Few dirt bikers would say no to the thrill that comes with figuring out a whole new trail. Sadly, though, off-road trails that are challenging enough for seasoned dirt bike riders are usually in short supply. And if you’ve been into dirt biking for a while, chances are that you’ve already tried many of such trails.
If so, don’t worry. You still have ATV tracks to explore but before you set out to ride your dirt bike on them, there are things to remember. Our guide uncovers what you need to know to ride your dirt bike on ATV tracks.
So, Are Dirt Bikes Okay to Ride on ATV Tracks?
In a nutshell, yes. It’s perfectly acceptable to ride dirt bikes on virtually any ATV track. In fact, ATV stands for All-Terrain Vehicle, which in technical terms encompasses all vehicles suited for off-road riding. Dirt bikes are clearly among them, since they’re designed for use in off-road conditions.
This means that the dirt bike isn’t some kind of outlaw on ATV tracks. But it doesn’t automatically suggest that riding dirt bikes on ATV tracks is unregulated. There’s a number of rules that all dirt bikers must know of and abide by when riding on ATV tracks.
Without further ado, let’s get to know these key requirements.
Age Is a Concern When You Ride Dirt Bikes on ATV Tracks
It has become a commonplace to see teenagers compete in motocross and other kinds of off-road motorcycle racing. And when it comes to ATV tracks, teenagers aren’t forbidden to ride dirt bikes on them. They can’t, however, use ATV tracks for dirt biking in the same manner as adult riders.
Namely, only those who are eighteen years of age and older can ride dirt bikes on ATV tracks without supervision. Everyone else is required to ride in the presence of a parent or a legal guardian as cited by TheDirtBikeReview. In some states, like California, this age threshold is lower and equals fourteen years.
After all, dirt bike riding isn’t an injury-free activity. Are you younger than eighteen years old? Are you a parent or a legal guardian of a dirt biking enthusiast who is? Then you’ll be wise to check with the exact regulations your particular state has to determine the age requirements.
You’ve Heard It Time and Again: Always Ride with a Helmet On
The old adage ‘never ride without a helmet’ is there for a reason – because it’s true. Wearing a helmet when riding any type of motorbike has been shown to lower the risk of death by 37%. And it has also shown to lower the risk of head injury following an accident by as much as 69%.
As you can tell, riding a dirt bike is a lot more dangerous than riding a roadster or a cruiser. The velocities involved are much higher and the terrain is a lot less forgiving. This makes the above stats even more relevant when you ride a dirt bike off-road, including ATV tracks.
Because of this, nearly every state makes it mandatory to wear a helmet when riding dirt bikes on ATV tracks. Some states walk the extra mile and further oblige dirt bike riders to wear additional protective gear on ATV tracks. This gear includes gloves, riding boots, and protective shirts with long sleeves.
Regardless of your state’s regulations, though, safety is in your best interest. Especially if you’re new to the dirt bike riding game in the first place. Or if you’re more susceptible to injuries than other dirt bikers for any reason.
Reckless Driving Isn’t Welcome on ATV Tracks Either
We’ve all heard about reckless driving at some point. When it comes to the legal interpretation of the term, though, states differ in how they define reckless driving. In some states, it’s riding a motorbike that doesn’t match your age and experience. In others, it’s driving at a hard-to-manage speed.
No matter what your state sees as reckless driving, though, it’s never a bad idea to avoid it. Especially on such risky kinds of terrain as ATV tracks. And on such a hard-to-control type of motorcycle as the dirt bike.
There’s no need to endanger yourself and others. Even if you’re that good of a dirt bike rider.
ATV Tracks Are Parts of the Environment Too
Off-road riding doesn’t mean that you can treat the terrain without a care in the world. Most ATV tracks are surrounded by wildlife and natural parks. They are also considered public land that belongs to the state and its people. And you’re expected to treat ATV tracks with care if you ride on them.
Some states have explicit rules for riding on ATV tracks. They prohibit operating ATVs in ways that bother the land, its flora and fauna, and persons and property on it. Refusal to abide may lead to significant fines and potential ban from some or all ATV tracks in the state.
Besides, what’s the point of spoiling an ATV track that you’re riding on yourself?
Make Sure Your Dirt Bike Complies with Regulations
The need to have your dirt bike registered depends largely on the state you’re planning to ride in. Some states require no registration for ATVs, including dirt bike. Other states expect you to register all your ATVs, dirt bikes included, as any other type of vehicle.
Some states may also have size and engine requirements in place for dirt bikes. Such regulations would typically correlate with the dirt bike rider’s age. A dirt bike would be considered a poor match for the rider if its specifications make it hard to drive.
Dirt Bike Riding on ATV Tracks Can Be Both Safe and Fun
To a large extent, the requirements our guide has mentioned are self-explanatory. They are also reasonable. As they protect you, they provide safety for the environment and other dirt bikers. And you’ll be wise to follow them to keep your dirt bike rides on ATV tracks both safe and fun.