By Ely Schosek
SGI Student Reporter
Springville’s rural location makes it a prime spot for four-wheelers, dirt bikes, and other off road vehicles.
Max Schwabel is an incoming sophomore at SGI this year. He has been riding four-wheelers and other off road vehicles since he was about 4 or 5 years old. “I got my first dirt bike on my 9th birthday and then I just kind of stuck with that,” he said.
Growing up with dirt bikes and four-wheelers has definitely contributed to his love of motocross. There are all sorts of different types of dirt bike racing, including motocross, supercross, arenacross, endurocross, and harescrambles.
Motocross is outdoor with jumps anywhere from 10 to 110 feet— “any size really,” Max said. “Motocross is a lot faster and doesn’t have as many turns as other types of racing.”
Supercross and arenacross are essentially motocross inside of a stadium. Endurocross is indoors and has obstacles consisting of logs, water, large rocks, and other natural materials. This is very similar to harescrambles— the only difference is that harescrambles are through the woods instead of indoors.
Any sport requires you to train or practice to get to the skill level you want to be at, and motocross is no exception. “I try to race as much as I can, so usually every weekend from April to October,” Max said. During the week when he is not racing, he rides at his track in Collins.
Max has raced in numerous towns all around New York and even some in Pennsylvania. He has been to many different tracks over the years, but his favorite one by far is Area 51, which is located in Batavia. “It’s just different from the others and it is taken care of better,” he said.
Max currently has a yz250f dirt bike. “I love it, It has a ton of power!” he said. He got the bike this past winter and usually gets a new bike either every year or every other year.
“When you race a bike for a year or two, especially if you’re fast, you either need to rebuild the engine or get a new bike, Max explained. “Rebuilding the engine can be a lot of work and the other parts of the bike will most likely be pretty beat as well so it’s usually not worth putting in a ton of money.”
In motocross, there are different classes which are essentially based on the size of your bike and your age. Max currently races in the 250 Novice and Open Novice classes.
Sports are always a great way to make new friends. Racing has allowed Max to meet a lot of his close friends over the years.
When asked what he enjoys the most about motocross, Max couldn’t pick just one reason but instead came up with a few: “The challenge mostly and how you have to work hard to get good; I just like going as fast as I can to be honest; I’ve liked dirt bikes and watching racing for as long as I can remember.”
Max’s overall goal in motocross right now is simple: “to get better.”
Motocross and dirt bikes in general have had a big impact on Max’s life in the time he has been racing. “It gave me a passion and made me want to ride even when I’m older,” he said. “When I signed up for my first race, I knew right away that motocross was going to be my main priority and I was going to give my 100 percent effort in all my races.”