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Top 10 Dirt Bike Riding Tips for Offroad and Enduro Dirt Bikes – Stop Sucking!


Hey there! you’re watching dirt bike Channel I’m your host Kyle Brothersen and then today we’re gonna talk about ten things that can make you a better and a faster and a more proficient rider let’s get into it what I’m gonna share with you today definitely doesn’t have to come in any particular order the order that I have is not necessarily based on order of importance I will say that all the things that we’re gonna cover today are very important and they were all they will all make you a better more proficient less fatigued more skilled and faster writer that I am sure of I’m not a professional dirt bike racer or writer as you guys know I am a regular guy just like you these are skills that I’ve picked up from working and rubbing shoulders with professionals though people like reading stuff from Shane watts and reading stuff from rich Lafferty and riding with enduro cross riders and riding with veteran you know veteran desert racers and people like that and these are traits and things that I’ve picked up along the way and learn from other people so I wanted to give you kind of a concise place to come and look at this stuff let’s get into number one tip number one you need to be standing up on those pegs especially when it’s gnarly when it looks like when you get into a situation where you’re like man I’d love to put my feet down and that’s the time when you know you should be standing up on those pegs and getting into Attack Position so I don’t mean like standing up and going and you know arching your back out like that what I mean is standing up and bending at bending at hinging at the waist you you’re gonna have you’re gonna have your your knees bent just a little bit but you’re gonna hinge at the waist and you’re gonna do this you’re going to use those strong muscles in your quads and the strong muscles in your back and you’re going to get into Attack Position so you’ve got your elbows out and you’re able to control the bike this gives you so much more control whether you’re going up hills or down hills it allows the suspension to work work with you and for your body to work with the suspension because if when you’re sitting down on the bike and the bike gets thrown around whether you’re going up hills or down hills or earth in any of those types of situations it shifts your body around if you get up the bike is allowed to move more freely and you’re able to let the bike suspension soak up those bumps in those hits while you also soak up some of that energy with the strongest muscles in your body which are your which are your quads and your hamstrings and so you’re able to let the bike work with it work beneath you it also just puts you into a better position to be able to use all of your controls and it puts you in a more committed position so that you’re not sticking your feet down because sticking your feet down in a lot of cases is not a good thing so so number one tip is stand up on those pegs as much as you possibly can if the corn unless you’re cornering really really tight or you know starting out or stopping you should probably be standing up on the pegs now every once in a while it’s okay to sit down to conserve some energy we’ll talk about where you should sit down when you enter into corners later in the video but it’s okay I mean I go out there and I’ll be riding I’ll be up on the pegs probably 70 80 90 percent of the time and then sometimes you will sit down so that you can either either rest or you’ll sit down on the seat to get better traction going up a hill or certain certain situations but most the time you need to be standing up and you can also use the trail to your advantage to help you stand up look for a bump or look for something in the trail that will help you to conserve energy and get you up on the pegs quickly so that you’re able to tackle any obstacle that comes your way tip number two whether you’re whether you’re up in a standing position pointing your toes in or you’re down on on the seat I want you to weight the outside peg what I mean is if the turn is sweeping to the right you’ll be pushing down and given putting your weight on this left leg on that outside peg and you’ll be pushing in with your knee pushing against on the tank alternatively if the turn was to the left I’d be doing the opposite I’d be waiting the outside peg putting my weight on that outside peg and pushing in on the seat and that will get the bike to automatically get more traction and be more stable and start into that and go and be you know make it through that turn better so wait think about that when you’re going around turns whether you’re standing or you’re sitting make sure to put your weight on the outside peg of the turn the next tip I have for you is looking ahead what I’m trying to say is I don’t want you to be watching obstacle all the way into that front fender if you’re staring at your front fender or staring at your front wheel you’re going to be so reactionary that you’re not actually riding the pike you are being ridden by the trail what you need to do is you need to pick points that are you need to look out as far as you dare now if you’re going if it’s a really technical section that might be 10 feet it might be 20 feet if it’s more of a flowy fast section you should be looking out there maybe 60 feet or 10 meters in front of you or even further and what you’re doing is you’re keeping your gaze up high and you’re not allowing yourself to watch obstacles all the way into that front wheel because if you get fixated on an obstacle and you watch it all the way into the front fender what happens is you’re not planning your lines you’re not planning your routes and you’re not planning for the next obstacle and you will then become very reactionary in the trail instead of being proactive and picking the right lines and the proper lines so whether you’re standing up or whether you’re sitting down I would like to see you with your gaze out there somewhere around 10 meters or or 20 meters a lot of times if I’m going faster it could be I I might be looking a hundred feet out now this is something in this so key because what happens is your body will go and your bike will go where your gaze is it will go where your eyes are and if you if you pick out and plan out your lines you know 40 50 60 feet ahead of you you don’t have to watch things all the way in you know what things are going to be a really you know a problem for you and sometimes you may have to watch that come in a little bit closer if it requires the ultimate precision you might have to watch an obstacle every now and again to come all the way in but I want you to try to avoid that try not to watch an obstacle all the way in try to keep your eyes up keep your head up and keep your eyes up here’s another tip carry more momentum when you’re riding dirt bikes speed is your friend now I’m not talking about blazing blazing speed I’m not saying that as you’re beginning and starting out you just need to go faster everywhere what I’m trying to what I’m trying to convey to you is that the more momentum the more energy you have in your bike the more that your wheels want to stay straight the fast that front wheel is turning and faster that rear wheel is turning the less it wants to deflect because it’s got that centripetal motion that centripetal energy going around in that tire it just wants to go a certain direction it wants to go in a straight line and the more of that momentum that you can carry up hills or through obstacles the less your tires want to deflect and the less your tires will want to spin it is something that has taken me years to realize but it that it comes in degrees and I promise you that if you are having difficulty getting up a little bit of a hill or getting up a tricky section if you add a little bit more momentum controlled momentum generally speaking in the form of speed you will find that you can get throughout that obstacle a little bit let with a little less difficulty whether it’s a rock pile section that you’re you know you’re going really slow through and you end up kind of like having having the kind of the front wheel pop out from you and then you have to you have to take your foot off and stab a foot down if you carry a little bit more speed a little bit more Menem through that same rock pile I think you’d find that your tire wouldn’t deflect as much and you’d be out on the other side quicker and faster with less less energy so whether it’s hill climbs or tricky sections I know it’s going to take some some some some bravery but if you could carry a little bit more speed into that thing you could probably do it better I’m not saying to go out there right off the bat and do like fourth gear pinned whoops or second gear or third gear pin anything I’m just saying that as you build your momentum you build your skills and you add a little bit more speed into things a lot of times you’re going to find that’s gonna solve the problem that you’re having with those particular sections let’s talk about bike setup for a second specifically I want to talk about handlebar setup control setup and then the SAG on your shock on your dirtbike so first things first let’s talk about bars well I see a lot of people run bar risers and I’ve run bar risers in the past if you don’t want bar eyes there’s our bar risers or things that bring the bars up higher to you the problem with that and a lot of people think they need it because they say look I’m tall I’m 511 or I’m 6 feet or m61 or m62 if you listen to the best riders out there unless you’re 6 foot 4 you do not need bar risers if you have a bar riser on your bike lifting the handlebar up what it does is it takes weight off the front wheel it gets you out of position to put that weight over that front wheel which is where you need it so that you can maintain traction on that thing and it helps with the handling of the bike to be in the correct rider position you move that bar up and then it shifts your weight back and next thing you know everything’s out of whack so do yourself a favor trust me trust rich Lafferty trust Shane watts trust all these other guys out there don’t use bar risers another thing is to have your controls in a comfortable position now they don’t want to be up – as you can see I’ve got this bar so it sits I’ve got my clutch here so it’s a little bit down from level I don’t have it too high and I don’t have it too low the main thing is I don’t the main thing is I want to be in a comfortable position any time I’m going to actuate these these levers and I don’t want to have my wrist kinked I don’t want to have my hand kinked I don’t want to be to it to be down too low or up too high for me to get to it so find something a happy medium that works for you and then put your bars I mean put your levers at the same height or almost exactly the same height I would suggest so you’re gonna have your clutch and your brake at the same level the other thing you want to do is you want to make sure that you have the correct amount of righter sag on your bike in in the suspension now I’ve got videos on this basically it’s it’s how much preload you’re gonna put on that spring for for your shock and if you weigh more than about 180 hundred 90 pounds you’re probably not gonna be able to use the stock spring in your bike you might have to go up you know in with a heavier spring if you weigh a hundred pounds you’re probably gonna need to go with a lighter spring but it’s important for you to have the bike set up correctly for your weight because nothing will work the fork won’t work the shocks won’t work very well if it’s not sprung for your weight so having a proper basic proper bike setup is going to go a long way for you while we’re on the subject of controls I cannot stress that’s enough most of the time when you’re riding you should be covering the clutch and covering the brake what does that mean if I’m doing this I’m not covering the clutch if I’m doing this I’m covering the clutch that means that at any moment I could come up here and I could squeeze a little bit take a little bit of power away from my rear wheel maybe I need to rev them read the motor to build up some you know energy stored up in the motor and then I would let that out and let that power come back to the rear wheel maybe I just need to grab it real quick because I’m going to have to brake super hard and I don’t want to kill the bike or maybe I am going around a corner and I have to take all the power out the point is on the clutch you want to you want to be covering it over here on the brake side on my right hand I want to be covering that brake with one or two fingers up on it and the reason why is because I want to be able to you know be in ready to hit the brake for any reason I’m most of the time I’m riding I’ve got my finger up on that brake and that’s because I want to be able to you know I want to be ready to brake at all times I’m also getting ready to cover the brake with my rear with with my right leg now let me show you a trick on on what how you should be using your rear brake here’s how you should be braking when you’re standing up on you’re standing up on the bike and you need to add a little bit of brake what I don’t want you to do is have weight on your let weight on the peg and then roll it forward onto the brake what you need to be doing most of the time is you need to be picking up that leg and then and then having you know putting pressure on the bike here here into the bike and then coming down and putting pressure down on to that brake with your entire leg if you what happens is you can’t get if you’re just going to do this with if you’re just going to try to to do with your ankle first off if you’re sitting you can’t pull your ankle up generally enough to give a good even pressure you’re going to have to lift you lift your leg a little bit lift your entire leg right here and then come over and give some give some light pressure downward now you need to have you need to have your your your your lever your foot peg let your brake lever here adjusted about a quarter of an inch to a three-eighths of an inch above the peg and then you want it where it gets hard you want it to be level with the foot peg so when you come into here to break you’re gonna lift that entire leg and you’re going to gently ease down on that break using your entire leg muscle rather than just like trying trying to do it with your with your ankle because you can’t actuate it that way so that’s how you need to do that is to get to that break that way now that we’re talking about applying rear break and talking about that topic let’s talk about not skidding the rear wheel now I know there are sections there are times when you’re gonna want to skid that rear wheel to get maybe around like a tight switchback or something and I’m not saying that it’s never okay to skid the wheel because certainly it is but if you can keep that rear rear wheel rolling by giving gentle pressure into your rear brake you know coming when you do when you do need to brake it’s let’s say you’re coming into a corner for instance and you’ve got all this momentum the last thing you want to do is just boom just jam on that thing and and skid the tire because you’re you’re killing all that momentum you’re killing all that traction guess what your tires don’t have traction when they’re skidding so what you want to do is try to keep that wheel rolling and I promise you you’ll be faster and you’ll maintain more control I can’t tell you how many times I’m all I’ve almost washed out the bike because I just got over and jammed on the brake like this and now I’ve got that rear wheel skidding and now I’m like squirrely and wiggling all over the place because I’ve broken traction so try to keep that rear wheel rolling apply just the right amount of brake there to keep that traction keep it hooked to the ground but also slowing yourself down you’re gonna do yourself a ton of favors and you’ll be faster getting in and out of corners if you can keep that rear wheel rolling around staying on the topic of braking you don’t have to clutch the bike every time you brake in fact I would encourage you to find times where you can give rear brake and front brake without clutching the bike and that will help you to know if you’re giving too much brake because if you’re always having to clutch in order to give rear brake that’s probably because you’re giving too much of it and you’re going to lock that rear wheel up so it’s okay to break without using the clutch you can brake under a little bit of power too if you want to make sure that you don’t actually kill the bike because if you can if you can learn how to control your braking power and keep the power on you’re gonna be faster and so you don’t always have to be pulling the clutch every time you want to brake let’s talk a little bit more about our feet and our feet positioning now I see this happen a lot of times with riders they’ll be they’ll have their feet pointed out like this where they’re just kind of sitting out on the bike and their feet are pointed out what happens is laws logs and rocks and obstacles come by and they they nail you and rip your feet off the pegs and it also turns you when you’ve got when you’ve got that foot out like this and rotated out when something comes here and catches your foot it rotates your foot off and that really hurts that can tear your knee tell your knee apart so if you point your toes in then things will either force your they’ll either deflect off of you or force you force your toe in and just go boom and force it in against the the dirtbike or it will wipe your foot off straight back either one of those things is better than having it twisted off the bike so whether you’re standing up and and going high-speed if you got your foot out here like this you’re just asking for trouble if you can point that toe in you’re gonna do better it also makes it so that it keeps it makes it easier for you to naturally grip the bike because if you point your toes in it automatically puts your skeleton and an anatomically correct position show with you you’re gonna you’re gonna grab onto the bike a little better let’s talk about where to put your feet you should be putting your where you should be putting your feet as far as where the pegs are you should be putting your your feet your foot on the ball you should be putting that peg on the ball of your foot so if you got it too far forward you’re kind of up in the up in the arch of your foot that’s not a good thing because you’re yeah you’re gonna be able to Bret you’re gonna be able to reach the brake but you’re gonna get freaking Rock when when you’re out there riding and you’re not gonna have the control that you need if you can if you can shift your foot back and see when I’ve got my foot right there here’s my peg and it’s right there on the balls of my feet that way I’ve got full range of motion with my with my calves I’ve got full range of motion with my quads and I’m not actually just gonna accidentally hit my brake then when I need to brake I’ll move this a little bit forward you can tell if you’ve got the right position by looking at the bottom of your boot to see where it’s wearing let’s take a look at that for a second here’s an easy way to check and see if you’re if you have the correct riding position as far as your feet go on your pegs you can turn the bottom of your boots over and see where the wear marks are now on this particular boot the wear marks are right here on the ball of my feet you see all the all the marks that these pegs have been creating because I’ve been riding the bike right here this is where I put my feet if I put my feet too far forward this is my peg if I put my feet always on the arch there I would be getting all of this indication of it right here on the arch I’d be getting all these worn out marks here that’s not where I’m getting those I’m getting these up here on the ball of my feet and that’s exactly where you want those so that you can get you can maintain the proper balance on the bike and so that you’re not caught sleeping and get get your feet weep ripped off there so you don’t want to see it in the arch you want to see it up here and then that’s exactly where I see it with these particular boots so the boots don’t lie flip your boots over and find out where you were running this and where your you know your habit is and then adjust accordingly so that you can get on the ball of your foot you don’t have to you don’t have to use the clutch when you’re shifting gears on a dirt bike these are called the modern dirt bikes are constant mesh transmissions which means that you’re not gonna hurt anything you’re not gonna prematurely wear out your dirt bike by clutching when you’re shifting and so you know in especially when you’re shifting down if you shift down when you’re coming into a corner without using that clutch you’ll feel a little bit more connected to the transmission and it’s just going to work it’s going to click down it’s going to make you faster to click down now when you’re when you’re shifting up you can’t you can power shift this thing you don’t have to clutch it now there’s a little bit more pressure on the gears so if you want what you can do is just blip the throttle just a little bit and hit that hit that next gear but you don’t have to clutch the clutch on your dirt bike is for modulating and controlling the power that is going to the rear wheel it is not necessary to use in shifting it’s it’s kind of like a habit that we have brought over from all the standard and manual cars and trucks that we’ve driven at different times in our lives but we don’t have to clutch when we are shifting gears on a dirt bike so that’s another awesome tip for you and that’s something that might save you and make it so that you can get into the right gear at the right time because you’re not fiddling with your clocks you’re just boom if you need to shift down coming into a corner you just go boom boom and you just you just drop it down twice and you keep the power on you don’t have to be take the power out of the rear wheel to shift down and now for my last tip and again keep in mind that these are in no particular order I want you to sit down on the tank what I mean what do I mean by that because I started out this video by saying that you need to stand up and I do think that if you stand up and you’re in attack position your hinge you’re hinged at the hip here you’re gonna be a better dirt bike rider but what happens is you need to sit down for a corner sometimes if the corner is somewhere around 90 degrees you’re probably gonna want to be you’re probably gonna want to be in a sitting position now rather than sitting clear back here look what happens even understand as I sit back here kind of in this more natural position I take weight off the front wheel and the bike wants to wants to rock back in the stand what you should be doing is sitting on that tank when you were in when you’re up and you need to come down and sit down for a corner I want you to come down and sit down so far forward that you’re essentially sitting right almost up on your fuel cap if you’re sitting on your tank then you know you’re in the right position to make that corner and to stick your foot out and get around that now I’m not a motocross ER but I guarantee you the motocross sirs would say the same thing watch the best riders in the world when they go around the corner they are so far forward on that bike it’s unbelievable why is that they’re trying to put weight on that front wheel you sit up here on the bike and that front wheel is gonna track around that corner or track around this corner and you’re gonna maintain traction you sit way back here and that front tip that front tire is gonna wanna wash up and ride up over that berm and ride out of the rut because you’re taking all that weight off of it you can see what happens if I come down right here the bike stays planted and that that tire wants to stay down there on the ground alternatively if I come down and sit down in a normal normal position the bike rocks back and I’m going back and the same thing would happen to you on the trail so come and sit down right here on the tank when you when you need to sit down because of a corner or something sit uncomfortably close to the front of the bike up on that tank up near your handlebars keep your arms out keep your elbows out in a stacked position don’t let them drop down like this keep them up like this that’s kind of like a side tip that we that to show but again guys like you said these are ten things that you should be definitely thinking about things that you should be working on these aren’t the only tips out there but they happen to be ten really really good sound tips be working on when you’re going out and riding and if you make good practice when you go out and you try to focus on some of these things you’ll become a better and a more proficient and a faster rider and I thank you for tuning in

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