11 Tips for Riding Off-Road

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Category: How To

7. Stand Up

If you started riding off-road, this may seem overly simple, but most street riders are surprised to learn that standing up actually lowers their center of gravity; the body’s weight is directed through the pegs instead of the seat. Pinch the tank with your lower legs and knees and keep your legs bent; they make great shock absorbers.

8. Weight The Inside Peg

Want to take a right turn? Push down on the inside (right) peg, while shifting your weight to the outside to aid traction and to keep your weight evenly distributed over the center mass of the bike. You actually steer a dirt bike this way, not by using the bars. Works equally well in lefthand corners, where you weight the left peg.

9. In Corners, Sit As Far Forward As Possible

At least he got the "sit forward so the rear can slide" part right

Completely the opposite from tackling jumps, obstacles or deep sand, in corners you’re going to want to get as much of your bodyweight as possible over the front wheel. More weight equals more traction equals more corner speed. Shifting your weight off the rear also makes it easier to initiate a slide.

10. Lead The Person Behind You

When riding in a group, it’s your responsibility both to warn the person behind you of obstacles and to make sure they don’t get lost or separated from the group. If everyone follows this rule, then everyone gets warned about that water buffalo, or thousand-foot drop  in plenty of time and no one’s going to arrive at a junction with no clue which way to turn. Even if you’re the second-to-last guy and you have to slow down to let the slowpoke (Wes) catch up, this rule should mean the guy in front of you also slows and the guy in front of him too; it keeps the whole group together.

11. Signal Your Group Number

Those two big headlights can't be seen around corners, it's your job to let people coming the other way know he's there.

Come up on someone riding the opposite way on a trail? It’s incredibly important to let them know how many bikes are coming up behind you, so they know when it’s safe to get back on the throttle. Hold your left hand up and raise the number of fingers of the number of guys behind you. The final rider in your group should hold up a closed fist to signal “all clear.” This way, there’s no head-on collisions at speed.

 And When You Put It All Together

This is not a complete list, but its a good place to start. Share your own tips, or stories about the usefulness of ours, in the comments section below.

Great Off-Road Bikes for Beginners:

Suzuki DR-Z400S

Honda CRF250L

Yamaha WR250R

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