If you fancy yourself astride an off-road dirt bike, you certainly wouldn’t be alone, as many young people take to two wheels in an off-road environment and before you rush out and buy an off-road motorcycle, there are a few important things to consider.
- Off-Road or Road Legal – This is one decision that you’ll have to make and if you do decide to ride a street legal bike, then you need to obtain the correct driving licence. If you prefer to only ride on private land, you won’t need a licence, but you will need a suitable trailer to take your bike to different venues. Let’s not forget that you also need to obtain permission from the landowner to ride, otherwise you might end up being prosecuted for trespassing.
- Enroll in a Basic Off-Road Riding Course – If you have no previous experience riding off-road, you are advised to enroll in a novice riding class, specifically off-road, which will teach you how to control the bike on a wide range of surfaces. Mud, gravel and grass all offer a different riding experience and the course will help you to maintain control at all times, plus you’ll learn safety tips that minimise the risk of injury.
- Choosing a Bike – As a novice, you don’t want too much power; the ideal machine would be the new improved Honda CRF250L, which is perfectly balanced and ideal for a beginner. This bike has earned rave reviews from riders of all levels, with strong low-end torque, making it perfect for off-road experiences. If you search online, you can book a test ride with a leading UK bike dealer and see for yourself why everyone loves this machine. If you would rather forget the test ride, the dealer would deliver the bike anywhere in the UK for a small fee and with low-interest finance, you can spread the payment over a couple of years.
- Wearing the Right Gear – When riding any motorcycle, you must wear protective clothing and equipment, especially when riding off-road. The list of essential items includes a quality crash helmet and a pair of goggles; a full-face helmet is not recommended for off-road riding, as your peripheral vision would be affected and a helmet with a chin bar and a pair of goggles is the best solution. A decent leather motorcycle jacket offers the best skin protection, while a pair of thick denim jeans would be fine, if you don’t fancy leather trousers. Boots with good ankle support and a pair of motorcycle gloves completes the outfit and if riding in cold weather, wear layered clothing for added insulation. Click here for a review of Yamaha’s 3-wheel bike.
- Bike Care & Maintenance – Like any motor vehicle, your bike needs regular servicing and the details can be found in the owner’s manual. Power-wash the bike after every off-road use and when storing for the winter, make sure you follow the protocol (empty fuel tank and disconnect battery) for correct storage. If you have the tools, there’s no reason why you can’t service your bike – online resources can help – and that will save you some money. Here is some essential information about motorcycle riding in the UK and the driving licence requirements.
There are some challenging trails in the UK to test your skills and by booking a beginner’s off-road riding course, you will have the basic skills to keep you safe and with riding experience comes competency. Google is your best friend when it comes to sourcing riding venues and with a bike trailer, you can travel to many different venues and enjoy the British countryside.