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How Do You Build Confidence on a Dirt Bike?

March 22, 2022 5 min read

Risk Racing team standing on the landing of a track feature in their signature Ventilate V2 Mix-n-match motocross protective gear. One team member is pointing out another track feature to his teammates.

When you first start dirt biking, it’s common to be nervous. You have a powerful machine between your legs speeding you around a rugged course. Plus, if you attend competitions you’ve likely seen some crashes and accidents. But fear can be holding you back from achieving your potential. So, how can you build your confidence when riding a dirt bike. 

There are lots of simple ways to get used to riding a dirt bike. Some of the best tips are:

  • Getting the right safety gear
  • Start slow and take your time learning
  • Make plenty of time for practice
  • Walk the track before you race

  • The last thing you want is to be scared when you’re riding a dirt bike. Keep reading to learn how you can overcome your nerves and get more comfortable with the bike. 


    Three members of the risk racing team standing on the landing of a track feature. One of the risk team members is pointing out another feature on the track.


    Get the Right Safety Gear

    Almost everyone in the world of dirt bike riding has crashed or at least laid their bike down at some point. Head to any competition and you’ll see some crashes for yourself. Understandably, most beginner riders don’t want to be thrown from their bike. But this fear will cause you to avoid pushing your bike, preventing you from taking your skills to the next level. 

    When you are riding hard, accidents will happen. But, in most cases, the worst injury that a rider will sustain is a bruised ego. The secret is getting the right safety gear. You will need to get: 

    Risk Racing red, black, and white motocross protective gear. on a black/red background.

    Here at Risk Racing, we can help you stock up on the essentials. Once you know that you are protected on the track, you should start to feel more confident about going faster around the track. 

    Take the Time to Get Focused

    Often, your nerves will be impacting your performance on the bike. A good way to overcome this is by taking some time to get focused before you get on the bike. There are plenty of ways that riders can do this. Some will check their safety gear, reminding themselves that they are safe. Others will focus on taking some deep breaths. Develop a routine that works for you. 

    Start Slow

    One of the biggest mistakes that beginner riders make is trying to push their skills too far too quickly. It can be tempting to want to start entering competitions right away. But you need to spend some time building up your core skills first. 

    There are dozens of drills that you should be performing. At first, you want to be focusing on being in control of the bike. A good way of doing this is by using a balance drill. In this case: 

    1. Bring the bike into a clear, flat area. 
    2. Put the bike in the lowest gear and travel slowly. 
    3. Try to stay balanced on the bike to stop from falling over. 
    4. As you gain more confidence you can repeat the drill, trying to go faster. 
    5. To add an extra layer of difficulty you can set up a course of cones. Try weaving through them. This will let you practice both your balance and your turning ability. 
    Learn to ride a dirt bike confidently. Riding a white dirt bike in a lush green forest up a steep hill with encouragement from their peers to keep going.

    Become a Member

    Ultimately, the best way to grow your skills is by practicing. The more time you spend behind the handlebars the more attuned you will become to your bike. To help you do this, you can sign up for a local dirt bike club. Memberships are often between $50 to $150. Once you are a member you will be able to use their facilities. 

    Another reason to join a dirt bike club is to connect with other riders in the local area. They will be able to give you plenty of tips and tricks to improve. Plus, being involved with this community will give you support. 

    Walk the Track Before the Race

    Once you are ready to compete in your first race, there are a few things that you can do to build your confidence and improve your performance. 

    Most importantly, you’ll want to walk the track. This will let you become more familiar with the obstacles that you will face. This is a good way to get mentally prepared, thinking about what techniques you will need to apply. It will also give you the ability to think about track positioning, allowing you to get an edge on your performance. 

    Motocross team taking a track walk in the rain holding umbrellas to get an understanding of the track conditions, track features, and technique for riding it as fast as possible.

    How Long Does it Take to Get Confident on a Motorcycle?

    Trying to learn how to drive a motorcycle can be a challenging experience. How long it will take you to learn will depend on dozens of factors. These can include:

    • How long you spend practicing
    • The type of drills you are doing
    • The type of bike you are riding
    • Whether you are using a coach
    • If you are part of a dirt biking club
    • The type of track you are driving on 
    • How long it takes you to pick up the techniques

    Because of this mix of factors, it can be difficult to predict how long it will take you to learn to become confident on a dirt bike. Generally, though, it will take between three to six months before you will learn the basics of operating a dirt bike. 

    Motocross rider offering his peer encouragement from the side of the track in the form of a fist pump while his friend flies through the air in style on his yamaha dirt bike.

    How do you Regain Confidence After a Motorcycle Crash?

    Nothing can rattle your confidence like a severe motorcycle crash. Sadly, though, this is something that will be faced by most riders at some point during their career. But it’s what you do during the recovery period that’s the most important. There are a few things that you can do to regain your confidence faster. 

    First, you want to take a break. Obviously, it’s important to make sure that your wounds have healed before you get back on the bike. Having a fall can be a very traumatic experience. It’s important to take some time to look after your mental health. Seek out the support you need, talking to a mental health professional. 

    Sometimes, you will experience fear before you get back on the bike. The best way to overcome this is with some breathing exercises. It might take a while, but you should aim to feel calm when you are sitting behind the handlebars. 

    When you are ready to start riding again, take it slow. Take some time to relearn the basics and get acquainted with operating the bike again. As you are getting back on the bike you will need to get plenty of practice. After a break, you might find yourself a little rusty so start with the basic drills. Depending on the severity of the crash it might take a few weeks to get back into the swing of things. 

    Another good tip is riding with a group. This will give you some security, knowing that they will be able to help you if there is an accident. Because of this, attending a local dirt bike club can be a great option. Many of the members will be very supportive, giving you the encouragement you need to start riding again. 

    Finally, you should make sure that you know your reasons for getting back on the bike. This can be to enter a competition or get more physical fitness. At other times, it will be to prove to yourself that you are still capable of being able to ride the bike.

    RISK Racing athlete turning his KTM dirt bike in the sand while wearing his new risk racing ventilate v2 red/black mix-n-match motocross gear.  

    Final Thoughts

    Dirt biking can be a highly rewarding, action-packed sport. You’ll be able to push yourself to the limit around the course. However, getting the confidence to drive in this way can be a challenge, especially if you are new to the sport. Thankfully, there are lots of tips that you can use to get used to being behind the handlebars. If you can do this, you should be ready to race in a few months.

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