Originally, an early 60s scrambles race would be held on a “spontaneous” course. Whoever was putting on the race would have access to a large piece of land, and a one-time course would be laid out against the natural features of the terrain. In the late 60s, European riders debuted on the States, and brought the term “motocross” with them. For a time, the words scrambles and motocross were used interchangeably, although motocross implied a more permanent, and typically shorter, race circuit.

So what is a scramblecross (SBX) race? At it’s heart, it’s a vintage motocross event. If you’re lucky, and have access to land, it’s a true scrambles event. However, more often than not, it’s a manufactured course, but one made in such a way as to emulate natural terrain.

What does this mean? While any off-road event has some inherent risk, a scramblecross course tends to much safer than a contemporary motocross track, since they’re made to suit bikes with 6-7 inches of front fork travel, and around 4 inches of rear wheel travel. What you won’t find are make-it-or-break-it double jumps, booter jumps, or sawtooth whoops. A well-designed scramblecross track is fun and flowy, leaving you with a smile on your face, and able to go to work on Monday.

One great thing about this kind of racing is the cost. A race-ready Japanese-made bike from the 70’s can easily be found in the $1800-$2200 category, while a European bike from the same time should run around $2500-$3200. Bikes in this price range won’t be museum pieces, but they will look good and be ready to race. If you like to tinker, solid “core” bikes can be had for as little as $300-$400, and you get the fun of bringing it from a forgotten nag to a shiny, fresh thoroughbred!

Another great thing about this kind of racing is the number of support classes that the courses can support. Adult minibike racers, sidehacks, hooligans, and kids will all have a good time. The atmosphere at these types of races is typically really laid-back, so it’s a great way for every member of you family to come out and enjoy themselves.