Dirt Biking – Getting Started

Riding dirt bikes is a great way to have fun and get your adrenaline pumping.  There is nothing quite like the rush of off-road riding. There is a ton of different types of riding to try, skills to learn, gear to test and places to see.

dirt biking

Types of Riding

There are many different types of dirt bike riding to try including motocross, trail, freestyle, enduro and trials riding.  The most popular are motocross and trail riding so we focus on those.


Riding motocross involves bringing your bike to a local motocross track where you can race around a nicely groomed track full of all kinds of features.  Tracks are usually filled with a variety of different jumps, hills, sweeping corners, tight corners and whoops.  Hitting the track is a great way to quickly improve your riding skills as you work on conquering different track features and lowering your lap times.  There is almost always other riders at the track for you to learn from and keep you company as you ride.  Learning to hit jumps at tracks can seem intimidating at first but don’t worry, they are all typically built so that you can ride over top of them until you feel ready to try them.  Riding at dirt bike tracks can also be a great full body workout.  Within a few laps you will quickly realize how much energy it takes to move the bike the way you want to. As you get more comfortable riding at tracks consider signing up with a local racing league to compete against other riders in your area.

 motocross picture

Trail Riding

Take your dirt bike out and enjoy exploring trails! Depending on where you live there is usually a trail network nearby which you can take advantage of.  Try looking up trails online in your local area or asking your family and friends to start.  There are also a lot of trail associations which will let you ride their trails for a small membership fee.  Trail riding is a great way to keep things feeling new and exciting.  Trails can have a wide variety of different features and terrain to explore. Some trail networks are big enough that you can ride all day without having to see the same trail twice.

trail riding


There is a ton of cool gear out there for dirt biking. We will start by going over essential items that you’ll need get out riding right away and then dive into some other gear for you to consider.

Essential Riding Gear

Dirt Bike

Most bikes are purpose built for different things so it is important to consider what type of riding you want to do when selecting your dirt bike. For example many trail bikes will have a front headlight and kickstand, which is nice for trails however would not be needed for motocross and would be considered extra weight.  There are many different guides online to help you find a bike that suits your needs so we will not spend much time on that here.


By far the most important piece of safety gear you will need.  Almost all dirt bike helmets are full face helmets with a long visor which house a set of goggles.   These features will save you from a lot of mud and dirt when riding with other people.


There are a lot of different goggle types and brands out there.  You can get clear or tinted lenses to swap between depending on the weather that day.  Some goggles also come with tear off lens covers making it easier to keep them clean while riding.


Riding boots provide foot and ankle support to help prevent injury.  They are also great for helping you to grip the bikes with your legs.


Save your hands from blisters.  Riding gloves are nice and thin to protect your hands while still having a good feel of the bike controls. 

Other Riding Gear

Dirt bike jerseys are thin breathable shirts which are great  keeping you cool while riding.  Also can’t ignore the cool factor.

Riding Pants

Riding can create a lot of wear and tear on pants.  Dedicated riding pants are durable and usually have very strong fabric where your legs make contact with the bike. Some also come with foam inserts to provide protection if you fall.

Knee Pads/ Braces

A lot of motorcycle riding is done with your legs which can put a lot of stress on your knees.   Knee pads can be worn to help with gripping the bike more comfortably.  Knee braces are more expensive but can help to provide knee support and prevent hyper-extension.

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