Everyone loves a little bit of outdoor fun. Most people jog, play basketball or even run trails, but why do all this when you can ride? Dirt biking is enjoyable, thrilling, and exciting, and it’s no wonder you’re thinking of visiting your motorcycle dealer for a new dirt bike.
When you’re new to the sport, it may seem dangerous and intimidating, but you shouldn’t worry. These four tips for new dirt bikers will help you navigate the track easier and give you more confidence as you slowly shed off the novice tag.
1. Don’t Go Cheap on Your Helmets and Boots
Typically, your helmet and boots are the most expensive pieces of dirt bike equipment you will need as you begin your dirt biking journey. You should not be tempted to go for cheap options as they will make your riding experience worse than it should be.
Your motorcycle dealer may stock up on cheap $100 boots, but these aren’t worth your time. Most of them don’t have enough flex, making it hard for you to feel the foot brake or shifter when you’re riding. This will make you have to look down as you ride, implying that you may crash a lot. When looking for boots at a motorcycle dealer, you should be ready to spend at least $200 on the right pair.
Cheap helmets are also a no-go zone. Such helmets usually have poor ventilation and aren’t equipped with the kind of technology you need to protect yourself as you ride. Dirt biking can be a dangerous sport, and in the event of a crash, helmeted riders tend to sustain fewer neck injuries than those riders without helmets, or those using subpar ones.
2. It’s Not the Same as Riding a Bicycle
Most riders tend to have this problem as they start riding dirt bikes. You mustn’t sit down with all your weight resting on your butt, or with your elbows down, as you generally would when riding a bicycle. When riding a dirt bike, you should sit in an aggressive stance to give you more control over the bike and make it easier for you to soak up bumps.
When riding a dirt bike:
- Don’t sit too far back, or you might accidentally pop a wheelie. Make sure to sit much further ahead on your bike.
- Place more weight on the footpegs than on your butt. You should sit up slightly, with your back set straight and in an aggressive stance.
- Put your elbows as far from your body as you can, high up in the air. This will give you better control of your bike and will help you make quick turns with much more power.
- Squeeze your bike with your knees. If you use your arms only for all the turning and control, you will get arm pump. Using your knees, you can use your legs to tilt and turn the bike powerfully.
3. Loading and Unloading Your Bike Painlessly
Most people buy their dirt bikes from motorcycle dealers and then sell them two or three years later, barely used. Although many factors could have caused this, many new riders tend to be put off by how difficult it is to load and unload their bikes.
Buying a sturdy bike ramp from your motorcycle dealer could help make this process less frustrating. You can also buy a dirt bike trailer to make it easier for you to get your dirt bike from your garage out onto the trails.
4. Start on a Dirt Road
When people begin dirt biking, they tend to gravitate towards the nearest dirt bike track, or to the ‘great place for riding’ their friends recommend. Such places are usually quite hilly or may be a single track, both of which aren’t such great places to learn.
Ask your motorcycle dealer to recommend an old dirt trail. Such roads are usually flat and don’t have large rocks, making it easy for you to practice without any undue obstacles. As you progress and gain more motorcycling and biking skills, you can move on to more advanced trails.