Dirt bike trail riding is a fun activity for teenagers, but it can also be dangerous.
It's important to take the time to learn dirt bike safety tips before you get started.
This article will help you avoid the common mistakes that people new to dirt bikes often make and show you how dirt biking can be an enjoyable experience!
Body Position On The Bike
When you’re first learning how to ride a dirt bike, you’ll need to adjust your position on the dirt bike.
The first thing is make sure that you are sitting down on the dirt bike with an upright back and not leaning too far forward or backward.
It's important to get comfortable in your seat. This can be done by getting off the dirt bike and sitting on it while pounding back and forth.
When you feel comfortable, push the dirt bike with your feet to make sure that you have enough clearance for both legs to be off of the ground at once.
It’s important to have your weight more towards the front of the seat. If you’re too far back, dirt bikes will feel unstable and can cause the dirt bike to tip.
Keep your body weight on both feet when riding a dirt bike for better balance.
This means that if one foot is off of the dirt bike, then it should be because you are turning or adjusting in some way rather than just because you’re impatient.
It may be tempting to just jump on a dirt bike and go, but it’s important that riders know the basics of dirt bike safety before they get started!
You’ll need to find a good breathing pattern in order to control your emotions when riding dirt bikes.
When you’re dirt bike racing, it can be easy to get angry or frustrated if you don't have a good breathing pattern in place.
Proper Way To Position Yourself
Depending on where you are riding dirt bikes, you will need to adjust your position accordingly.
For dirt bike racing or dirt bike trail riding on flat terrain with few obstacles, it is best for beginners to sit in a crouched position.
This makes the dirt bike easier to control and gives riders more visibility. For dirtbike racing on hills or through tough terrain, dirtbike riders should lean forward.
The more you stand the better your dirt bike will handle.
The more you crouch and sit the better your dirtbike will control on flat terrain
If you are using a dirt bike for dirt biking, place yourself in front of the seat so that your arms can reach all four brake levers without stretching or moving around too much. This is also called ‘a racing position.’
When standing up on the pegs, your feet should be touching the balls of your toes.
Your knees should also be slightly bent and your weight should be close to the center of the bike when you're not accelerating.
If you're going up a steep hill, try to have your weight shifted more towards the front of the bike.
There's a really good reason for this. You don't want to loop out (this means turning over backward).
By standing up you allow your weight to shift and balance out on the bike. Especially if you're going over rough terrain.
It might be easier for you to sit down, but, just remember that you won't be able to recover and move your body as fast if you do this.
If you're going downhill, your weight should be shifted back.
At the bottom of a steep hill, when it's time to stop quickly or turn around and start climbing again - don't stand up!
It's easy for dirt bikes to loop out if they can't find traction on dirt roads.
If you have enough momentum coming down the hill, you'll be better off to dirt bike your way up than stand up.
Hitting a Hard Patch of Dirt
If there are dirt patches ahead on the road and they look like they may cause trouble for the dirt bike - don't go over them!
If possible, take an alternate route by going around it.
If there's no other way around it - take a deep breath and keep going! You may end up getting dirt all over yourself, but at least you won't crash.
If you are dirt biking and the dirt patch is too long to get through in one go, stop your dirt bike on top of it.
Push down hard with both tires so that they sink into the dirt a little bit. When you're ready to start riding again - just give it some throttle!
It’s almost always best to move forward on the seat to make your dirt bike lean into a corner. If there’s dirt on the ground, move back!
The best way to learn how to turn is by sitting at an obstacle and practicing turning around it.
It's really fun if you find something round like a garbage can or barrel - but don't try this with anything containing water!
Don't be afraid to use brakes while dirt biking - just make sure that it's only when necessary!
If something goes wrong with one of your front or back brakes, stop using it until you can get to a mechanic.
Before you go out, always check all of your dirt bike's brakes to make sure they are working properly.
The dirt on the ground is slippery, so when you brake it can cause the dirt bike to slide and even flip over!
So before you ride out onto any dirt track or field, always take a minute to brush off all the dirt from under each tyre and wheel.
Clutch control is one of the most important dirt bike skills you can learn. If your dirt bike has a clutch (which is most dirt bikes), it's important for you to master using the clutch, and how much grip on the road/dirt there needs to be before releasing the throttle so that you don't lose control of the dirt bike while going up or downhill.
Far too many new riders (and even dirt bike veterans) will pull the clutch in and then release it, which causes a sudden loss of speed.
Don't be embarrassed to slow down and take some extra time to practice this skill before you're in the dirt bike race.
Learning to ride a dirt bike can be challenging for anyone, but having perfect clutch control is especially important on high-speed trails.
Dirt bike riding is about balance. It's about keeping the bike balanced while crossing over obstacles and not stalling it or tipping over.
One more mistake to be aware of is poor clutch control, which will lead to overheating the bike in a few minutes or less.If this is done too many times, you'll end up with a blown engine.
Looking At The Wrong Spot
“You go where you look” is the old adage and this is certainly true when it comes to new riders. New riders tend to look down, but don't look far enough.
By doing this they risk either damaging the bike or causing an injury if they're not looking further into the distance.
Just make sure you concentrate on the obstacle you're going over instead of your front fender and judge the distance and speed, otherwise, it will sneak up on you and catch you out.
Hanging On Too Tight
Most new riders tense up and hold the handlebars too tight when they first start to ride a dirt bike. Don't worry, this is a common mistake and not one you can easily get over until you start to relax.
The more you ride your bike, the more confident you'll get and the less you'll need to hold on tight.
Getting The Wrong Gear
If you're riding a dirt bike with gears, make sure that when you are coming downhill and going up hills, you have the right gear for it.
If not then this can cause problems such as slipping or jamming which might be difficult to stop without crashing or dropping the bike.
We've all tipped over or fallen off a bike before. This is common with new riders and even experienced ones.
Believe it or not, the faster you go, the easier it is.
A dirt bike is heavier than a motorcycle and it's not as easy to ride, so you'll have to focus on keeping your balance at all times.
You shouldn't be carrying anything while riding either, because that weight will affect how the dirt bike handles too.
The Bends In The Tracks
If there are any bends in the dirt bike tracks, it's important that you go slower than if they were straight.
You'll also have to make sure you don't get too close to any edges or falls either.
It takes a little while to find your rhythm and work out which way is best for when corners are coming up - so be patient with yourself and don't try and rush through the dirt bike lessons.
Fingers In The Wrong Spot
Transitioning from your arms to your fingers is one of the dirt bike mistakes to avoid.
It's important not to change your grip, and keep them on the same side as you're leaning in that direction.
If this is all new information for you, start by practicing with a stationary dirt bike first or going out around some dirt tracks at a walking pace so it feels more natural.
Unless you suffer from weak hands, dirt bike gloves can really help to avoid the pain of having your hands slipping off.
We also recommend using just one or two fingers on the clutch lever and keeping your thumbs pointing down.
Not wearing a helmet
A dirt bike accident could result in serious head injuries or death. Protect your head by always wearing a helmet when dirt biking! This isn't about looking cool, it's about protecting yourself at all times.
Dirt biking can be a ton of fun, but you should take care if you're new to riding them.
If dirt bikes are new to you, we recommend the dirt bike lessons where a professional can teach you all about dirt biking safety and techniques before going out on public roads or tracks.