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How to Get Started with Dirt Biking

08/13/2021

There’s something special and exhilarating about flying along a dirt bike track on a beautiful day. It’s no wonder why the dirt biking hobby is growing increasingly popular throughout the United States.

If you’ve got a taste for adventure and are interested in getting into the hobby yourself, it’s important to first do some research and get a sense of what you’re getting yourself invested in. Here are a few things you should know, and tips to help you get started.

Try riding on dirt before you get on a dirt bike

The feeling of riding on dirt is very different than the feel of riding a bike on standard pavement. Consider taking a mountain bike out into the backcountry or on dirt paths and see how you feel about the experience. Obviously the experience of riding a dirt bike is going to differ than riding a mountain bike, but you can at least get a sense of the friction and the feel of being on the different type of terrain before you fully take the plunge into the dirt bike world.

Get good protective gear

Before you ever mount your dirt bike, it’s absolutely critical you have all the protective gear you need to stay safe. Don’t cheap out on this gear, either—do your research and make sure you’re getting equipment from reputable brands that will hold up to regular use and keep you safe.

You should focus first on getting a helmet and boots. After that, you can look into protective jackets and pants.

Get some instruction

Riding a dirt bike requires different technique than riding a standard bike. New riders tend to believe the experience is exactly the same. But even the way you sit on a dirk bike is different. On a street bike you can get away with putting all your weight on your rear, or keeping your elbows down. If you’re going to avoid crashing on a dirt bike, you need to maintain an aggressive posture so you are able to withstand the bumps and keep control over the bike.

If you sit too far back, you’ll throw off the weight balance and potentially cause the front wheel to raise. You should always squeeze the bike with your knees, which will help you use your legs to turn the bike and prevent you from wearing out your arms. Position yourself so you can put weight on the foot pegs and stay on the balls of your feet, with your elbows away from your body and high in the air to give you more power when making turns.

It will take a bit of practice before you can really get comfortable with going out on the tracks. That’s okay — you’re a beginning rider, and it’s a completely new type of riding. Learning takes time.

Practice on flat dirt

The best place to get started with learning how to dirt bike is usually on a flat old dirt road. While it’s tempting to head out to a local dirt bike track, you don’t want to jump right into a full track with jumps and obstacles. A dirt road will be relatively flat and probably not heavily trafficked at all.

This makes it a great, low-stress environment to get the hang of dirt biking. You can gradually work your way up to some gentle hills before you start thinking about getting on the track. By starting slow and gradually developing your skills, you will greatly reduce your risk of hurting yourself during your beginner phase.

Get a loading ramp

You’re going to need to load and unload your dirt bike every time you transport it, so it makes sense to get a loading ramp. Rather than having to muscle the bike up into a truck bed or trailer every single time, you can simply wheel it up and then strap it into place.

7' Folding Straight Motocross Dirt Bike Ramp
Black Widow's 7' Folding Straight Motocross Dirt Bike Ramp loading into a truck

Black Widow Pro has a variety of dirt bike loading ramps that will make this process significantly easier and safer for you. Otherwise, it really becomes a buzzkill when you have to hoist the bike yourself every time you want to use it.

Dirt biking is a ton of fun, and comes with a heck of an adrenaline rush. What are you waiting for? Do your research and get ready to jump into the hobby!

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