It’s not exactly brain surgery, but riding a dirt bike can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. To help prepare beginners for a day of off-road riding, expert James Holter of the American Motorcyclist Association has put together a list of six simple truths about dirtbike riding. Read on.
Truth I: Ride with a Buddy
Dirtbikes are always more fun when shared with a few friends. Plus, it’s safer.
Truth II: First Rent, then Buy Used
One of the most capable machines you can buy, dirtbikes have been comfortably at their performance edge for years. The technological evolution of trailbikes and starter bikes leveled off nearly two decades ago, so don’t be afraid to go back several production cycles for your first bike. True, you might have to invest a little money upfront for a few repairs, but that’s nothing compared to what you’d spend for a bike right off the showroom floor. And don’t forget, you can rent different makes and models to find your perfect match before you actually buy.
Truth III: Get the Gear
Even the best most advanced riders crash from time to tim,e so make sure you wear the right equipment. At the minimum, you should wear a helmet, goggles, long pants, full arm protection, gloves, and over-the-ankle-boots. It might also be a good idea to invest in knee and elbow pads, a full chest protector, and off-road riding boots.
Truth IV: Get Schooled
Sure, a friend can offer a few pointers but to acquire the skills necessary to ride, take a class based on a well-developed curriculum, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Dirtbike School. Once you’ve “passed the test”, register for a performance-orientated class, advises Holter.
Truth V: Ride by the Rules
As anti-access groups lobby to end off-highway motorcycle riding, help the cause by riding by the rules. Be sure to ride on designated public land or in private riding parks where you’ve been permitted to ride. It’s also important that you stay on the trail, respect the land, pick up after yourself, and meet sound regulations by using a silencer.
Truth VI: Get Involved
Don’t be afraid to sign up for a local ride, race, or other event. There are several types of AMA-sanctioned events for riders of all skill levels. Whether you love the thrill of competition or just want to head out for a casual ride with fellow enthusiasts, there is an event for you.
Durhamtown is for Dirtbike Riders
Opened in 1793, Durhamtown Plantation was transformed into a sportsman resort in 2002. Located just east of Atlanta, Georgia, the resort features over 150 miles of one trails for dirt bikes, all-terrain vehicles, and side-by-sides, several tracks, and both a freestyle and 4×4 park. Durhamtown also offers several types of off-road rentals and carries a wide selection of gear at its Pro Shop. In town for the weekend and want to stay close to the action? Durhamtown has cabins and RVs for rent as well as an onsite campground for guests looking to pitch their tent.