It’s been said taking one ride on a dirt bike will you to buy one of your own. Have you had that experience?

According to American Motorcyclist Association, whether you’re a new off-road rider or a veteran, there are six truths every rider needs to know.

Don’t ride alone: Once in a while it’s fun to take a ride on your own to clear your head, but dirt bikes are more fun when you head out with a few friends. Plus, riding with a group is safer in case of a crash or if your bike breaks down.

Don’t buy new, at first: The performance and superior capabilities of a new model fresh off the sales floor will be lost on new riders. If you spend $1,500 on your first dirt bike rather than $7,000 you’ll be a lot less bummed when you tip over in a pile of rocks and bang up your machine. Here are a couple used bikes American Motorcyclist suggests:

  • Honda XR250/4000
  • Honda CRF230
  • Kawasaki KDX200/220
  • Kawasaki KLX300

Dress the part: I can’t stress enough the importance of wearing the proper gear out on the trails. That includes boots, eye protection, long pants, gloves and helmets. Even the best riders crash once in a while. Being prepared is always the best policy.

Learn the right way: Skill and safety are the two most important aspects when it comes to learning how to drive a dirt bike. And you can’t always depend on the advice you receive from a relative or friend. Why not take an accredited class, such as the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Dirt Bike School (www.dirtbikeschool.org)? It just makes good sense.

Ride legally: Ride only on properly designated public land or in private riding parks where you have permission.

Ride local: No matter your skill level, participate in local riding events sponsored by the AMA. They design rides and races that appeal to a broad range of riders.

The bottom line is to just do it! It may be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.