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Dirt Bike Crashes – When, How, and Why

By Mark Sturge

Dirt Bike Crashes are sometimes comical, are usually painful, and unfortunately they sometimes have dire consequences. Dirt bike crashes are bound to happen to every rider at some point, and no amount of safety gear is going to prevent you from crashing.

Basically, what you will discover is that there are two dirt bike racer categories. The first category is made up of racers who have been down, and the second is racers who are going to go down.

Ask any dirt bike enthusiast and they’ll likely have a few crash stories to tell you. Some stories you may hear include classic crash scenarios such as the slow graceful slide as you lose the rear wheel, here classical music playing and wonder if it’s ever going to end to the ‘out of the blue’, slam into the ground as if a hand reached out of middle earth and grabbed your front wheel leaving your head spinning as your on the ground thinking “What the…”

It’s not just reckless and inexperienced drivers who wind up in crashes like the one described above, even the most experienced dirt bikers can crash. Thus, remember, they can happen to anyone.

When do dirt bike crashes happen? Dirt bike crashes often happen when you least expect them too, and when you are an inexperienced rider. They can also happen when a rider:

  • Is in full flight
  • Is going down a straight at full throttle
  • Is barely moving
  • Is performing a jump
  • Is starting off
  • Etc.

How do dirt bike crashes happen? Dirt bike crashes can happen at any time and at any speed. They can occur:

  • By hitting a bump
  • By clipping tires with another rider
  • By making the wrong decision
  • By losing control of the bike
  • Etc.

Why do dirt bike crashes happen? Usually there isn’t any one reason why a dirt bike crash happens. Sometimes it’s because something goes wrong with the bike. Other times it could be caused by another rider losing control and crashing into you, or it could simply be caused by a pure and utter fluke. That being said, some causes that make you more susceptible to crashing include:

  • Fatigue - if you are tired your mind is only half working, and your reflexes and motor skills are not at their full strength.
  • Lack of fitness - Being in shape helps you better control and maneuver your body with your bike. You will also develop faster motor skills, and improve your hand-eye coordination.
  • Lack of concentration - You need focus when you are riding your dirt bike. You should never race when you are overly emotional. For instance, if you are angry because you just had a fight with your best friend, your mind will be more focused on the fight than it will be on the upcoming turn on the track.
  • Riding beyond your skill level - You should ride at the level you are comfortable. If you are an inexperienced rider you shouldn't be trying to perform jumps or stunts that are beyond your skill. Recklessly riding your dirt bike is a fast pass to a hospital bed.
  • Riding too fast for a section - While you can crash at any speed, you are more likely to crash if you are speeding around certain areas of a track that aren't designed for that speed. You need to control your speed around turns, ditches, etc. Pre-walking a track is an important aspect of any motocross meet.
  • Attempting an obstacle you're not ready for - If you don't feel comfortable performing a stunt or trick you don't think you're ready for, or you know you are not ready for, don't do it. It's that simple.

Ways to avoid crashes While you may not be able to avoid every crash that has your name on it, there are ways that you can improve your chances of being involved in fewer and less serious crashes:

Practice – Take the time to practice and improve your skill level. While practicing won’t make you perfect, it will certainly reduce your chance of crashing.

Train – Developing a training regimen and stick to it. If you truly want to enjoy racing your dirt bike, you need to take the sport seriously. Devote time to your hobby.

Think Smart - Getting rid of the “Win or Bail trying” attitude. Ride with common sense and put your safety first. Winning isn’t worth dying for.

Wear Protective Gear – Wearing the proper gear will help you walk away from crashes with minor injuries. The most important protective gear is the helmet. You should never ride without a helmet. Quite frankly that’s just plain stupid and suicidal. Other great items you can wear include proper boots, trousers, jersey, and gloves.

Mark Sturge is the webmaster at http://www.dirtbike-action.com A site where visitors can see online video of dirt bike crashes, motocross gear as well as useful hints and tips for dirtbike enthusiasts.


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