Dirt biking seems like a rough sport for inexperienced eyes. But with proper care and caution, you could avoid major injuries while riding your dirt bike.
To stay safe while riding a dirt bike, you need to wear the proper gear, ride on the designated trail, and ensure that you are highly capable physically and mentally. Moreover, your dirt bike should be in the best condition, free from any critical damage.
Without these safety precautions, the consequences can be dire.
In the early 2000s, about half a million dirt bike riders encountered accidents while riding their bikes. Dirt biking-related deaths even involved kids and teens.
However, as rules and regulations on dirt biking were drafted and strictly imposed, these incidents continue to drop.
Nonetheless, it is best to always take preventive measures to keep yourself safe while riding your dirt bike.
9 Ways To Stay Safe While Riding a Dirt Bike
Keeping yourself safe when riding a dirt bike can easily be done if you practice the following measures.
1. Wear the Appropriate Safety Gear
Never attempt to ride a dirt bike if you’re not wearing the right attire and other safety gear. That’s the first rule you need to remember whether you’re practicing for a motocross competition or going on trail rides with your group.
A compliant helmet designed for dirt biking is an essential part of your ensemble.
Compared to a regular helmet, a dirt biking helmet has its chin sticking out and a visor.
The visor itself protects you from the glare of the sun, the branches that you might encounter on the trail, or the roost you'll get on the track.
Moreover, a dirt bike helmet is lighter and has better ventilation allowing the rider to cool off efficiently.
If there’s one thing you should never wear when riding your dirt bike, that would be a loose shirt. On the other hand, the best upper clothing you can wear is a long-sleeved jersey.
Remember that dirt biking is done outdoors under the scorching sun with tons of dirt and challenging obstacles.
In this sense, wearing a lightweight, breathable, unrestrictive jersey is your best chance for comfort. More than that, it protects you from sunburn and scratches.
And if you are actively looking for the best dirt bike jersey, check out the VENTilate Jerseys. This gear has impressive temperature control made of moisture-wicking fabric, taking you to another level of comfort.
You may choose to have your jersey and pants unmatched in terms of design, but they should match in terms of comfort and flexibility.
In addition, it should be made of fabric that allows maximum airflow and protects you from any close-contact injuries.
Pair your VENTilate Jersey with the VENTilate Pants. Its zippered venting system increases temperature control, and the materials are made to endure the rough road ahead.
D. Gloves and Palm Protectors
Protecting your hands should be one of your priorities when riding a dirt bike. To do that, you will need appropriate gloves and palm protectors.
The VENTilate MX gloves are a great way to round out your safety gear ensemble. These gloves not only look good but perform at a high level.
The fingers are sewn in a pre-curved position and the knuckles have built-in reliefs so the glove material doesn’t overtighten on your hand as you grip the throttle.
Blistering is one of the common skin problems riders experience when they frequently go trail riding or practice a few laps at the track. Eventually, these blisters give way to calluses. To avoid blistering, do not simply settle on gloves.
Palm protectors are worn under the gloves to reduce the effects of constant vibrations. You can also wear them without gloves.
Trail riding and competitive dirt biking like motocross subject you to large amounts of dust, dirt, debris, strong winds, and other elements that may obstruct your sight. Therefore, wearing proper goggles is your best option for comfort and safety.
Try the J.A.C. Goggles by Risk Racing for an anti-fog and anti-scratch eye protector. Not only does it ensure that your vision remains unimpaired, but it also imposes an extra layer of comfort that brings less pressure on your face.
F. Over-the-Ankle Boots
Both your legs are up for a lot of work when you ride your dirt bike. Unfortunately, they are also exposed to injuries the most. Hence, it is best to wear over-the-ankle boots designed for dirt biking with pads and sufficient ankle support.
2. Ride on a Designated Trail
There are designated areas for dirt biking, depending on the state or city you’re in. If you’re a beginner, a broad backyard or a dirt bike park are the best places for you to practice. You can also ride with a group on a state trail.
To ensure safety, you should choose a designated trail that matches your dirt biking abilities. Failing to do so could subject you to paths that could be too challenging, which increases your risks for injuries.
3. Choose the Right Dirt Bike
Buying a dirt bike is a decision that should be based not just on your personal taste but, more importantly, on how it corresponds to your level of expertise and primary purpose.
Motocross dirt bikes can be different from those used in trail riding. If you intend to use your bike for sports, find a ride that matches the required specs for the event.
Interchanging these dirt bikes can cause unprecedented damage in the long run – both to you and your equipment.
4. Never Ride Under the Influence of Any Substance
Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or other substances that could alter your brain function, avoid them altogether when you plan on riding your dirt bike.
If driving or getting on a regular motorcycle is already dangerous when you’re under the influence of alcohol and drugs, it is even more perilous when riding your dirt bike, considering the off-road trail and the amount of work needed in the activity.
When you are dirt biking, you need to have a clear mind and a sound body. And sobering up is the least you can do.
5. Always Check Your Bike for Damage
Riding a dirt bike with major or even minor damage increases your risk for accidents. Therefore, constantly monitor your equipment before and after use.
Check the tire pressure, suspension, handles, engine, and other components. Fix any damage as soon as possible.
6. Avoid Riding Your Dirt Bike at Night
Being an adrenaline junkie doesn’t mean that you have to take for granted safety and protection. With that, riding your dirt bike at night is an unwise decision, especially if you do so in a wild trail.
The terrain is already filled with mounds, rocks, logs, and other hazardous obstacles. Add darkness into that equation, and you will potentially find yourself in a life-threatening situation.
7. Don’t Ride While It’s Raining
It is unsafe to ride your dirt bike in the rain.
For one, the water obscures your vision making it difficult to cross the trail. Second, the off-road terrain will be slippery, making it more prone to accidents. Third, if your course has a stream or river, you could be facing perilous conditions.
8. Always Ride With a Group
Riding on your own is fine if you’re practicing in a park with other beginners or in your backyard. But doing it alone in a designated trail out in the wild screams danger in many ways, even if you’re familiar with the terrain.
Trails are often unpredictable. It could change rapidly with a change in the weather conditions. Therefore, riding with a group is your best chance of protection from accidents and injuries. You don’t want to get into a situation where you get stuck or badly hurt while alone, so make sure you ride with others.
9. Practice First Before Taking Your Dirt Biking Skills in the Wild
Beginners are always advised to master the basic skills in a secluded designated area before taking their dirt bike on off-road terrain. Without these skills, it would be too tricky for you to complete the trail.
Find yourself a nice flat dirt road out in the country to practice the basics on. Then you can work up to mountain terrain or tracks with jumps and other obstacles.
Also, make sure that dirt biking experts or professionals accompany you. Knowing the right maneuvers and tricks to keep your strength and endurance can keep you safe on the trail.
While dirt biking is fun and thrilling as it is, safety remains non-negotiable. Before you take on the ride, make sure you are fully equipped with protective gear and a set of skills that will keep you safe all the time.
Your protection against accidents and injuries depends on every decision you make before and during dirt biking.
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