A lot of people who see themselves as passionate bikers completely change their view on this lifestyle after going on a single dirt bike riding adventure. Needless to say, this is something that takes even some of the most seasoned drivers outside of their comfort zone but not in a negative way.
Other than being an incredible must-try experience, it’s also a hobby that is beneficial to your health. We’re talking about increasing your heart rate, your strength, your balance and your endurance. Believe it or not, it also helps you burn calories, which is another fun way of keeping a healthy body weight. The facts that it stimulates your brain, improves your posture and is an outdoor activity come as a huge plus, as well.
However, it’s in no way easy. Sure, to some this is quite logical, due to the fact that it’s a sport that looks difficult even to a complete layman but a lot of people enter it overconfidently. This makes them repeat mistakes that could have easily been avoided if they have just taken time to read a bit on the topic. Instead of learning on your own mistakes (which can be incredibly dangerous in this sport), all they have to do is listen to experiences of those who came before them. With that in mind and without further ado, here are some of the most common dirt bike riding mistakes that beginners tend to make.
1. Clutches on the dirt bike are… different
The first mistake that beginners, especially those who are seasoned car drivers, make is believing that they know how the clutch on the dirt bike work. It’s a similar principle as that on the car, right? Well, not exactly. You see, unlike with your car, you can grab your clutch a bit before a turn in order to slow down, without fearing that you’ll ruin the vehicle. Sure, we’re not suggesting that you can abuse your clutch all the time but the truth is that you can be a tad more lenient with it.
2. It’s not like riding a bicycle either
Sure, the difference between riding a dirt bike (or any bike) and driving a car should be more than obvious. However, it might seem logical to assume that this might be a similar experience to that of riding a bicycle over rough terrain. This can be a grievous mistake. First of all, sitting too far back is a habit that cyclists have, which might result in you popping a wheelie on accident. Therefore, you need to sit forward. Second, your weight shouldn’t be on your buttocks but on the foot pegs. So, sit slightly up with a straight back (this is the part that helps you maintain a straight posture).
Lastly, your elbows need to be away from your body in order to be able to do quick turns once you start losing traction (which is bound to happen at one point). Being prepared for this scenario alone, as well as knowing when to expect it is also key to making it in one piece. This is why it’s a good idea to scout out the terrain before starting the first round.
3. Not getting the right equipment
So far, you’re supposed to understand just how difficult and dangerous this is, as well as how precise and focused you have to be during the entire ride. Unfortunately, the mistake of getting the wrong gear is something that might cause discomfort during the process, unnecessarily putting you in danger. Other than this, you need to keep in mind that the risk of falling might be slightly higher here than during a regular bike ride, which is why investing in your own safety needs to be an even greater priority.
Sure, you don’t have to get the most expensive gear on the market in order to stay safe but you shouldn’t consider the low-end gear either. This is not the time, nor place to start coming up with various ways to save money. For those who are still concerned with budgeting and don’t know what kind of prices they’re dealing with, browsing through the platform of retailers for dirt bike gear might be a great starting point.
4. Starting out too ambitiously
Dirt bike riding is an incredible adventure, however, it’s also an umbrella term that might mean a number of things. Most commonly, it’s affected by the terrain that you drive it on. Naturally, as a first-timer, it’s highly advised that you find a nearby dirt road and try your skill and prowess there. If you find this to be too easy, you can immediately look for a bit more ambitious track, like an area with some gentle hills. Keep practising here until you’re confident in your ability to balance the bike. This may sound as simple and intuitive, yet, you would be surprised at just how many people are too anxious to get onto a more challenging track.
5. Vehicle maintenance is more crucial than ever before
Lastly, since this is a sport where millimetres make a gigantic difference, you need to be 100 percent sure that your vehicle is in a prime state. The only way to do so is to get your bike on regular checkups and do frequent maintenance. Change the oil after every 8 hours of driving. This is quite shocking to those who know that oil on cars needs to be changed every 3 months (3,000 or 5,000 miles). Then, check your tire pressures, keep your chain lubricated and keep your air filter clean. For those who are passionate about this sport, these maintenance tips won’t come as that much of a hassle.
Once you take these several steps of precaution, you’ll get to experience all the freedom, as well as mental and physical benefits that come from this sport. You’ll also get to try new experiences and meet a lot of new, interesting people that are also in love with this uncommon sport. All in all, once you ensure the safety, everything else will fall in its place.