11 Tracks, One location
Just a few hours’ drive of the major population centres of NSW lies Free Flight Motocross Park, a riding venue built up over the last 15 years to offer an incredible off-road experience to anyone who loves dirt bikes.
Its main motocross track is three kilometres long and features a huge variety of jumps, berms, whoops and other challenges. The tough parts feature a split in the track, with an easy side and a tough side – stay right and it’s easier for the less experienced, take the left lane for bigger jumps, tougher turns and a bigger challenge.
But the main motocross track is just one aspect of Free Flight. Personally I preferred the natural terrain motocross track which, despite its name, has a couple of table tops, a challenging whoops section but lots of kick-arse berms and small jumps to get the heart rate up.
Owned, built and maintained by Supercross and Motocross racer Steve Jacobs and his wife Chris, Free Flight is set on 400 hectares of former farmland on the plains outside Gulgong in the State’s Central West.
Steve drives the machinery to build and groom the tracks, and some might say he’s gone a little far on the natural terrain track, for it’s a bit more built-up than the old Thumper Nats tracks and vintage motocross circuits I’ve visited, but it’s still suitable for old and new machinery. And those berms make it a lot of fun.
My kids thought Free Flight was a lot of fun too. Matthew, 11 years young and riding a clutch-equipped machine for the first time – a Yamaha TT-R125 – actually made it around the main motocross track unaided, although at that stage he rolled the whole course and even powered through a muddy section even Steve didn’t think he’d get through.
The WR250F I’d borrowed for the weekend was at home in the sandier enduro sections, blasting through the trees, jumping the occasional log and powering through the puddles.
When we went to Free Flight the winter weather was near perfect – cool and dry, with the park receiving good recent rains so it was loamy and easy to ride.
“Winter is a popular time to come,” Steve told Cycle Torque. “Riders can camp here for just $10 per night but it does get cold, so many choose to stay in Gulgong or one of the other close-by towns, but in Spring the camping is great.
“The Christmas holidays are the busiest time of the year, but with 11 tracks and the enduro loop it’s never really crowded.
“We normally open 8am-4pm, but in the summer we extend that until 5pm and encourage people to take a break and head into town for a swim at the local pool during the heat of the day.”
Riding at Free Flight costs $40 per day.
As a very experienced racer in both Supercross and Motocross, Steve Jacobs also offers coaching services to those who need them, from learners like like kids to racers looking to improve their technique and thus laptimes.
Steve walked Matthew through learning to use a clutch… and managed to get enough through to the youngster that he didn’t stall the TT-R125 much at all, although it helps that the bike is very forgiving. Before long Steve had Matthew riding on the 3km-long MX track.
Helping Damien do the double jumps was probably a bigger achievement, but the point is learners will increase their skills and their confidence will go through the roof with some good coaching.