Off-Road Riding Safety Tips For Beginners
Off-Road Riding can be a fun and exciting sport to try out, but it can be dangerous if the proper precautions are not taken especially for a beginner who is just starting. Many lives have been cut short because of motorcycle accidents most of which are avoidable if only the riders had taken the necessary precautions — safety when riding bikes is not a suggestion and should be given the utmost importance regardless of whether you are a professional or a beginner. There is no such thing as too experienced for safety. Some safety tips that are important for off road activities include;
- Wear appropriate riding gear
For a person to be able to ride a dirt bike, the proper equipment and attire are vital at all times. This is to protect the body from injuries caused during a fall as accidents cannot be ruled out. They include a helmet (approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation standards), goggles, long shirt, gloves, closed-toe shoes (preferably over-the-ankle boots) and long pants. It should be second nature for everyone who intends to ride a dirt bike to wear protective clothing.
- Get a bike that fits you
You may look cool on a large motorcycle, but it may be dangerous when you are trying to steady it when stopping. Your feet should be able to touch the ground when you are on the bike, and you should be able to reach all controls like breaks, throttle, clutch, turn indicators and so on comfortably. It is just as dangerous to ride a bike that is too small.
- Do not ride alone – use a buddy system
For a newbie, it is better to ride with other experienced riders who can show you the ropes and can guide you when going to remote, unfamiliar trails. This is especially vital for children under the age of 16. They should never be left unsupervised as dirt bikes can be dangerous. It is even more fun if it is a group activity as opposed to solo rides.
- Use a trail you know well
In case you are practicing off riding, you should use familiar paths to avoid getting lost or in severe accidents as you are unfamiliar with the terrain. Remember that dirt bikes are not for paved roads, therefore stay clear of highways.
- When riding during times with poor visibility use the brightest halogen headlight bulbs
Riding at night is generally discouraged for beginners but in the rare circumstances that it is dark or there is reduced visibility due to weather elements like fog, rain, mist, etc., have your bike fitted with use the brightest halogen headlight bulbs.
- Check on the condition of your bike before riding
Good practice for any dirt bike rider should be checking if all the parts of the bike are in good shape. Ensure your bike’s fuel tank is full before riding. Make sure the tires are properly inflated with the right pressure, test the breaks if they are working correctly and make sure that none of the controls are loose or damaged. Never ride a faulty bike as it endangers both you and others.
- Take a course before attempting off-road safety
At the very least, the rider should have gone through training from professionals on how to handle a bike. You can get a motorcycle and dirt bike safety courses at your local Department of Motor Vehicles or Parks and Recreation Department as well as private training programs like those offered by Motorcycle Safety Foundation. In some states, you may be required to get a license to ride in public. Even with basic knowledge, it is essential to read the manual to operate your dirt bike. Read the instructions cover to cover so that you can also be able to tell if your bike is faulty.
- Do not carry passengers and joyriders
Dirt bikes are not meant to carry passengers. If you’re a beginner, it will be hard for you to navigate difficult trails if you are not alone on the bike. Everyone going on an off-road riding adventure should bring their bike as it is dangerous to ride double.
- Do not operate a dirt bike under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
It is dangerous to overspend when you are riding on a trail, and this becomes worse if the use of stimulants impairs your judgment. One should be alert and focused when riding a dirt bike and should uphold riding etiquette such as observing lanes when on a public trail, respecting other riders ride of the way and using common sense when faced with a judgment call. This affects all passengers and not just the beginners. Do not ride with people who have been using drugs and alcohol either as they can endanger your life as well. You will not be in a position to learn anything when you are not thinking clearly.
For a beginner to perfect their riding skills, it is essential for him or her to practice riding as often as possible. It is also necessary to improve their experience on by practicing on different trails. You can take a friend with more experience than you so that they can tell you when you make a mistake. As earlier stated, it is not okay to go off-road riding alone.
Finally, even if your state doesn’t require you to take a training course of bike riding, it is crucial as it can help you prepare to take the road and educate you on how to handle yourself in case of any situation on the way. Dress appropriately in protective clothing even if it is hot. Remember that off-road riding is a skill that is learned and you may not be good at first. Practicing with other good drivers can give you the boost of confidence that you need to improve your experience. Safety when riding will help you move from the beginner level to a pro in no time.