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Motorbikes: Noting the difference between riding a road bike and racing a motocross around a track, and how road bike riders can prepare themselves for their first time on a dirtbike.

What You Should Know About Making the Switch From Road to Dirt Bike

With the AMSOIL Arenacross coming up, you might be thinking about making the transition from your own road bike to a motocross bike; dreaming about racing around the track and crossing the finish line with your hands in the air. After all, riding a motocross bike is the same as riding a road bike...right?! For this article, Bill Rigdon AMSOIL Dealer have some basic information to share about what difference you can expect when riding a dirt bike.

Watch Their Stance

While it might be a stretch to use the word comfortable when describing sitting on a road bike, when you look at the stance of a motocross rider, you can see the word comfortable isn't going to be used for dirt bikes. To keep up with the constant change in their center of balance, motocross riders spend most of their time crouching on their pegs. If you are looking to practice your stance, take your current bike somewhere open and free of distractions. When you're there, throttle slowly and practice changing your position into more of a crouch than a full sit. It's going to feel strange at first - especially because it's a road bike - but the fundamentals are there.

Control the Throttle

While nobody is saying it would be a smooth ride, pulling the throttle too hard from take off on the road is just going to give you a jolt forward. Likely with enough time to correct yourself. On a dirt track, however, it's a whole different story. Pull the throttle too hard, and your wheel is going to spin. This is likely to end up in you falling over. When it comes to adjusting to controlling your throttle, practice makes perfect. If you can, take your regular road bike on to different and loose surfaces and practice standing starts from a range of different ground. One of the aspects of motorcycles that both road bike and dirtbike owners share is regular engine maintenance. In fact, just like your regular bike, the level of performance which a motocross rider sees from their bike depends on the quality of fluids they're putting in it. Speak with Bill Rigdon AMSOIL Dealer at (503) 329-9004 to find which product, like AMSOIL's Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil is right for your bike, or take a look through the online store for more information.

Think About What's Ahead

Gearing up and down on a road bike is a pretty straight forward task. Keep gearing up until you reach your cruising speed, and then sit. A motocross rider, however, needs to be constantly thinking about the obstacles ahead, which gear they need to be in to get around it, and how long they can ride the gear they're in until they need to change. It can seem easy enough until you realize that the rides are making these calculations at 3-second intervals as they race around the track. To prepare for this one, take your road bike to smaller roads which are windier and include tighter corners than you are used to riding around. If you can find streets which also include inclines - even better. This is a good way to keep you always thinking about gears and helping you to plan ahead.

Riding and Safety Gear

The mechanics of the safety is very similar; it's true. But there are many differences between the fit and the style of dirt bike and road bike safety gear. With the constant need for full movement, dirt bike riding gear is geared towards rider flexibility. Similarly, the design changes in the helmet allow for the addition of goggles, along with providing protection from the sun.

All Engines Can Benefit From a Synthetic Oil Change

This isn't an exhaustive list, but it does include the basics for you to consider when deciding to switch from a road bike to a dirt bike. Whichever you choose, be sure to treat your engine well and use only high-quality products during your regular maintenance. Products like AMSOIL's Formula 4-Stroke Power Sports Synthetic Motor Oil have been designed to help your bike perform at its best. Speak with Bill Rigdon AMSOIL Dealer at (503) 329-9004 to find out more, or check out the online store for more information on each of the products available.

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