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How to Jump with a Fully Loaded Adventure Bike

In this guide, we’re going to provide some insights on how to jump with an adventure motorbike which is loaded up with saddlebags, luggage and adv gear.

Jumping on any offroad motorcycle brings with it a world of fun, but a world of pain too when you miscalculate everything. Any experienced rider would know the feeling of hitting a jump and either coming up short or overshooting the landing. Worst still is tilting up or leaning too far downwards while in the air, with no time to correct such mistakes.

Add in the weight of an adventure motorcycle, and you potentially have a recipe for disaster which can quickly end a trip. So in this guide, let’s show you how to do it safely.

How to Jump an Adventure Bike

This guide is of course theory in its nature. Any practice attempts should be done in a controlled environment with no luggage while riders are fully kitted up with safety gear.

Steps to jump with a Fully Loaded Adventure Bike

The process to actually jump is quite simple:

1. Lighten your bike

Every ADV rider out there needs to lighten up their gear. Often it takes years before we get down to a reasonable size.

Not only should you get rid of luggage which isn’t being used, but you should also go down to a smaller motorcycle if you want to hit jumps properly.

Take off all your luggage at a trail and leave it on the side. The lighter weight will help you feel more confident and more agile.

2. Find some small jumps

There is no need to become Ricky Brabec (Dakar 2020 winner) in the first 5 minutes. Start with small jumps which are no larger than 10 inches. Yes – 10 inches.

See – all you want initially is the feeling of jumping and being airborne. Time stands still while you’re in the air, even on the smallest jump.

Avoid the purpose-built dirt bike parks with jumps already setup. These are often built for air-time for lighter bikes and not for 700cc+ bikes.

3. Relax your mind

Many of us are nervous about jumping on a heavy ADV bike for the first time. Calmness when riding generally begins in the mind. I

f you’re nervous, then you can expect the takeoff or landing not to go so well. Instead, focus on relaxing on the smaller jumps.

4. Stand up on the pegs

If you’re sitting when jumping on a motorcycle, then you can expect a sore backside. Do this enough times and you won’t feel like jumping ever again.

You need to get up on those pegs. While yes, it does raise your centre of gravity, it also provides a lot more control and a feeling of ownership towards your jumping abilities.

Standing in an attack position is the best way. Elbows bent, head forward and knees bent. Your backside should be slightly behind the natural seated position but not leaning back.

5. Add some throttle speed

Adventure bikes are heavier than dirt bikes, and for that reason, you’ll drop much sooner while in the air. Falling short has its advantages but is dangerous if you’re avoiding an obstacle.

We recommend that you add more speed than what you need while ensuring the end of your jump is clear for miles in case you overshoot your landing spot.

You should be in the middle of your rev range, so ensure you’re in the right gear for the jump and the speed you choose.

6. Use your body weight to jump

Jumping on an adventure motorcycle requires your body to be involved, as opposed to just the physics of the jump, the motorcycle and speed.

Before reaching the lip of the jump, immediately raise your body on your motorcycle while simultaneously adding speed. This will give you additional height and distance.

This is known as loading-up or springing where you utilize your own body weight to lift the motorcycle higher. For adventure riders, this is important given the weight.

7. Pull in your clutch

As you take off in the air, the sudden lack of resistance is going to make your back tyre spin. And if it spins for too long, you risk out-revving or stalling mid-air.

Pull your clutch in to control the motorcycle power while keeping the throttle in the same position as to take off. Release the clutch before landing.

8. Land the jump with power on

Just as you land, add some power. Avoid the temptation to hit the front or brakes unless a crash is imminent, but do have your toes resting on your rear brake just in case.

By adding throttle when landing, this is going to take the shock out of landing and have you powered on for the next encounter on the trail.

9. Practice Practice Practice

Now that you’ve done your 1st jump on a heavy adventure motorcycle, it’s time to practice some more. Either stay on the same jump for a while or start looking for larger jumps in your local area.

What’s most important is that you practice the right clutch and throttle control to keep the revs in the right range. For some riders, they pick this up very easily especially if they had dirt riding experience in their younger years. For other riders, it often takes months to feel confident.

A word of caution with jumping

Just remember that most riders don’t jump with their adventure motorcycle for various reasons. Either their bike is too heavy, they’re worried about crashing and the damage it causes or simply are too old to have this much fun.

There is little benefit in doing big jumps with adv motorbikes, unlike dirt bikes. However, you might be interested in simply doing wheelies to get over obstacles.

Either way, don’t ignore the recommended minimum safety gear. In fact, if you’re doing jumps, then you really should have a neck brace on.

If you’re still too nervous, avoid the need to show off or simply join an adventure motorcycling school. You’ll find these across Europe, the UK, the USA and Australia.

In summary: Jump into it

Jumping successfully with adventure bikes simply requires you to start small and grow over time. You will need to have a solid amount of fitness and flexibility to absorb the landing shock, paired with copious amounts of offroading experience.

But once you master these skills, it becomes hard not to show off in the field on a group ride. Just don’t take it too far. 🙂

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Dirt Bike Protection Gear for Kids: The Parent’s Guide

When kids begin dirt biking, you’re bound to be nervous. Both about choosing the right gear, but also the costs involved. Sometimes the cost of the protective gear can equal the cost of the bike itself, as is the case with a used PeeWee 50.

For total bare-bones, we recommend that kids riding dirt bikes wear a proper MX helmet paired with goggles, plus boots, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, plus a jersey and pants. To go a step further, you can also purchase a chest protector and wrist support.

This young rider is wearing inadequate protection gear

Some parents like to purchase a neck brace which reduces the risk of spinal injury if your son or daughter crashes their dirt bike. Many parents decide against these braces since they make it harder for a child to turn their head properly, which could, in turn, increase the risk of a child crashing.

While not bullet-proof, remember that children are much more flexible than adults and are less likely to reach high speeds that could cause a spiral injury upon crashing. Then again – we do need to protect them, so let’s look at some of the most recommend dirt bike protective gear out there for kids.

Best dirt bike gear for kids

In creating this list, we looked at many factors that concern parents. In addition, we noted what existing parents have already done to protect their children out there on the trail.

1. Dirt bike helmet and goggles

It goes without saying – you need a good quality helmet paired with a set of goggles that fits the particular helmet. While much cheaper, a mountain bike helmet just doesn’t offer the same amount of protection that a dirt bike helmet does.

You can buy helmets from dirt bike shops or BMX stores. We never recommend that you buy these items online as you’ll want to be fitted properly. Plus heading to a real store gives your children a chance to window shop at all the very cool looking bikes and other apparel, while also getting to choose their own equipment.

Best dirt bike gear for kids

Dirt bike protective helmets today have come along way over the years. They are now much lighter (often less than 1kg) while also providing lots of ventilation for the rider and superior protection. Let’s not forget the many cool matching google and helmet designs out there that junior dirt bike riders will absolutely love!

Again – resist the temptation to buy a helmet online for kids. Instead, head into your local store and let your children try on a few different designs. Get them to shake their heads to see if it’s the right fit. Chances are that they will really enjoy this experience and be more eager to develop in the sport.

2. MX riding boots

Unlike helmets, you can certainly buy children’s dirt bike boots online. Their sizes are almost always exact, despite the boots looking bigger on the outside. Remember – they have far superior protection and thickness than just about any other type of boot out there.

Instead of buying kids dirt bike boots online, some parents lookup listings on Craigslist or eBay. This is because MX boots are already expensive enough, and when your child needs a new set of boots every year, the costs can really add up.

dirt bike protection for kids

You can often get a decent set of boots that haven’t been worn much for 90% less than you would’ve otherwise paid. While they will be a little dirty, a new pair of MX boots will be dirty enough after your child’s first ride on the dirt.

We recommend the more expensive brands since the boots last for longer and they have more flexibility and breathability. Plus the buckles which are the most common weakness in riding boots are often made stronger with the known brands like O’Neil and Alpinestars.

3. Knee pads and elbow pads

We’re now on to a bit of gear that your son or daughter won’t really like that much. But when they do fall, they’ll pick themselves up immediately with a pair of knee pads and elbow pads.

For many kids, it just feels weird having this ‘thing’ strapped around their legs and arms. And if they’re not wearing proper motocross pants or a jersey, then it certainly can cause chaffing of their skin.

For kids that are stubborn to wear dirt bike knee pads, you can get them to literally fall on the dirt with their knees first. Let them have that falling-to-the-ground sensation where there is zero pain, and in fact, it’s actually fun. You might find that they soon enjoy having these when riding.

Both of these certainly are one of the best dirt bike riding protectors for kids that is both cheap and easy to purchase online. A good set of brand new knee pads shouldn’t cost you more than $30, elbow pads for $20 and there is less importance on the right brand.

4. Dirt-orientated riding gloves

Your children will fall off their dirt bike regularly, despite their best intentions to stay upright. For that reason – you’re going to need a quality set of dirt bike gloves for your juniors. Please avoid cycling gloves as these will tear when your child lands on a loose gravel track.

These days there are numerous brands and many designs on the market, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. The best part is that these are also inexpensive too, with parents often buying several sets at the same time.

When shopping, look for protection. Anything that looks like a light gardening glove isn’t going to provide enough protection. At the same time, you don’t want an adventure-riding glove that is thick because this will limit the movement for your children’s hands on the throttle and brake levers.

Fox and Fly are both great companies which offer MX gloves for both trail riding and racing. These are available for both little boys and little girls, with many sizes available.

5. Quality MX clothing

Lastly, we’re on to dirt bike clothes for kids. What you’ll want is a good quality jersey and pants for days out on the trails.

We recommend:

  • Something that is well priced for your family budget knowing that you’ll need to upgrade the gear in 12 months
  • A size that allows them to grow even further, but the sleeve size doesn’t interfere with their handlebar controls
  • Your climate is taken into account. There are numerous MX winter and summer pants and jerseys available for kids
  • Most importantly – gear that your kid loves the look of. Let them choose their favorite riding colors themselves!

Any of the major MX brands serve children with quality dirt bike jerseys and pants. The jerseys are very affordable but the pants are fitted with special materials which prevent burns from hot dirt bike engines. Keep that in mind and don’t forget to check out Craigslist for lightly used gear for significant discounts.

Wearing the gear

While it’s fun to shop for the gear, your biggest challenge is in getting the kids to actually wear it. You’ll see other kids out there on the trails or tracks wearing gear without a fuss, but you just can’t get your son or daughter to do the same!

We’ve noted previously that it’s best to take them shopping with you. Don’t let dirt bike protective gear be their birthday or Christmas present. This could lead to them being disappointed with the colors that you chose for them.

Taking them into the store gets them really excited. Often these stores feel like candy stores with promotional bikes and videos, plus cool music and a very helpful bunch of staff eager to help both adults and kids with new gear. You could treat it like a family day out!

Often one of the best ways for kids to start wearing their protective gear is to ride with others who do the same. Soon enough they will forget all about how much of a hassle the gear is, and will start bragging. Kids will get talking about where they bought their equipment and how it stopped them from having a big accident on the trail.

Lastly – we’ve found that watching dirt bike videos with kids ingrains in them that you can only ride a dirt bike once fully kitted up. Like putting on a seat belt in a car, children will quickly realize that they can’t hit the tail without their gear properly fitted.

In summary: Kids are worth it

While there is an upfront cost to buying children’s protection gear for the trails, hospital costs can far outweigh this.

Now let’s not forget the cost to your children’s confidence out there on the trails. If they have a big crash, they are far less likely to get back on their bike on the next trip.

You don’t need to spend a fortune. For many of these items, you don’t even need to buy them new. Kids and worth it and can be protected at any cost.

What’s most important is that you get the right gear that your child actually likes and therefore will treasure as much as their dirt bike.

Often this is their first foray into the world of offroad adventures. Make it a great experience for the long term by investing in the right gear early on.

If you need some more help choosing the right type of gear for your children, then reach out to us today here at Frontaer.

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Welcome to Frontaer (Leading the Journey)

This is our 1st blog post on Frontaer. Welcome to the dirt party!

Frontaer and our mission

We’re Frontaer and we’re building this website as a content-rich resource for adventure riders and offroad motorcycle enthusiasts. If you have even a mild interest in the world of getting away from the bitumen, then we’re the crew for you.

We aim to create:

  • In-depth motorcycling guides for the adventure rider, both nationally and internationally
  • A range of high-quality adventure motorcycling gear that genuinely goes the distance

After riding his first motorcycle at the age of 15, our owner Joshua Smith endeavours to create a superior product for men and women of all ages. Our main aim is integrity; for our content and products.

We have a high emphasis on helping children into the sport as well, without breaking the bank. Our offroad motorcycling gear needs to be affordable and functional, without the cheap feeling of Chinese-made goods.

The most important person is you as the individual. Our customers will make our brand epic as a closely held relationship, much like Yamaha, KTM and Honda have built brand loyalty over the years. If there were 3 brands we aim to mimic, then it’s these 3.

In a nutshell

Our website will continue to develop over time. Our first 12 months will be the hardest but we envision becoming one of the top 10 ADV and MX brands internationally in the next 5 to 7 years, as opposed to an overnight success story. That all starts with creating engagement with our targetted audience.

We believe that by helping individuals and delivering value upfront, we can be of the greatest assistance to our readers. That will be built through content that is very helpful for both beginners and experienced riders of all ages.

From a standing start today, in March 2020 with the challenges of the world right now, we’re ready to begin.

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Xtreme Motorbikes Review: Are They Any Good?

Xtreme Motorbikes have a mixed reputation among the dirt bike community in Perth, so we’re giving an unbiased perspective.

Frontaer is a helpful motorcycle apparel brand and we’ve written one of the best guides out there on where to ride your dirt bike in Perth.

We’re also unbiased in our approach to researching and validating the claims of companies in the industry. Our aim is to make the industry more honest and transparent.

Xtreme Motorbikes Review

When you’re getting our kids into dirt bike riding or riding anything offroad for that nature, you probably don’t want to spend a fortune. Head into of the popular dealers like KTM and Honda, and you’ll soon realize just how expensive normal dirt bikes actually are. Those prices put these dirt bikes in the realms of FIFO workers on $200k packages. What about the rest of us?

Fortunately, there are some companies filling the void. Xtreme Motorbikes is one such company whose mission is to make offroad adventures more accessible for families across Western Australia.

Now – their reviews aren’t too impressive. Some customer complaints surround the general service given to people who have already spent money there.

What you’ll find is that Chinese bikes aren’t that reliable, but they’re also much more affordable at the same time. When we say ‘not that reliable’, they aren’t that much less than your typical Yamaha or Honda but yes, they do break when put through the harsh Western Australian conditions.

Fortunately, this company has plenty of parts on hand if issues arise.

Customer Complaints

Have you read those negative reviews from customers that had an issue? It doesn’t tell the whole story. This is because most people aren’t likely to leave a 5-star review or any type of feedback when buying a product, but will readily leave a 1-star review when they feel like they’ve been wronged.

So it’s likely that Xtreme Motorbikes would actually sit around the 4.5 star mark.

That said, the main complaints are surrounding the rude nature of staff as opposed to the motorcycles themselves. Assuming you don’t have an issue with your pit bike, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever have to deal with any of these issues.

Cost vs Benefit

When looking at buying one of these, you’re hoping that everything will be okay in the end. Likewise, you’re probably wondering if you should save up for a Honda or Yamaha.

What we look at is two things:

  • The opportunity cost. How many weekends are going to fly by before your kids get to experience the joy of offroad riding.
  • The Cost vs Benefit. You’re buying a cheap Chinese dirt bike to get out there, but will it break down in the first 5 minutes? With the advancement of technology, China has become quite reliable in producing a better quality engine that can go for miles and miles.

Just like doing the big lap around Australia, we don’t believe there will ever be the ‘best’ time to get one, only the right time. And for many, that right time is now.

With good weather in Perth year-round and some good spots to go riding, there isn’t really any excuse not to get your kids started in the world of dirt bikes. Unless they’re competing at a state or national level, Chinese dirt bikes will do just fine. Likewise, you can find some good used deals on Gumtree and eBay.

In Short

Xtreme Motorcycles isn’t the only Chinese pit bike dealer in Perth, but they’re certainly the largest and one that has been in business for a long time. If you’re looking for a track record of success and actually knowing their bikes inside and out, they’re certainly a good option.

While your’e here, do check out Perth’s dirt bike tracks guide.

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