Fervent fans idolize the best riders and marvel at their daring exploits, which don't go unnoticed by sponsors. Companies like Honda, Suzuki, Fiat and Yamaha pay a lot of money to promote their brand and attract top talent to sponsored racing teams. However, only a few professional motorcyclists are among the highest-paid athletes in the world, despite the risks of this sport and the potential for death. Up-and-coming riders earn much less than established professionals, who can make millions of dollars.
Salaries and earning potential vary widely depending on the natural ability of the rider, the type of off-road vehicle used for racing, and the number of races entered. Many professional riders sign salary contracts with confidentiality clauses, making it difficult to compare salaries. Races are held throughout the year to qualify riders to compete at the championship level. The Motorcycle Grand Prix, or MotoGP, is the oldest world championship with the highest paid athletes, according to the Clinton Courier. Competitors drive road racing machines built specifically for competition.
Professional motorcyclists sponsored by a company should be careful not to promote a competing product. For example, if they work for Honda, they can't promote motorcycles, off-road vehicles, or boats manufactured by Yamaha, or they could face a fine from their sponsor. Starting a career as a motorcycle racer requires raw talent, determination and money to buy equipment. Those just starting out may need another job to support themselves while they hone their racing skills. The competition is fierce and most motorcycle racers don't become superstars.
To become a successful ATV racer takes more than just having the right equipment and a dirt bike; it's important to know that AMA approved events, including off-road vehicle events, are held to ensure that you play by the rules. If you want to participate in an ATV race, you'll need a membership. If you're not a member, you won't be able to participate in races. Consider joining the All-Terrain Vehicle Association, where you can bring your two-wheeled vehicle and drive for fun. We spoke with 8X national ATV MX champion Chad Wienen to learn more about him and the sport of ATV racing nationwide. Wienen shared his insights on what it takes to become a professional rider in motocross and how much money they can make.
While having the right equipment and a dirt bike help, it's not as simple as buying an improved ATV and going to the race.