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10 Skills to Make You a Better Rider | Features

Riding a dirt bike is simple, right? Twist the throttle and point the front wheel in the direction you want to go? If you're trawling ADB's website then we'll assume you know that ain't the case.

To ride a dirt bike through anything more technical than a Woolies car park you need certain skills to keep the thing rubber side down and yourself out of the hospital. For some these skills come easy, for others, they can take lots of practice.

So in no particular order, here 10 skills we think will help grow your confidence and improve your riding ability.

1: Long Rutted Corners
Most of us can hit a rut and come blasting out of it like a pro, providing the rut is only a few metres long and not surrounded by trees.

But railing a rut in the bush that is 20 metres long with lots of overhanging branches is another kettle of fish. I’ve tried and failed many times because I don’t have the talent and the kahunas to hit a long bush rut with the momentum needed.
They are often found in cross-country races and can be a serious time waster if you can’t nail them every time. The technique Ben Grabham explains here is slightly different to blasting out of a short, 90-degree rut.

How to ride long rutted corners <<Click Here to Read>>

2: Steep Rock Ledges
Many of us have been out trailriding and come across a small, yet sharp pinch of a hill. One of those ones that sneaks up on you and catches you off-guard, which can then result in a failed attempt. You know how to ride up it but it takes a certain level of confidence and finesse.

How to master steep rock ledges <<Click Here to Read>>

3: Standing Through Bermed Corners
Yes, your dirt bike has a seat (unless you’re a trials rider) but that doesn’t mean you have to use it. Watch the FIM Motocross World Championship and you’ll notice the elite riders often corner standing up on the pegs. This how-to caters more towards motocross riders but it can be just as useless on the trails because standing through corners has its advantages.

How to stand through bermed corners <<Click Here to Read>>

4: Pivot Wheelie
Pivot wheelies are a lifesaver in many situations you’ll find yourself in while out trailriding. They look harder than they are and if you master the pivot wheelie, it’ll save you heaps of time and energy. Plus, they look awesome.

How to nail the pivot wheelie <<Click Here to Read>>

5: Uphill Log Hops
Popping a wheelie over a fallen log on a climb, especially when you don’t have a straight run up, can present many challenges.

In events such as the Kowen Forest Ride, obstacles like this are everywhere and if you get caught you’re going to hold up a bunch of nice people (or not in some cases) waiting at the bottom of the hill. Here’s how you tackle these tough logs without becoming a laughing stock.

How to ride over uphill logs <<Click Here to Read>>

6: Turn Around on a Steep Hill
This isn’t an on-bike skill but it’s as useful as any, especially when first learning to ride because you’ll become stuck on hills, a lot! All enduro and trailriders will have to perform a U-turn on a steep hill at some stage.

Even Graham Jarvis finds himself stuck with no choice but to turn around and try again. However, one small mistake can cost both you and the bike big time.

So how do you spin a 120kg dirtbike around on a cliff without cartwheeling to the bottom?

How to turn your bike around on the side of steep hill <<Click Here to Read>>

7: Cornering Through Muddy Ruts
This tip is for tackling the sort of deep ruts you’re sure to come across if you spend enough riding out in the bush.

We’re looking at deep, long straight ruts that are full of mud and found regularly on winter trailrides or the notoriously muddy, Kamfari.

How many times have you come across a long, deep muddy rut and, at the last minute, decided to park your arse, pull your boots up and coast through without getting dirty?

Well, according to Grabbo, that’s not such a bad thing. Sure it might be technically incorrect and you should hit it standing but the great man says it can be just as efficient providing you follow a few simple instructions.

How to corner through muddy ruts <<Click Here to Read>>

8: Slippery Off-Camber Hills
Sometimes you can’t ride up a hill so you have to go across it, which can be more challenging than it sounds. If there’s no rut and the soil is slippery you’re going to have a hard time keeping your bike pointed in the direction you want to go. This next tip explains how to traverse a slippery hill when your bike just wants to slide out and put you on your arse.

How to ride across the side of a steep off-camber <<Click Here to Read>>

9: Rutted Hills
Climbing hills while out trailriding with the crew is always a bit of a giggle.

Watching your mates crawling towards the ridge only to become stuck right near the top does bring a few laughs.

But the merriment turns to boredom, and then to anger, as you wait for them to get out of the way and let you have a crack at the hill.

To make matters worse, the idiot stuck in the rut is digging the trench deeper with each blip of the throttle. But, there is an easy solution to unsticking yourself from this rut some call life!

How to climb hills with ruts <<Click Here to Read>>

10. Easy Bike Load
If you’re struggling to load your bike onto your tall dual cab ute after a long ride this simple yet effective tip might help. It might not sound like much but this method which ADB Editor Mitch Lees dubbed “The Human Winch” is a great little trick to get your bike those last few inches onto the tray of a ute.

The easy way to load your bike <<Click Here to Read>>