Do you want to become a better dirt bike rider? Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, there’s always room for improvement. Trail riding is an exciting and challenging experience that requires a decent amount of skill and knowledge. In this blog post, we will provide 18 essential dirt bike trail riding tips that will help you become a better rider.
- Start On The Right Dirt Bike
- Go To A Local Trail Ride
- Set Up Your Dirt Bike For YOU!
- Maintain A Reliable Dirt Bike
- Wear Proper Protective Gear
- Make Mistakes & Keep Growing
- Ask For Advice
- Ride With Someone Faster
- Actionable Riding Technique Tips
- Look ahead
- Fingers On Control
- 1. Positioning is Everything
- 2. Keep Your Fingers Loose
- 3. Use Your Fingers to Control the Clutch
- 4. Adjust Your Fingers Depending on the Terrain
- 5. Practice Makes Perfect
- Standing Up – When Should I?
- Standing Up – When Should I?
- Open or Faster Trails
- Is It Better to Sit Or Stand?
- Tight Single Track Trails
- Don’t brake to go faster in corners
- Efficiency: Less shifting; Practice Clutch In Corners
- 1. Why Less Shifting Increases Efficiency
- 2. Benefits of Clutch Control in Corners
- 3. Tips for Practicing Clutch Control in Corners
- Smooth Throttle For Traction & Endurance
- 1. Understand Your Dirt Bike:
- 2. Use Your Body Position:
- 3. Start Slow:
- 4. Avoid Braking and Accelerating at the Same Time:
- 5. Practice, Practice and Practice:
- Smooth Is Fast
- 1. What is Smooth Riding?
- 2. Why is Smooth Riding Important?
- 3. How to Practice Smooth Riding?
- 4. Benefits of Smooth Riding.
- Stay Loose But Tight
- 1. Maintaining a relaxed grip:
- 2. Using your legs:
- 3. Stretching before riding:
- 4. Practicing proper body position:
- 5. Riding with confidence:
- What To Keep In Mind When Trail Riding
Start On The Right Dirt Bike
Choosing the right bike is important when it comes to dirt biking. You need a bike that’s the right size and power for you, as a beginner starting on too powerful a bike might not only be dangerous but also make learning more difficult. A bike that’s too small might not be able to handle the trail. When you’re starting out, a 4-stroke engine is a great option as it produces more torque at lower RPMs, making it an easier to ride a bike that’s more forgiving to mistakes. Make sure to try out different bikes to see which one best fits you and your riding style.
Don’t Be Like Tim
If you’re new to dirt biking, it’s important to take your time and learn the basics before hitting the trail. Don’t be like Tim, who tried to tackle a difficult trail on his first ride and ended up breaking his arm. Start with easy trails and work your way up as you gain experience.
Go To A Local Trail Ride
For those new to the world of dirt bike trail riding, it’s always a great idea to start at a local trail ride. Many dirt bike parks have trail riding facilities where you can practise your skills, and the terrain is less challenging than more remote settings. Local trail rides can also be a great way to meet other riders, gain experience, and learn about the trails in your area.
Set Up Your Dirt Bike For YOU!
The first thing you need to do is to set up your dirt bike to fit your body and riding style. This will make it easier for you to control your motorcycle while on the trails. Adjust the handlebars, levers, and footpegs to suit your height and riding position. You can also invest in aftermarket parts that can help you fine-tune your motorcycle to your specific needs.
Make sure that the controls on your dirt bike are in the right position. This includes the brake lever, clutch lever, and throttle. Adjusting the controls will make it easier for you to control your motorcycle while riding on the trails. This is especially important if you are a beginner because you need to develop muscle memory for the controls.
Adjusting The Seat Height or Cockpit
Adjusting the seat height or cockpit can make a big difference in your riding experience. This will help you find the perfect balance between comfort and control. A seat that is too high or too low can make it difficult for you to control your dirt bike while riding on the trails. You can also adjust the handlebars and footpegs to achieve the perfect cockpit position.
Tuning The Basic Suspension Components
Tuning the basic suspension components, such as the front and rear shocks can help improve your dirt bike’s performance on the trails. This will help you achieve better traction, handling, and stability. Adjusting the suspension will also help you ride faster without compromising your safety.
Maintain A Reliable Dirt Bike
The first and foremost tip for becoming a better dirt bike trail rider is to ensure that your motorcycle is in good working condition. Check all the essential parts like the engine, brakes, tires, and suspension before hitting the trail. Make sure that the tire pressure is appropriately adjusted, and the brake pads are not worn out. Regular maintenance and servicing of your dirt bike will not only enhance your performance but also prevent any accidents due to mechanical failure.
What’s The Lesson Here?
Dirt bike trail riding can be an exhilarating and highly rewarding experience, but it requires proper preparation, skills, and knowledge to become a better rider. By following the tips shared in this blog post, you can improve your riding technique, enhance your safety, and take your trail riding skills to the next level. Remember, practice makes perfect, and by continuously developing your skills and knowledge, you can enjoy the thrill of dirt bike trail riding while minimizing the risk of accidents and injuries. Happy riding!
Wear Proper Protective Gear
The first and foremost important tip to remember while riding a dirt bike is to wear proper protective gear. Investing in a good quality helmet, gloves, knee, and elbow pads, as well as a chest and back protector, will not only keep you safe but also increase your confidence while riding. Additionally, wearing comfortable and protective gear will reduce the risk of serious injuries in case of an accident.
Make Mistakes & Keep Growing
One of the essential tips to becoming a better dirt bike rider is to make mistakes and keep growing. Mistakes are a part of the learning process. You can’t improve your skills if you don’t try new things and make mistakes. However, it’s crucial to make mistakes without getting injured. Always wear proper safety gear, such as helmets, gloves, goggles, boots, and body armor, to protect yourself from any possible harm. Be patient with yourself and keep practicing until you get it right.
Stay Focused & Alert
Dirt bike riding requires focus and attention. You need to be aware of your surroundings and anticipate any potential hazards on the trail. Stay focused on your bike and the trail in front of you. Avoid distractions like your phone, music, or other riders. Be alert for obstacles such as rocks, trees, and ditches, and adaptable to changing terrain. Stay in control of your bike and your mind.
Use Proper Body Positioning
Body positioning is a crucial element of dirt bike riding, especially on trails. The right body position on the bike can help you maintain balance, improve control, and conserve energy. Keep your elbows up, knees bent, and weight distributed evenly on the bike. Try to keep your center of gravity low and shift your weight to the correct area of the bike depending on the terrain. Practice proper body positioning on different types of terrain, so you’ll be ready for anything.
Ask For Advice
Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Dirt bike trail riding is a skill that takes time and practice to master. Reach out to other riders, ask for advice, and learn from their experiences. You’ll be surprised at how much you can learn from other riders.
Ride With Someone Faster
One of the best ways to become a better dirt bike trail rider is to ride with someone faster than you. When you ride with someone faster, you will be forced to push yourself harder and ride faster than you would on your own. You can also learn a lot by watching how a faster rider approaches different obstacles and terrain.
Actionable Riding Technique Tips
1. Body Positioning:
A good body position on a dirt bike can make a big difference in your performance and overall safety. To maintain good balance, you need to keep your body as centered and upright as possible, especially in rough terrains. Always use your legs to grip the bike’s frame, and keep your knees bent to help absorb shocks from bumpy rides. Additionally, try to keep your elbows up and out, and your head up to help you see further ahead on the trail.
Braking is an essential part of dirt bike riding, and it can help you maintain control and avoid accidents. However, it would help if you were careful not to use your brakes too aggressively on uneven terrain. Instead, use a combination of your front and rear brakes to slow down gradually. To prevent losing traction, avoid skidding your wheels while braking.
Knowing when and how to accelerate your bike can help you navigate through rough terrains more efficiently. While it’s tempting to open up the throttle and speed through trails, doing so can be dangerous and cause you to lose control of your bike. Instead, gradually and smoothly increase your acceleration and maintain your speed when necessary.
Having good vision is essential when riding a dirt bike. Always look ahead and scan the trail for potential hazards. This will help you anticipate any obstacles and avoid them before they become a problem. Additionally, always keep your eyes up and look towards the horizon as much as possible. This will help you maintain your balance and improve your overall riding experience.
5. Learn From Experience:
The best way to become a better dirt bike rider is to practice regularly and learn from your experiences. The more you ride, the more confident you’ll become, and the more you’ll develop your skills. Additionally, try to challenge yourself by riding in different terrains and practicing different techniques. This will help you become a more well-rounded rider and increase your overall confidence on the trail.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when riding a dirt bike is to always look ahead. Doing so will help you to anticipate any upcoming obstacles, turns or dangers. Focus on the path ahead while keeping your hands relaxed on the handlebars and your body in a balanced position. This will allow you to make quick decisions and avoid any hazards that may come your way.
Beginner Mistakes: Corrected
As a beginner, you may tend to use the front brake too much or hesitate to use the clutch, especially on uphill climbs. However, these are common mistakes and can easily be corrected. To avoid using your front brake too much, try to use more of your rear brake when slowing down your bike. This will help to keep your momentum going while allowing you to change direction faster. When climbing uphill, use the clutch to adjust your bike’s speed instead of the front brake. This will allow you to maintain traction and control over your bike.
Fingers On Control
1. Positioning is Everything
Before you begin your ride, make sure that you’re sitting in the right position and that all your fingers are correctly positioned on the handlebars’ controls. The fingers on your left hand should be on the clutch, while the fingers on your right hand should be positioned on the throttle and brake on the handlebar. Positioning yourself correctly ensures that you have full control over the bike, and you’ll be able to respond quickly to any sudden changes in terrain or obstacles on the trail.
2. Keep Your Fingers Loose
When riding, it’s essential to keep your fingers loose—meaning that you should not grip the handlebars too tightly. By doing so, you’ll reduce the likelihood of cramping, and you’ll also be able to make small adjustments to the throttle and brake as necessary. Additionally, if you find that your fingers are getting tired or numb, take a break and stretch them out before continuing.
3. Use Your Fingers to Control the Clutch
The clutch is essential when riding a dirt bike as it controls the power from the engine to the rear wheel. By using your fingers to control the clutch, you’ll be able to move the bike confidently over uneven terrain and make necessary gear changes with ease. However, it’s important to ensure that you’re operating the clutch correctly, as using it incorrectly could cause the bike to stall.
4. Adjust Your Fingers Depending on the Terrain
As you ride, the terrain and conditions will change, which means that you’ll need to adjust your finger positioning accordingly. For example, if you’re riding over rocky terrain, you’ll need to position your fingers slightly differently to ensure that you have enough grip on the handlebars. Similarly, if you’re riding downhill, you may need to use your fingers to apply the brake more frequently to ensure that you maintain a safe speed.
5. Practice Makes Perfect
Like with any skill, practice is essential when it comes to becoming a better dirt bike rider. By focusing on keeping your fingers on the control, you’ll find that you’re able to ride more confidently, take on more challenging trails, and enjoy the sport much more. However, make sure to start with simpler paths and gradually work your way up as you become more skilled.
Standing Up – When Should I?
Standing Up – When Should I?
When riding through tight single-track trails, standing up can give you a better view of the path ahead of you. This helps you to anticipate upcoming bumps and turns, and accordingly, maneuver your dirt bike. Make sure you stand on your pegs by using your legs and knees to balance yourself and to absorb shocks. When negotiating tight trails, keep your elbows bent and close to your body. Remember to grip the bike firmly; this will give you better control over your bike.
Open or Faster Trails
When riding through open or faster trails, it’s better to sit down. The added weight on the bike will increase stability. This will allow you to control the bike through the bumps and jumps on the trail. In this case, it’s better to grip the bike with your knees to keep your body balanced. By sitting down, you also ensure that you are using your body weight to control the bike when needed.
Is It Better to Sit Or Stand?
It’s advisable to shift your standing or sitting position based on the terrain you are riding on. Riding a dirt bike requires constant movement to help keep you balanced and maneuver yourself out of any trouble. Sitting down may be more comfortable, but it can limit your control over your bike. Standing up gives you better control and visibility, but it can be more physical over rough terrains. Learning to control the bike while standing up and sitting down is essential.
Tight Single Track Trails
Riding through tight single-track trails requires you to have good body positioning skills. It can be easy to lose balance and control over your bike due to the narrow and winding paths. Standing will help you react faster to incoming obstacles and maintain balance in tight spaces. Keep your body as far forward as possible and grip your bike with your knees whenever possible. Ensure that you keep the bike underneath you and stay focused on the trail ahead.
Don’t brake to go faster in corners
One of the biggest mistakes that riders make when cornering is to brake when entering a turn. When you brake hard, the bike’s front forks compress, and the weight transfers to the front tire. This results in a loss of traction and can make your bike unstable. The best way to approach a corner is to enter it at a speed that allows you to comfortably maintain control throughout the turn. This means that you should be in the right gear and position before entering the corner. You can then maintain a steady throttle through the turn and accelerate out of it. By keeping your throttle steady through a corner, your bike will remain stable, and you will have more control throughout.
Efficiency: Less shifting; Practice Clutch In Corners
1. Why Less Shifting Increases Efficiency
Minimizing gear changes while riding can be a challenge, but it has a significant impact on efficiency. The more gear changes, the more time and energy you need to spend shifting, and the less time you have to focus on the trail ahead. By reducing shifts, you can increase your speed, maintain your momentum, and improve your overall performance on the trail.
2. Benefits of Clutch Control in Corners
Another way to increase efficiency while riding is by practicing clutch control in corners. Using the clutch to control the throttle during cornering allows you to maintain a consistent speed and avoid stalling. Proper clutch control also helps you to maintain traction and balance while navigating tight turns and corners.
3. Tips for Practicing Clutch Control in Corners
To improve your clutch control in corners, start by practicing on flat terrain, gradually increasing your speed and adding turns. Focus on feathering the clutch, gently engaging and disengaging the throttle to maintain a steady speed. As you become more comfortable with clutch control, try applying the technique while riding on more technical terrain, such as rocky or uneven trails.
Smooth Throttle For Traction & Endurance
1. Understand Your Dirt Bike:
The first thing you need to do to develop a smooth throttle technique is to understand your dirt bike. Different dirt bikes respond differently to the throttle, and it’s essential to figure out how sensitive your bike is. Spend some time getting to know your bike’s powerband, so you know when the power starts to kick in. This knowledge will help you avoid jerking the throttle and losing control over your bike.
2. Use Your Body Position:
An essential element of smooth throttle techniques is using your body’s position. When you’re riding through a dirt trail, you need to stand on your bike’s footpegs to maintain balance. This posture frees up your body to move around and use your weight to maintain stability. When you want to change the speed or accelerate, move forward or backward, depending on your bike’s response to the throttle. Use your knees to grip the bike firmly, so your body movements don’t destabilize the bike.
3. Start Slow:
Learning how to develop a smooth throttle takes a lot of patience and practice. To start, ride slowly on a flat surface and practice accelerating and decelerating smoothly. This will help you develop muscle memory needed to maintain a steady speed on your bike. Once you’ve mastered smooth riding on a flat terrain, you can gradually move to more uneven and challenging terrains like hills and corners.
4. Avoid Braking and Accelerating at the Same Time:
One incredibly common mistake that novice riders make is braking and accelerating at the same time. This might work on a street bike, but when you’re riding on dirt trails, this is a recipe for disaster. The goal when riding on dirt is to maintain a steady speed that will help you navigate obstacles and corners. When braking and accelerating at the same time, you destabilize the bike, reduce momentum, and can easily lose momentum and control.
5. Practice, Practice and Practice:
As with all skills, practice makes perfect. Once you have the basics of smooth throttle techniques down, start practicing new trails, and terrains. As you practice, pay attention to how the dirt feels, what’s working, and what’s not. Take note of how your body and bike are moving and tweak your techniques to suit each trail. Over time, you’ll develop a natural feel for smooth throttling, and you’ll be able to go farther and faster on your dirt bike.
Check out Dirt Bike riding tips for beginners
Smooth Is Fast
1. What is Smooth Riding?
Before we dive into how smooth riding can help you become a better rider, we have to understand what it is. Essentially, smooth riding is the ability to ride your dirt bike without sudden movements or jerks. It involves controlling your bike’s throttle, brake, and clutch to create a seamless experience. This can be achieved by using your body and weight to maneuver the bike, being aware of your surroundings, and practicing good throttle control.
2. Why is Smooth Riding Important?
Smooth riding is important because it allows you to ride efficiently and safely. By controlling your bike’s movements, you are reducing the risk of accidents, especially on difficult terrains. Riding smoothly also helps conserve energy, making prolonged riding sessions more comfortable. Furthermore, it enables you to carry momentum through corners and technical sections, making you faster and more agile on the trails.
3. How to Practice Smooth Riding?
Practicing smooth riding is essential to become a better rider. To achieve this, you can start by focusing on your throttle control. Gently roll on and off the throttle when approaching curves and obstacles rather than using sudden bursts of speed. This will allow you to maintain control and balance on your bike, making it easier to navigate challenging terrains. Additionally, being aware of your surroundings and scanning the trail ahead of you will allow you to anticipate upcoming obstacles and adjust your riding accordingly. Finally, pay attention to your body positioning, as it can help you balance the bike and make it easier to ride smoothly.
4. Benefits of Smooth Riding.
Riding smoothly has countless benefits, the most significant of which is improved riding safety. By minimizing jerks and sudden movements, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents, making off-road riding safer. Additionally, smooth riding saves energy, allowing you to ride longer before experiencing fatigue. It is also fun; nothing compares to the feeling of flowing through a trail effortlessly. Furthermore, smooth riding enables you to become a better rider by improving your technical skills, making you more confident and agile on the trails.
Stay Loose But Tight
1. Maintaining a relaxed grip:
Holding onto the handlebars too tightly could make you feel rigid and unyielding, making it difficult to maneuver the bike in rough terrain. Maintaining a loose grip will help you absorb any bumps or impacts, allowing you to move with the bike and maintain control. When riding, try to grip the handlebars with just enough pressure to keep your hands from slipping; this will help you maintain control while also staying loose and flexible.
2. Using your legs:
Your legs are a crucial part of maintaining balance and control while riding. As you ride, try to use your leg muscles to grip the bike between your knees, which will help you stay balanced. This technique is known as “gripping and ripping,” and it allows you to maintain control of the bike even when it gets bumpy and rough. Your legs should also be used to absorb shocks and impacts, helping to keep your upper body relaxed and flexible.
3. Stretching before riding:
Staying loose and flexible requires a certain amount of physical flexibility. Before riding, it’s a good idea to stretch your body to help keep your muscles loose and limber. Focus on stretching your back, hips, and legs, as these areas are particularly important for maintaining balance and control while riding. If you’re not sure which stretches to do, consider taking a yoga or Pilates class to learn some basic flexibility exercises.
4. Practicing proper body position:
Your body position is another essential component of staying loose but tight. When riding, try to keep your elbows and knees bent and your weight centered over the bike. This will help you maintain control of the bike and also allow you to absorb any bumps or impacts. Keep your eyes focused ahead of the bike, and try to keep your upper body relaxed and fluid.
5. Riding with confidence:
Finally, one of the most essential aspects of staying loose but tight is riding with confidence. When you feel confident on the bike, it’s easier to maintain control, stay loose, and adapt to changing terrain. As you ride, try to focus on your breathing and stay present in the moment. Remember, the more you practice, the more confident you’ll become!
What To Keep In Mind When Trail Riding
1. Know Your Limits.
While pushing yourself to try new things is a fantastic way to improve your skills, it is essential to know your limits. When trail riding, you will encounter various terrains, obstacles, and challenges that may push your limits. Don’t try to do anything too risky or attempt something that may be beyond your skill level. Instead, take the time to assess the trail and make a judgment call on whether you should tackle it or not. Remember, a bad fall can be incredibly dangerous, so if you’re not 100% confident, it is better to be safe than sorry.
2. Proper Gear is Essential.
When trail riding, it is crucial to wear proper safety gear that includes a helmet, gloves, goggles, boots, and a chest protector. The gear you wear will not only protect you from the dangers of trail riding but also help you ride more confidently. Finding the right gear is essential, so make sure that everything fits you well, and try it out before buying it.
3. Keep Your Eyes Up.
One of the most common mistakes made by novice riders is staring directly at the wheel in front of them instead of looking ahead. When trail riding, always keep your eyes up, and look ahead of you to anticipate obstacles and turns, and respond accordingly. Remember that the faster you’re moving, the farther ahead you should look, so continue to scan the path ahead of you as you ride.
4. Control Your Speed.
Maintaining control over your dirt bike is essential when trail riding. One of the best ways to stay in control of your bike is by controlling your speed. Make sure that you’re not going too fast or too slow to avoid accidents and injuries. Start off slow and gradually increase speed as you become more comfortable with the trail.
5. Maintenance is Key.
To ensure that your dirt bike is always running optimally, maintenance is key. It is crucial to keep your bike maintained at all times, and every time you ride, inspect your bike to make sure everything is secure and in good condition. Getting into the habit of inspecting and maintaining your dirt bike regularly will help you avoid any accidents and help you ride more confidently.
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