If you are used to heading out on two wheels, then let’s face it, the allure of riding on dirt has played its tricks on your mind at some point of time or the other. This feels especially true when you watch your favorite motocross rider pull some insane stunts on Instagram and YouTube. And honestly, we don’t blame you. Riding on low traction surfaces is one of the most fun things you can do on a motorcycle, as it not only gets you closer to the actual act of riding, but it also plasters a huge grin on your face if you make a turn even at 40km/h, something you could do with ease any day of the week on tarmac. So, if you have made up your mind and want to try your hand at riding on dirt, there are a few suggestions that should make this journey a tad bit easier for you.
Get the right gear
Off-road riding gear is way different from what you wear on tarmac. The helmet, armor protection and even the boots for motocross riding differ from the stuff you use on tarmac. It might seem a lot of investment for something you just want to dabble in, but if you don’t have the right gear, practicing off-road riding techniques is going to feel strange. Most of all, off-road riding protection is different from on-road riding protection. For the latter, riding gear manufacturers use a mix of abrasion resistance and impact protection, but for off-road riding, that focus shifts completely towards impact protection. That’s simply because the kind of trouble you can get into while riding on dirt will require more of impact protection, and less of abrasion resistance because when riding off-road, you are on a softer surface than tarmac. An off-road helmet also works wonders as it can help divert the roost (debris) from the motorcycle in front out of your path.
Get the right motorcycle
You might be able to afford a big motorcycle but is that really the best of ideas? Riding on dirt is best done either with an ADV, or a dirt bike. Now while we a have a lot of ADVs on sale in India, and they can be ridden on public roads as they are street-legal, dirt bikes are a whole different story. They are not readily available and aren’t street legal as well. This makes it a bit of a task to ferry them to trails and back, but if you are willing to put in the effort, there is nothing better than a dirt bike to riding on dirt! But the key here is to not get something too big for your first time. The amount of weight and power that comes with big bikes can scare you when you are riding on dirt, so it is always more prudent to build up your skills on a smaller capacity motorcycle before moving on to a larger one.
Get off-road training
As we have mentioned before, off-road riding is completely different from riding on tarmac. Therefore, it almost feels like you are learning to ride all over again. To make things smoother, it is advisable that you get some training, as an instructor can better gauge your progress and give you inputs to correct your specific shortcomings. They’ll also be able to guide you better on body-positioning for riding in specific scenarios. With practice, you’ll become more comfortable on the motorcycle, making you smoother, which in turn will make you faster
The ultimate takeaway you can take from this article is that riding off-road requires some form of commitment, a willingness to re-work your riding style, and lots practice to imbibe off-road riding skills in your muscle memory.