Off-road motorcycling comes with a few challenges, but it’s not something you should shy away from. There are thousands of greenery and forest trails across the UK to have a whole heap of fun on, with no boundaries, speed restrictions and no rules. While this may sound like the coolest thing ever, riding off-road can be risky and difficult if you do not know the techniques or have the right accessories to keep you safe. Here are our off-road riding top tips so you can enjoy getting down and dirty.
1. The first important tip and the most important is to manage your speed. Nothing increases risk more than riding too fast for your ability or conditions. Keeping your throttle hand in check with two fingers should help keep control of your speed, however, you should anticipate situations in advance to avoid any problems.Always cover your fingers over the break.
2. Plan, plan, plan! Make sure your bike is ready, so you won’t be stranded in the woods. Being prepared is vital! Bringing tools, parts, tyre repair and a spare jerry can of petrol or diesel is so important. It is better to be over prepared than underprepared. This may sound obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the number of riders stranded and out of fuel.
Having the right equipment is also essential. Make sure you have a helmet, suit, shoes and gloves before you set off, not only to look the part but for your safety and comfort. View our collection of accessories and riding gear at John Clark BMW Motorrad here.
3. Look where you are going. Don’t over concentrate on the track and worry about the variations of the terrain. If your mind and sight focus on the right direction, naturally your bike will follow. Just like on-road riding in the streets, focus on where you need the bike to go. Practise in advance to avoid unnecessary panic.
4. Stand up. It is nearly impossible to ride well off-road if you do not switch between standing up and sitting down. The best standing up ride occurs when there are significant bumps, so your legs absorb the impact. It’s a great way of bringing the centre of gravity to the front, as your bodyweight is supported by the foot pegs and not the seat.
You are best to sit for corners, as you want to get as much of your bodyweight over the front wheel as possible. More weight equals more traction around corners. Shifting your weight off the rear also makes it easier to initiate a slide.
5. Know your ability. It is also vital to remember to ride within your ability to avoid and off-road disaster, broken bones are not fun, so do not do big and powerful bike rides until you are ready. If you are riding in a group, it is likely there will be mixed abilities and hurting yourself will not impress other riders, ride to your ability and the more you ride off-road, the better you will get.
Each of these tips put together will improve your overall off-road driving experience, whether you are experienced or a novice. Looking to get started? Why not join our Rookie to Rider course.
Embrace the rugged, muddy and wet terrain now! What are you waiting for? Get riding on that bike.