Once you’ve mastered riding on the open road, you might be ready to tackle a new challenge: off-road riding! Motorcycles built for off-road adventures are generally bigger and heavier, and the approach to riding them is entirely different. Let this guide serve as your introduction to riding off the beaten path.
Start Out Slowly
Off-road riding is something you should never dive into headfirst. Start slowly by working on balance before you hit the trail. With the kickstands up, practice the adventure riding position, which means standing up with both feet on the pegs. Maintain balance as long as possible to begin building your foundation. Once confident in your balance skills, fire up the bike and practice the same drill while moving as slow as possible in a straight line. By mastering small exercises like this, you’ll build necessary off-road riding skills and become more familiar with the intricate controls of your motorcycle.
Optimize The Equipment
During the previous exercises, you may find that your bike needs some adjustments for comfortable off-road riding. You may need to adjust your handlebars or have your service department install new ones. You might also need to replace your footpegs with larger ones for optimal comfort. Additionally, you might need to make adjustments to the clutch, brakes, and shift level for stand-up operation.
Utilize Your Feet
When riding on trails, you’ll steer with your feet to avoid heavy front-wheel traction, just like a dirt bike. You’ll steer by shifting your weight as you stand on the pegs. It’s wise to practice this at various speeds on a straight dirt road to prepare yourself for the trail. You’ll use a similar method for correcting a slide: stomp hard on the peg on the side the motorcycle is sliding towards to regain control.
Take Your Adventure to the Next Level
Before investing in a new motorcycle for off-road use, many riders first try their road bike on the trails. If you do this, you’ll need to adjust your tire pressure to as low as 12psi, depending on your bike, tires, and riding situation. But it’s important to know that your motorcycle may get dinged on the trail. If you’re concerned about this, why not invest in a quality pre-owned motorcycle for learning the ropes?
TC Powersports has a large inventory of new and used motorcycles and off-road vehicles that will take your adventure to the next level. Whether you’re a pro or shopping for your first off-road bike, we’ll help you find a deal on the one that works for you. Call TC Powersports at 517-764-3600 or visit our showroom for a test ride.