Big jumps, tight turns, tough terrain—if you’re looking to start off-roading with dirt bikes, get ready for a whole new style of riding. And if you’re familiar with the safety tips all new riders need to know, you should also know it takes additional skill to ride off-road. To get you started, here are Cycle Trader’s 10 off-road riding tips for dirt bikers.
1. Buy the Right Dirt Bike
Start your off-road adventure by buying the right bike for taking on the toughest conditions. Whether you’re slinging dirt and mud, splashing through puddles, rolling up and down hills, scrambling around boulders and trees, or landing big jumps, you’ve got to get the bike that can handle the elements. Make sure to shop from the top new and used dirt bikes for sale and compare the listings to pick out the bike that’s right for you.
2. Buy the Best Riding Gear for Off-Roading
When you’re off-roading, you can expect to fall off your dirt bike; it’s part of the learning experience. Riders will fall on their hands, elbows, knees, and back when riding around. Protect yourself and purchase a helmet, riding jacket and pants, gloves, elbow and knee pads, and boots.
3. Get Comfortable on Your Dirt Bike
Before you race out on the tracks or roll through the mud, make personal adjustments to your bike so that you’re safe and comfortable while riding. Make sure your seat is at the right height for control and correct posture while you ride. Ensure you can comfortably reach your handlebars for grip before you get knocked around on your bike off-roading.
4. Know How to Control Your Dirt Bike
Dirt bikers should get familiar riding with several practice runs, knowing where to put your weight to get a feel for your bike and the course. Your bike will respond to the pressure you put on it with your body. Get familiar with shifting your weight as you ride.
5. Lean In with Your Dirt Bike
Use your handlebars for turning at slow speeds, but at high speeds, lean into your turn with your bike instead of relying on your handlebars. Lean into the direction you want your bike to turn, lifting your leg and foot forward so they don’t scrape the ground. As you complete the turn, pull back your leg and foot to their original position.
6. Brake Hard on Your Dirt Bike
Learning to brake hard on your dirt bike or new or used dual-sport motorcycle is a skill that will improve your speed on the track. Braking hard gives you more reaction time, and it also lets you make a sudden slow-down to hit the gas and take off. This also helps when suddenly encountering obstacles while off-roading.
7. Master the Wheelie on Your Dirt Bike
When you’ve got more riding experience, try to perform basic tricks such as wheelies. Keep practicing, then try landing a wheelie over small obstacles. Use caution with big logs, rocks, or other objects that could be dangerous. Keep your speed and clear these obstacles and, for safety, remember to always wear your helmet and protective gear when you ride.
8. Learn to Jump on Your Dirt Bike
Landing jumps on your dirt bike is part of the fun of being an off-roader, and learning this skill will give you more control over your bike. Approach the jump at a gradual speed, maintaining your position on your bike and throttle. Brace for landing with a tight grip on your bike, but relax your body so you’re not tense or have poor posture.
9. Stay Alert on Your Dirt Bike
Always look where you’re going when you’re riding your dirt bike. Keep your eye on the track and in front of you while off-roading. Look out for potholes, puddles, and debris that could knock you off your bike. Make sure to keep an eye on other bikers and give yourself space to stop.
10. Keep Practicing on Your Dirt Bike
Take the tips above and stick to them while you get familiar with a course and comfortable on your dirt bike. Take things gradually while you learn, working your way up to high speeds and big jumps with more experience. And as you put more wear and tear on your bike, keep up with the basics of routine dirt bike maintenance.
Get more out of your dirt bike by learning new skills off-road. Put safety first, keep practicing, and push yourself to become a better rider. If you’re ready to shop for your next new or used motorcycle, make sure to check out all the listings online at CycleTrader.com.
Important Disclaimer: Dirt bike racing, trick-performance, jumping, and other dirt bike-related activities involve numerous and significant risks to you and your property, including personal injury, property damage, and potentially death. Cycle Trader is not a professional expert with regard to any dirt biking activities, including trick-performance and bike-jumping, and these materials contain only suggested techniques and not expert or professional advice of any kind whatsoever. You should only undertake dirt biking with or after you have received proper instruction from certified professionals who are trained in preserving the safety of your property and person and who have obtained all licenses, permits, and other certifications required by applicable business and/or government authorities or agencies to undertake any such activities.