How to Ride a Dirt Bike? Simple Steps

Riding a dirt bike can be a thrilling experience, but it’s natural to feel intimidated when you’re just starting. Safety should always be a top priority, and it’s essential to learn the proper techniques to ensure a fun ride.

Don’t let fear hold you back from discovering the excitement and adventure that dirt biking has to offer. With the right mindset and guidance, you can overcome any obstacles and become a skilled rider. You should also take a look at how to make a dirt bike faster.

So, take the first step towards your dirt biking journey and learn the necessary skills to become a confident and successful dirt bike rider. Remember, every rider starts somewhere, and the journey is just as important as the destination. In this article, we will discuss how to ride a dirt bike.

Starting the Bike

Starting the Bike

Starting a dirt bike can be a bit daunting for beginners, but it’s a straightforward process that anyone can learn with a bit of practice. You should know how to start a dirt bike before knowing how to ride a dirt bike. The first step is to turn on the battery power, which is done by turning the key or pressing the “on” button, depending on the bike model.

The next step is to decide if you need to use the choke, which is used to warm up the engine. If the weather is warm or the bike has been running already, you probably won’t need the choke. However, if it’s cold, you’ll need to pull out the choke, which is usually found on the left side of the bike.

Once the battery power and choke are set, it’s time to get into neutral or first gear, depending on the bike model. If the bike has a manual clutch, you’ll need to pull in the clutch and go to first gear. If it’s a kid’s bike without a clutch, you’ll need to step on the gear shifter to get into neutral. For adult bikes, you’ll step on the gear shifter to get into first gear.

Now that the bike is in gear, it’s time to start the engine. If it’s an older bike, you’ll need to use the kick starter. If it’s a newer bike, you can use the electric starter. Just be careful not to pull the throttle too hard or for too long, as this can flood the engine with gas.

Once the engine is started, push the choke back in if you used it. It’s a good idea to let the bike idle for a minute or two to warm up before beginning your ride. If you want to let it idle for a bit, it’s best to have the bike in neutral to avoid having to hold the clutch in for too long.

Clutch and Throttle Control

Clutch and Throttle Control

Riding a dirt bike requires mastering the art of changing gears using the shifter in front of the left foot peg. Unlike street bikes, dirt bikes do not have a gear display, so riders must develop a feel for the gear. Adult dirt bikes usually have five gears, whereas kids’ bikes typically have only three. Neutral can be tricky to find, so most beginners should use the clutch to avoid stalling the engine.

To start moving in first gear, slowly roll back the throttle with your right hand while releasing the clutch with your left hand. The two movements should be synchronized to avoid lurching forward or stalling the engine. Practice this motion slowly in the air before riding the bike. Riders should aim for a third of the full-throttle motion to get going slowly. If the bike ever bolts forward or goes too fast, let go of the throttle immediately.

To shift up, keep the throttle at the same position and pull in the clutch with your left hand. Reach your left foot under the gear shifter and pull it up to the next gear, then release the clutch quickly. To slow down or stop, pull in the clutch first and then use the brake. Riders can also slow down by stepping down on the gear shifter without using the clutch.

While some riders do not use the clutch to shift up or down, it is recommended that beginners learn to use the clutch to shift up and kick it down without the clutch to shift down. Ultimately, the choice is up to the rider.

Use of Brakes

Use of Brakes

As a beginner, learning to use the brakes on a dirt bike can be intimidating. While the right-hand brake might seem like the most obvious option, it can be dangerous if you’re not used to its sensitivity. Instead, start by focusing on the foot brake.

The foot brake, which is located about 6” in front of your right foot peg, is the primary brake on a dirt bike. Unlike the front brake, which can cause the bike to tip over or send you flying over the handlebars, the foot brake provides a smooth and controlled stop.

To use the foot brake, position your foot so that the ball of your foot is on the foot peg. When you want to stop, pick up your foot and scoot it forward to the foot brake. This may feel less natural than using a hand brake like you would on a bicycle, but with practice, it will become second nature.

Avoid using the front brake for now, as it can cause the bike to press down on the front and make it unstable, particularly when going downhill. If you do need to use the front brake, remember to gently squeeze it part way rather than snatching at it as you would on a bicycle.

With time and practice, you’ll become more comfortable using both the foot brake and front brake on your dirt bike. But for now, focus on mastering the foot brake to ensure a safe and smooth stop every time.

Position of Rider

Position of Rider

Mastering proper rider position is essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable off-road experience. Riding a dirt bike requires a specific set of body movements that maximize control, power, and balance. One of the most crucial elements of proper rider position is standing up on the footpegs.

By standing up, you give yourself greater control and balance over the bike, allowing you to maneuver over rough terrain with ease. Keeping your back straight and your elbows out in front of you will also help you maintain control and respond quickly to any obstacles that come your way.

Remember to place the ball of your foot on the foot pegs and not the heel to avoid accidentally riding the brake. It may be uncomfortable at first, but with practice, it will become second nature.

By pushing your head forward so that your chin is over the handlebars, you also maintain balance and keep your focus on the trail ahead.

Although it may be tempting to sit back and relax during an easy ride, it’s important to be ready to spring up into the proper rider position whenever necessary. With enough practice, this position will feel natural, and you’ll find that it helps you avoid crashes and ride with greater confidence.


As a rider, it’s essential to find your own pace and not just follow the group’s speed. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with more experienced riders or riders with more powerful bikes. It’s better to ride at your own pace and feel confident and in control, than to push yourself beyond your limits and put yourself in danger.

If you’re riding on a rocky or bumpy trail, slow down to avoid losing control or damaging the bike. On the other hand, if you’re on a smooth road or track, you can pick up the pace and push yourself a little more.

Shifting gears is also an important part of keeping pace. As you ride, you’ll get a feel for when to shift up or down depending on the terrain and your speed. Remember to use the clutch and shift smoothly to avoid jerky movements that could affect your balance.

Finally, always prioritize safety over speed. If you’re unsure about a section of the trail or feel like you’re going too fast, slow down and take your time. It’s better to arrive at your destination a little later than planned than to get injured or damage your bike.

Maintaining Proper Balance

Maintaining Proper Balance

One of the most critical skills that every dirt bike rider must master is the art of leaning and turning. Leaning into a turn is an essential aspect of controlling the bike, but it can be easy to forget that there is a limit to how far you should lean. When riders lean too much, it can lead to a devastating crash.

To avoid accidents, always remember to keep your body tucked in while leaning. If your feet get caught on the ground, you could suffer a severe injury. Additionally, leaning too far can cause the bike to tilt, leading to skids and crashes.

Even when riding upright, it’s crucial to maintain proper balance. Without balance, the bike will wobble, making it difficult to control. To keep the bike steady and upright, angle your body in a way that protects you and provides stability. Remember, the key is to lean just enough to turn, but not so much that you lose control.

Conclusion on how to ride a dirt bike

In conclusion, learning how to ride a dirt bike can be a thrilling and exciting experience, but it’s important to remember the basic techniques and safety measures to avoid accidents and injuries. Proper rider position, keeping pace, and leaning and turning without overdoing it are essential skills to master when riding a dirt bike. 

Additionally, it’s crucial to wear appropriate safety gear such as a helmet, gloves, and boots, and to always be aware of your surroundings and the terrain. With practice and dedication, anyone can become a skilled and safe dirt bike rider.

I hope you enjoyed my article “How to Ride a dirt bike”. This article has looked at how to ride a dirt bike. If you have any questions about how to ride a dirt bike, please leave a comment below.


Is it hard to learn how to ride a dirt bike?

Learning how to ride a dirt bike can be challenging, but with practice and the right techniques, anyone can become a skilled rider.

Do I need any special equipment to ride a dirt bike?

Yes, you will need to wear protective gear such as a helmet, goggles, gloves, boots, and clothing designed for off-road riding.

Can I ride a dirt bike on the road?

No, dirt bikes are designed for off-road use only and are not street-legal in most cases.

How do I shift gears on a dirt bike?

Most dirt bikes have a foot-operated gear shifter located on the left side of the bike. To shift up, press down on the shifter with your foot. To shift down, lift on the shifter.

How do I turn on a dirt bike?

To turn on a dirt bike, first, make sure the engine kill switch is in the “on” position. Then, press the starter button or kickstart the bike. Once the engine is running, use your body weight and the handlebars to turn the bike in the direction you want to go.

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