The following dirt bike riding tips are an excellent place to begin your journey to becoming a better rider, but they’re not the end! No matter what level you’re at, unless you’re completely happy with your current skill set on a dirt bike, I suggest you keep improving by seeking tips & advice from better riders than yourself. The best thing I ever did to improve my riding was ask for advice from more experienced riders. And if your riding level isn’t where you want it to be then this will be one of the best things you can do too, to improve your skills on the track or trail.
I’ve been advised by much better riders than myself to concentrate on my technique rather than speed. If you get the technique right, the speed will come naturally. And you’ll be much quicker than you otherwise would’ve been… and safer!
Another key thing to improve your riding is to actually think! Become conscious of how you ride, rather than just riding. Learn what you are supposed to be doing then focus on doing it. Every great sportsman uses visualization techniques to improve their performance, because most of how we perform physically is predetermined by how we think mentally.
There are so many small things that good riders do that make them so incredibly quick and smooth. I’m not going to pretend I know what they all are, but I will share some fundamental dirt bike riding tips that I have learned from experienced riders and motocross schools… beginning with your standing position.
Your body position on your bike is the first thing you need to get right.
When I started riding, I used to sit down a lot with my elbows hanging, legs wide open and sitting in the middle of the bike. I felt like a midget trying to operate a jackhammer – constantly being bullied around over rough ground and ruts. You see these poor souls occasionally at your local track getting tossed around like rag-dolls.
A lot of your riding (esp. over rough, hard terrain) should be done in the standing position. It distributes your weight to a lower point on the bike (your foot pegs) which can allow you more control. Observe the pro’s next time and learn from them.
To do this…
- Position the foot pegs in the middle of your feet for good control of the foot levers.
- Grip the bike with your knees slightly bent near the bottom of the tank.
- Your back should be slightly arched. Keep your arms up, and elbows forward with your head over the handle bars.
- Try and keep either 1 or 2 fingers on the clutch and brake levers as much as possible. It may feel awkward to begin with but after practice it will feel natural.
Practice riding like this over rough terrain and watch your speed, control and enjoyment increase!
Sand Riding Tip: When riding in the sand or mud, your body position changes. Your weight should be to the back of the bike to prevent the front wheel from bogging and throwing you over the bars. This will also give you greater traction. You will need to be hard on the gas to keep the bike gliding over the sand.