Whether or not you are an accomplished road rider, or have never before ridden a motorcycle, off-road riding is an exciting prospect. Here in Australia, we have stunning natural beauty to explore and there’s no better way to do that than heading off into the sunrise on a nice moto-cross bike.
Here are a few tips for novice off-road riders.
- Getting the Right Bike – The Yamaha YZ125X is the perfect starter bike, with a durable ride that has all the power you need in any gear. The 125cc liquid-cooled single cylinder, 2-stroke engine delivers the power to the back wheel, with a 6-speed gearbox that is smooth and dependable.
- Be Prepared – Riding in remote areas demands a level of preparation, which includes a good basic toolkit, a tyre puncture repair outfit and a flashlight. You might want to consider a short-wave radio if you are heading into territory with no cell phone coverage, or at least inform someone of your outing, telling them you will call when you return.
- Wearing Protective Gear – It is essential that you are adequately protected when riding; a good quality helmet with goggles, a pair of motorcycle gloves, a leather jacket and either leather or denim jeans, with boots for ankle support. You also need a lightweight rain suit, one that can be folded away and extracted quickly. Sunglasses are also recommended, with polarised lenses and a UV400 rating. It is important to have good vision when riding, so make sure you have a good pair of polarised sunglasses.
- Two-Finger Clutch Operation – Adjust your clutch caliper so it can be operated with the first two fingers, which means you do not have to loosen your grip on the handlebars, especially when standing on the foot pegs.
- Leaning Back – When riding across uneven terrain, you want to take the weight off the front wheel and by leaning back as you ride, you are also adding more traction to the back wheel, while taking weight from the front.
- Avoid Front Wheel Braking – Especially important when turning, it is safer to use the rear brake, which can slide without causing any problems and this is something you learn by experience.
If you choose the right bike and enrol in a short off-road riding course, you will learn how to control the bike on a range of surfaces and as time passes, you will soon become an accomplished rider. Never ride at speeds you don’t feel comfortable with and if you are unfamiliar with the terrain, don’t take anything for granted.