Basic dirt bike techniques
The first step in becoming a good dirt bike rider is learning all the basic dirt bike techniques. This is true with any sport; even the top pros still practice the basics. Sure they already know how to do the basics but they still practice them. Why, because they need to keep them sharp, smooth and effortless. They realize the basics are constantly used and are the foundation of everything else they are able to do in their sport. If you mess up with a basic technique in most sports it may cause you to miss a golf, tennis or basketball shot but if you mess up on your dirt bike you might take a dirt nap!
The Gary Semics MX Schools and Techniques/Training Streaming Videos have identified “55 Absolute Techniques of Motocross” (Motocross Practice Manual) which, of course, also applies to dirt bike techniques. These techniques are used to control the bike while; jumping, cornering, doing whoops and pulling the hole shot. We take each of these categories and break them down into separate parts. Example for cornering; there are many braking techniques that include body positions and movements, there are techniques that happen at the “Transition”, which is the most important part of every corner and there are more techniques that have to happen as you exit the corner. There are techniques for sliding the bike into and out of hard packed, slick corners and more for soft rutted corners.
These basic dirt bike techniques do not come naturally. Without understanding them and learning them as you begin riding a dirt bike you will undoubtingly learn bad habits which will be very difficult to break later. Even some of the top pro MX and SX racers have one or two bad habits that they developed and never took the time to reprogram with the correct technique. Examples are Ricky Carmichael, known as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) and Ryne Villopoto, once known as the fastest rider on the planet and winner of multiple MX and SX championships. Both of these racer’s hand grip on the handlebars and therefore arms and elbows were a little too low. Of course they were great racers despite these slightly flawed techniques but they could have been even better had they developed the correct techniques from the beginning.
The way a rider grips the handlebars will determine their arms and elbows positions. A high over grip and relatively high arms and elbows will enable the rider to have an open upper body framework, giving them better leverage factors with the bike. This is one of the critical core techniques because it’s where most of the rider’s control will come from. When a person begins learning how to ride a dirt bike this correct over grip, high arms and elbows is very unnatural, so they will start programming the wrong techniques with low hand grips and therefore low arms and elbows. This causes them to always ride behind the pivot point (head and upper body back too far). Sure they can ride their dirt bike this way but the more they ride like this the more these techniques get programmed into their subconscious mind and automatic reflex reactions. Of all the 55 Absolute Techniques these are the most difficult bad habits to break. This is because the rider’s feeling of control and safety are so closely linked to how the handlebars feel in their hands!
I mentioned before about techniques getting programmed into the rider’s subconscious mind and into their automatic reflex reactions. The longer a technique is programed the longer it takes to reprogram with the correct technique. Every rider can do a bad technique correctly in a practice drill at a slow speed when being taught by a good instructor. Even in this learning environment it is difficult and requires all the rider’s attention and effort. As soon as they’re attention is off doing the technique correctly they will go back to their default technique, the bad habit. I have seen riders who have been practicing new techniques for weeks or months and can do them perfectly at full speed in practice drills but under race conditions will still revert back to the old default. I know other riders who have improved for even longer but when they are getting a little tired toward the end of a moto still go back to the old default techniques. No wonder even some of the top pros still carry that old bad habit to the end of their careers. Developing all the correct techniques in the beginning is a big advantage when it comes to riding a dirt bike.
If you’re reading this you probably haven’t developed many bad habits, now is your chance to learn the best time tested and proven techniques and practice methods from the MX School, Techniques/Training Streaming Videos that has helped our Racers win 26 AMA Pro Championships. Enjoy the short complimentary example video below about this hand grip position, then follow the links below the video play screen and get starting becoming a better, safer rider!