Dirt Bike Riding Tips: Handling Rutted Drops

Off-road dirt bike riding provides all sorts of obstacles. Sometimes the terrain can seem intimidating, but the challenge is what makes off-road riding so fun. One thing you will consistently come across when you ride off road is ruts. It’s important to master rutted drops so you can ride comfortably anywhere.

Types of Ruts

There are different types of ruts you will encounter in your off-road riding. Some will cross your path perpendicular to you, and others will run adjacent to the direction you are moving, usually created by continual use because it is the easiest way to navigate the area. You will need to take a different approach depending on what type of rut you encounter.

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Staying out of Rutted Drops

A rutted drop will be immediately after a hill, and it runs adjacent to the direction you are moving. It is typically best to avoid riding in rutted drops as they will slow you down, and you may lose control of your dirt bike. You will want to approach the rut with reduced speed, but otherwise pretend it is not there.

If the hill is otherwise clear of obstacles, keep the motor on as long as possible during your descent, and then ease on on to both the front and the back brakes. Keep your feet on both of the pegs, and keep your weight centered towards the back of the dirt bike. If the hill is steep you will want to use more back brake than front brake, as braking too hard in the front may throw you over the handlebars.

As you hit the rut, try not to let your front wheel enter it. Ideally you want to drive your front wheel over as if it is flat land, and your back wheel should follow. You may want to continue holding your body weight to the back of the bike as you navigate over it. If your front wheel enters, the back will follow, and the bike will stick.

Riding Through Ruts

In certain situations when you encounter a rut that runs adjacent to the direction you are traveling, you may want to ride through (or inside) the rut. Ruts are usually created by continual use, which indicates that it may be the best or easiest path to take.

As you approach, make sure that the rut is not too deep or the ground too soft, as you don’t want to become stuck and have to dig your dirt bike out. As you approach you have to make the decision of riding inside or outside the rut. Above all else, avoid riding with one wheel inside of the rut and the other outside. If you choose to ride in the rut, reduce your speed and make sure both wheels make it in. Riding fully inside of the rut may help you navigate a particular difficult area.

Riding over Ruts

If you encounter a rut that runs perpendicular to you, you will want to find a way to ride over it. If it is a small rut, you should have no problem riding over it, but if it is a deep and wide rut, you may have to jump over it. Maintain proper body posture, and make sure you don’t pull the front wheel too high as you make the jump.

Whatever type of rut you encounter, and however you choose to handle it, it is important that you commit to your decision and ride confidently. Learning to master rutted drops and rutted terrain will improve your skills as a rider and allow you to tackle more challenging off-road areas.

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