How to Whip Dirt Bike – Guide for First-Timers

How to Whip Dirt Bike – Guide for First-Timers

Anyone who knows the thrill and fun of dirt biking on long, challenging trails also knows how amazing it feels to do high jumps and tricks. But some techniques like a whip can be very challenging and scary for beginners. Doing it correctly the first time can be almost impossible for beginners.

To do this trick, you need the right jump height, speed, and more than enough confidence to whip the dirt bike correctly. Also, not all dirt bikes are easy to whip or manage when tackling high jumps. 

Still, it is so much fun to whip the motorcycle in front of your pals and friends. So, if you want to know how to whip a dirt bike, please read on…

What Is Whipping?

motocross driver whipping the dirt bike

A whip is a unique trick that riders perform on a dirt bike, and it is relatively straightforward and can be taught to anyone. This trick involves you tackling a high jump, pushing the bike to its side while still on it, and then landing. But when you move the bike to the side, it has to be parallel to the ground. Therefore, you need to develop balance and several skills to stay on the bike and still land the jump.

Many experienced riders can whip over many jumps a couple of times in a row. Doing this trick can be fun, and learning how to whip is simple. But you should be very careful when doing the required steps without harming yourself.

Begin With High Enough Jumps

motocross riders on a high jump

Most riders are usually eager to tackle high jumps like experienced riders who make it look easy. You have to remember that they have trained, practiced, and perfected this skill for many years. But, if you’re still learning, it doesn’t mean that you have to train on low jumps. If the jump isn’t high enough, you may end up scraping on the ground and get injured.

Understandably, high jumps can be terrifying and dangerous for beginners. So it would help if you looked for tall enough jumps that you can easily tackle, but not too long for you to be stuck off the ground for a long time. 

Remember, the whole idea is getting in the air long enough to whip and not scraping on the floor. So make sure you’re a great judge of the height of the jump that matches your skills.

How Fast Should You Be Going When Preparing for the Jump?

motocross rider doing a whip

When learning this trick, you must understand that you don’t need to attain top speed before trying to whip. After all, you don’t have the experience to handle the bike at full speed and push it while keeping it near your body. Therefore, you need to try it several times, but take it slow and learn to tackle jumps before whipping.

The bike must be fast enough to help you execute the whip while learning. But before the jump, you need to switch to at least the third or the second gear. With the second or third gear, you will be cruising at a speed that’s quick enough to whip but also comfortable to handle.

How to Set Up for the Jump

Whipping a dirt bike is a fast motion that requires a lot of curving. Therefore, going straight for the whip won’t work. 

When trying to whip, you should prepare the bike to curve and jump. So, you should approach the leap from a certain angle and start carving the bike while approaching the jump. 

This step prepares the motorcycle for the whip, leaving it curved as it goes into the air. Plus, the front tire and handlebar should create an S-shape.

If It’s Your First Time, Try Not to Lean Into It

It would be best if you don’t stand on your bike or lean too much into the jumps when training. It would help if you start by practicing your jumps while seated before you start twisting the dirt bike a bit while taking off. This will help you adapt to shifting the bike while in the air. This step involves you jumping the mound a couple of times while seated. Knowing how to control the dirt bike with your weight is crucial.

Remember, with your feet on the footrest, you can shift your body and position your body in the right way. You should also not lean into the whip. Plus, you should avoid leaning your body away from the dirt bike when tilting the bike. This will drag your body downwards, leaving you scraping on the ground.

Make Sure Your Body Is in the Proper Posture

Some riders claim that you have to lean forward while keeping the pressure of your bike and stop it from dragging you down. Leaning your body can help tilt the dirt bikes for a curve. Your riding skill will depend on the rider’s form. The rider’s posture helps with riding, and it improves with practice.

When trying this skill, you should be on the balls of your feet and lifted a bit off your seat. This position will prevent injuries while helping with your center of gravity (COG)and improving stability. 

You must remain on your bike to control it and execute it perfectly. Push the bike out and tilt it with your leg inside (the one near the ground). But make sure you try whipping while seated for the first time.

Take Off

Taking off is one of the most crucial steps in learning how to whip a dirt bike. It is easy to forget to be on the balls on the feet without knowing too much when taking off. When whipping, how you begin is important as your body needs to be in a particular position and bike headed in a specific direction to tilt.

It is easier to whip for the first time while seated, and don’t forget to turn the handlebars and push your leg. To improve your COG, make sure you’re on the balls of your feet. 

After doing a few jumps, you can push the bike with your inside leg as you are about to off. Push the bike with the foot that will be near the ground when whipping.

What Do You Do When You’re in the Air?

Once you master the jump, the next step is to tilt the bike while it is in the air. A few things must be done in a particular order for the bike to whip. So it would help if you do them one at a time. 

After taking off, the bike will start tilting since your inner leg will be pushing it from the start. You will feel it going sideways. As the bike is whipping, it will become more and more parallel to the floor, with the front tire and handlebars facing upwards. The bike will form the S-shape for a microsecond.

Try and lean off the bike a bit, but make sure you don’t offset its balance midair. If you are leaning too far off the bike, you may end up being dragged down to the ground. This trick can be pretty challenging, so, make sure you try one step at a time.

How to Land the Bike After the Jump

When landing, the bike shouldn’t be parallel to the ground, so you should be ready to bring the rear tire down. You may want to straighten the bike so that the front tire hits the ground first, followed by the rear one. 

As you ensure that the rear tire lands second, you should stop pushing the bike and straighten the handlebars. Push the bike using the outer leg to counter the push movement to achieve this.

Touchdown

When landing, your legs should be tacked, and you should be on the balls of your feet for optimum aerodynamics. If your body is stiff when landing, you may get hurt and mess with the straightness of the bike and how it’s aligned to the floor. Instead of stiffening the body and bracing for the impact, you should be ready to go with the flow. The bike should be straight if you don’t want to skid on the ground when landing.

5 Tips on How to Improve Your Whipping Skill

Be Confident

Fear can force you to miss the jump and end up getting injured. So when doing a whip, you should believe in yourself for you to land with little to no complication. Make sure you are confident before trying this dangerous but straightforward technique. This is why you start with jumps before trying to whip the bike.

Don’t Push Yourself Too Much

There is a vast difference between forcing and pushing it to whip when whipping. Riders need to turn the bike into a curve before ascending the jump when learning to whip. They then have to push the bike to complete a perfect whip. Therefore since the bike is curved, you shouldn’t use too much force when pushing it.

Landing the Bike

When landing after the whip, the bike will not be parallel to the ground, and if tilted, it will skid when landing. So you should be on the balls of your feet, with the bike straight and your body lose. If you’re in the correct posture, you can avoid getting injured.

Go Slow and Take It Easy

Since you’ll be doing it for the first time, you should avoid going at full speed. To avoid getting injured, take it slow and patiently learn every step slowly. 

Make sure you perfect each step before proceeding to the next one.

What Is the Best Dirt Bike to Whip?

There is no specific dirt bike designed for whipping. So you should pick any bike that you’re comfortable with. But what matters the most is your safety. Therefore, you should feel comfortable and be able to control the bike perfectly. Find out if you should go for a 2-stroke or a 4-stroke dirt bike

Conclusion

Any dirt biker (experienced and a newbie) can whip their dirt bike. But you have to be very careful when doing this trick. Without proper training and preparation, you may end up scrapping instead of whipping. Therefore, before trying to whip your bike, you should take your time and perfect the required skills step by step.

Avatar for Joshua D. Mattie

Joshua D. Mattie

My motorbike addiction began with 50cc at 5 years old. I rode motocross as a teenager & into my 20's when I worked as a mechanic. This helped me to see the light—sportbikes & cruisers became a passion. Now I'm building BikersRights to be the #1 resource for everything on 2 wheels!

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