Dirt biking is the ultimate sport where you experience the feeling of adrenaline rushing through your veins. Whether you’re a speed freak or simply too afraid of heights to jump out of planes, dirt biking offers you the sweet in-between. It’s tough and it’s extreme- the makings of the perfect adventure. Furthermore, it’s a sport that’s suitable for kids as young as three years old! It’s a family sport that everyone can enjoy.
Dirt biking may seem too much for someone who has never ridden a motorcycle before, but it stimulates your brains, improves balance and does wonders for your endurance. And there’s nothing comparable to the thrill you’ll get to experience!
That being said, dirt biking is a form of extreme sports, which means it comes with a set of risks and challenges. As a lot relies on balancing and controlling the speed while navigating a rough terrain that can expose you to minor and major injuries. But hear us out, is there any completely injury-free sport? Whether it’s rugby or hockey, every sport has risks and injuries associated with it.
If you find dirt biking intriguing or you’ve always had it on your bucket list, it’s important to get familiar with the basics of dirt biking. We’re sharing the dos and don’ts of dirt biking that will help you get started. Let’s begin!
Learn Going Through Gear Shift
Conceptually, gears of a dirt bike are similar to that of a manual car. Different gears essentially serve the same purpose, whether you’re riding a dirt bike or driving a car. However, knowing how to drive a manual car doesn’t automatically make an expert at dirt biking. You need to understand and learn how to shift through the gears to tackle different terrains. With enough practice, it will become instinctual.
You need to practice acceleration in order to keep your bike always in control and prevent losing balance on a challenging track. In addition to accelerating, you should also be able to slow down when needed without braking.
Braking the Right Way
Since speed is the name of the game when it comes to dirt biking, learning how to brake the right way is something you cannot compromise with. You need to practice using the front as well as the rear brakes. Front brakes are often used to slow down when traction is poor. On the other hand, rear brakes come in handy when you’re taking a turn and act as second steering for tighter turns.
With dirt biking, several skills are put to the test at once. That’s why you need to practice each skill individually and more importantly, master coordination. You have to quickly analyse the terrain, accordingly change gears, accelerate and brake- all while maintaining balance.
Invest in High-Quality Gear
Protective riding gear is a MUST for riding dirt bikes, especially as a first-timer. You should invest in a complete set of riding gear including a full-face helmet, dirt bike boots, riding pants, dirt bike jersey, goggles, gloves, knee braces, elbow guards and so on. Visit MXstore for high-quality biking gear. Buying cheap gear can make you prone to injuries and make your riding experience uncomfortable.
Overestimating Your Skills
Balancing a bicycle and a dirt bike are somewhat similar but not the same. Avoid making the mistake of overestimating your skills. Just like it takes time and practice to learn how to drive a car, you need to put in the hours to learn dirt biking. Moreover, it’s a tricky sport that combines a variety of skills. It’s okay to start slow!
Starting on a Rough Terrain
As a newbie, it isn’t a good idea to start on rough terrain such as a steep hilly track. Ride on straightforward tracks first.
Not Looking Ahead
You need to learn how to look far ahead to prepare for any upcoming turns of change in course. Not looking further ahead can compromise your perception of obstacles. You should be able to look ahead, analyse the terrain and quickly come up with the correct tactic. A lot can happen in a matter of seconds, so you need to be alert to your surroundings at all times.
Riding with an Improper Form
A proper form is crucial to be a good rider and prevent crashing. You’d be surprised to learn that there is a lot of technique involved in the right body position for riding dirt bikes. For one, you should always keep your elbows over a ninety-degree angle. This will allow you to have the best control of the bike.
Learning the right grip is perhaps an underrated but extremely essential skill. An incorrect grip can make riding more difficult than it needs to be.
Lack of Confidence
Even if you consider yourself to be confident, there is no sure-shot way of mentally preparing yourself for a dirt bike ride. Just like hesitant drivers on the road can be dangerous to themselves and others, fear can hinder your riding skills. Do what you can to keep this fear under control and instead lean into the feeling of exhilaration.
The weight of the bike is something you have to get yourself familiar with. Dirt biking often involves standing up to stabilise and maintain balance through difficult terrain. When you’re starting out, stick to riding sitting down and slowly progress to standing.
Ignoring Rules & Precautions
Just because dirt biking is an adventure sport doesn’t mean you can completely disregard rules and precautions. Taking suitable precautions and safety measures won’t inhibit the fun but rather save you the hassle of getting injured. For most people, dirt biking isn’t a one-time thing like skydiving. It’s a sport that you can enjoy as long as your body allows it.
Whether you are 15 or 55, you can pick up dirt biking at any age. It’s a versatile sport that’s suitable for diverse terrains. Learning any new skills requires patience. The more effort you invest in improving your riding skills, the better your experience will be. Keep that in mind!