Many people buy dirt bikes expecting to hit the trails immediately, alone with nothing but Mother Nature. Eventually, this will happen. Learning proper off-road riding technique takes time, but these tips will help anyone get started.
Choose the Right Bike
Bike size is crucial to remaining in control. A dirt bike that’s too large or too small may be difficult to steer and brake, causing difficulty on the trails. Riders should be able to reach all controls. The bike’s power should also be proportionate to the rider’s capabilities.
Know Your Ride
First-time riders should never hop on the bike and go. It’s highly recommended to read the owner’s manual thoroughly first. The bike should also be inspected before every ride for tire pressure, brake functioning, and control, and any issues should be addressed prior to going off-road.
Learn the Right Technique
Dirt bikes require precise body positioning, which takes time to develop. Often called the “attack position,” it dictates posture, knee grip, and positioning of feet and arms. Having the body held precisely in such a way prepares riders to stay in control no matter what obstacles are thrown at them. Braking technique is also key; dragging the brakes prevents the suspension from bouncing, helping riders stay in control. Clutch use should be avoided around turns, as only the brake is needed.
The first rule of dirt bike safety is to wear the right gear, starting with a snug-fitting, DOT-compliant helmet. Riders should opt for long-sleeved shirts and pants that fit well. The outfit should be topped off with gloves, boots, and goggles. Knee, shoulder, and chest pads provide an extra layer of protection. Additional safety measures include:
– Avoiding riding on the road, as most dirt bikes were made specifically for off-road use.
– Using the buddy system; never ride alone.
– Riding on designated trails only, avoiding terrain beyond the rider’s capabilities.
It’s also a smart idea to take a dirt bike safety course to understand proper riding techniques, handling, stopping, and maintenance.
Start Shopping for Bikes
Now that you know how to prepare for off-road riding, it’s time to pick out your dirt bike! TC Powersports has a huge selection of dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles like ATVs, and we can help you find one based on your level of experience. We’ll also help you find financing to get on your dream bike faster. Visit our showroom to schedule a test ride.