Wondering how to stand while riding a dirt bike so that you’re more comfortable and confident, and use less energy? Knowing how to properly stand is extremely important, but so many people make the mistake of trying to figure it out on their own.
This causes them to ride with less control and get physically exhausted quicker.
In this article, I want to show you the benefits of standing on the pegs properly, why it’s difficult for some people, and then how to correctly position yourself on any dirt bike to ride off-road while standing.
Why is body position so important for riding a dirt bike?
Riding a dirt bike is way more than just sitting and twisting a throttle, contrary to what some people think. It’s not hard to ride on flat ground in an open area, but riding technical trails or on a motocross track with control is very difficult if you’re a beginner.
An average adult size dirt bike weighs about 250 pounds, so you’re trying to handle and balance all the weight which is getting bounced around. The rougher the terrain and faster you go, the harder it is to stay in control, unless you have proper body position while riding.
When you use your body efficiently, you’ll be able to ride with confidence because you have more control while riding faster with less energy. To be efficient, you have to know how to use your feet, legs, hips, back, arms, hands, and head while riding.
Riding a dirt bike vs street bike
While you can sit on both types of motorcycles, riding a dirt bike generally requires a lot more standing if you want to have the most control of your bike. Not only that, but the body position is different when riding off-road in many ways.
There are a lot of similarities between a street bike and a dirt bike, but you’ll be surprised how many little differences there are when riding off-road if you’re used to riding on the street. You have to make changes to your technique because of the lack of traction in the dirt.
For example, riding a flat turn on your dirt bike requires you to shift your weight towards the outside of the bike. So, if you’re turning left then you put your weight into the right footpeg to get the most traction so that your tires don’t slide out.
How do you position yourself on a dirt bike?
The proper position on a dirt bike really depends on what the bike needs to be doing and what it will be doing.
For example, if you’re coming up to a turn, then you need to move your body so that your legs absorb the force of slowing down, rather than your arms and hands. This greatly reduces arm fatigue.
To position yourself on a dirt bike, it all starts with your feet, and then you work your way up your legs, hips, back, arms, and then head. They all work together – or at least they should.
The standing attack position – what is it?
In dirt biking terms, the standard proper technique for standing is to use the “attack position”. It’s simply the neutral position your body should be in while standing on the pegs, but that’s just the beginning.
The correct attack position for standing on your dirt bike requires you to have your:
- Feet are properly placed on the footpegs for the best control and to prevent injuries
- Your knees are unlocked but not bent too much
- Your hips are unlocked so that they can freely move forward and backward
- Your back straight for control and proper breathing
This is true, whether you’re racing motocross, trail riding, or dual sport riding while standing.
Standing vs sitting
Being able to stand while riding a dirt bike is extremely important if you want the most control, but you don’t need to stand 100% of the time.
Standing gives you the most leverage and ability to balance because you can shift your body weight the most. Sitting down is often better when you’re doing a lot of cornering on relatively flat terrain.
It also depends on your riding style. For example, when I’m riding on a tight woods trail, I like to sit down a lot as long as the terrain is smooth. The rougher it gets, the more likely I am to stand because it’s easier to absorb the bumps with my legs.
How to stand while riding an adventure bike/motorcycle
The same techniques apply from the smallest dirt bike to the biggest advantage bike. The correct standing position while riding off-road will virtually always be the same because you need to have proper balance.
Using the attack position as a starting point is key because it allows you to stay easily balanced and take the load off of your hands and arms. You can also use the stock handlebars on most bikes – a common mistake is thinking you need taller bars to stand up comfortably.
What should you NOT do while riding a dirt bike?
The real problem is how you position yourself when standing. Standing up too tall makes you think you need tall bars, but in reality, you are just poorly positioned and out of balance.
Standing too tall shifts your weight towards the rear, making the front end lighter. If you’re already back, then you have only one direction you can go – forward!
So, you should not do these things while riding a dirt bike:
- Stand up too tall
- Put all the weight on your arms and hands
- Stand on your heels with your toes pointed outward
- Use all 4 fingers on the clutch and brake lever.
How to corner on a dirt bike while standing
Standing while cornering has some major advantages as far as building your technique and confidence. It requires you to have better balance and control because the center of gravity is higher while leaning over and you can’t put a leg down.
To corner while standing, you really have to focus on how you’re positioning yourself and where you’re shifting your weight. If it’s a rutted corner, the faster you go the more you have to lean or else your bike will want to stand straight up and blow over the rut.
How to ride a dirt bike faster
Just get on the back and gas it, right? That’s about the quickest way to crash faster…
To ride a dirt bike faster on a single-track trail or the motocross track, you must be able to properly control your bike. This requires learning the proper techniques to stay balanced and get traction.
For example, using the proper standing position that you learned above, combined with good clutch and throttle control are key techniques to riding with confidence and control.
Become a better rider faster
If you want to quickly build your confidence so that you ride faster and safer, then I want to give you a free gift. It’s my quick and practical basic techniques guide. Click here to get it.