New Rider’s Guide to Dirt Bikes

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Any type of motorcycle can give riders an experience they just cannot get in a car. Motorcycles provide open travel that breaks free from the constraints of four-wheeled vehicles. Although a street motorcycle provides more freedom than a car, riders are still confined to the street. A dirt bike offers the ability to eliminate those limitations. However, individuals must understand that riding a dirt bike for the first time takes some preparation and learning to ensure a safe and fun-filled ride.

Choosing the Dirt Bike

The first step in the process for a beginner is acquiring a dirt bike. A person should not run out and purchase the most powerful bike they can find. A powerful bike may look cool, but a beginner may not be ready to handle that kind of power. The appearance of your dirt bike is also not very important at this stage. Individuals can always paint or put decals on the bike to get the aesthetic that suits their style.

The first dirt bike should be something a new rider can handle easily. It takes time and practice to gain control of the clutch, throttle, and balance of a bike. New riders should be focusing on basic riding techniques first. Something easy to start, easy to ride, and fits the height and weight of the new rider are important.

This type of bike is the best option for learning to ride and maneuver on rugged courses. Once the skills and experience are acquired, that bike can be traded in for something more powerful. For now, stay with the easier-to-handle bike and personalize it with decals and other features to get the look needed to feel confident on the trail.

Safety Equipment

Staying safe when riding a dirt bike is the most important part. The right safety equipment is key to reducing injuries and deaths from dirt bike accidents. Nearly 60% of deaths were caused by not wearing a helmet. In nearly 50% of accidents with a fatality, alcohol was a factor. These statistics show the importance of staying safe when on a dirt bike.

Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and riding during the day are some good ways to stay safe, especially for beginners. The most important piece of safety equipment on the bike is a helmet. However, not just any helmet will do. There are helmets specifically designed for dirt bike riding. These helmets can reduce injuries when an accident occurs.

Dirt bike goggles are also an important piece of equipment. These goggles are the best for keeping dirt and debris out of a rider’s eyes. Riding boots are also a good idea. The soles are extra thick, and the body of the boots is rigid to protect feet and ankles. Commercial bike clothes are good, but a long sleeve shirt and jeans will do fine. Gloves are also a good idea to protect the hands and reduce blisters from holding the bike.

Learning the Basics

The next step in the process is to learn the basics of riding a dirt bike. Before going anywhere, new riders should begin learning how to start the bike and use the clutch and gears of the bike. Many experienced riders suggest the use of an open, flat field or a backyard to gain experience with the controls of the bike. Once a good feel for the bike is gained and the rider learns how to control the bike, it is time to hit the trails.

Although new riders may be tempted to just take off into the woods and see how things go, it is a good idea to start with something simple at first. There are a lot of state trails that allow dirt bikes and ATVs. These are often simple trails that will allow a rider the opportunity to learn a lot of valuable skills.

Before taking off on an adventure, check state laws and rules of the trails to ensure proper safety and legality. Some locations require registration before using their facilities. Most importantly, stay safe and have fun.