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If you have a pal who rides off-road ask him to take you along next time he goes riding or look into the MotorcycleSafety Foundation Dirt School. This is a great place to start your dirt riding experience as they will provide you with the fundamental skills required and get you going safely (you can even take the course without having a bike or gear). They will teach you things like clutching and throttle control. As you progress you can go to one of the many MX schools available throughout the US and get private lessons from a pro, click here for a Google search. You probably want to stay away from tracks for a while until you build your riding skills. Taking lessons from a professional is a smart move and will prevent you from developing bad technique right from the start.

You will very likely have a million questions. Don't worry about it, even seasoned vets still have questions. A great source of answers can be found at thumper talk or one of the many other dirt bike forums out there.

A word to the wise

Please don't just jump on the bike and go to some abandoned lot at the end of your street. Or worse the alley behind your house, or the street in front of your house and start riding around. It may seem like a fine idea to you, what can a couple minutes of riding hurt, no hassle with loading the bike. Trouble is, to those people who have no interest in dirt bikes or even have a distaste for motorcycles in general. It is a perfect excuse to join the team of people who are trying to eradicate off-road riding in all forms. All you need to do is look at the current laws in California to see the direction things are going. Please don't add fuel to their fire! Act reponsibly, use your brain and be considerate of your neighbors. Open your garage, invite them over to see your new baby and turn someone else on to the joy of dirt bike riding!