Dirt Bikes for dummies: a beginner’s guide


Riding a dirt bike is an exhilarating experience that’s enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Apart from improving your cardiovascular health and stimulating your brain, dirt bikes also boost endurance and can help you burn calories. New riders can reap many positive benefits from this stimulating activity. However, it’s important to first learn the ropes before heading off-road for some dirt biking fun.

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Here’s a beginner’s guide to dirt bikes:

Learn your bike’s controls

It’s important to first familiarize yourself with all components of your dirt bike. The right handle contains the throttle and the front brake lever. On the other hand, the left grip has the clutch lever. The front and rear fenders protect delicate parts of your bike such as the forks and shocks. The chain transmits energy from the engine to the rear wheel while the shifter lever allows you to change gears and vary your bike’s power. Learning how your dirt bike operates will equip you with ample knowledge to start riding it.

Gear up

Wearing a helmet and other protective gear is vital when riding a dirt bike. However, some beginners usually disregard this paraphernalia and end up regretting it dearly. Ensure you get some riding goggles that can sufficiently protect your eyes from dust, tree branches, and other common hazards that you might encounter when riding off-road. In addition, invest in proper riding boots and knee protectors. You can also get yourself full-body armor that protects you from cuts and bruises in case you fall. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Practice shifting and clutch control

Every dirt bike has a shifter lever that allows riders to change gears − it’s located on the peg of your left foot. Initially, you might struggle to shift gears from 1 to 5 using the shifter. It takes patience and practice to get it right, so don’t shy away from constantly training with an expert. However, an adult dirt bike differs slightly from a kids’ bike: the latter only has 3 gears which makes it easier for young riders to learn. The clutch and throttle also need to be controlled with great finesse. To get moving, you need to engage the throttle so that gas can be injected into the engine. Next, slowly release the clutch as you move the throttle forward with the right hand. Ensure you learn and perfect this critical process.

Engage the brakes wisely

If you’re just starting out, it’s advisable to use the foot brake during your first couple of rides. It’s not only more challenging but also offers smoother halts compared to the hand brake. When you eventually transition to using the hand brake, avoid snatching at it quickly like you would an ordinary bicycle. A sudden grasp of your bike’s hand brakes could jolt you forward and inflict some serious injuries. Instead, squeeze it lightly and be mindful of your terrain to avoid skidding.

Ensure you take good care of your dirt bike to improve safety when off-roading.


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