So you’ve just bought a dirt bike and want to learn how to jump over hills, so in this guide, we’ll teach you how to do jumping safely and quickly.
In a previous guide, we taught you how to jump with a heavy adventure bike. This is a good guide if you’re an adventure rider, but what if you’ve got a much lighter dirt bike? Well – dirt bike jumping just got a whole lot more fun!
How to jump with a dirt bike
Jumping successfully with an MX dirt bike is both an art and a science requiring smooth throttle and clutch control, with taking on a central standing position for the rider.
But let’s break this down for you into bite-sized chunks:
1. Set up your dirt bike first
Most accidents happen because riders didn’t have their dirt bike properly set up first. You need to be able to reach all your controls easily when jumping which includes the brake and clutch levers. Also – don’t forget to adjust your suspension for a more enjoyable rodeo session.
2. Scout for the right-sized jumps
There is no chance that you’ll be able to hit a Travis Pastrana jump your 1st time around. Even he started small and grew over time. What you’ll want to find are jumps that are appropriate for your size and experience level. For an adventure motorcycle, we recommended 10 inches while dirt bikes can go for 15 inch high jumps initially.
3. Ensure the path is clear
We wouldn’t recommend double-sided jumps initially. These are where there is a landing ramp after the jump. If you come up short or overshoot this, then you’re likely going to crash and could either injure yourself or damage your motorcycle. Look for a clear pathway after the jump itself.
4. Keep your dirt bike straight
A dirt bike which is jumping while cornering is likely to crash. You’ll want to ensure you hit the jump nice and straight to ensure a steady landing. If it’s a windy day then take this into account – you may have to ride slightly into the wind.
5. Crouch when jumping
Crouching is also known as the attack position, where you are more aggressive but also the ablest to respond to the terrain. This position with bent elbows and knees provides the best control while also being safe for your body parts. After a long day of jumping, you won’t feel so sore.
6. Select the right gear
You’ll want to keep the revs in the mid-range. For that reason, selecting the right gear for the jump, terrain and rider ability is very important. Often 3rd gear is ideal for total beginners, but don’t be afraid to adjust this based on your sprocket used and the gear ratios as they differ between motorcycle brands.
7. Throttle all the way
Throttle throughout the jump. There is little value in backing off and this will increase the chance of crashing if you do so. Use your clutch if you have to (to prevent stalling) but otherwise, especially for small jumps, keep that throttle right where you had it.
8. Land and ride on
Avoid the temptation to jump on the brakes immediately unless there is a hazard such as a tight corner. Instead, keep powering on after you land your dirt bike. This will help keep you upright while making you feel more confident like a boss.
MX and birt bike jumping tutorial
While we’ve shared some good tips here, it can be hard without a visual on just how to jump a dirt bike properly. Whether you’re on a backcountry trail or MX track, you’ll find this to be super helpful:
Our friends at the MX Factory demonstrate to beginners exactly how to jump their dirt bike properly. Essentially, focus on your body position, throttle delivery and landing with the throttle on.
The same principles apply to 2-stroke and electric motorcycles, though these have greater torque that needs to be taken into account. Electric bikes such as the KTM E-Ride also have no clutch but also have no chance of stalling mid-way through your jump.
Jumping with a dirt bike is easy once you master it. Unlike a fully loaded adventure motorcycle, you can certainly throw around a dirt bike and be less fatigued at the end of the day. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it’s also helpful to get you over obstacles while improving your MX lap times.
At the same time, such maneuvers are dangerous. Anyone who jumps well has years of riding experience behind them making the entire art of dirt bike jumping look easy. Just remember to wear all your protective gear and find a safe and quiet spot to practice. It’s all about the practice before perfection.