How to Ride an Enduro Bike


Children, teens and adults can easily learn to ride an enduro bike. The recommended minimum age is 9, according to Gary Laplante, author of "How to Ride Off-Road Motorcycles." Commonly called a dirt bike, the enduro is very similar to a motocross bike. It features a large, loud engine and a large gas tank. Enduro bikes are rarely street legal unless altered. They are primarily used for racing in competitions.

  • Choose the right location to take your first shot at riding. Smooth pavement provides too much traction. Find out where your local riding areas are. A good place to start is your local bike shop, says Laplante. Official public riding areas such as U.S. Forest Service land provide a variety of roads, trails and race tracks. Public riding areas are typically marked on most local maps, which you can find at your local Bureau of Land Management office. The ideal location is flat with firm dirt, free of trees and rocks.

  • Check your bike's hardware in preparation and make sure everything is working properly. Everything you need to know about your bike's operation is located in the owner's manual. If you have questions about the bike's hardware and operation, talk to someone at your local bike shop prior to going riding.

  • Make sure you know the rules and regulations of your designated riding area before you head out for a spin. For example, some riding areas require that your bike have a spark arrestor, which is a device that prevents flammable emissions.

  • Sit comfortably on your bike and kick-start it by moving the lever with your leg until it stops against the foot peg. You may need to jump into the air with your left leg so you can come down forcefully on the kick lever with your weight.

  • Straighten the handlebars and make sure you have a clear path forward. It helps if you can find the least congested spot in the riding area. Make sure you sit forward a little and lean slightly forward with your arms bent. It's common for beginners to sit incorrectly with their arms too straight.

  • Put the bike in first gear and slowly release the clutch. Simultaneously give it a little throttle so you begin to move forward. Go a short distance and prepare to stop. As a beginner, you should focus on being able to move forward for a short distance and stop smoothly.

  • Put both feet out and gently apply the front and rear break at the same time. Pull the clutch in and you should come to a slow stop. Repeat this exercise several times, but increase the distance each time. This is called a start-and-go drill and it's a good way for beginners to learn how to ride an enduro bike.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find a good riding partner to learn from. Experienced riders are typically more than happy to assist newcomers.
  • Always wear a full set of protective off-road gear including boots, heavy-duty pants, knee, hip, shoulder and elbow pads as well as a heavy-duty jersey.

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