of intense racing across open moor land, wooded areas, steep hills climbs and descents with an equally diverse array of surfaces underfoot. Racers will follow a predetermined route and will be required to navigate themselves around the course. As this type of race is not confined to a closed track, the potential to leave the track and take wrong turns is high, so concentration is crucial. Due to the long race distances covered in Enduro racing, riders will make regular pit stops to refuel. During these stops they also have the opportunity make certain adjustments, repairs to their bikes and change tyres if required.
Longer, multiday, races follow a similar format but will often be broken down into stages giving the riders the opportunity to rest. A much greater number of spare parts and support is required for these events.
As with road racing and motocross, Enduro is organised and controlled by the FIM and ACU respectively.
The bikes used for Enduro racings also vary slightly from those used in motocross. For low level Enduro racing, club level for example, the bikes used were simply road legal motocross bikes fitted with larger fuel tanks and a map roll. Due to the rise in popularity over recent year of ‘off-road’ riding in general, many manufactures have again started to cater for this section of the market by producing Enduro models which are more accustomed to this style of riding.
Larger competitions such as the International 6 Days Enduro and the Dakar Rally use more heavily customised ‘Factory’ machines to deal with the harsher and less forgiving routes and terrain.
Enduro is a natural progression for anybody already taking part in motocross that wants to broaden their horizons or is looking to compete on more than one front.
However, motocross is by no means the only route into Enduro riding. Many people see Enduro as an alternative to motocross and by-pass the closed circuit racing all together. If elbow bashing and fairing rubbing isn’t for you perhaps try your hand at trials riding or embark on one of the many off-road courses offered across the country. Both these avenues will equip you with the necessary skills to negotiate an Enduro course. As with all these things, by far the best way to get involved is to find your local club that participate in the sport and get in touch. They will be only too happy to show you the ropes.
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