How to Ride a Dirt Bike
Riding dirt never crossed my mind when I first moved out West. I was so immersed in road bikes, asphalt and twisty roads that I was content to be a street rider. But then, twisty roads turned into race tracks, and those tracks prompted me to actually race. Up until this point, I had tunnel vision: sportbikes were life, man.
Then, one day, I failed to get my road-racing license the first time I tried for it. At that point I knew I had to become a better rider, and a few folks told me that one of the best ways to improve my skills was to start riding on the dirt. The reasoning behind this is that the dirt teaches you how to feel what it’s like to ride on something that has less traction than pavement. Additionally, the dirt changes every lap (if you ride MX, TT or oval track), so you need to adapt your riding style on the fly. Finally, you must really be smooth with your inputs so you can stay upright. These reasons were enough to convince me to get out there and start riding dirty. I decided to take a school (because as we all know, I love riding schools) so I can start riding dirt the correct way, right out the gate.
You’re Going to Go Down
I must emphasize that it is imperative that you wear the right gear when riding off-road. Before I get into the specifics of how to ride a dirt bike, I'm going to share my thoughts on the proper equipment. Why? Because you’re going to probably fall…and if you’re like me, you’re going to fall down early and often. I’m not saying it’s guaranteed, but I’ve seen a lot of spills by first timers; I’ve also seen folks who rarely fall.
The point is, you don’t know when or why you’re going to do it, just that the odds are that you will crash. So, just to be safe, get yourself a good set of elbow guards, knee guards, a chest guard, motocross or road racing boots, goggles, and a helmet. I was able to borrow a lot of these items from family and friends before actually having to go out and purchase them, so if you can’t afford to spend that much money on gear right away, ask your buddies if you can get a hold of some loaner kit first.
What Size Bike Should I Ride?
The first dirt bike I ever rode was Honda CRF150F. For me, it was the perfect size since it’s not big and it was fairly light, making it more approachable and easier to ride. After trying the Honda on for size though, I actually decided to go a little smaller and picked up a Suzuki DRZ125R. At that time, I not only wanted something small, but something that I could afford. As you will later see, I take this bike everywhere: I ride it on oval and TT dirt tracks, but also on trails and MX tracks with whoops and jumps. The little DR-Z can handle anything this grown ass woman can put it through!
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Tear it up in the back country any way you want, but the most fun you'll have is on an off road bike, ATV or Side-by-side. We have created this site for fun in the dirt! Do you dream of days in the backwoods spinning and jumping on two or four wheels? So do we! Follow us, tell us your story. If we like it we will post it! Send us your extreme pictures of where you spent the weekend with your bike!