When this series started in 1985 ATV racing looked to have a bright future. Sales of three and four-wheeled machines shot through the roof as families discovered the joys of working, playing and even racing on the latest equipment. Soon the racing scene took off, and the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) started a separate sanctioned series for the machines as part of their sister organization the new American All-Terrain Vehicle Association (AATVA). The series consisted of two distinct championship tours - one for TT-style flat track racing and another for rough and tumble motocross for both professional and amateur riders. At the end of the season, the points from both series were combined to create the Grand National Champion (GNC). Factory rides and fresh talent poured into this new series, and the sky was the limit.
Unfortunately, safety concerns left over from the three-wheeled machines led to a mass exodus of OEM support from ATV racing in the late ‘80s. Factory rides dried up, and the manufacturers stopped producing performance-focused racing machines. But while those dark days could have sent many scrambling to other sports, the die-hard, committed loyalists of the ATV racing family carried the flame through the 1990s. Stars like Gary Denton, Tim Farr and Doug Gust fought for the GNC titles on machines built almost entirely of aftermarket components - with pride, instead of factory money, as their motivation.
At the dawn of the new millennium, however, light began to form at the end of the tunnel. ATV racing and riding was growing once again. To further expand the sport, the AMA formed the ATVA (All-Terrain Vehicle Association), and then in 2002 the GNC Series went through an evolution that split the MX and TT series into separate championships. This made the titles more accessible to riders who could only afford to specialize in one series. Manufacturers started producing race-ready ATVs again, and production classes opened up the sport to a new generation of talent.
Realizing the growth of the ATV racing market, manufacturers pushed the technological envelope with their machines, and soon the production ATVs were once again the prime choice for competition. Then the factory rides came back, and ATV MX racing once again experienced the same bright future it had had 20 years ago.
Although the economy and current lead laws threathen immediate growth, ATV racing is stable. Rider entries and spectator counts continue to climb. The ATVPG (ATV Promoters Group) administers the production of the series to create uniformity and consistency to event production and sponsorship implementation.
The AMA ATV Motocross Championship is unquestionably the premier amateur ATV motocross series in the world, offering classes for riders as young as 4 years and as old as they want to be, and for machines from 50cc to 450cc. There's a class for everyone in this series, and riders can choose to chase a championship or just see what they have to bring when the ‘Big Show' comes to their backyard.
Just like a rugged ATV MX track after a long weekend, the path to this series' greatness has been bumpy. But any racer will tell you that finishing a long, hard moto is the best feeling in the world. For those dedicated to this sport and this series for over 20 years, making it to this grand new era of ATV racing is worthy of a big celebration. Congratulations!
How National Racing Works
National events are hosted at premiere motocross amateur and/or professional racetracks across the country. The promoters of these host facilities have experience in the design, preparation and maintenance of ATV-friendly racetracks.
Professionally licensed riders by AMA Pro Racing chase their championships at the same venue as most amateurs ranging from 10-12 rounds per year. A typical race weekend includes Friday as amateur practice day, with racing on Saturday and Sunday. Generally, after a short practice, the first moto or qualifiers for all amateur classes are held on Saturday. The second motos are held on Sunday in conjunction with both Pro and Pro Am Production motos.
Each class is scored separately using a computerized electronic transponder scoring system. Everyone is welcome to compete and there is no pre-qualification process. We have a class for nearly every age, every machine and every skill level.
A typical National event will attract 500-800 racers, hailing from almost every state, as well as Canada and the occasional European, Australian, South American and more.