A piece from Neil Thompson explaining a bit about Evo MX Ireland
The EVO racing phenomenon began in England where ‘EVO’ is short for the ‘Evolution’ period of motocross machine development, generally spanning from approximately 1983 to 1989. During this period, bikes evolved rapidly each year with the most notable developments being a shift from drum brake design to a disc brake design which is currently used on cars and bikes to this day. Other developments during this period were the shift from air to water cooled engine designs and also from twin suspension shocks on the rear of the motorcycle to a single, ‘Mono’ shock. To this day, both road and motocross bikes are using this same technology.
In order to make this work in Ireland, however, the EVO name is used a lot more loosely, mainly to provide an opportunity to get older bikes out of barns, off the streets and back onto the track, so the rules have been relaxed to enable bikes up to 10 years old to participate. The common perception is that a bike 10 years old or more is no longer competitive at Irish Motocross Championship level but regardless of how true this statement actually is, there will always be a track in Ireland that it can be raced on with similar aged machinery; an even playing field if you like.
Former Grand Prix Motocross ace, former MRA Chairman and general motocross enthusiast Laurence Spence also has a strong belief in this ‘Grass Roots’ form of Motocross Racing:
“The beauty of this type of racing is that it makes Motocross accessible to those who would not otherwise think of racing…” Laurence Spence
Buying a bike which is a bit older makes racing more affordable and, coupled with the type of tracks used, which tend to be flat with few or no jumps, provides the perfect learning platform for beginners and those who happen to be a little rusty. Although it may appear to be an odd approach, the events are run with no lap scoring or prize money in order to keep things affordable and fun and spectators can also watch free of charge, as current local Motocross Star Gordon Crockard explains:
“The main thing is to get bikes on track and allow people who are new to the sport to see just how much fun there is to be had. However, it is not restricted to beginners as I find this type of racing very technical and fun; from finding new lines to constantly riding on the verge of both front and rear grip. It brings me back to why I fell in love with this sport in the first place and allows me to relive my childhood; it was not about results in those early days, just a wide smile…”
Gordon also believes that learning to ride on grass and cut barley fields helps to instil the correct building blocks for young rider development:
“It boils down to the basic fundamentals you are taught as a child, if you build your house on a sandy base, then it will fall down, but if you build it on a firm base, then it can be built well and to be very tall. In my opinion, it is the same for Motocross; a strong foundation is required to become great at any sport. Riders need to crawl before they can walk, and this is the perfect platform to learn the correct basic technique in a competitive environment…” Gordon Crockard
We would encourage anyone interested to come along whether you are old, young, retired, beginner, a current expert or youth rider, there is room for everyone. If you would like to give it a try, all you need is a motocross bike (any year, including modern, is welcome as long as it is fit for purpose), the correct riding gear and a helmet. For more information, please see our Facebook Page: EVOMXIreland, Website: www.evomxireland.com or Twitter account @evomxireland.