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Can You Make Money in Motocross and is it a Career?

abril 05, 2022 7 lectura mínima

Eli Tomac throwing a tail whip on his monster energy star racing yamaha yz 450f over the finish line after winning a supercross race

Having First emerged in the US in the 1960s, Motocross has become insanely popular. Motocross is labeled as one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. But can you make money as a Motocross racer and is the physical and painful endurance worth it?

You can make money in motocross and it can be a full-time career. To make money as a motocross racer you will need to be recognized as a professional rider. You can earn money as a salary if you ride for a professional team and can earn income from endorsements, prizes, and race wins. 

Curious about a career in motocross? We don’t blame you. If you’ve got the gift of MX desire and believe you have what it takes, you’ve come to the right place to learn more. Read on and follow the link below to apply for a sponsorship with Risk Racing. This could be your chance to start off your professional career in motocross racing. 

Supercross gate drop with many of the best supercross riders in the world all barreling towards the first corner of a supercross track.

Remember, you don’t have to be a top professional or amateur champion to get a little support, you just have to be passionate about powersports" – Risk Racing

Motocross Sponsorship - Join The Risk Racing Team! | Risk Racing

Can You Make Money in Motocross? 

Professional Motocross riders make their money through various streams of income. Amateur riders who aren’t classed as professional yet will not make nearly as much as the pros. But the point here is that you can, with hard work and patience, make money in motocross. Here’s a list of the ways you can earn money for a living in professional motocross riding. 

Prize Money

The AMA (American Motocross Association) offers prize money to all placements who ride in this race. Obviously like any other sport, 1st place will earn more than last. If you’ve found a sport where this rule is the opposite, please let me know and count me in. Some other competitions will offer prize money but most amateur competitions offer medals, trophies, pride, and exposure. 

Two professional motocross riders holding checks from there winnings at a monster cup race. Both riders won $1,000,000 in one night.

Team Salaries

Want to race for a team? If you’re picked up by a professional team you’re entitled to a base salary.

Professional Teams (Just to name a few)

  • Monster Energy Kawasaki
  • Redbull KTM Factory Racing
  • Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing
  • Rocky Mountain ATV
  • Team Honda
  • Twisted Tea Suzuki Racing

Sponsorship and Endorsements

Endorsements come from companies that pay you money just to be associated with you. You’d call them your sponsor. Endorsements can be huge and can make up most of your yearly income. Many big-time sports stars are paid more from endorsements than their annual salary. Keep performing well to keep earning high endorsements and, in most cases, acquire free riding gear from sponsors.

SGB Honda bike in the SGB supercross pit sitting on risk racings ats stand and factory pit mat


Like any other job, you can earn through bonuses depending on your performance and commitment. You aren’t ever guaranteed a bonus, but after the completion of an event or competition, you may be entitled to a bonus if you performed up to a set standard. 

Purse Money

Each of the highest winners of the race will be rewarded with “purse money”. It’s like a small bonus for racing and placing well. The amount of earnings of the purse money in AMA is public. 

Who is the Richest Motocross Rider? 

Chad Reed, AUS

If we’re talking Worldwide, Australian Motocross and Supercross rider Chad Reed takes the lead for the richest Motocross Rider. Having won numerous championships across both motocross and supercross over 20 years, he is one of the most famous riders in Motocross. Chad is ranked Australia’s most successful motocross rider and has a Net Worth of AUD 25 million (Just under 20 million US dollars). 

Chad Reed retired professional motocross/supercross racer standing behind a suzuki rmz 450 race bike

James Stewart Jr, US

James Stewart Jr labeled “The Fastest Man on the Planet” was an American Motocross and Supercross Rider who has been riding since he was 3 years old. James began riding professionally in 2002 and went on to win numerous titles until he retired officially in 2019. His riding ability was extraordinary and his fame followed him to his reality TV series “Bubba’s World” for two seasons. His Net Worth today is 20 Million dollars. 

James stewart Jr retired professional motocross/supercross racer standing behind his suzuki rmz450 race bike.

Ryan Dungey, US

Gravely underrated and sorely underestimated, American rider from Minnesota Ryan Dungey has a Net Worth of 8 million dollars. With a career of ups and downs, Ryan has won every major title in Motocross and Supercross American History. Ryan was a B grade rider when he was noticed and picked up by the Suzuki team manager Roger De Costa in 2006. Ryan retired in 2017.

Ryan dungey retired professional supercross/motocross racer

Is Motocross a Career?

If you’re determined to make it as a professional rider, Motocross can be your full-time career. As a professional Motocross rider, you’ll be classed as an Athlete and Sports Competitor. When asked what you do for a living, you get to answer this question with a very cool “I’m an athlete”. 

To begin your motocross career, you need to have all the specificgear required by motocross law and be registered with the AMA (American Motocross Association). Everyone will start their motocross career as an amateur and progress through placing higher in competitions. Motocross competitions will take you all over the US. 

How do you Become a Pro in Motocross?

It’s never as simple as being great, winning competitions as a youthful child or teenager, and then BAM you’re a pro. Let’s start from the beginning, get yourself a bike and practice every day. Already passed this and ready for the next few steps? 

Get a Coach.

Not just any coach either. You need to find someone who is an experienced dirt bike rider, competitor, and coach. Your coach is going to keep you on track with not just your training but also your fitness regime, your daily schedule, and handle your competition inductions. 

Pit Crew

You’re not pro yet so you’re not going to have a Kawasaki or Honda pit crew baking you up. Your amateur career will be fueled by friends and family who will be your original pit crew. Your pit crew might consist of someone mechanically talented, medically knowledgeable, and your parents or siblings for supporting you in any way they can. You’ll also need to gain some mechanical knowledge on the bikes you’ll be racing. 

Amateur motocross pit set up 

AMA (American Motocross Association) License

To start your amateur career, you’ll need the AMA license to enter as many competitions as you can. 

Medical Insurance

To join the AMA, it is compulsory that you have medical insurance. As an extreme sports athlete, you should have medical insurance regardless of whether you have an AMA license. The insurance covers you and other riders on the track for injury and damages. Pretty important when you’re putting your body and your expensive equipment on the line. 

Make a name for yourself

You’ve entered as many races as possible, now you need to start winning. Prove yourself, show off your skill and earn yourself a name for being great. Tell people in your local town that you’re riding and racing, get a following fan base of supporters. This can also be done online with the use of social networks.


Once you have yourself a name in the Motocross Sport, start earning sponsors. Sponsors can be anyone from a family business to your local butchers, florist, grocer even your local football club. If you’ve proven you’re worth, people will want to be associated with you and have their company name proudly printed on your jersey. 

It’s not just about the physical steps to becoming a professional motocross rider. Commitment, dedication, and the quality of being able to make sacrifices are incredibly important. Mostly, to make it as a professional Motocross rider, you must have the ambition to win. 

Sponsored motocross rider displaying their supporters on their jersey

How Much Does a Factory Motocross Mechanic Make?

As a Motocross Mechanic, you may initially be paid pennies and nickels depending on your qualifications and experience. But typically, the average wage for this working position ranges anywhere from $10,000 up to $235,000. The team you’re working for, if professional and working for higher-ranked riders will see you earning more for this role. 

How Much Does a Dirt Bike Mechanic Make?

As a Motorcycle Mechanic, you will have the ability to work on and repair small motors.

  • Motorcycles
  • Dirt bikes
  • Mopeds
  • Scooters

Understandably, it’s the aircraft mechanics that get paid the most in the mechanical industry. They are, after all, defying gravity by having large objects fly through the sky with hundreds of bodies on board. 

Our grease monkey bike mechanics fall somewhere at the lower end of the pay spectrum. Earning typically around $30,000 annually and can earn up to around $36,000 with experience. 

Get yourself on a pro team to earn that 6-figure wage that the factory motocross mechanics make.

Motocross mechanic working on a dirtbike

How much does a factory supercross rider make?

As a factory rider, you only enter competitions agreed on by your team. A factory Supercross rider doesn’t own his or her bike so the bike won’t have any personal sponsors’ details printed on it. This doesn’t mean you aren’t earning money though. As a factory Supercross rider, you’ll be earning a base salary, agreed on by your team manager. 

Not only that, but you will also compete for prize money, bonuses, and as mentioned earlier purse money. As a full-time Supercross rider your sponsors, whose names can still be printed on your uniform and advertised in your media coverage, will make up a lot of your income. 

The highest-ranking Supercross riders earn millions a year from their sponsors and endorsements and this makes up most of their Net Worth. The middle-ranked riders typically earn 7-figure digits by the end of the year while the lower-ranking riders still earn around 6-figure digits. Not bad eh?

Undoubtedly, you want to be a top rider to earn what we call the big bucks. 

Should I Pursue a Career in the Motocross Industry?

The initial pay across the board from riders to mechanics may not sound that appealing. But you have to start somewhere just like all career aspiring folks, we start from the bottom and work our way to the top. The Motocross Industry is undeniably a rewarding and ambitious career to be a part of. If you have the passion as we do at RISK Racing, the thirst to succeed, in anything in life, then you will.

opening lap of 2022 daytona supercross

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