With spring and summer fast-approaching, you might be craving a little adventure. Dirt biking is gaining in popularity each year and with good reason, it’s exhilarating and it gets you out in the great outdoors! If you’re a beginner or a pro, these tips for dirt bikers will keep you safe and enjoying the thrill of the ride.
SKILLS NEEDED FOR DIRT BIKERS
Practice makes (close to) perfect. When you’re first starting out, it’s a good idea to practice on a flat, dirt road. You should also practice using your controls with the bike turned off to gain familiarity with them. Knowing the controls will allow you to keep your eyes on the road and not on the controls-helping to ensure the safety of you and others.
Body positioning is very important. You’ll want to be comfortable standing while riding. To give you better control of the shifter and the rear brake pedal, ride on the balls of your feet. Lean forward (unlike riding a bicycle) and keep your elbows up and away from your torso to keep control of the bike.
Turn, Turn, Turn. Turning your bike is more about the transition of weight than it is the turning of the handlebars. Use your body to lean into the turn.
ETIQUETTE FOR DIRT BIKERS
Use a spark arrestor. What’s a spark arrestor? Spark arrestors are metal screens that are placed over your dirt bike’s tailpipe to prevent sparks from flying out, which could cause a wildfire. Even if you think the terrain seems clear there still may be dry brush. Plus typically when out in fields or in the “middle of nowhere”, you may run across homes, campers, horses and other animals. When using a spark arrestor, it’ll also decrease the noise emitted, noise that can be bothersome to campers or equestrians (loud sounds spook horses).
It’s important to communicate with signals. When you’re with a group and you come across others on the trail, it’s a good idea to let them know how many more bikes are behind you. For example, if you’re leading a group of four riders, you can simply raise your hand with three fingers up to show that there are three riders behind you. It’s easy and much appreciated! You always want to be courteous and respectful of others sharing the trail.
One more thing to consider because it’s easy to get separated on the trail. Have a designated meeting spot in case a member of your group gets lost. Remember, mobile phone service can be unreliable on the trail.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR DIRT BIKERS
The clutches on dirt bikes are different than the clutches on automobiles. You don’t need the clutch to downshift gears (but you do need the clutch to shift up).
With all the fun you’ll be having on your bike, it’s easy to forget that you have to care for a bike much like you would a car. Make sure to regularly change the oil and the air filter, check your tire pressure, and keep your chain lubricated. Don’t forget after you get back home to clean your bike of mud, dirt and debris picked up along the way.
Remember to start small. You don’t want to learn on an expert bike (like a 450). They can be difficult to control due to their heavy weight and a challenge to balance if you’re not an expert rider (yet). Have something to work toward!
SAFETY FOR DIRT BIKERS
Be sure to wear a DOT-compliant helmet, proper boots, goggles, gloves, and long-sleeved tops and pants that are high quality and high-performing. You want to be safe and well as well as able to ride for years to come!
Need for speed? Of course you can’t wait to open the throttle on the trail. However, be mindful of your speed and slow down when passing others or approaching blind spots. Trail riding introduces different obstacles than motocross like trees and bushes. Since you don’t know what or who is on the other side, it’s best to slow to a reasonable speed until you have passed the blind spot. Slow down near campsites, not only because there are campers nearby, but they won’t appreciate the dust left in the wake of your bike!
The more the merrier! Always ride with at least one other rider (never alone) and stay on designated trails.
Prepare and prevent. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected. It’s optimal to have a few items on hand in case of emergency: water, food, a wrench set/screwdriver, tire repair kit/tire iron, spare spark plug, gasoline, and a first aid kit.
You can also prepare and protect yourself and your investment by having the coverage you need for your dirt biking adventures! RVInsurances.com offers all the coverage you’ll need with personal liability, theft, and damage protection. Contact us or call 1-844-727-7207 for your quote today.