Ama Motocross Racing Rules

AMA Motocross Racing Rules

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is the world’s largest sanctioning body for the sport of motorcycle competition. Since 1924, the AMA has sanctioned motorsports competitions and motorcycle recreational events, as well as advocated for motorcyclists’ interests in all levels of government. AMA-sanctioned motocross racing has a comprehensive and definitive set of rules and guidelines, which are reviewed and updated on an annual basis. The complete motocross rulebook for 2009 is available for review and download at the AMA website: Below are highlights from the 2009 AMA Motocross Rulebook.

General Guidelines

All riders in AMA-sanctioned competition are required to be AMA competition members as well as a member of their recognized district organization; associate members may not participate in AMA-sanctioned off-road competition. If an AMA district membership isn’t required in a rider’s home district when competing outside their home district is not required to purchase another district’s membership unless the rider wants their points kept and eligible for year-end awards in that district.

Minimum age for amateur riders is 12. In all off-road events, a rider must be 14 years or older to ride motorcycles above 250cc. Rider’s age is determined as of event date, except in youth competition.

No rider under legal age of majority in the state in which meet takes place may compete without written consent of their parents or legal guardians present at the meet. An authorized adult can only act on behalf of the minor rider with a notarized statement indicating that the parents or legal guardian have consented for the authorized adult to be responsible for the minor rider during the meet, and must remain present at the meet.

Standard meets are open to all qualified AMA members, regardless of gender.

Only Class A riders (highest classification) may compete for cash prizes. Rider classification is determined by district or by meet referee in unrecognized districts.

All race personnel, officials, riders, mechanics and/or anyone associated with the riders and photographers are prohibited from consuming or being under the influence of intoxicants or drugs.

Any riders and/or family or pit crew directing foul language to any officials or promoters are subject to disqualification for the entire meet. Riders are responsible for the actions of their family and pit crew and risk disqualification for any negative behavior and actions.

– All riders and personnel must rely on their own judgment in terms of assessing safety and assume all risks of participating in competition in any manner.

– Pro motocross or Supercross riders, or any riders with a professional racing license from another country are eligible to compete in amateur competition and are eligible for cash awards from the event, but not eligible for district points. Pro riders are not eligible for factory contingency unless otherwise stated in the contingency program guidelines or rules. Pro riders must wait one full year after their pro license expires to be eligible for Amateur National competition or year-end district awards. To ride in a promoter offered Pro class, riders must have a Pro license.

– All riders and motorcycles participating in any AMA Amateur sanctioned meet will comply with the Amateur Rule Book.

Riders and Classifications

Riders are responsible to enter only classes in which they are eligible.

The AMA classifies riders on the basis of participation and achievement unless otherwise provided by AMA rules.

– Classification designations are : Class A (highest classification), Class B and Class C. Additional entry-level classifications may be established at meets based on amount of rider participation and other circumstances.

Riders go up in classification based on their RPV (rider performance value).

Participating or advancing in a higher class in any AMA or non-AMA activity results in permanent advancement to that higher class in all like AMA-sanctioned competition.

A rider can decide to advance at any time to a higher rider class but may not return to a lower rider class without AMA approval and can only return to a lower class once. Riders can appeal their classification once to the AMA.

Riders returned to a lower class are only those whom officials deem completely non-competitive in the class they are leaving and will not dominate the class to which they are returning.

Failure to comply can result in disciplinary action or suspension.

Any Class B riders aged 12-15 will not be forced into Class A, regardless of how many races or points they have. Riders in this age group may advance based on their own ability.

A rider may not use more than one machine in any class, under penalty of disqualification. More than one contestant may ride the same motorcycle so long as the riders are entered in different classes.


All entry forms must be completed in ink. Promoters may refuse rider entry if rider has not made arrangements to pay medical or ambulance bills incurred as result of injuries at a previous meet sponsored by that promoter.

Only one engine number can appear on an entry blank.

– Promoters can establish closing dates, and may accept post entries with higher fees; conditions must be clearly listed in all promotions.

– Entrants may be removed for breaking rules of conduct, but promoters cannot issue continuing suspensions of AMA membership cards.

– If youth and amateur events are being run on the same date at the same location, youth entrants aren’t allowed to enter more than three classes for the entire day.

– Youth or amateur riders can use the same motorcycle in more than one class the same day as long as the machine and rider meet the class requirements.

– Riders must start the race to be considered a participant.

– To compete in a youth meet, an AMA member must be minimum age of 7 (except in the 0-50cc class) and no older than 16. Proof of age can be requested.

– Parents, legal guardians or authorized adults must remain present at all times during youth AMA rider meet. Youth riders may only compete if parent, legal guardian or authorized adult signs below rider’s signature on entry form; in case of authorized adult, a notarized authorization from youth rider‘s parents or legal guardians must be kept on file with the rider’s release form.

– The youth rider must have the ability to safely ride and maintain control of their machine at all times. Personnel have the authority to disqualify youth riders that they deem unable to safely control their machine. In Motocross only, if a rider’s physical stature does not allow them to reach the ground with both feet, blocks may be used but must immediately be removed after the race start.

– A youth rider’s age as of January 1st determines their age for the year. Youth riders may move to the next higher age class (within the youth division only) if they are eligible to do so during the year, but once they move to a higher age class in AMA/non-AMA competition, they are unable to move back to the lower age class. Points earned in a lower age class do not transfer to a higher age class; riders are requested to determine which age class they will ride in for the points season/year.

– Youth entrants are eligible to run a maximum of three classes for the day, at any events with youth and amateur races running same day and location.

– Youth racers may use the same machine in both youth and amateur events on the same day, as long as it meets the engine displacement of the entered class. Proper numbers must be displayed on the machine when district numbering requirements designate.

– Youth riders are eligible to receive district points in youth classes.

– All participants are solely responsible for the condition of their vehicles and their competence to ride them.

Machine Specifications – Stock

Stock class machines must be approved by AMA. For a stock machine to be approved, the manufacturer must apply to AMA, register the machine specs, provide photos and prove that 100 identical, completed machines of the same model are available for sale to the general public thoughout all six AMA regions. The approval procedure for the following year opens Aug. 15 and must be completed no later than March 15 the following year. A list of currently approved machine models is available at

– Stock class machines must not change or modify the following: air box, frame, rim size, carburetor (jet changes allowed), electronics, stroke, swing arm, exhaust system, wheel hubs and internal engine components. Cylinder re-plating is allowed but must retain the bore of the original manufacturer. Carb jetting changes are allowed. Clutch plates, piston rings and pistons can be aftermarket items, as long as the shape, design and material of the OEM parts are retained. No high-compression pistons. All other internal engine components must be OEM stock. The existing frame can be fortified by additional material (such as welding) but the frame geometry must not be changed. OEM front/rear suspension can only have internal modifications. Shock linkage and suspension spring rates can be changed to any commercially available part. Any other items not listed may be changed or modified.

– For stock classes with oil-injection systems, only oil may be put in the reservoir. Pre-mix gas is not allowed in system.

– First violation of stock class rules results in event disqualification. A second violation results in event disqualification and a one-year AMA competition suspension. If a violation is deemed to be cosmetic and offer no performance advantage, or deems no willful misconduct, a fine or warning can be issued, rather than a disqualification.

Machine Specifications – Modifieds

All classes are considered modified unless otherwise indicated. For modified machines: all equipment used in sanctioned competition must meet AMA modified standards. It is the rider’s responsibility to ensure components and materials perform in competition safely.

Actual engine displacement must be stamped on the cylinder or engine case and may not exceed the class limit. Frames cannot be changed once a rider has qualified, although engines may be changed. Superchargers are not allowed. Kill switches/ignition cut-offs are a requirement, and all motorcycles must be fitted with a self-closing throttle.

All motorcycles must use petroleum-based gasoline (ASTM D4814); all gas must be stored in approved containers.

Transmission gearbox is limited to the approved motorcycle’s number of speeds — machines originally equipped with fewer than six speeds may be increased to a maximum of six. All approved bikes must have the transmission cataloged and sold by the original manufacturer.

Clutch pedals must be rubber-covered; specialty fabricated clutch levers and pedals may be used.

Special sprockets can be used so long as they function safely. Extra sprockets cannot be mounted to the rear wheel.

Starting systems, including kick lever, pedal, starter shaft and starter crank gear, can be removed. Kick pedals must fold in.

There are no gearing limitations.

Brakes must be fully functioning. Compression releases can be installed in addition to, but not in place of, brakes or braking devices. Bikes must have both front and rear functioning brakes. Special pedals must be rubber-covered. Brake ventilation is permitted; brakes that operate via tire friction or wheel rim friction are not allowed.

Aluminum wheel axles are not allowed at any AMA competitions.

No titanium frames are permitted. Safety stands and bars must be removed. Once qualified for a meet, frames cannot be replaced.

Footrests must fold back and have a non-skid surface.

Handlebars must be made of aluminum, steel, titanium or other AMA-approved material. Repaired, cracked or broken handlebars are not allowed; handlebar mounts may be altered. Control levers must have ½-inch minimum ball ends.

Forks must be proportional and adequate to the bike they are installed on. Fender brackets may be removed, and steering dampeners may be fitted in all competition types.

Gas tank capacity must be between 5-24 liters (1.32-6.34 gallons) and in good operating order. Seat tanks are prohibited. Vent lines must be equipped with a device to prevent gas from leaking. Gas tank size must stay the same throughout the entire meet, and tanks may not be swapped out during pit stops in place of adding fuel to the regular tank.

Recapped or retreaded tires are prohibited. Rubber studs, metal studs or other foreign materials are prohibited, as are paddle tires. No liquid can be used as a primary tire filler.

Front and rear portion of the rear fender may be removed, and special fenders are allowed as long as they are securely mounted. Streamlined parts, shells or housings are not allowed. Lights, license plates, mirrors, glass, brackets or other equipment which could pose a hazard to other racers are not permitted.

Mufflers/silencers should do not exceed the maximum db required by the state or 99db, whichever is less, measured per MIC manual SAE J1287. Applicable sound limits may not be exceeded at any time during an event; testing by promoter is required, and can be conducted at any time. Machines not in compliance may be penalized. Spark arresters must be installed throughout the event.

Three number plates are required and must be mounted securely. Only rider number and letter may appear on plates, and they must be legible, 5-inch-high, standard block letters that are professional appearance. Outlining or shading is not permitted. A Class: white plate, black numbers. B Class: yellow plate, black numbers. C Class: black plate, white numbers. Riders are encouraged to put their number on the back of their jersey or chest protector.

Riders cannot communicate via electronic communication devices to their pits during an event.

Machines that pass pre-event inspection are subject to further inspections at any time during the program. Any rider refusing to allow their machine to be inspected is automatically disqualified.

Rider Equipment Specifications

Riders are responsible for the selection of their helmet and apparel for durability, safety and protection. Riders must wear a helmet at all times when riding on a track or course. Helmets must be full-face or full-coverage helmets, and must utilize a shatterproof face shield or goggles. Helmets must conform to one of the following recognized standards, with a label certifying its compliance: USA Snell M2005, M2010 or DOT FMXSS-218; Europe: Regulation ECE 22-04, ECE 2205-P; UK: BSI 6658 Type A; Japan: JIS-T-8133-2. It is recommended that all helmets used in competition be equipped with an emergency helmet removal device or system, commercially manufactured. It is also recommended that competitors display their name, drug allergies, blood type and pertinent medical information on the base of their helmet.

Protective pants, long-sleeved jerseys and protective boots of at least 8 inches in height must be worn in all competition. Rider number must appear on the back of the rider jersey or vest in event of being used as means of rider identification. Number must be of contrasting color to jersey color and minimum 8 inches in height. other safety gear is encouraged at the rider’s discretion.