How to Ride a Dirt Bike: Newbies Guide to Ride Like a Pro (+Video)
This supposes to be your first dirt bike riding experience. That’s super awesome! Before you take any dirt bike out for a spin, read this guide and understand it well. This complete guide will make you spin in a highly professional performance at every ride! If you skip any part of this guide, learning them the hard way like other dirt bikers is not a good idea.
Admittedly, there are shortcuts, but there is no shortcut to success. If you want to make dirt biking a long term hobby which you would not be forced to stop due to emotional, mental or physical injuries, you need to go through this guide more than a couple of times.
This guide has all of the primary and fundamental lessons on how to ride a dirt bike. I will guide you just as I would if you were by my side. Learn from a pro and move faster up on the leaderboard to look more like a pr than a newbie even on your first ride. Once you master these basics, you can take on any dirt bike you point your finger at.
Before You Start You Bike
The pre-ride stage is as essential and crucial to any professional dirt bike rider. The only difference is the time spent in this stage. What I mean is that a newbie would likely spend more time preparing than an expert rider. What does getting started to involve?
Before you start a dirt bike, you must be emotionally and physically ready.
Emotional readiness is the usual adrenalin rush and excitement that you feel. The feeling that you get that makes you feel like a superhero. You surely have this feeling if you have a flair for riding and adventure. However, if you think of the fear of crashing, try to watch your friends ride for a few minutes before you mount yours. This will help keep your mind at the ready.
Physical readiness is very crucial to riding a dirt bike like a pro and also staying safe.
Use a Helmet.
I saw quite a few how-to videos about how to ride a dirt bike where the instructor had no helmet on. I wonder what they are teaching. Please don’t make it a habit to start riding without putting on a suitable crash helmet if you want to keep your head. You can see a guide on how to choose a good helmet in the post Essential Tips For the Newbie Dirt bike rider under Gears.
Get The Posture Right.
Sitting on a dirt bike correctly is essential to staying long on the trail. If you sit in the wrong posture, you can quickly get arm pump, and that is fatal. Many dirt bike riders try to look at other riders and copy, but that might be too late because they would not be able to concentrate and they could even crash before they start. Now you would learn to get in shape before you kickstart or switch on your dirt bike engine.
- First thing you need to check is your feet on the ground. As you sit on the bike, make sure your feet are balanced on the ground. If not, get a shorter bike.
- Sit so that your butt is closest to the bike’s fuel tank and your elbows are close to your sides.
- Put your feet the foot-pads on both sides of the bike while trying to stand up without pulling on the handlebars. If you find this difficult, that means you are not sitting close enough to the fore. If you are a little far behind your feet, it will not be easy to stand this way. You must be able to stand right on a dirt bike. If you all want, I will make a more comprehensive post explaining when to stand while riding a dirt bike. However, if you find it difficult to stand upright, you will need to slide forward and pull on the handlebars.
You are starting Your Engines.
Once you have gotten into the right posture, you can begin to your dirt bike. To start a dirt bike, the battery power must be on. Putting on the battery power will not start the engine, but it is an action that will initiate the dirt bike’s battery so that the driver would begin when you start it. Most dirt bikes have an ON button that you can rotate. On other bikes though, the “on” button is to be pressed.
- After you put the battery power on, you use the choke. This part of starting the engine depends on the bike and the environment. If the bike’s engine is already warm, you might not need to pull out the choke. If you are starting cold, you would need to flip the choke. The position of the choke is usually different from bike to bike. It is generally on the left leg side or under the battery power button.
- Now to rev the engines, you use the clutch, or if it is a kids’ bike without a clutch, you must get it on neutral.
- However, if it is an adult bike, you must pull in the clutch to first gear. If you don’t get your bike in neutral, starting the engine will push you violently forward and off the bike completely.
- Most of all standard adult dirt bikes have a manual clutch on the handlebars (most kid bikes don’t have this) that you’ll need to pull in first. The clutch is mostly on your left handle like the left-hand brake on a standard bicycle. You must pull this manual clutch in fully to disengage the gear and set it in neutral effectively.
- On a kids bike that has no clutch, you can get to neutral when you sit on the bike. You use your left foot to reach the gear shifter. Press the lever down in front of the foot pad up to 6 times repeatedly. This gets your bike in neutral.
- You must follow this same process on an adult bike to put the bike in first gear. Press down the gear shifter up to 6 times to ensure you’re in first gear before starting the engine.
- You have to start the bike when it is in first gear. However, if you don’t hold the clutch, it won’t start.
- Generally, to start your dirt bike, you may need to kickstart it if it comes with a Kickstarter. The Kickstarter is the metal rod on the right leg side. You would have to pull out the tall silver metal kick starter with your hand, then standing on the foot peg with your left foot, forcefully clamp your right foot on the kick starter lever and push it down with a jerk-like gesture to start the engine. Now, if your bike comes with an electric start button, press it to start.
- Now the next thing you must do to keep the engine running is to let it have a little moderate quantity of petrol. You do this by holding the throttle which is on the right handle. Take care not to pull the throttle too hard or too long so that you would not overload the engine with fuel.
- At this point, your bike is already started. If you used the choke, make sure to flip it back in its initial position. It is advisable to let your bike run for a minute or two to warm up the engines a bit before getting out. If you are doing this, it’s nice to leave the bike in neutral. If not, you must hold the clutch held in for a while.
Accelerate Like A Pro.
Acceleration may be hard if you don’t do it right because when you are on speed, you are going against the wind. Most newbies find it natural to sit too far back on the seat, and they think they can beat the wind by pulling on the handlebars. This can cause a fatal crash. However, if you get the posture right, you can hit the backward push of the wind by merely pressing down and back on the footpegs while leaning further to the front and not moving your butt. This posture makes it easy for you to remove your left hand from the throttle while accelerating and keep the bike running straight on the track.
Make Smooth and Quick Shifts on the Run.
The next thing you must learn is shifting gears and controlling the clutch. There are three parts involved in changing (throttle, clutch, and shifter). Ultimately, all three parts will work simultaneously. The reason why this seems complicated is that there is nothing to show you where the shifter is.
- Generally, there are five gear levels on adult dirt bikes. If you follow the subsequent steps to press down up to 6 times, you will be in the 1st gear.
- To make a shift like a pro, you would hook the tip of your boot under the shifter and raise it slightly to give the feel of a half click to put you in the neutral gear.
- The neutral gear is tough for most first-time riders to find because it is just a half click up from the 1st gear. Therefore, if finding the neutral gear is difficult for you, you can avoid using it by making use of the clutch. As you grab the clutch, you get up to neutral. After this, you lift the shifter at a full click to enter into 2nd gear, 3rd, 4th, and 5th gear. So it’s one initial, half up to neutral, full up to 2, full up to 3, to 4, and then 5. Many kid dirt bikes have no clutch, and there are generally only three gears in the kid bike. Pressing down on the shifter repeatedly puts you in neutral. Then one full click up is 1st, then 2nd, then 3rd.When you are in gear 1, you start moving. Remember that you are still holding your clutch to start the bike. Now, to proceed, you must roll back the throttle, which is your right handle grip while slowly releasing the clutch in your left hand. Your both hands must work at the same time.
- You know the throttle lets fuel in the engine, and the clutch controls the bike. If you release the grip too fast without popping enough fuel with the throttle, your bike will jerk forward an inch and stop running altogether. Same way, if you throttle too high and give in much gas, once you release the throttle, the bike will shoot forward, and the surprise will leave you in the dirt.
- Always try till you master these two hand movement to pull in the clutch on your left and turn back the throttle on your right. The right angle is attained if you divide the full rotation of the throttle in 3, ⅓ of the entire rotation is enough to get you going. No more, no less.
- Perchance, your bike might bolt forward at any time, or maybe you need to reduce your speed, you can do this by merely releasing the throttle.
- Like in the car and standard bike engines, you’ll know it’s time to shift when the engine is “screaming,” or when you’re only a little to reach full throttle.
- If you are in motion and you need to make a quick shift, make sure not to move the throttle from where it was at the moment you decide to shift and don’t move it while you shift.
- Hold the throttle to keep the fuel going and quickly pull in the clutch. As this is going on, reach the gear shifter with your left foot and pull it up to the next gear. Then quickly release the grip.
- When you want to slow down, the clutch is what you should pull in first. You risk killing the bike if you don’t remember to draw the grip every time you slow down.
You might have seen the two brakes on your dirt bike. Naturally, most newbies use the right-hand brake. Forget about that until you have got the hang of dirt biking. I mean after you have a go on several rides. Because they are easy to grab and challenging to measure, hand brakes cause more accidents on a dirt bike for many a newbie. You might catch it, and it will stop the bike abruptly, and that will make your motorcycle angrily throw you off its back no matter how slow you’re running.
- Eventually, you’ll find the front brake is quite useful as it controls the front wheels. However, the front brakes should be gently squeezed halfway.
- Better for you to use the foot brake. The foot brake controls the back tire of the dirt bike, which makes stopping smooth.
- You find the foot brake about 6” in front of your right foot peg. If you get the proper sitting posture, Let ball joint at the back of your foot sit on the footpeg, and then you move your foot forward to the foot brake to stop.
- If you get the proper sitting when braking, hold the tank between your thighs and squeeze the gas tank with your 2 legs, this will surely keep your body in the right position.
- Remember that as you are pressing on the brakes, you should be downshifting so that when you stop, you will be able to move quickly again.
Last Words. Dirt biking is not easy. However, when you are serious about it, you would find that it is exciting and sweet. Follow these steps with no shortcut. Trust me, in no time, and you too would be spinning like a pro on a dirt bike. Many more articles to help you are here to make your dirt biking experience memorable. Stay here.
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