Take your bike off-road with these tips
So, you have had that bike of yours for a long time and have just decided that, this spring, you need to take it off road? Off road biking is something that, without a doubt, is one of the most thrilling things that you will ever do. There is nothing that’s as breathtaking as watching the terrain zip by while trying to stay upright on your bike. Off road biking can, as it turns out, also be particularly perilous. That is one of the reasons why you should understand what you are getting yourself into beforehand;
We all like to feel the wind rushing by our faces right? I mean, that’s the whole point of owning a dirt bike and taking it into the countryside, isn’t it? Despite the thrill, however, you actually need to make sure that you are fully protected as you hit the dirt trail this spring. Motorcycles are notorious for being unsafe.
This notoriety is not without reason. Just consider the fact that, according to government figures, for every billion kilometers that is traveled, a total of 21 car drivers die in accidents. By comparison, a staggering 1141 motorcyclists meet their ends under the same conditions.
Also consider the fact that we are talking about normal driving conditions here. Take that motorbike that you love so much off road, and it can become a death trap if you are not careful. However, following all the tips that are in this list should ensure that you enjoy the ride as much as you have been looking forward to.
Off-Road Biking: Know your limits
Another thing that you need to do before taking your motorbike off road is know your limits. Although it is always thrilling to go beyond one’s limits, you do not want to go all out on the first go. That motorcycle that you have ridden for so long on normal roads can turn into a monster when ridden on a dirt track.
Let the well beaten track be your guide
Although it can be tempting to go off the beaten path, you do not need to do this right off the bat when it comes to off-road biking. What you need to do is take your adventure one step at a time. Go where others have been, and you are unlikely to encounter potentially dangerous challenges.
We have previously written an article in which we talk about being prepared this spring as you set out on that motorbike trip that you have been planning for so long. Spring rains can end up spoiling your trip, particularly if you are going to ride your motorbike on some unbeaten track.
Learn How to Ride Your Bike While Standing
Off road biking invariably demands that you, at one point or the other, ride your bike while standing. It is important, therefore, for you to learn how to do this even before you hit the dirt track. Standing up gives you greater control on an uneven terrain by distributing your weight to a lower level. Here are few pointers on learning how to ride your motorcycle while standing up;
- The foot pegs actually need to be well positioned in the middle of your feet. This allows you to have proper control of the foot levers.
- The next thing that you need to learn to do is to grip your motorbike using both knees around the area of the tank.
- You head should be over the handle bars, with your arms up and your elbows forward.
- Two of your fingers always have to be kept on the cluck and brake levers.
It Takes Getting Used to
The thing that you need to remember is that off-road biking takes some getting used to. This is not an art that you will master in a single day. What you need to do is, as we have already mentioned, take incremental steps. Don’t go all out on the first try. There is a great risk that you will damage, should you decide to do this, not only yourself, but also that great ride that you love so much.
Speed up and lean back in Sand
Should the dirt track take you into a sandy area, what you actually need to do in order to retain your balance is speed up a little while leaning back. This may appear to be counter-intuitive, but, believe me, it is your best bet in this regard. Leaning back adds traction to your rear wheels, while speeding up gives you momentum and allows you to stay on your bike.
Don’t Go Completely off the radar
Okay, we all love to go completely off the radar once in a while. However, that is not advisable to those who have just taken up dirt biking. Make sure you have a cellphone on you and that it is fully charged, in case of emergency. I have already noted that riding a motorbike is ordinarily more dangerous than most other forms of transportation. When you take yourself off the beaten path, you exponentially increase that danger. That is why you should make sure that you always maintain contact with the outside world; even when you just feel like slipping off the radar.
Don’t Use Front Brakes in Turns
Another thing that you need to take into account when riding in dirt is that you need to stay off the front brakes when making turns. It is also important for you to note that off road biking demands that you push the bike down when making turns. Doing this, while maintaining an upright posture, allows you to retain control of the bike.
Don’t get distracted
Now, here is the thing about off road biking; there are so many things that you will want to take a look at out there that you will easily get distracted. The thing that you need to remember is that your body follows the motion of your head, which means that you could easily fall off your motorbike should you decide to turn around to take a look at that amazing view through which you are riding.