Today, dirt bikes and motocross riding have become popular sports. As more beginners look into purchasing their own dirt bikes, it’s important to understand the basic riding tips before you set off for your first time on a dirt bike.
There are many riding styles for dirt bikes such as motocross, enduro, trials, freestyle, and supercross. These and more can be performed using a dirt bike, and anyone can enjoy them.
Still, there are some riding tips every beginner must first know. You need to develop these essential skills through your dirt bike outings, including the basics, like gear selection, clutch control, and throttle control. More importantly, you need to be aware of the dirt track you ride on too.
Your ability to perform safe jumps and turns keeps you riding safer, faster, and more smoothly. So, in this article, we have compiled a list of the top seven dirt biking tips every beginner needs to know to have a great first experience.
Dirt Bike Riding Tips
1. Motorcycle Safety Course
Unless you have been riding dirt bikes since a young age, it’s crucial to undertake a safety riding course. From these courses, you learn the basics of dirt bike safety as well as the basics of how to ride.
In most cases, these courses give you a better insurance rate, which is essential for a new rider familiarizing him or herself with dirt bikes. At times, people think a riding course is unnecessary, but this is far from the truth. Enrolling in a motorcycle safety course helps build confidence for new riders and gives them a feel for how a dirt bike works.
Additionally, at the end of some courses, you are eligible for a motorcycle license class, which enables you to ride a street legal dirt bike on public roads with a motorcycle license.
2. Practice the Controls While Off the Bike
It’s important to first get familiar with the bike’s controls before getting on it, especially if you did not enroll in a dirt bike safety course. Begin with a complete gear shift practice while off the bike. Learn the position of neutral and the easiest way to get to it. Feel the place of the footbrake and the correct pressure needed before you get it working.
Skim through the clutch process until you can comfortably use it. Familiarize yourself with any dashboard elements and the control panel so you’re not confused during your first time out. By practicing all these controls, you will gain more confidence before you start riding.
3. ATGATT! All the Gear, All the Time
Dirt bikes are powerful machines, and in the case of an accident, the results can be fatal. In such moments, dirt bike protective gear can effectively prevent you from catastrophic injuries caused by high-speed impacts.
Dirt bike safety gear includes a helmet, pants, jacket, motorcycle boots, and gloves. Without these, you are running the risk of getting severe injuries when you ride. The most critical gear are boots, helmet, and gloves, especially if you are riding off-road.
Many first-time bikers cheap out on safety gear, which is a bad idea. Cheap and low-quality equipment provides minimum protection, and they are not as durable compared to higher quality gear. Start with getting a high-quality helmet, gloves, and dirt bike boots. These are the most important for a beginner.
4. Learn How to Clutch First
For any beginner, learning the clutch is essential because it’s used when changing gears. A new rider might find it challenging to clutch. However, with practice, it becomes second nature.
Until it happens, it’s good to dedicate much of the initial learning period to proper clutch usage. A beginner should know that dirt biking is all about timing when changing gears.
On the other hand, a clutch can also help slow down the bike, especially during sharp and fast turns through downshifting. This skill is necessary for slow-speed maneuvers in tight spaces, a skill that seems complicated when using a dirt bike for the first time. With enough time and practice, clutch usage and shifting gears become an integral part of your dirt-biking.
5. Practice Acceleration
Throttle control is as essential as clutching for a dirt biker. Without efficient throttle control, you could easily cause an accident. First, acceleration requires a firm grip because a loose grip means lower response time when faced with the need to speed up or slow down immediately.
For acceleration training, you need to find vast free space where you do not risk any danger. Begin by smooth acceleration and deceleration. This helps with throttle control and the efficient releasing of the throttle.
Practicing around a car park is recommended because you can integrate steering practice with throttle control here.
6. Learn Body Control Around Corners
A beginner also has to learn the proper use of the body instead of relying only on handlebars for turning maneuvers. Learn how to throw your body weight more precisely around the bike for accurate turning.
You can achieve this by shifting more of your weight to the bike’s front wheel, which gives you more control over the tire direction as it will be more lodged in the ground.
Improving balance helps build more confidence in your dirt bike’s ability to use your body weight for better control.
7. Start with a Smaller Bike
Starting on big dirt bikes 450cc or higher is a recipe for disaster. They are too powerful and can be scary for beginners.
Even professional riders start on smaller bikes, then upscale as they gain more experience. A 250cc bike is the ideal dirt bike for beginners. It is also easy to control, especially when it comes to technical riding terrains.
Bigger bikes have too much power for new dirt bike riders and are much heavier. It makes them harder to control, which tires the rider out, making them lose balance.
Also, a smaller dirt bike is more affordable and has cheaper maintenance in the long run. With a 250cc dirt bike, a beginner will have more fun when off-roading or riding on a single-track.