Roncada’s Top 5 Riding mistakes


Everybody makes mistakes, the important thing is to learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. Here’s a list of mistakes to avoid when riding your dirt bike.

1. Riding with levers in the wrong position. You need to be as comfortable as possible when riding your dirt bike, and levers in the wrong position will ruin your day. Make sure to setup your brake and clutch lever correctly before you go out on the track, and don’t forget about the rear brake pedal! I can’t tell you how many times I jumped on someone else’s bike and couldn’t ride fast because the rear brake pedal was way too low, making me very uncomfortable. It’s your bike and since you ride it all the time, you need to make sure it fits like a glove when you get on it.

2. Riding around the track mindlessly. Why do you ride dirt bikes? Because it’s fun and gives you an adrenaline rush like nothing else. But if you take the fun away, it soon becomes a routine and you start riding just to ride and get faster, or to get in better shape. That’s a mistake lots of riders make, and so did I. Yes you need to put in the time, do your motos, work your corners, but don’t forget what riding dirt bike is all about: FUN and THRILLS. Go out and have some fun on your bike, go find some cool jump, go ride in the hills…forget about going faster or getting in better shape once in a while, or you’ll get yourself into a rut of “I have to go train today, I have to do my motos” and it will soon become more of a chore than anything else.

3. Not working on your technique. This is directly affected by the previous paragraph. During my career as a professional racer, I have seen so many pro – and amateurs – riders make this mistake and I always wondered why? Working on your technique is very important, as it will make you feel much more comfortable on your bike, and more in control as well. You also won’t get tired as easily since you will be more relax on your bike and won’t make as many mistakes. You can work on your technique in a lot of different ways. My personal favorite (and also what I think works your technique the most) was to go trail riding and find crazy sections to ride through, like really steep and long up hills, gnarly down hills, big natural jumps…making your own lines on virgin land is always more challenging then riding on a track, and it really makes you a better rider in my opinion.

4. Riding with a burnt clutch. You really don’t want to do that! First of all, you’re asking for it…that’s one of the best ways to go over the bars on a big jump and come short because your bike didn’t give you the power you expected. Second, if you regularly ride with a burnt clutch, you’re gonna get tired real fast the day you get back on a bike with a new clutch! All the extra power will make you cramp up fast and you will feel uncomfortable riding a bike with that much more snap then what you’re used to! Third, riding a bike with a clutch that spins every time you use it isn’t fun at all. So change that clutch the second it starts to spin on you.

5. Not checking your gas valve before going on the track. This has to become a habit…you need to check to see if your gas is on EVERY TIME you get on the bike! I used to check it even if I knew it was on – from checking it 5 minutes earlier – just to reassure myself that it really was on, and then I would check it again before the 30 seconds board came up….and then again half-way through the 30 seconds board!!! Maybe it was a little excessive, but it was stronger than me. You never know what could happen, what if a rock it the valve just right and turned it off while you were doing your pre-lap? Or what if someone turned it off by mistake – or on purpose – right before the start of the race? Or if your mechanic forgot to turn it on for you? There could be so many reasons why your gas valve might be off that you need to make it a habit to check it every time you throw your leg over the seat!!!

I hope these will be of good use to you. Try to remember them the next time you go out on your bike, and try not to make the same mistakes twice!