Dirt bikes give a feeling of high-speed adrenaline rush and unmatched outdoor fun. If you’re just getting started, the first few rides will determine if you can stick with the sport.
Even the most experienced riders will tell you some embarrassing stories before they reached the epitome of their career. So as a first-time rider, you should learn the techniques to lessen your chances of getting injured. Here are common mistakes for dirt riders and how to overcome them.
Let’s jump right in! Here are, 9 common dirt bike mistakes made by beginners
1. Incorrect body balance
The way you position your body will give you an edge in the game. Proper body alignment is crucial if you want to have overall control of the bike. But poor body positioning will make it hard to corner, take jumps, and may eventually lead to fatigue.
To ensure you get the most out of your ride, you should synchronize your body to the bike.
2. Not wearing the right gear
When riding a dirt bike, safety gear is an absolute must. Some novice riders may like to show off their skills and ignore wearing a helmet. This can lead to serious head injuries as you make the signature moves. And depending on the impact of the fall, the injury can be life-threatening.
A helmet is important for a rider and protects the head from hard objects you may encounter in your ride.
Other dirt bike riders will opt for lean jeans and T-shirts. While this apparel may feel sufficient, the damage can be catastrophic if you happen to crash. At the bare minimum, you should wear a sold pair of boots, knee guards, and quality gloves. A general rule of thumb is to never get on the bike unless you’re dressed for an accident.
3. Not looking ahead
Most novice riders fail to pay attention to their surroundings. A common mistake for most riders is that they keep their vision downward. In that position, it can be too late to react before hitting an obstacle.
As a beginner, you should maintain a clear vision. When you look ahead, you can easily adjust the throttle and brakes. And this is something you’ll gradually learn with practice. The basic rule is to learn how to look at objects as early as possible.
Ask any experienced dirt bike rider, and they will tell you that the most important thing is peripheral vision. It’s worth mentioning that as the speed goes up, the stopping distance will increase dramatically.
4. Not learning to control the clutch and throttle
The timing between the clutch and throttle is another difficult skill for beginners. Most beginners will often twist the throttle and release the clutch at the wrong time. This can result in a fast start that can eventually lead to a crash.
For a smooth ride, riders should take time to get used to the throttle and clutch. With practice and patience, you’ll develop a feel for the friction zone. And this is something you need to perform tight turns and keep the rotations up on the motor. If you want to slow down and negotiate a corner, you should downshift a gear, twist throttle, and cruise out of it.
5. Standing on the arches of the feet
A dirt bike allows the rider to place the feet on the arches or footpegs. Many beginners tend to stand on the arches of the feet- this is a big mistake. The truth is, you’ll feel comfortable putting your feet apart, but the pros keep their skis together. When you keep you keep the toes pointed out, you can accidentally hit the rear brake or shifter.
To ensure your comfort, you should place the feet on the balls – there are many benefits to this technique. That way, you won’t hit the shifter by accident or get the body ripped off the footpegs. With practice, this will become more natural.
6. Not balancing on the bike
Let’s face it: the new weight of the bike can compromise your balance. Just like you first rode a bicycle, you’ll find your balance on the bike. And there will be situations where you’ll have to slow down when making tight turns.
During the first few rides, you’ll be tempted to sit down. But with a few practices, you’ll ride beyond the experience level.
How do you practice balancing? You should ride at low speed, and you’ll learn how to keep the feet down such that you don’t topple over. This strategy will help find the balance quickly, and everything will come out naturally. For quicker turning, you should put your weight on the front edge.
As you become used to the bike, you’ll find out that sitting on the bike is not good for speed and body. Instead, you should stand to keep the center of gravity in line with the motor. It’s the best position if you want a dirt bike to take the most abuse.
7. Neglecting maintenance
If you’re just getting started with a dirt bike, you may forget the routine maintenance. Ask any bike enthusiast, and they will tell you that they tend to be proactive rather than reactive.
To ensure your bike gives unmatched performance you should prioritize routine maintenance. Some of the simple maintenance tasks include cleaning the air filter, adjusting the chain, checking the tire pressure, etc. You can complete these basic tasks by watching a few YouTube videos that demonstrate how to go about the maintenance.
8. Using rear brakes while standing
While standing is one trick you should embrace when on the go, you should never use the front brake. To ensure your safety, you should only use the rear brakes when sitting.
When standing, the only thing you should not do is place the foot on the footpeg. Of course, you have to pivot the peg to control the rear brakes.
As you get to the corners, the bike will be leaning, so you should control the brakes and then accelerate.
9. Riding with a high overgrip on the handlebars
This is a common habit for beginners that is hard to break. While keeping the hands on the handlebars will give you safety and control, a high overgrip can be catastrophic. An overgrip is for accelerating, so you should keep the hands in the right position.
For beginners, the proper over grip position should be 45 -degrees above the ground. And when braking, the forearm should be lined up straight such that you can take the force on the handlebars.
Now that you know the common mistaking when riding a dirt bike, you’ll minimize crashes and injuries during the training phase.
ALSO READ: Top 4 Tips For Staying Safe While Riding A Motorcycle
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