If you’ve never ridden a dirt bike, it may be hard to understand the obsession. But if you have, just when you ride a nice Harley or a rocket-powered super bike, you get it: There’s nothing quite like it. You get a balance of the thrill of speed and also the ability to go nearly anywhere you want. The terrain that is completely off limits to other vehicles is your playground, and the possibilities are endless. But before you get on a dirt bike, particularly if you’re new to riding dirt bikes, you are going to want to take some precautions and understand some of the basics about dirt bikes. Here’s a brief breakdown.

Safety First

Every year, there are severe injuries and deaths as a result of accidents on dirt bikes. Dirt bikes are crazy fun, but they can also be ridiculously dangerous. The problem isn’t just the speed and the power of the bike. It’s the fact that both you and the bike can instantly become projectiles with just one small misstep. In order to reduce the chance of injury, you’re going to want to take some key precautions.

The primary piece of any motorcycle equipment is the helmet. Even if it’s not required in your area, wear your helmet. Even if none of your buddies are wearing theirs wear yours. The helmet provides legitimate protection for the head overall, the skull, and the brain. You can find good ones at any motorcycle dealer in the country, and you will certainly find them easily at motorcycle dealers in Michigan. Also you will want to invest in some safety gear as well. You don’t have to necessarily go all out with full body armor, but some of the basics such as knee and elbow pads are going to get you a good head start. Dirt biking is a great sport, but the best way to enjoy it is to make sure you are as safe as you can be in the process.

Learn How to Drive a Dirt Bike Properly

Yes, a dirt bike, in many ways, is a toy, but it is also a powerful machine that has to be respected. Motorcycling in general is something that requires extreme caution, and the same goes for riding dirt bikes. Learn how to handle the clutch, how to break, and how and when to engine break. Once you get the hang of things, spend some time checking out how your bike responds to different traction environments as well as how much acceleration is too much. You have to learn the parameters of your bike before going all out. Dirt bike equipment will protect you fairly well, but nothing protects you as well as good judgment.

Say No to Peer Pressure

When riding a dirt bike, it’s easy to get caught up in “one upsmanship.” The other folks you’re riding with went after a tricky line, so you decide to risk it, too. Or someone took a big jump, and you wanna give it a shot, too. Don’t get caught up in this kind of riding. Just ride your own style; don’t follow others. This way, you can have a lot of fun, be safe, and create some great dirt biking stories to tell for years and years.