Start Your Ride

DirtBike School

Dirt bike training! Start your motorcycle journey off-road.

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General Information

DirtBike School is a fun, one-day, hands-on training session available to anyone six years old or above. At training sites, MSF-certified DBS Coaches will teach you basic riding skills and responsible riding practices, including risk management and environmental awareness.

The Closed Range Exercise provides hands-on riding training with an emphasis on safety and skill development. For more advanced learning, the Introduction to Trail Riding is the next level DirtBike School course designed to familiarize riders with riding off-road on actual trails.

Dirt Bike Riding Tips
  1. Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
  2. Except for dual-purpose models, never ride on paved surfaces except to cross when done safely and permitted by law – another vehicle could hit you. Dirt bikes are designed to be operated off-highway.
  3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  4. Supervise riders younger than 16; dirt bikes are not toys.
  5. Never permit youngsters to ride dirt bikes that are too tall or too powerful for their capabilities.
  6. Don’t ride alone on remote trails. Use the buddy system.
  7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
  8. Take a hands-on riding course.


DirtBike School (DBS) was created by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to provide hands-on rider training with an emphasis on safety and skill development. New riders, or others who want to improve their riding skills, will benefit from the DBS course taught by certified MSF DirtBike School Coaches. During the course, students learn basic techniques for safely riding off-highway motorcycles. Lessons are presented at controlled off-highway riding sites specifically selected for the course.


1Class Welcome/Introduction
  • Introduction of coaches and other
  • Importance of personal protective gear
  • Proper motorcycle setup
  • Pre-ride inspection
2Range Signals, Rules and Warm-up
  • Know the range signals
  • Rules of riding on the range
  • Warm up and stretching
  • Proper use of protective gear
  • Correct mounting and dismounting
  • Correct posture
  • Proper operation of controls
4Engine Start/Stop
  • Use of FINE-C procedure to start the
  • Proper shutdown procedure
5Moving the Motorcycle
  • Accurate clutch/throttle usage
  • Control of the motorcycle
  • Smooth motion while starting and
  • Head and eyes up, looking ahead
  • Knees in against tank
  • Smooth brake application
6Starting/Stopping Drill
  • Smooth, controlled starts, using friction
  • Controlled, accurate stops, using both
7Riding Posture
  • Proper foot placement
  • Correct standing posture
  • Eyes and head up
  • Smooth clutch and throttle control
  • Maintain control of motorcycle
  • Use proper procedures and techniques
    when shifting
  • Coordinate clutch and throttle control
  • Match engine speed with motorcycle
  • Ease clutch out smoothly for downshifting
9Lower Body Control
  • Correct riding posture
  • Steady, smooth throttle
  • Look ahead
  • Initiate turn using lower body
  • Maintain adequate following distance
  • Correct riding posture
  • Slow prior to turning
  • Look through the turn
  • Lean motorcycle into turn
  • Maintain adequate following distance
11Riding Management Discussion Lesson - No Riding
  • State causes of motorcycle mishaps
  • Name a strategy to help manage risk
  • Identify terrain variables that influence decisions
12Turning and Gap Selection
  • Correct riding posture
  • Look through turns
  • Proper weight shift
  • Smooth throttle control
  • Smooth shifts
  • Maintain safe following distance
  • Use SEE strategy to reduce risks
  • Proper standing rider posture
  • Look ahead
  • Lean motorcycle in the direction of turn
  • Weight outside footpeg
  • Upper body positioned on outside of turn
  • Use clutch/throttle to maintain directional
14Riding over Obstacles
  • Approach obstacle close to 90 degrees
  • Slow before obstacle
  • Stand on footpegs with knees and elbows bent
  • Unweight the front
  • Perform K-Turn when you have lost
    momentum going up a hill
  • Ride up, turn around and ride down a hill
17Traversing Hills
  • Use the correct technique to ride across
    a hill
18Riding ResponsiblyDiscussion Lesson - No Riding
  • Name positive and responsible riding
  • Name laws that apply in your area
19Post-Ride Check/Dismissal
  • Understanding steps to be covered in
    post-ride check
  • Class dismissal

Recommended Next Steps

Go ride. Practice the drills taught in class and reference Tips & Practice For The Off-Highway Motorcyclist. If riding with your children, reference Parents, Youngsters and Off-Highway Motorcycles. If your goal is to earn a license that will allow you to ride on the street, look into the MSF Basic RiderCourse.

Find a DirtBike Course Near You:
All training providers manage their own schedules and enrollments. To reschedule a class contact your class provider.