How to Jump on a Dirt Bike

Three Parts:PreparationJumping on a Dirt BikeTroubleshooting

Jumping a dirt bike is a great way to get a full-on adrenaline rush. After learning to jump on a dirt bike, you'll love going out there and going over a high jump. It takes practice and perseverance to learn to jump on a dirt bike, and the following steps should make it a little easier to get the hang of it.

Part 1

  1. 1
    Get a decent dirt bike. You need a bike that has a strong enough weight to support your weight You need one that has a strong enough frame to support your weight times three to compensate for the hit on the ground. It must have shocks. They will keep you from getting severe spinal injuries if you fall.
  2. 2
    Get the right gear. Always wear protective gear when dirt biking, even if you think that you are just taking it for a spin. A chest pad, neck brace, strong jeans, a jersey, goggles, and an approved helmet will usually do.
    • If you're a guy, you may want to consider protection for crotch area.
  3. 3
    Build or find a jump. You can build a jump out of dirt and water if you cannot find a natural one. Get a large amount of dirt and build a jump as large as you are ready for. Don't push yourself too far and get hurt though––keep the jump height reasonable.
    • If you're scared, try to do the first jumps over a tiny little jump made of plywood resting on some two by fours.
    • Start with small jumps and work up to bigger jumps.
  4. 4
    Prep the bike. Take it for a few laps, and get the engine running nice and strong ahead of any jumping session.

Part 2
Jumping on a Dirt Bike

  1. 1
    Plan ahead. Make sure you have somewhere safe to land on the other side and that there are no people, animals or obstructions in the way. Make sure there are no hazardous objects around your landing area, and ensure that there is sufficient run off area to stop.
  2. 2
    Back up about 50 feet (15.2 m) from the back of the jump.
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    Start toward the jump. Don't gun it, just go at a decent speed that will get you up and over the jump safely. Do the speed that you can handle and that will be plentiful to ensure a good jump.
    • Try to get the bike going as fast as you can before hitting the jump.
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    Get to the base of the jump. Lean forward and press your chest onto the handlebars. Increase your speed a little here; give the dirt bike all the gas it can take before you go off the jump. Compress the suspension, keep the throttle steady off the lip of the jump, to prevent your bike from kicking you forward or losing speed for the jump. This is called front loading, also pre-loading.
    • Giving it all the gas is called pinning it.
  5. 5
    Get in the air. Get your chest and torso as far away from the handlebars as you can. You don't want to have the wind knocked out of you.
    • It also may help to pull up on the handlebars heavily as you leave the ground.
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    Prep to land. Pinpoint your landing while you are in the air. Lean back on the bike and brace your body for a pretty scary impact.
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    Land. Try to use the back tire to hit the ground, then rock forward. It will reduce any pain from being jerked around. Put both feet on each peg at the same instance as landing, to create the most comfortable work environment.
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    Land with your weight centered, on either the front or back wheel. Landing flat will send the shock from the landing right to you.
    • Try not to land on both wheels, as this increases your chances of crashing and makes you look like an amateur.
    • If there is a landing ramp, try to land slightly on your front wheel. If there is no landing ramp, land on the rear wheel and position your feet with the arch on the foot peg.
  9. 9
    Practice. Do it over and over, and once you feel safe, build up the height of the jump.
  10. 10
    Add some tricks when you are confident and capable. Only do this step once you can comfortably and safely get 30 feet (9.1 m) off the ground. Try some basic tricks at first, like taking one hand off of the handlebars, or moving one foot off of the foot peg and into the air or onto the seat and then moving it back for the landing. You will eventually be doing hand stands on the handlebars in mid air if you practice.
    • Enter a competition once you get confident. It's well worth it.

Part 3

  1. 1
    Know what to do should problems arise during the jump. Here are some common things to watch out for and remedy:
    • If in midair it becomes apparent you're heading for a front wheel landing - pin the throttle! This will counter your momentum by picking up the front wheel. If this isn't enough, and the angle is to great to land it bail sideways and assume the superman position. A front wheel 'endo' landing is extremely dangerous. It is caused by not enough acceleration at takeoff and can be potentially fatal as there is a good chance you'll end up with your bike on top of you. This situation often occurs to last second doubt/hesitation, the moral is if you think you're in trouble and you're already committed, don't wimp out! Generally, it will get you in more trouble than you're already in!
    • If your landing is high speed and on a fairly steep downhill, then you need to be landing on both wheels. A back wheel landing can flip you over the bars if your back wheel hits a bump/rock as you get close to the ground.
    • If in midair it becomes apparent you're heading for a back wheel landing, apply the back brake. This will counter your momentum by dropping the front wheel. Don't forget to use the clutch and don't stall or you'll lose all control! This is a tricky thing to do and only really works on good sized jumps. Remember to let off the brake before you land or you'll be giving your bars a nice big kiss. As above if this doesn't work and you're heading for (half) a backflip bail off sideways. A back wheel landing is caused by too much acceleration at takeoff. For a minor back wheel landing you can crouch over the tank and down on the bars just before landing to balance out the wheels.
    • If you start crossing up in the air always keep your front wheel pointing in the direction of the landing. If the angle is too great to achieve this, bail to the back side of the bike and assume a crash test dummy position.


  • If possible, go over the jump a few times slowly to get a feel for the acceleration required.
  • Ensure the jump is stable (it's not cool if the jump collapses as you go over it).
  • Try to learn with someone more experienced than yourself.
  • Small jumps, where your front wheel is already in the air when your back wheel hits the base of the ramp, require more acceleration than large jumps because the rear suspension becomes loaded, pushing the front wheel down.
  • On large concave lipped jumps, unless you're trying out a back flip, use less acceleration on take off than on large flat ramped jumps.


  • If you do enough dirt bike riding, sooner or later you'll kook it up and stack, everybody does. To reduce the likelihood of injury always wear the right gear: Full faced helmet, roost guard/chest protector, MX boots, gloves.
  • And finally make sure your bike has a foam pad on the handlebars.
  • And don't let go of the bike unless you want to get hurt or you're a pro.
  • There is the possibility of your falling or missing your mark. You could be seriously injured or die doing the jumps. Be careful, as this is a sport that should not be taken lightly. Its outright dangerous, and can be deadly if not done properly. Always gear up.
  • Use a neck brace if you plan on jumping.

Things You'll Need

  • A dirt bike
  • A helmet
  • Protective gear
  • A ramp or jump

Article Info

Categories: Dirt Bikes