great video what is trials riding

Thanks AMA!

Safety guide from KTM


Kids & Dirtbikes: A Perfect Combination

Kids & Dirtbikes: A Perfect Combination

By James Holter

I love to ride!

We all love to ride motorcycles. And for those of us with kids, there’s a sense of urgency to pass along our enthusiasm for two wheels.

To read the rest of this article please go to the American Motorcyclist Assn. page here http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Dirt/GetStarted/KidsAndRiding.aspx

Why is it important for a school/instructor to be Motorcycle Safety Foundation Certified?

There are dirt bike course providers that are not MSF certified, nor are their ranges. Many of them do ride or race, but that doesn’t mean that they have an understanding of the importance of safety on the range, teaching safe practices on the trail, nor do they understand the process of teaching/learning. It is questionable whether they carry appropriate insurance, should an accident occur. It is, therefore, very important that you take a course from an MSF certified provider.

The MSF designs courses for street and dirt riding. The basis for every course is a comprehensive rider education system backed by thorough research. The MSF curriculum developers have nearly 100 years of on the job and decades of personal riding experience. They create courses to serve the wide variety of today’s riders taking into account their needs and interests. They collaborate with safety professionals worldwide.

To become a certified instructor, candidates take a 4-8 day course where they are taught how to ensure a safe, effective and motivating learning environment that will maximize rider learning. They are taught to understand the nature of learning and the nature of the learner. The teaching-learning process is complex. Having a basic understanding of the principles of learning and the principles of teaching is crucial, as is an understanding of the four types of learners. A good instructor needs to adjust instructional techniques to maximize rider development toward the achievement of overall course objectives.

Certified instructors are held to a strict code of professional conduct. They receive continuous professional development and are taught how to use the latest educational methods emphasizing age-appropriate learning. They are required to maintain adequate insurance to protect all participants.

There are professional conferences with discussions as to the why’s and how’s of curricula, the tools and techniques for delivery, and the quality assurance measures for program and process improvement.  All of which is designed to make the MSF certified instructors more knowledgeable about not only the skills and safety they teach, but the methods to use, as well. 


It is important to take safety seriously and MSF certified instructors do!


Some principles behind dirt bike safety include:

1. Safe dirt bike operation is a mental, physical and social task that requires

specialized operational skills.

2. Dirt bike crashes are not usually caused by a single factor, but rather by an

interaction of factors.

3. While safety instruction cannot guarantee safe, responsible behavior, it can

provide the knowledge and skill for riders to manage and minimize the risks

associated with dirt bikes.

4. Safe dirt bike operation is associated with proper fit of the machine to the rider, wearing protective gear, maintaining a safe vehicle, and implementation of a personal strategy to minimize risk.

5. Safe dirt bike operation requires that a rider maintain a positive, safety-conscious attitude and control personal behavior that may lead to increased risk.

 Our Dirt Bike School is designed to be a dynamic and positive learner-centered experience. It requires a high degree of interaction between riders and the instructor.

Prior to conducting any classes, instructors must be accepted and certified, and submit documentation for a training range that meets MSF standards and guidelines. The range must then be approved.

Better rider education, licensing, and public awareness mean safer motorcycling. The Government Relations Office, based near our nation’s capital and the Pentagon, is the Foundation’s advocate, representing the MSF in safety matters of interest to the United States Congress, state legislatures, federal and state regulatory agencies, and the Department of Defense.

The office also acts as a clearinghouse for information on legislation that affects the entire motorcycling community. An MSF-developed legislation model has helped state authorities draft laws incorporating our education and training curricula.

The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha.

Riding Tips from the MSF

Thanks to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for the following tips!


Below are some riding tips and considerations that should be taken into account by motorcyclists. Although these practices may be appropriate for riders of any age, they are particularly valuable for riders who are reaching their more mature years. (These tips were written for street riders but apply to dirt riding as well.)

Riding Tips

1. Keep a greater following distance, perhaps three seconds or more. Some authorities recommend up to a six-second interval.

2. Avoid complicated and congested roads and intersections. “Input overload” is a phrase often used to describe the presence of too much information to be able to process accurately. A good choice is to pick a route that contains less complicated roadways with less traffic flow and fewer turns.

3. Allow larger gaps when moving into a stream of traffic. Selecting a safe gap when passing another vehicle or crossing or turning at an intersection is an important decision for smoothly blending with others.

4. Make a point to check side-to-side at intersections. It is a wise motorcyclist that recognizes that eye movement and muscle movement (head and neck muscles in particular) become more difficult with age. A rider should take an extra moment to double-check cross traffic to get a good look.

5. Keep making good blind-spot checks. Traffic research shows that older drivers don’t check blind spots as well as younger drivers. An extra moment to ensure nothing is hiding in a blind spot may help reduce risk.

6. Have a passenger help you S.E.E. Passengers can be an additional set of eyes to help identify hazards and assess risk.

7. Keep windshield, helmet face shield and eyeglass lenses clean. Dirt and grime on a rider’s “window to the world” may adversely affect quick and accurate perception of factors such as traffic control devices, road markings, debris and other traffic movement.

8. Avoid tinted lenses at night. Any tint lessens the light available to the eyes and makes seeing well at night more difficult.

9. Wear sunglasses when glare is a problem. During daytime glare, good polarized sunglasses may reduce the effects of glare significantly and make identifying a traffic hazard easier.

10. Adjust mirrors to avoid glare from following vehicles. Sometimes a slight mirror adjustment may reduce the distracting effects of traffic behind you and still provide the perception necessary to identify hazards to the rear.

11. Keep the headlight(s) clean and properly adjusted. During routine maintenance, be sure the headlight is aimed correctly. Refer to your owner’s manual for adjustment information.

12. Avoid glasses with wide frames or heavy temples. Eyeglasses or sunglasses may be constructed in a way that creates a blind spot. Be sure the frames do not inhibit side vision or create difficulty in seeing the entire field of vision.

13. Avoid being in a hurry. It is unwise to make up for lost time by riding aggressively. Leaving a little early will result in a more relaxed, enjoyable ride and create an opportunity for choosing greater time and space safety margins.

14. Remember that the average age of the driving population is increasing, and you are sharing the road with others who may be experiencing the effects of aging on their operation of a motor vehicle. Keeping a greater safety margin is a wise choice.