You shouldn’t even think about riding a dirt bike unless you have all the proper safety gear, including a full-face DOT-approved helmet, riding goggles if you are using a half-face helmet, boots, gloves, pants and a jacket with long sleeves to minimize skin exposure.
Not wearing a helmet is the number one factor in dirt bike fatalities. ATVs do not come with seat belts or airbags. If you get into an accident, the helmet will protect your head from injury. You should also wear knee, chest and chin guards when first starting out. If you tumble over, you can get back up and try again.
Use a Communication System
Once you have all your safety gear in order, attach a helmet communication system to your full-face or half-face helmet to stay connected to your instructor while riding. The system syncs up to your phone or GPS in just a few seconds, so you don’t have to physically interact with your mobile device while you are driving. It’s never safe to text or make a call while riding unless you have a wireless headset.
With the system in place, you can use your voice to access the features of your device. Just speak into the microphone to ask your instructor for help. They will guide you through the experience to keep you in control of the vehicle.
Prepare Your Body
Dirt bike riding can be hard on the body. It’s more physically taxing than you might realize. It takes a certain amount of strength to support yourself on the back of the bike. If you’re serious about riding, spend some time working on your core. You will need a strong core to stay balanced. It also helps you retain control of your arms and legs. Don’t be surprised if you feel a little winded after your first trip. Build up some endurance to ride for longer periods of time.
When riding, don’t make the mistake of sitting like you would on a bicycle. You’ll need to use your arms and core to support your weight while taking a more horizontal position on the bike. Don’t rely too much on your arms when riding or you’ll tire yourself out after a few minutes.
Don’t Use the Kill Switch Unless Absolutely Necessary
Dirt bikes work just like a motorcycle. You need to turn the ignition to turn the bike on or off. Lots of new riders make the mistake of hitting the kill switch when they’re finished riding, but unless the ignition is off, the battery will still be running. Make sure you turn the ignition to the off position to avoid draining your battery.
Practice Makes Perfect
Avoid hitting the accelerator the first time you get on the bike. Spend some time learning how to shift between gears and using the clutch to make sure you know how to come to a complete stop. Slow down and take wide turns when starting out. Learning new skills takes time. You can’t start racing right out of the gate.
With a little bit of patience and determination, you will be well on your way to becoming an experienced dirt bike rider. Keep these tips in mind to make the most of your time on the trail.