You've watched all your friends take off on their dirt bikes, and now you want to join them. Problem is, you've never owned, or ridden, one before. Don't let that stop you from getting out on the weekend and tearing up some dirt. Everyone who rides a dirt bike started out as a beginner. If you're not sure which type of bike would be best suited for you, stop by a bike shop. The sales crew will help you choose the best bike for your ability level. Once you have your bike, you'll be ready to start learning how to ride it. Here are some basic tips that will help you through the beginning stages of the learning process.
Plan on Falling and Crashing
When you start riding your dirt bike, you're going to fall—a lot. You're also going to crash into things. Don't let that stop you from riding. The best thing you can do is maintain as much control as possible, and aim for softer landings. That might mean you need to choose between crashing into a tree or a cluster of bushes. However, maintaining enough control to decide where you'll crash is a big step towards moving past the beginner stage.
Practice with the Throttle and Clutch
When it comes to juggling the throttle and the clutch, seasoned riders make it look easy. It's not. There's actually a lot of work involved in getting the throttle and the clutch to work in perfect harmony. You'll need to practice. When you get out in the dirt with your bike, spend a few days getting the feel for how the throttle and clutch work. Start out slowly, and work your way up, each day. The most important thing you can remember is that you should never open the throttle all the way up, when you're first learning. That's a good way to end up on your back, or worse, running headlong into an obstacle.
It's All About Position and Balance
There's a lot more to riding a dirt bike than you might think. Getting your bike going, and staying on it for a full run, requires perfect positioning and balance. Without those two elements, you're not going to finish a run. When learning how to ride your dirt bike, start out slowly. Begin by riding your bike on a smooth straightaway. Practice with your position and balance, until you can ride a straight line without swerving or collapsing. Once you have the straightaway perfected, start practicing on the curves. Learn how to position your body, and balance the bike, as you take those curves.
Don't let the fear of falling keep you from buying your first dirt bike. The basic tips described here will get you kicking up dirt in no time. For more information, talk to companies like Bob Lanphere's Beaverton Motorcycles.