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How to Get Started Riding a Dirt Bike

Getting started riding dirt bikes is not as simple as hopping on and riding into the sunset. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you start up the right way.

Buying A Dirt Bike

Buying a dirt bike will be one of the first steps in becoming a successful rider. Your first bike should be something that you can practice on, and that you can make mistakes on. A used bike is usually the best option, but you will want to look for a quality bike that will not require a lot of maintenance.

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There are several things to consider when you are purchasing your first dirt bike. Your height and weight will determine, in part, what kind of bike you will want because your feet must be able to touch the ground to stop safely. You also need to be able to pick the bike up off the ground when it is lying on its side, so your strength can help determine how heavy or light of a bike is most appropriate.

Another consideration is whether you want a two-stroke or a four-stroke. Four-stroke bikes are usually easier to manage because they deliver power more smoothly, and they are used more often in motocross racing. However two-strokes require less maintenance and care, they are less expensive to purchase, and they are lighter weight and easier to start.

Gearing Up

Safety equipment is always paramount on a dirt bike, but it is especially vital when you are a new rider. For maximum protection you will want:

  • Helmet
  • Riding pants
  • Motocross boots
  • Hand and eye protection
  • Chest and knee protection

You will also need to consider what equipment you need for at-home maintenance projects and tune-ups as well as emergency roadside maintenance. Items you may want to carry with you when you go riding include a gas can, gear oil, filter oil, spark plug and plug wrench, and a small toolkit.

Learning to Ride

Now that you have your bike and the proper equipment to ride safely, you will need to learn how to actually ride a dirt bike. If you have experience riding a motorcycle you are a step ahead of the crowd, but a complete beginner is best off taking lessons or classes. Taking a class will ensure that you learn all of the fundamentals, and that you do not develop bad habits from the beginning.

It is also possible to learn from a friend who is skilled at riding, but it can be riskier because they may miss out on an important fundamental. Having someone teach from a curriculum is the safest option, and will give you the strongest base to build your skills as a rider.

If you want to excel as a dirt bike rider, you will want to get started the right way. Whether you are hoping to race competitively, ride at the tracks just for fun, or explore long stretches of wilderness, knowledge is your best friend and the safer you can be, the better.

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