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Manifest the visuals in your dreams and learn how to jump a dirt bike

One could almost say the real goal of dirt biking isn't riding but flying. We are just testing out the launching pad before we are airborne. That one jump encapsulates the real meaning of dirt biking. Mastering it is every rider's ultimate goal and the hardest trick in the book. But it is done time and time again - on the tracks and on the toughest terrains. Learning how to jump a dirt bike has a winning formula to it, and we are here to share it with you.

Safety is paramount

Before attempting any flying stunts, every rider must make sure they are ready to take on the hard-hitting Mother Earth without too much of a scrape. So, wear your body armour; yes, chest protector and all. Never attempt risky stunts without the high-quality safety gear well and truly worn.

Getting to know the technique and the jump

It won't just happen one day out of the blue. Starting small is the only way to realise your bike jumping dreams. A step-up is a mellow start to a jump, and you can ride through them, getting the feel of the bike as you go up and over. It doesn't have the sharp lip of a jump, which makes practicing easier. Once you take a fast enough step-up, you are hurling across the air.

The central standing position is the best posture to be in. Grip the bike with your knees and calves while keeping your knees bent. When you approach the jump, choose a good line and the correct gear. Hitting it at an odd angle could see you kicking the rear out, sending you off to the side. Use an even throttle or slight acceleration as you leave the up-ramp. You can back off the throttle just as you leave the up-ramp as you get the hang of it. It will help direct the front of the bike down for the landing over steeper jumps.

Familiarising yourself with the location

Make sure all the obstacles are accounted for. Get an idea of the landing and what it is going to be like. Decide how fast you need to approach the takeoff. Watch someone else make the jump.

Tips and advice

If the bike goes sideways in the air, keep your body in line with the front suspension and accelerate before landing.

If you come up short, stay on the bike. Revving the bike hard before landing can tighten the chain and stiffen the suspension. Shift the brunt of the impact onto the bike's suspension to reduce the assault on your legs.

Make sure no one else is making a jump from the other side when you’re jumping the ridge of a hill.

Controlling the bike

Accelerating too much can send you into an air-wheelie. If you are not already upside down, lean forward as far as you can and pull the clutch in and tap the rear brake to bring the front of the bike down. Easing off the throttle too much when hitting the up-ramp will have you going into a nose-dive. Accelerate in mid-air to get the rear wheel spinning as fast as you can to lift the front back up.

Landing tips

As you land, use your legs to absorb the impact by gripping the bike tightly with your knees. Keep your elbows out and your wrists straight to spread the pressure evenly through the arms, chest, and shoulders without damaging your wrists. Accelerating just before landing makes you faster on the track and directs the bike in a straight line.

If you are landing on a ramp rather than a dirt track, you have a slight advantage if you land on your front wheel first.

If you are going at high speed on a steep decline, land on both wheels. Add additional weight to the back or front wheel with your body until the bike's wheels are parallel to the ground. A back wheel landing can throw you over the bars if your back wheel hits a bump or rock as you approach the ground. A front wheel landing can flip you over, knocking your head on the ground.

Choosing the right dirt bike for jumping

You need a bike that supports your weight and one that does not feel too heavy to you.

Learning to jump your dirt bike makes you a complete dirt bike rider. When captured by the camera, it looks like gravity has nothing on those who dare to defy the jump. However, there’s more to it than simply daring or wanting. Learning how to jump a dirt bike and landing astride the bike takes a lot of practice and shrewd judgement, we seriously hope you get right. Find the best dirt bikes for jumping at Mini Bikes Off Road.

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