You live near the beach, or you have access to one, and you want to take your dirt bike out for a spin in the natural sand with the ocean to your side and the wind in your face. But you may be wondering if you actually can ride your dirt bike on the beach.
You can ride your dirt bike on the beach in many places. Beach riding is something many dirt bike owners aspire to do, but there are some places where it may be illegal to ride your dirt bike on the beach, and so you should always find out the local laws before you plan your trip.
12 tips for riding your dirt bike on the beach are:
- Take a bit of air out of your tires
- Research on acceptable beach riding practices
- Check for weather updates
- Plan on the trail to follow
- Clean your air filters
- Care for your environment
- Check your fuel tank
- Look out for engine problems
- Explore licensing options
- Be careful about how you put the dirt bike down
- Rinse your bike
- Limit your braking
There are numerous factors to consider before taking your dirt bike out on the sand. Beach safety regulations might limit access to the beach or ban your bike from the beach entirely. Below, we will go into more detail about riding your dirt bike on the beach, and how you can do so safely.
Is It Legal To Ride Your Dirt Bike On The Beach?
It may or may not be legal to ride your dirt bike on the beach depending on where you plan to ride it. It’s always best to check with your local authorities before riding your dirt bike anywhere that you don’t know to be legal, as you could face a fine if you ride it unlawfully.
For the sake of everyone’s safety, local authorities usually have guidelines on how vehicles of any kind can use the beach. These vehicles include anything on wheels with an engine and not just your bike. This is because emissions from these vehicles might negatively impact the beach’s flora and fauna, and the experience of other people at the beach.
Specific Areas May Be Off Limits
Even where dirt bike riding is allowed, you might not have full access to all the beach locations. There might be marked locations within which bike riding is allowed. All riders must familiarize themselves with these regulations and follow them to avoid any legal issues.
In places where there are endangered species of plants and animals, restrictions are usually stringent to conserve these already threatened species. Other than legal action, it may not be ethically advisable for you to ride your dirt bike in these areas, as you could disturb the habitats of those that call the beach their home.
Despite the many regulations on where and when you can use the beach for dirt bike riding, for the most part,riding your dirt bike is accepted by the law. Many local authorities ban dirt bikes from public places, which include neighborhoods and parks, and sometimes these rules do extend to the beach as well.
The legal implications of breaking beach laws include anything from a simple ticket to heavy financial fines and, in some cases, jail time. Staying on the safe side is easy, as long as you know where you are and what the law has to say about it.
Is Riding On The Beach Bad For Your Dirt Bike?
When it is legal to ride your bike on the beach, the safety of your dirt bike is most probably your next concern.The beach is an open and wild place, the sand is not like tarmac or dirt, and it most definitely was not designed to be rider-friendly.
Many bike riders consider beach riding completely safe, but like everything else in nature, the salt water and sand may not be forgiving to your dirt bike. Understanding the limits of your dirt bike is paramount for regular beach riders.
The Effects Of Salt Water
The salt water can corrode the metal parts of your dirt bike, causing rust damage or tampering with the electrical connections. In addition to this, twigs and branches lying on the path might damage the spokes of your dirt bike, which overall affects the rims’ integrity.
As long as you pay attention to your air filter, the sand will have limited impact on your engine or the bike in general. Regularly oiling the air filter and cleaning it will keep the sand off your engine. However, exposure to the elements and wear and tear from the sand in the long term is bound to change the external appearance of your dirt bike if you ride on the beach very often.
12 Tips For Riding Dirt Bikes On The Beach
1. Take A Bit Of Air Out Of Your Tires
Taking a bit of air out of your tires goes a long way in ensuring a perfect ride when using your dirt bike at the beach. The physics behind this is largely due to weight distribution and pressure. It is easier to maintain balance on your dirt bike with a pressure of about 10 psi in your rear tires and 12 psi in your front tires.
2. Research On Acceptable Beach Riding Practices
Regulations on beach riding may change from time to time depending on where you live. It is important to check with local authorities on things such as where you cannot go and what times you are allowed to ride your dirt bike on the beach. Stick to the accepted times and trails. In addition to this, it is advisable for riders to use the beach during morning hours, rather than during busy times later in the day.
3. Check For Weather Updates
How high will the tides be? Is it going to rain? These are the kinds of questions you need to answer before heading to the beach. It might sound silly, but being stuck in high tide a long way from home will not only damage your bike, but it might also mean a really long way back to safety. A glance at the weather forecast will keep you safe from any unexpected scenarios.
4. Plan Your Trail
Plan out the trail you are going to follow on the beach. Consider the density of people expected in certain locations and the depth of the sand in other areas. This is important to avoid accidents on the beach, ensuring your own safety and that of others. Taking GPS with you or a simple map will prevent you from straying from the chosen trail.
5. Clean Your Air Filters
Arguably the most important thing to remember is to ensure your air filter is in peak condition for beach riding. Cleaning the air filter and oiling it goes a long way to keeping your engine sand-free. Changing your dirt bike’s air filter after each ride on the beach may be necessary, depending on how long you were riding.
6. Care For Your Environment
Out on the beach, it is unlikely that there will be anyone to guide you on what is safe for the environment and what is not. It is important to respect the wildlife that inhabits the beach. Birds, turtles, and other sea creatures are to be expected and therefore respected.
7. Check Your Fuel Tank
You would not want to be caught out in the middle of nowhere by that empty fuel tank warning. Being alone on the beach has its perks, but gas stations are not among them. An empty fuel tank will demand a long walk home, all while pushing your dirt bike. Chart a course that can be accommodated by the fuel available in your fuel tank.
8. Check For Engine Problems
Engine problems, similar to fuel problems, can be a nightmare for any dirt bike rider. An overheating engine will stop you dead in your tracks no matter where you’re riding. If you notice engine problems in your dirt bike on previous rides, it is advisable that you get them fixed before going to the beach to prevent damaging the mechanical parts.
9. Consider A License
Just like in other vehicles, when it comes to dirt bikes, there is a huge difference between licensed and unlicensed riders in terms of legislation. Licensed riders usually have access to most of the beaches where vehicles are allowed. Unlicensed riders and unlicensed bikes, on the other hand, can only use private beaches. Failure to comply with these laws might warrant prosecution.
10. Be Careful Putting The Bike Down
There are many ways to get sand in unwanted places in your dirt bike, and air filters prevent much of the damage. Putting your dirt bike down on its side exposes the engine. To protect your engine, maintaining an upright position or putting it down gently is the best way to rest your bike when on the beach.
11. Rinse Your Bike
Salt water is capable of corroding and damaging the metal components of your dirt bike over time. Most bike parts are metallic and therefore susceptible to corrosion. Warm temperatures experienced in areas close to the ocean also increase the probability of rust damage. For this reason, rinsing your bike before and after taking those long beach rides is a crucial routine procedure.
12. Limit Your Braking
For your trip to the beach, you should try to limit how often you brake. This will help you maintain stability. For any two-wheeled vehicle, the faster you go, the more stable you become. To avoid falling, limit brake use unless you have to slow down or are coming to a stop, as this means you will sink deeper into the sand.
Can You Ride Your Dirt Bike On Sand Easily?
You can ride your dirt bike on sand easily with a bit of practice. It will definitely take some getting used to, as riding on the sand at first can make the bike quite unstable. But once you get your speed up, and if you can choose wet, harder sand over soft sand, riding on it can be quite easy.
Be Wary Of Your Position On The Bike
Dirt bikes might have been named for the dirt they are designed to be used for, but riders have used these versatile machines on pebble paths and even muddy surfaces. Taking on the sand, whether on the beach or on the desert dunes, requires a different approach.
On the sand, stability is your best friend. A stable position on your dirt bike involves leaning back and easing up on the gas pedal. This is a hard maneuver, and can only be mastered after some practice. Relax your grip and hold on to the fuel tank with your knees for increased stability.
Invest In Good Tires
As a dirt bike rider, you might have heard of sand-oriented tires. These usually substitute knobs for paddles. Considering your dirt bike tires are the only things in contact with the ground, going the extra mile by buying a set of sand tires is definitely a good idea if you plan to ride your dirt bike at the beach even somewhat regularly.
Pick Your Day Well
Wet sand is more compact and less easily displaced than dry sand, which can make it easier to ride your dirt bike on. This provides the rider with better traction and overall stability. Riding close to the waves or after a downpour the previous night will tremendously improve the riding experience.
Can You Ride Your Dirt Bike In Water?
You can ride your dirt bike in water, but it’s not advisable to do a lot of it, especially if it’s salt water. Your bike will usually be okay as long as the water doesn’t reach the engine. It’s always best to dry your dirt bike off thoroughly if you’ve ridden it through a lot of water.
Riding in the water will take its toll on the cosmetics of your dirt bike, and might even interfere with its mechanical functions. For the beach, it is advisable to ride a few meters from the shoreline. For beaches where the shoreline is narrow, extra care must be taken to prevent damage to the bike.
How Does Riding In The Rain Affect Your Dirt Bike?
Riding in the rain will usually be okay for your dirt bike, but you should take care to dry it off afterwards. Most dirt bikes are made from metal and plastic. The plastic coating is supposed to protect your dirt bike from the rain while keeping the internal electrical connections safe from damage.
With this in mind, your dirt bike is definitely safe from the rain. There is no reason to avoid the rain, except when your experience in rainy weather is limited, or if the weather is so bad that riding becomes unsafe.
Despite not having an effect on the dirt bike, rain introduces a unique set of challenges to riders. The reduced visibility and slippery surfaces during rainy weather can be a hazard to you and your bike. As a rule of thumb, if there have been a few days of rain in a row, it may be worth avoiding the trails until they have a chance to dry up.
Mud might sound like fun, and it usually is, but there is a difference between slightly wet ground and water-logged soil. Not only can this be unpleasant for you as the rider, but you could end up with your bike getting stuck or badly damaged.
You may be able to ride your dirt bike on the beach, depending on where you plan to ride it. Different states will have their own laws surrounding beach riding, and this can even vary depending on the specific beach. Always check with your local authorities before taking your dirt bike to the beach.