How to ride a dirt bike with clutch and gears for beginners

Dirt bike riding can be a dream for you and many beginners. It is the best way to dive into the world of adventures to have fun and make life enjoyable. This guide, How to ride a dirt bike with clutch and gears for beginners, will give you all the information step by step to become like a pro. But before that, you need to focus on learning with safety.

Riding a dirt bike is not an easy task to do. Once you start observing from the basics like learning controls, use a clutch, and shifting it properly, you become a good rider very soon.

Best techniques and gears can lead you to be in a fun zone. It can be an exciting activity for your life if you do it with all the equipment and necessary information. More experience will master you in this world of adventure. Most of us live a whole life but cannot identify the area of interest in which we can feel happy with our work.

The riding of a dirt bike with a clutch or without a clutch is an advanced thing to know that can give satisfaction if you are a lover of these sports. Entering into this post shows that you have recently bought a new dirt bike, and you are eager to ride. So you have taken steps to learn it quickly, and this article will benefit you and give you all the required tips for becoming a Pro Rider.

I will suggest that you follow every step and memorize it like concrete and read it again and again until you have all the steps in your mind correctly.

Step by step method to learn dirt bike riding

Learning bad habits in dirt bikeOpens in a new tab. riding can lead you to serious injury. Once you know bad habits, it is very tough to discover the right things to get back to the proper practice. Basics are essential in every field so that good riding techniques can give you the most fun in dirt bike riding.

Proper body Positioning, knowledge about controls, avoiding harmful habits, selecting the appropriate size bike are the most critical factors.

After completing 4-5 rides, you become familiar with dirt bike riding. If you stick with the fundamentals of it, you become capable of riding on any track.

Here are the steps to ride a dirt bike for beginners.

Step 1.Learn the Controls
Step 2.Use of Clutch
Step 3.Shifting & Braking

Step 1. Learn the Controls

You are here to know about how to ride a dirt bike, but before going to ride, you need to understand all the controls which are on the bike and how to use them.

You cannot go and ride the bike, right?

Before starting the bike, you should know how to stop it. How to shift the gears and how to use the clutch.

Suppose you are in the field and start the bike, then tell me, how will you stop it? If you don’t know because you are a beginner. It can injure you badly.

Now, let’s learn about all the controls one by one and be careful about this because they are the most important factors for learning about riding it.

The Clutch Lever on Left Side:

Have you ever heard about the working process of a clutch, and what is it? The clutch is between the gearbox and engine. The purpose is to disengage the power from the engine to the gearbox.

The engine generates the power to drive a bike, and the gearbox transfers the power through sprockets or chains to the rear wheel, which pulls the bike and drives it. Clutch Lever is present on the Left-handle bar.

point of engagement

Tip: Use only two fingers to hold and control the clutch lever.

Front Brake on Left Side:

If we use the brakes, we should primarly use the front brake to apply third-quarters of the braking. But we often don’t go for this due to fear of the front wheel being locked.

The best use of braking would be just before the wheel skid. 

It is considered best when the front wheel will be skidded, and you use the break at the same time. You have to understand that this is just a fear, and you should face it fearlessly.

front braking lever

Throttle on Right Handlebar:

Throttle on Right Handlebar:

Controlling the throttle in a dirt bike is the key to success in its riding, whether you are having a ride on the track or a trial. 

Balanced in controlling the throttle, clutch, and brake can lead you to be a professional Rider. On the right handlebar, you get control of the throttle.

Learning throttle control is the trickiest part of dirt bike riding. Many problems that a rider Encounters, like a broken throttle or sticky throttle, can impact the performance of the bike.

Most commonly, we know throttle as an accelerator. It allows moving the bike when we use the clutch to engage the engine with the gearbox. 

Lousy maintenance and damage from any impact can also create a problem for the throttle.

Shifting on Your Left Foot:

You have to be active in using your left feet for shifting the gears. 

After starting the engine, whether you start by kicking it or the automatic self button, you should keep the gear in neutral. You can start it with engaged gear, but you have to pull the clutch when it is not in neutral.

Shifting into any gear from neutral is very easy, as simple as pulling the clutch. After turning on the engine, you have to switch the gear to first, and then you can shift it to 2nd and third and so on. It can be up to 6 gears according to the model of the bike.

shifting gears

According to automation, there are different kinds of bikes. Here we are discussing the manual bikes. 

If you want more information on semi-automatic bikes, then you can read the detailed post on what is a semi-automatic dirt bike?Opens in a new tab.

Rear Brake on Right Foot:

Most people are speed lovers, but you should go as fast as you can to stop. Riders use their front brake 75% of total breaking. And the front brake plays an essential role while riding dirt bikes.

When you move over rough terrain, then your legs are on pegs and give you the proper balance and prevents you from bouncing off the pegs.

You have to use your rear break with the front brake smoothly. Here the front brake is essential. You should note one thing that you try not to lock up the front wheels. If the front wheels are Locked Up, then it will result in an accident, and your face tastes the mud.

Rear Brake

Kick Start on Right Foot Side:

When you see the right foot side, you find a Kick lever that is there for starting the engine. There is nothing like that; you can start the dirt bike without a key. 

Dirt bikes don’t have keys, whether you get an electric start or kick start. Electric start means you have a button that you can push to start it, and the second option is kicking its lever or pedal.

When the engine is cold, and then the process of starting, it is called a cold start. Maybe you have to try many times when you are starting with a kick. 

But when you are already riding a bike since morning and after a few hours, if you turn off the engine and again need to start then, it will need just one kick.

Auto Start by Push Button on Left Handle-Bar:

Riders now taking interest from two-stroke to four-stroke engines and switching to the four-stroke engines also enhances the eagerness of an electric start a. Four strokes engines are considered harder to kick because it has great compression.

The opinion of most Riders is that when they kick two strokes, then it is more comfortable, but when it comes to four-stroke, generally, it requires more effort. Usually, for four-stroke engines, the auto start push button is introduced so that riders will not have to struggle for the kick start.

automatic start red button

Step 2. Use of Clutch

You can be a master in riding when you can control your clutch entirely. It is one of the essential control which makes you a perfect Rider. But do you know how does a clutch work and what is the purpose of the clutch in a Dirt Bike?

This is Going to keep you safe and calm. It is the most essential, and so please don’t go fast. Take your time to learn it properly.

Anytime when the bike is in the running and in gear, the clutch needs to be in. If you are new to this and you have never been on a bike. These things got to be in anytime When the bike is in gear. Pulling the clutch in disengages the transmission, so no matter what gear it is in, the bike will not move.

The most important fact is that when you are ready to go, let it be up extremely slow until you feel the bike move, which is also called the point of engagement, and then pull back it.

And then practice feeling the point of engagement a few times. This will make you feel comfortable with the working of the clutch, and you will never be surprised as few people get in their initial learning stages.

Note: Use one finger of the right hand to apply the front brake and the first two fingers for controlling the clutch Lever.

Find the point of engagement when the bike starts to move, and practice let the clutch in and out several times. Practice while using very little to no throttle. Bike twist the throttle about 1/8 – 1/4 turn while slowly let it out clutch beyond the point of engagement.

Always start in neutral if you are a beginner.


Of course, This article is for you, so you are reading it.

Your question will be, how can you find the neutral?

Very simple.

Just shift your gear to the first gear and then upshifting halfway to the second gear. It is between the first and second gear.


Of course, This article is for you, so you are reading it.

Your question will be, how can you find the neutral?

Very simple.

Just shift your gear to the first gear and then upshifting halfway to the second gear. It is between the first and second gear.

Step 3. Shifting & Braking

The last and most important step is to slow down your beast. Taking off is important, but landing with safety is also very important. Starting and riding the bike is important, but slowing down and stopping the bike with safety is also important to be in a good position.

You have to be comfortable with your Braking System. Initial Practicing should always be in the first gear. Then move it up to the second gear. And on the opposite side, just push by your tose that will decrease the gear. Avoid slamming down on the rear brake pedal. Simply press down with moderate pressure.

You can apply a little bit of front brake, if any, at first because you really have to know your surface and order to be ok with your front brake. There is a lot of time when people give the front brake too hard and check the front end. Too much of the front brake will lock your front wheel, and the bike will jump from behind. And if you also don’t apply a little bit of front brake or rear brake, then it can also result in an accident.

Most Important Tips for Beginners

Structure of Your Upper Body:

both elbow straight

When you hold your handlebars, your elbows, chest, and handlebars should make a rectangular shape.

One thing that really helps is when you are gripping the handlebars, you don’t wanna have your hands straight in, which promotes the elbows to close the ribcage.

You wanna think about getting that elbow up, which keeps the elbow away from the ribcage, and there should be a little v shape here in your grip. The Position of your arms should be straight on the top and straight from knuckles to the elbow.

rectangular shape

Attach Your Body to the Bike:

This one is really very important as now you are getting into speed and control, you want to think about attaching your body to the bike. Just feel like that your bike is also a part of your body.

both legs should be sticked

Simply just take your knees and apply pressure to the whole bike time you ride it. It takes some training for building your muscles about applying the pressure. It requires some training for that. But if you focus on this, it makes your riding 100% better and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it hard to ride a dirt bike?

No, riding a dirt bike not so hard, people think. Following all the rules before riding will make your life adventures, but ignoring the safety precautions can be risky to your body.
Practicing bad habits while riding and avoiding the use of protective gear can lead to injury.

What are the steps to ride a dirt bike?

Here are the steps of riding dirt bike.
Step 1. Learn the Controls
Step 2. Use of Clutch
Step 3. Shifting & Brakin

What is the easiest dirt bike to ride?

Here are the bikes which are easy to ride.
Honda CRF250X, Yamaha YZ125, Kawasaki KLX110, & Honda CRF230F.

How do you get good at riding a dirt bike?

First, put on all the safety gears and learn controls by controlling throttle and shifting gear can make you good at riding.

How long does it take to learn to ride a dirt bike?

Honestly, if you ask the question, then I would tell you there is not a particular period to learn to ride. It depends on each individual how long he takes to be a good rider.
But driving school offer people a duration as they understand and take each one as a regular learner. Few schools offer 3-6 months for becoming a good rider.
Few riders learn it quickly, while few take a long time.

Is a 450 dirt bike too big for a beginner?

Riding a bike can be comfortable if the size of the dirt bike is according to your height and weight of the body. An experienced rider who has good skill in controls, the height of 6 feet then 450 can be a good choice.
But if your height is under 6 feet, then a 250 bike can be the best choice for you.

Do you need to clutch when shifting a dirt bike?

Shifting down does not require using the clutch. It is possible to push it down without pulling the clutch lever. But while shifting up, you should use the grip

What dirt bikes are automatic?

Dirt bike Consist of the actual automatic clutch is the real automatic dirt Bike. There is only one KTM 50 SX is an automatic bike that has a centrifugal multi-disc automatic clutch.

Are dirt bikes dangerous?

A dirt bike is a very dangerous bike like other vehicles only if you are careless and have the reasonable control of the mind. Anyone capable of controlling the throttle and maintaining the speed there is less chance of an accident. But many occasions can lead you to more minor injuries while riding on the trail.

Should I buy a dirt bike?

If you are a beginner and interested in riding then you should go for a used dirt bike. While learning many time you may fall and this way you will learn. After gaining some experience in riding you can buy a new one.

Where should you sit on a dirt bike?

A rider should sit in way his feet should be on the foot pegs, elbows, chest, and handlebars should make a rectangular shape. And most important attach your body to the bike and make your mind imagine that bike is also a part of your body.


I am sure if you follow the guide, which we have mentioned above, as how to ride a dirt bike step by step for beginners, you will be able to ride your newly bought bike in upcoming days.

Riding a dirt bike is not rocket science; it can be learned by anyone who has never touched a bike before.

You have to take care of all the instructions given by us, and then you will be a master of the dirt bike.

Thomas A. Talley

I’m Thomas. Since childhood, I am fond of bikes and hence dirt bikes are my passion now. Ever since then, I’ve been giving advice to the beginners and this has become my hobby.

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