What Level of Dirt Bike Rider Am I Anyways?
Most of us tend to over-estimate our abilities - at least as relatively new riders. There are places on our website where we indicate that a ride is suitable for novices, or for intermediate level riders. But how is a beginner, novice, or intermediate defined? While certainly not a universal definition, here is how the BMA defines it.
You are a beginning rider if you ...
- Are just beginning your riding experience, and may or may not have ridden a motorcycle before
- Have uncertain balance control
- Are still working on throttle, clutch, brake, shift control
- Expend a lot of energy to maintain a sense of control over bike and very tired after a short period of riding
- Experience a number drops, falls, and/or stalls each ride
- Would not be comfortable on single track trail, ascending or descending hills, or encountering obstacles
- Tend to use sitting riding position vs. standing position
- Are most comfortable riding in open spaces such as fields, or on gravel roads used by cars
You are a novice rider if you ...
- Are comfortable operating throttle, clutch and brake controls, and with shifting while riding in the standing position
- Are comfortable using front brake alone in slowing down
- Can come to a complete stop and then continue forward without putting a foot down (dabbing)
- Are able to ride in third and fourth gear off-road when safe to do so
- Do not experience stalls or over-revving while using the clutch
- Initiates and controls all but tightest turns with legs in standing position
- Comfortable and relatively certain of traction on easy, ATV trails, or easy single track trails (Limerick Forest) with short ascents and descents
- Expend a fair amount of energy riding, quite tired after riding 2-3 hours
You are an intermediate rider if you are ...
- Comfortable on tight single-track, (intermediate) level 3 trails which includes fairly sharp ascents and descents, often with rock, water, loose stone and/or roots present.
- Wheelie from a stop and not have the bike move forward much, and can wheelie from moving sitting position. Can comfortably wheelie over obstacles higher than axle height
- Comfortable using both brakes in stopping, and braking to control skids and change/initiate direction.
- Comfortable and effectively using multiple controls simultaneously
- Can do full steering lock turns and tight figure-eights, can balance without dabbing at very slow speeds
- Comfortable sliding rear wheel and able to produce and control the slides
- Comfortable riding the bike off-road in higher gears when safe to do so
- Can read the terrain, select and maintain a line most of the time, and can recover quickly from deflections off obstacles
- Not intimidated by different soil conditions and obstacles (sand, mud, loose/rolling stones, large rocks, logs).
- Not intimidated by steep uphills and downhills or off-camber slopes and hills
- Comfortable jumping the motorcycle and riding in rough conditions without bottoming the suspension unexpectedly
- Able to ride a day of intermediate level trails (level 3) including short sections of level 4 or 5 trails