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10 OTR tips for motorcyclists (Part 1)

Off-road riding is one of the most popular pursuits of every die hard motorcyclist. This hobby is also one of the best training grounds for any rider to improve their street riding skills. There are many forms of off-road riding, there is the popular motocross and enduro racing for professionals and then there is also the short day trips, trail riding and adventure tours with your buddies.

If you've ever wanted to give off-road riding a shot or if you're an experienced rider looking to sharpen your skill set, this article is just for you.

Step 1: Prep Your Motorcycle for the dirt
Drop the tyre pressure (sometimes to around 25 psi or so), in order to help the rubber become more flexible with the terrain. Ditch all the extra weight, saddlebags or accessories that could weigh you down or shake loose due to vibrations. You should also consider removing your side indicators, windscreens and mirrors, as they will easily get damaged in case you fall.

Step 2: Warm up
Like your motorcycle, it’s important that even you are physically in the best shape. This helps you cope up with your bike's sudden jostling, skids, and shifting due to the unpredictable changes in the trails you are riding on. Be sure to just warm up and stretch yourself before heading out; shake out your body and make sure you're as limber as possible and ready to roll with the punches.

Step 3: Riding gear
Whether you are on the road or a dirt track, wearing the right safety gear from helmet to boots is a key part of protecting yourself. In general, off-roading gear is quite a bit different from your normal street riding gear. For example, OTR riding boots are much taller and have more reinforcement in areas like the shins. Make sure you’re riding suit has sufficient protective padding for your chest, shoulders, knees and elbows.The gloves used for off-roading are usually way lighter and flexible than your normal street riding gloves, this is in order to cope with the wide range of movement associated with OTR riding. Make sure that your OTR helmets have a sun shade and an open area for goggles. Believe me, one ride on a dusty trail will make you appreciate goggles that keeps the dirt out of your eyes.