Dirt Bike Trails


Motocross is my favorite thing to do on a dirt bike, but when I’m not able to go to a track I love to ride on trails. Dirt bike trails are usually safer than motocross tracks, and they are a lot of fun to ride on, especially if there are challenging obstacles. This article will give you an idea what dirt bike trails consist, the dangers that can lurk in them, and some tips on how to protect you and your bike.

Dirt Bike Trails

Trail riding is a cheaper alternative for riding your dirt bike instead of motocross racing. There are many trail riding areas in pretty much every state, so finding one within a reasonable distance shouldn’t be that difficult for most people. For those of you that don’t have state or local trails near you, or riders that just don’t want to pay for a state trail sticker, you can make trails on your own property if you have woods. I make my own dirt bike trails and they are a blast to ride on, especially with some buddies.

There are many aspects that make trail riding unique and unusually exciting. First of all, when else are you going to be blitzing through the woods with trees flying past your face on a vehicle? It’s the adrenaline of trying to master the obstacles in the trails that makes it so exhilarating. The things that make dirt bike trails challenging are the traction-less hill-climbs, the trees smacking your hands, roots causing you to lose balance, or the hills that you happen to high-side and fall down. Other things like the fallen trees or added obstacles such as big rocks, logs, cars, wooden walls, and anything else riders can think of make it all the more exciting. It’s that “I think I can” spirit combined with the adrenaline rush that makes trail riding so purely awesome.

Fallen Trees

Getting over these objects is easier said than done. Riding over big trees is not always simple to do, especially if the tree is at an awkward angle. To get over big trees you can’t just go fast and hope for the best. You want to go nice and easy, otherwise you’ll end up tipping over or the bike will land on top of you. To get over a big tree you should sit more towards the rear of the bike and raise the front of the bike up with the throttle and arm strength, then once you get on top of the tree you should move your weight to the front of the bike so you don’t flip. It often happens that the bottom of the bike will hit the tree. This will scratch up the frame and possibly the engine. Don’t let this happen, so guard the frame and engine with a Works Connection Skid Plate.

Hill-Climbs

 

I love riding up big and steep hills on my dirt bike, and it’s even more fun when there’s trees, branches, and ruts that you must surpass in the woods. To have great trails you must have elevation change, and that is sometimes difficult to come by if you don’t have state trails nearby. So if you have a good amount of hills then you are lucky. Riding up hills often requires momentum, traction, power, and balance. Of course you don’t always need all of these, but they are the things that will help get you up those nasty slopes. Getting momentum is simply building up as much speed before the hill as possible. This takes skill and guts sometimes, but also makes riding a lot more exciting. Traction comes from body positioning/balance, a good rear tire, and throttle control. Normally you should put weight on the rear of the bike to get traction, unless the dirt is really tacky, and rolling on the power instead of snapping it will allow the tire to hook up more. It’s the rider that makes it up the hill and usually not the bike, but a little extra power doesn’t hurt (check out my “FMF Fatty Pipe Review” for more power).

Roots/Ruts

Roots and ruts…. “What’s the difference?” you may ask, and I will tell you because you don’t want to get them confused when talking to another riding buddy. Roots are the vines of the trees that come up on trails usually from a lot of use and rundown. They are usually not difficult to ride over, but if there are a lot of roots that criss-cross and face every angle they tend to mess up your balance at times. Probably the easiest way to get over roots is to stand up and stay neutral on the bike, that way you can shift your weight more easily if you need to, and you might have to use your legs as suspension if you hit a rough root or three.

Ruts are the grooves that form after continuous use of one line. The tracks of ruts often get so deep on dirt bike trails that your foot pegs drag on the ground. The deeper the rut is the nastier it will be to get in and out of it. The key is to get maximum traction so you can ride through the entire rut. To have traction you must be smooth with the throttle and sometimes have momentum coming into the rut. You want to get the most traction so you can get through the rut, and so you won’t roost and eat away the dirt. Roosting is fine if you want to do it on your own dirt bike trails, but try not to on state trails because it just ruins it for other riders.

Get some on road practice with one of these Lexmoto 125cc motorbikes and improve your riding awareness.

Rocks

Rocks can be very difficult obstacles to overcome. It’s not just the size of the rock that’s intimidating, but the shape also matters because it requires a lot more strength to keep the bike balanced while riding over them. Getting over a rock is similar to riding over big logs, except you have to be more careful with your weight distribution and throttle control. Too much throttle and you’ll tip over, and you’ll fall if you are not balanced. There can be luck involved with getting over big rocks, but it’s mainly skill and experience. Rocks can be dangerous to you and your bike. Your elbows can easily get scraped or punctured, along with the rest of your body. You can protect them with some Fox Racing Elbow Guards, or your entire body with EVS Body Armor, you’ll be glad you did. Pipes can also get damaged; rocks dent, crack, and puncture pipes, sometimes beyond repair. Protect your two-stroke with a Pipe Guard By E Line.

Branches/Trees

 

What is more annoying than your hands constantly getting whipped by trees and branches while trying to hold on to the handlebars? I know I hate it, and I’m sure you don’t enjoy it. A good way to dodge branches is to stand up so you can easily tilt and turn your handlebars. But to do this you need balance, strength, and stamina. After a while it gets tiring if you are moving the bike, so instead of using up all of your energy you could protect you precious hands with a pair of Cycra Hand Guards.

All of these obstacles that I mentioned and more give the challenge that riders want. Riding on dirt bike trails is a relatively safe activity for dirt biking (check out my Dirt Bike Trails Protection article if you want to stay safer). It’s even more satisfying when you ride on trails that you personally made. So if you have some land, go out and make some trails, even if there are state trails near you. Either way, get out and ride some trails, especially if you haven’t tried it. They are are blast, I can guarantee it!

Good luck, and ride safe.

-Tom Stark

 

 

 

Fox Racing HC Jersey & 180 Pants – Review


When I first started racing motocross I was surprised by how many riders that were wearing motocross jerseys and pants. I guess it’s almost a must in this sport because you have to ‘look good’ while riding. I got the Fox Racing 180 Pants and HC Jersey. Being that Fox is one of, if not, the biggest company that sells motocross gear and apparel, I had higher expectations for these.

Comfort

HC Jersey
Fox Racing HC Jersey

The Fox Racing 180 jersey is comfortable to wear with anything. I got a couple sizes bigger (XL) than usual because I have EVS BJ22 body armor. My legs and waist are abnormal, so I always have trouble finding pants with the right size waist and leg length. For the Fox 180 pants I got size 28 and haven’t had any problems for the couple seasons I’ve used them. They fit great and are comfortable to wear. The Fox 180 jersey and pants have never bothered me while riding, and they don’t rub or scratch any part of my body. The air flow on the jersey is decent, but on warmer days I get a little sweaty. The 180 pants didn’t have as much air flowing to my legs as much as I had hoped, so they got sweaty almost every ride. Although, my legs are usually the warmest part of my body, and I hardly feel the dampness until I am done riding and take off the pants.

Protection

180 Pants
Fox Racing 180 Pants


Most jerseys usually don’t offer a whole lot of protection, and the 180 jersey isn’t much different. It just gives a layer covering your upper body and arms. It doesn’t have any extra elbow padding, but the jersey helps keep another layer of skin on if you crash and skid on the ground. The Fox 180 pants, on the other hand, do give me good protection all the way from the waist to my feet. These pants are double-layered, so they have a lot of padding to protect my legs. It has panels that stretch so I can be more mobile, but they are strong in case of a crash. The inner knee panels are leather, which makes them heat and abrasion resistant. At the waist there is padding all the way around. That is really helpful because falling on your side and butt can happen a lot.

Style

Fox Racing is known for their cool and unique designs that they put on their gear. Although the 180 pants and jersey are their less-expensive combo, I still think they look great and match well with any bike. I got the blue because I have a Yamaha, and they look awesome together.

Racing with Fox gear.

Quality

Well, I’ve had these for a few years while riding and racing both BMX and Motocross, and they still look hardly used. Does that say anything about their quality? They may not last as long for other riders because many don’t take good care of their gear. I just wash mine every couple rides or if they get really dirty, and there are no noticeable stains on them still!

The Fox 180 Jersey & Pants Combo are perfect for beginners or riders that want a little of everything for a good price. They’re a great combo and I would definitely recommend them for all riders that want to ‘go with the flow’.

Click Here To Buy My Fox Gear


-Tom Stark

EVS BJ22 Ballistic Body Armor – Review


Have you ridden your dirt bike and crashed hard without wearing any protection on upper body? It hurts, doesn’t it? And it doesn’t always go away after a couple hours either. I don’t like it either, which is why I started looking for some full-body protection. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, so when I found the EVS BJ22 Ballistic Jersey I jumped at the chance.

What Does Full Protection Mean?

The EVS BJ22 features full torso & new design elbow protection. Full torso padding covers your chest, stomach, and your complete back. You really can’t get much more protection than that.

What If It Gets Dirty?

Don’t worry, this jersey armor is fully machine washable. This makes cleaning it a whole lot easier, and you don’t have to ride with smelly gear. I recommend you air dry it though.

No Elbow Pads Required!

BJ22 Ultra Ballistic Jersey
EVS BJ22 Body Armor

The EVS Ballistic Jersey has built in elbow pads and shoulder protection. This means you don’t have to go out and buy more gear to put on your body and restrict your extension while riding. With the BJ22 Jersey I have no problem with moving around, even with the EVS RC2 on. They are made of strong plastic, and stay together very well.

You Don’t Get Back Protection Like This From A Normal Chest Protector!

The BJ22 is body armor for a reason. The back padding is similar to the front, protecting your backside if you fall and slide or hit something. It is more useful than you may think! Have you fell and hit another riders foot-peg on the way down? That will leave a mark for quite some time.

Less Pain From Riding?!

Something that many riders don’t, but possibly should be wearing, is a kidney belt. The Ballistic Jersey comes with a built-in, double-closure kidney belt, allowing you to adjust it to any size you want. What a kidney belt does is keep your back and stomach tight and straight while riding. It helps reduce back pain, and will keep your internals from juggling around when you stop abruptly from hitting something. It’s so easy to use, and isn’t uncomfortable for me while riding or racing.

What’s Hot?

  • Excellent upper-body protection
  • Light and easy-to-use built-in kidney belt
  • Light-weight and stretchable material
  • Articulating spine protection
  • Machine washable

What’s Not?

  • Shoulder pads are bulky
  • Elbow/shoulder pads are not removable
  • Hard to turn your head with a neck brace
  • Requires a larger sized jersey to fit over

What Are Others Saying About The EVS BJ-22?

  • It has protectors everywhere and is superbly comfortable
  • I would highly recommend this product to anyone looking for top of the line protection without spending an arm and a leg.
  • Very light riding jersey with enough protection to keep you alive and feeling good

Where Can I Get An EVS BJ22 Ballistic Jersey?

Click Here to Buy My Body Armor

-Tom Stark