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Racing on your dirt bike can be challenging, especially when you aren’t well-acquainted with the controls. It’s essential to know how the gearbox works and how to brake and operate the clutch to make your ride successful. Fortunately, getting on your dirt bike remains incredibly easy once you understand all its systems and how to engage them properly. 

There’s a successful pathway that you can follow to steer your wheels on a dirt road using a clutch since the concept is similar to using the car stick. Knowing how to engage your clutch while riding will improve your riding experience and prevent your bike from developing complications. 

Step 1: Learn the Controls

It’s crucial to identify your controls before igniting your bike for a ride. The gear shifter is situated on the left side beside the footpeg, while the clutch is on the left side of the handlebars. 

Your bike throttle is located on the right side of the handlebars, and the rear brake is on the right side and in front of your foot. The front brake is on the right side of the handlebars on top of the throttle. With the entire roadmap on where all your controls are, it’s easy to navigate and manage to ride your dirt bike using a clutch.

Step 2: Using the clutch

The clutch resembles the brake lever on the right side of your dirt bike. Experts install the braking system and the gas closely to ensure you conveniently manage to brake. The clutch is vital in disengaging power from your bike engine to the transmission. It’s also used to shift gears or when you need to stop to prevent your engine from stalling. While using the clutch, you’ll pull the clutch lever until it touches the handlebar. The bike may stall and make the clutch hard to pull, but you’ll need to learn to use it properly. 

Ensure you find an open space as you learn how to use the clutch and use your bike with the kickstart. First, allow your dirt bike to warm up and lubricate it. Then, you can pull the clutch and step down on the foot pedal to shift into your first gear. The process is straightforward, and it doesn’t require much expertise.

Step 3: Braking on Your Dirt Bike

As a beginner, you’re likely to pull the clutch every time you press the brake, but it’s advisable to use it when switching gears or halting. Once you hold the brake to slow down, the selected gear will slow, and you’ll shift down the lever to lower the gear. 

Additionally, while using the clutch on your dirt bike to take off, you’ll need to: 

  • Ensure the dirt bike is started but in neutral
  • Pull your clutch lever and step on it to engage the first gear
  • Gradually twist the throttle as you release the clutch simultaneously

Make sure that you find an ideal spot for your takeoff. This should be in an open area without obstacles so that you have room to recover when you make mistakes. 

Step 4: Shifting Gears

While handling gears, you’ll start in neutral. Then, as you take off, you’ll use your first gear, hold on to the clutch and press it down to shift the gear using your left foot. Finally, you will release the clutch gently and begin to roll as you give your dirt bike some throttle.

You need to pull the clutch in and use your left foot to shift into higher gears as you start accelerating. Timing is the main factor when shifting. Shifting too early or too late can cause your bike engine to grind or screech and make your ride jerky and uncomfortable. 

You can always tell when it is time to change gears by listening to the sound of your bike engine and observing the RPMs. Riding on a dirt bike requires more practice on the clutch lever, especially when shifting gears or stopping. The clutch is essential for preserving the gearbox’s life.

Step 5: Practice and Keep Riding

Now that you know all the controls, shifting gears, and the clutch, the next step is to practice. The ideal approach to gaining expertise in using the clutch on your dirt bike is to master changing gears and learn all the controls. It’s advisable to practice before engaging in tricks and jumps. 

A straight line would be ideal for your practice to avoid distractions and ensure you learn how to use the clutch properly. Alternatively, you can begin learning how to shift gears using a semi-automatic bike. These dirt bikes don’t need a clutch but have shifting gear controls. With a semi-autonomous dirt bike, you can easily ride without using the clutch to get acquainted with dirt bikes without straining. Once you feel comfortable riding it, you can then move on to a bike with a clutch and start learning how to use it. 

Being an expert on shifting gears and braking creates confidence and ensures you are safe. Practice will get you up to speed with the controls. In addition, it’s important to put on your protective gear during the initial stages of training to ensure you’re not hurt. 

Learning to use the clutch on your dirt bike is a crucial technique and a huge milestone in becoming a better rider. Of course, clutch control isn’t necessary when starting your dirt bike, but the skill is apt for you to be an efficient rider. 


You’ll find it easy to skip the clutch while downshifting as a consistent dirt bike rider. The dirt bike engines and transmissions are well lubricated, making it easier to change gears without needing a clutch when shifting down. However, learning how to use a clutch on your dirt bike is ideal for enabling you to embrace seasonal rides, especially as you shift to higher gears. In addition, using the clutch predisposes you to the feel of various gears and bike components. Ultimately, having insight into using all the controls and using a clutch on your dirt bike is a key factor that cannot be overlooked.