3 Easy Dirt Bike Throttle Control Tips To Prevent Crashes

Are you a new rider or just struggling with basic riding technique? I want to show you 3 simple, but important dirt bike throttle control tips. 

These tips will give you more control and help prevent wheelies that end up putting you on the ground or into a tree. These are the same tips that I teach new riders in person and in my Virtual Dirt Biker School. 

Body Position To Prevent Wheelies

How you position your body on your dirt bike key to proper riding technique. Poor body position will wear you out quicker and can lead to more crashes because you don’t have as much control over your bike.

Accidental wheelies or “whiskey throttle” can happen from poor clutch control, but in this article I want to help improve your throttle control. 

The first thing you should do is move your body forward on the seat. Your butt should be close to the gas cap while still being comfortable to hang onto the handlebars. This will greatly reduce the risk of doing a wheelie for a couple of reasons. 

One; more weight is on the front of the bike. This means that it’s harder to lift the front wheel off the ground when you hit the throttle and accelerate. 

Two; You’re able to stay in control of the throttle if you slide back on the bike. 

For example:

You start moving in first gear, but you accidentally give it too much gas. Unexpectedly, you slide back further on the seat, which causes you to twist the throttle even more. And then, you guessed it, you wheelie and fall back and your butt lands on the ground. 

Staying forward just gives you more room before you get out of control. 

Arm Position For Good Throttle Control

Poor arm position is another common beginner mistake. Leaving your elbows and arms relaxed and down low will limit your leverage and mobility. In other words, you won’t be able to control the throttle, clutch, and dirt bike as well as you could. 

So, what’s proper technique for your arms and elbows?

They should be up, but not too high. I like to have my arms inline with my wrists, fingers, and levers. This gives me good control and comfort gripping the throttle and brake lever. I also have better leverage when I need to pull or push the bars if the bike starts getting out of control. 

How To Be Smooth & Stay In Control

Moving to the actual throttle movement, you must train your hand how to properly twist the throttle. 

“Smooth is fast, and fast is smooth”. Learning how to be smooth will, over time, make you a faster rider and allow you to ride longer because you don’t get tired as quickly. 

So, how do you learn to be smooth with the throttle? Simply by feeling how the bike is working as you roll on the gas. 

Just whacking the throttle wide open may accelerate you quickly in a straight line, but once you start cornering and and riding technical terrain it’s not so easy. 

You must slowly “roll-on” the throttle so that the rear tire gets the most traction and doesn’t slide out. 

Bottom Line For Dirt Bike Throttle Control

Want to ride longer, accelerate quicker, and ride more challenging trails? You must learn basic techniques and master them before moving on to more advanced techniques. 

Here’s what you need to keep in mind for proper throttle control on your dirt bike:

  • Beginners need proper body position to prevent wheelies
  • Use your arms for comfort and leverage
  • Learn how to be in tune with your throttle and rear wheel

Want to go more in depth and learn how to master basic dirt bike skills faster so that you can have more fun and ride faster while being safer? Check out my Virtual Dirt Biker School here

Kelley Fager

I help new riders learn how to safely ride and understand how to tune and fix their dirt bike in their garage.

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