How to Whip a Dirt Bike (With 5 Tips for Your First Try)

As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.

Being able to whip a dirt bike on the first try may be a little difficult, but with the information, I plan to give you you will be able to whip a dirt bike in no time.

  1. Start to whip your bike by curving or turning your dirt bike as you come up to the jump.
  2. Start to push your inside leg of the jump out enough to push your dirt bike in a sideways position.
  3. Push the handlebars and front tire of the dirt bike outward.
  4. Then, as you come back to the ground, straighten out your bike and stop pushing with your leg for a smooth transition from air to land.

To find out more about the details of whipping one’s bike and being able to do it like a pro, continue reading!

What is a Whip

What is whipping a dirt bike, some may ask? Whipping is a trick riders do on dirt bikes that is quite a simple concept that can be taught and is fun to do when going around a track with friends.

A whip is when riders go off of a high jump and then push their dirt bike to the side, while still simultaneously being on the bike, and then landing the jump when it’s over. It’s all about being able to stay on the bike and having the bike parallel to the ground, acquiring a lot of balance and skill to stay on the bike and still land it whilst remaining on the dirt bike.

There are many pro riders that whip their dirt bikes over dozens of jumps and dozens of times in a row. Whipping one’s dirt bike is a fun thing to do, and learning how to do it is simple. Just by following the steps below you can be doing a whip within the month. With lots of practice, it’s fairly easy to learn and can be mastered within days.

Start with Lower Jumps, Be Safe

Some riders will get too eager to do jumps that pro riders can do, more experienced riders can do because it looks easy.

Of course, all riders make it look easy because they have been doing it for decades.

Doing a high enough jump that you learn how to do a whip is important. If the jump isn’t high enough, you may end up scraping along the ground and hurting yourself. Find a tall enough mound that you can easily whip, but not tall enough that you are stuck in the air for a long period of time and will be forced to not land properly.

When finding a jump, do high jumps and not necessarily far jumps. The purpose of a whip is to get in the air and be able to do tricks with the bike while in the air, not staying on the ground to do tricks. With a high mound of dirt on a track, it is easier to give yourself the time in the air to do the trick. If you’re looking at far jumps, they are closer to the ground and will not but high enough to get you and your dirt bike off the ground to whip. Just make sure to be a good judge of how you can handle the jump and what height fits best for your skill level.

How Fast to Be Going Towards the Jump

When first learning how to whip a dirt bike, you don’t want to be going at top speed or anything because you don’t have the experience yet needed to handle the dirt bike. To push it out while simultaneously keeping it close to your body so as to execute the whip successfully can be something that takes several tries, and should be taken as slow as needed to still keep the bike going and safe.

Your bike should be going fast enough to jump the bike to execute the whip in such a way that you are learning how the whip is done, doing all the steps below that the whip is done. It’s recommended to go into at least second if not third gear. This way, you’ll be going at a speed that is both comfortable but quick enough to execute the whip quickly and efficiently.

The speed should be comfortable enough that it doesn’t start you as a rider when you first begin your jump.

How Best to Setup the Jump

If you begin going into the whip straight on, the bike will not be ready to curve with the momentum of trying to push the bike and then turn the handlebars with the jump, which is all part of whipping a dirt bike. Part of whipping a dirt bike is curving it into the sky with the front tire and even downward with the bike tire.

Whipping is a quick motion that takes a lot of curving, and going into a whip straight on will not execute well. By turning the bike into the whip it sets the bike up for getting ready to curve and jump with the whip.

Begin by coming at the jump from a bit of an angle. You want to start carving, or turning, the bike as you come up to the jump. By doing this step your dirt bike will start getting ready for the whip. Your bike should be curved while in the air, so as to have the handlebars and front tire facing outward and look similar to an S shape.

If You’re Just Beginning, Don’t Lean Into It

When you are just learning how to whip your dirt bike, don’t try standing up or leaning too much into the jump. Practice makes perfect. So, try to do the jump the first dozen or so times sitting down. Also, get used to turning the bike a little bit while in the air. This will help riders to learn how to get used to the shift of the dirt bike.

The steps to start off learning how to whip would be to just sit down while jumping off the mound several times. Learning how the bike shifts with your weight and how well you can turn the bike while simultaneously being in the air is important. When riders are on the balls of their feet they are more easily able to shift their bodies and move the dirt bike in a way that suits the whip.

It’s also important to remember not to lean too far into the whip. When jumping and trying to tilt the bike in a way that it would be parallel to the ground, do not also try and lean your body away from the bike, you will fall and it will drag you down and scrape you along the ground.

How to Form your Body

As stated in other articles about the form one should have when riding a dirt bike, some say lean forward so as to keep the pressure off of the dirt bike and prevent dragging, or leaning the body with curves so as to smoothly tilt the bike for a curve, but not too far. A lot of riding skill depends on the form of the rider. The form a rider has helped a lot with good riding and comes with practice.

When going into a whip, riders should be on the balls of the feet and be lifted a little off of their seat. In this position, the rider is in a relaxed form, which will not only also help to prevent injury, but also assists with a rider’s center of gravity and increased stability. Being on the balls of one’s feet helps increase stability and maintain the center of gravity.

It is important to remain on the dirt bike in order to maintain control over it but also helps to execute the whip. To whip the bike, riders need to be able to push it out a little and tilt with a push of the inside leg, the one closest to the ground. It may sound easy to sit a little off of the dirt bike, but try whipping the dirt bike sitting for the first few times while getting learning how to get a comfortable whipping.


This is certainly one of the most important steps to consider when learning how to whip for the first time. When first taking off on the jump, it can be difficult to remember to balance on the balls of your feet, centering yourself without leaning too far so as to off-kilter the bike and fall on the first try.

When whipping, the start is very important, as the bike needs to go in a certain direction and the rider’s body needs to be positioned in such a way that the bike is ready to tilt and whip effectively.

Sit down for your first whip, it is definitely much easier to learn than trying to stand up and remember the steps of pushing out with your leg, turning the handlebars, and staying on the balls of one’s feet to keep their center of gravity. Afterwards, though, and you have tried a few jumps, as you are just about to leave the ground on the jump, push with your inside leg, the one that will be facing the ground in the whip, to initiate when the bike will be parallel with the ground while it is in the air.

You’re in the Air, Now What?

You’ve successfully mastered the initial jump, which is a huge feat in and of itself, but now it’s for the hard part. There are quite a few things that need to be done while airborne to get and keep the whip going. Here they are in order. And since you are just learning how to do a whip, maybe do one step at a time to make it easier to memorize each step and how much time you need to spend on them.

Once you have lifted off of the jump, and your bike is beginning to curve from your inside leg pushing against it before the initial jump, feel your bike begin to turn sideways. As your dirt bike is lifting up and becoming more parallel with the ground, your handlebars and the front tire should be facing upward. Your bike should be in an S shape for a split second before the rear tire becomes to come forward, just slightly.

You should be leaning off of the dirt bike, not enough to offset the balance of the bike in midair, but this will help to accentuate the whip and tip the bike far in the air. If you lean too far off of the bike it will drag you and the bike down, which isn’t a whip. Your bike should be straight alongside the ground, which can be done by pushing out the inside leg and pulling the handlebars close to your body.

Whipping is difficult, so simply try doing one step at a time to learn them more effectively and learning which steps you need to take longer on so that you are whipping like a pro in no time.

Coming Back Down

When you land, you obviously don’t want to be parallel with the ground anymore, it will hurt a lot if you skid along the ground. When preparing to come back down, you need to begin to bring the rear tire back down so that when you land your rear tire will be the first thing to touch the ground. You will want to straighten out so that your front tire is what hits first, followed by the rear tire.

As you make sure that your rear tire is landing straight along the end of the jump, begin to straighten out your handlebars and stop pushing with your inside leg. You will want to bring around the handlebars and front tire because they will need to be aligned with the rear tire. To make it easier to straighten out the bike, push the bike’s frame with your outside leg to counteract the movement of pushing with your inside leg.

As your bike becomes more fluid and straight along the ground, give it a little extra push with the throttle. The force from the throttle will help to straighten out the bike the rest of the way and give it the power it needs to finish pulling through the whip.

Touch Down

This is another very difficult step; one inch of the bike being too tilted in either direction and the rider is looking at a complete wipe-out. Your body and dirt bike should be perfectly straight aligned with one another to execute a perfect whip.

When bracing for the landing, you should be on the balls of your feet, with your knees tucked in for optimal aerodynamics. Keep the bike firm and steady. If you stiffen your body before landing, not only will it hurt you a great deal, but it could also mess with the straightness of the bike and its alignment with the ground.

Make sure that your body is not flexed and bracing for impact, but fluid and ready to ride with the grooves of the jump, and that your bike is straight so that you don’t end up skidding along the ground because your bike was just a little too perpendicular to the ground.


With the extra five tips that I have included below are key points to remember when learning how to whip for the first time. Being confident in your riding skills, going slow at first to become more comfortable with your riding skills and even being able to land the jump are all essential tools riders can have that will better benefit their riding techniques in being able to whip a dirt bike. With these five tips, your confidence will boost and will be hundreds of times easier to whip a dirt bike within the first dozen tries.

1. Be Confident

Sometimes, when we let fear in, we can end up messing up the jump and scaring ourselves and possibly even injuring ourselves. Going into a whip confident is a key element of staying safe and being able to do and land it without any complications. Make sure that you feel sure in yourself to want to do something that can hurt you and damage the bike.

Doing a whip on a dirt bike can be scary and difficult at first. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to start off with small jumps so that riders can learn what their strengths and weaknesses are when jumping and trying to whip and then going from there so as to cause minimal damage to the body as possible.

With the first couple of jumps, it is normal to be nervous of how well the whip will turn out or if you will fall off and get hurt. Don’t be afraid to fall off, especially if you’re not going off of super high jumps, because it’s all about practicing and learning how to whip like a pro. Being confident in your riding will greatly improve your skills and you’ll learn things faster just by being confident in yourself.

2. What is Too Much Push

When you are riding your dirt bike, and you are pushing with your inside leg to push the dirt bike to the side for the whip, there is a difference between pushing and then forcing the dirt bike into the position that is needed to execute the whip. In the beginning, when riders are headed into the jump, the bike needs to be turned into the curve to begin the ascent for the jump. While in the air, riders use their inside leg to push the bike further out for the optimal whip.

When pushing the bike with your leg it shouldn’t have to be forced. The dirt bike should already be in a curving position when riders have taken off of the jump, which will help to push the bike just a little farther out with the leg. If you have to force the bike to tilt then your bike isn’t curved enough and the whip should be redone.

3. Landing the Jump

Landing the jump is definitely one of the hardest things to execute when completing the whip on a dirt bike. Something important to keep in mind when trying to land after a whip is that the bike is not parallel or even perpendicular to the ground. If the dirt bike is tilted in any way the rider will skid along the ground and can get injured. Ensure that your form is loose, you are on the balls of your feet, and that the bike is straight enough to land in a way that won’t hurt the rider or even possibly damage the bike if there happens to be a slip-up when landing the bike.

4. Go Slow

When first starting to try a whip, riders do not want to be going full speed doing a trick that hasn’t been practiced several times. But not only do riders not want to be speeding up to a jump that they aren’t entirely certain of, it’s also a good idea to take things slow when learning how to whip. Take each step one at a time. Learn how to push the bike out several times before trying to turn the steering wheel at the same time.

Realizing that you have to take each step one at a time and practice them individually over a period of time with trial and error before putting them all together to make the perfect whip is perfectly fine and encouraged. It’s important to keep yourself safe and the bike damage free.

5. Is there a Specific Dirt Bike to Whip with?

A popular dirt bike used for whipping is motocross, as that is where it originally started with Kevin Windham. It’s a fancy trick that is usually used in motocross and is a trick used for more fantastical purposes than it is for technicalities or efficiency reasons. But other than that, there is no specific dirt bike that is used for whipping purposes.

Whatever dirt bike that you feel comfortable on is perfect for whipping purposes. Of course, make sure that you feel safe whipping and that you are an experienced dirt bike rider. Remember to always be safe, but most importantly have fun when you are learning how to whip on your dirt bike.

Is There a Difference Between Whipping and Scrubbing?

There is actually a large difference between whipping and scrubbing on a dirt bike, and here is why. When whipping a dirt bike, the goal is to get the bike in the air and keep it in the air as long as necessary to execute the whip successfully and then getting back over the jump safely. Whipping is a trick that is used more for fun that it is for most other things. It is used most often in motocross, and there are competitions for whipping a dirt bike successfully, but scrubbing is closer/on to the ground than whipping.

When scrubbing on a dirt bike, it’s more about taking height off of a jump than looking cool, which is what whipping is more for. Scrubbing is to help when racing, you don’t want to spend as much time in the air and you’re looking for speed and efficiency. Scrubbing is relatively similar, especially the way the bike looks in the air as the rider tilts the bike to go with the curve of the ground, but it is used for speed and going over jumps closer to the ground, where whipping is to be fancy when riding.

There isn’t a large difference in looks when comparing a rider in two different pictures of a dirt bike, as they are both parallel to the ground and look similar, but they are used for two different reasons. Scrubbing is to “scrub” the ground when racing, and whipping is a trick used for fun in motocross and is mean to look extravagant.

Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

Recent Posts