What is an Enduro?

What is an Enduro?
December 19, 2019
An Enduro is not to be confused with a motocross style race!
An enduro is a timekeeping endurance related event. Not only are your riding skills tested, but…
Can you keep a schedule? Can you stay on time? Or are you always considered to be “fashionably late”? In the sport of Enduro, in no way is it “fashionable” to be late – or early for that matter! The sport of Enduro tests a rider’s ability to keep a time schedule and mixes in finesse at handling a motorcycle over long periods – generally 5 or more hours at a time with short (and sometimes seemingly nonexistant) breaks.
Although the event’s participants ride dirtbikes, Enduro is not to be confused with Motocross, Supercross or Dirt Track style races. In the ECEA, all participant’s dirtbikes must have a headlight and tail light and be legally registered and insured (if any portion of the event is being held on public land). Occasionally you may ride in an enduro, which includes a motocross track.
Enduro riders have a rollchart or computer (& sometimes both), that they personally calibrate on-the-fly with their keytime clock and odometer in what is known as speed averaging. The idea is to remain as close to being “on time” as is possible. Points are lost when there is a timing differential from the real time at various checkpoints along the course and what the rider has on their clock when they arrive at the check. One minute is taken for each minute the rider is behind schedule. On certain checks, known as “emergency checks” seconds count too!
If you are known to be a “fast rider”, beware… being early is worse than being late!
An Enduro starts off with a controlled number of riders (generally 4 or 5 riders at a time) once a minute for as many minutes as is needed (or authorized) until all riders have begun the course. Each set (minute) of riders goes at a predetermined time (keytime); usually 8:00am, and occasionally 7:00am and 9:00am. How can so few riders go each minute and still leave at their appropriate keytime? This is accomplished by setting keytime at a predetermined time. If the Keytime is set for 8:00am, then the first set of riders (minute #1) will leave the starting line at 8:01, but that set of riders’ will have their keytime set to 8:00. Likewise, at that time (8:01), those on minute #2 will have a keytime of 7:59 and will now be moving their bikes into the starting position as they wait for the seconds to count down to their keytime of 8:00. When minute #2 goes at their 8:00 keytime, the real time is 8:02. This process repeats until all riders have left the starting line.
Each year there are specific events, which are relatively easy, yet challenging for beginners and experts alike. If you want to learn how to be ready to ride those events, the first step is to do some reading and familiarize yourself with the rules and concepts of enduro riding and time-keeping. Trail Rider Magazine has an article explaining what time-keeping is and how it works.
The best idea of what an ECEA Enduro is and EXACTLY how it works can be best described by reading it directly from the sources below:
After reading the ECEA Rulebook, you can take the ECEA test. Bring it to your first meeting or to your first Enduro (the day before the event).