Just being able to ride a dirt bike is not very difficult. However, mastering basic riding techniques and being able to comfortably ride fast on a trail or track takes many hours of riding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned professional hitting the enduro track or a recreational rider just having fun, you’re likely always looking for ways to improve your riding style. Practice makes perfect, but sometimes, you need something extra to put you on the fast track to success. The next time you head to your local motocross track, keep the following information in mind.
Some dirt bike riders use their brakes to slow down and gain control without thinking about how their braking technique can impact the outcome of their race. If you spend time working on brake use, you may feel like you have more control while possibly even improving your personal best time. The front brake is one that most riders rely on the most, but it can be used in conjunction with the rear brake. If you apply too much of the rear brake, you may feel your wheel locking up, but using it may lead to faster track times.
Pay attention to how you use your front brake, as well. Apply it too quickly, and it may one day send you over the handlebars, but use it too slowly, then you may not have the competitive edge you need at enduro tracks and race events.
Dirt Bike Clutches Are Different
A dirt bike clutch isn’t like a car’s clutch. A dirt bike’s clutch is multi-plated and sits in a pool of oil. It’s okay to ride a dirt bike clutch a bit. You can grab your clutch and pull it in a little to slow down before a turn, and you’re not really in danger of ruining your bike. You certainly wouldn’t want to half-press the clutch all the time, but you can use it more than when you’re driving an old truck. The other major difference is that you don’t need the clutch to shift down gears on a dirt bike. When switching up gears, you need the clutch each time, though.
Focus On Your Knees
Look at your motocross pants, and you may see a specific grip area around the knee region. This isn’t just for aesthetics. Instead, it’s so you can use your legs to grip the fuel tank area of the bike. Doing so can give you more control and balance while freeing up your arms to focus on handling.
Boots and Helmet
The two most expensive pieces of protective gear are the helmets and the boots; unfortunately, they are also the pieces of gear that you’ll hate the most if you get something cheap. Buy a good helmet and boots first, or else you’ll make the common mistake of needing to buy boots twice.
Don’t Use the Kill Switch
Since most dirt bikes have electric start these days, a common newbie mistake is to turn off the bike by using the kill switch on the left handlebar. The problem with doing this is that the battery is still “on”, so your battery will be dead the next time you go out to ride. Get in the habit of turning off the bike by turning the key to the off position.