Try before you buy, test before you invest and crash before you part with cash? Not everyone wants the expense or trouble of owning a dirt bike. Most ‘Try-Outs’ are geared up for any level of rider; fish around and you’ll find them spread right across the UK. This is a list of tried and tested options, but there are more – your local off-road dealer is the best resource for this info. You’ll need kit for dealer try-outs (helmet, boots and gloves minimum) but most others have kit available.
1. Kawasaki UK team up with Bike Safe for their training to make better riders of us rather than off-road demons – dirt bikes being the best way of learning control skills. £200 kawasaki-bikesafe.co.uk
2. Honda’s school in Mid-wales employs former multi-world MX champ, Dave Thorpe to run the school. Any level rider on Adventure, Enduro or MX bikes. £209 davethorpehondaoffroad.com
3. Yamaha also base themselves in the middle of Welsh Wales. A range of courses for any level of rider includes an ‘off-road experience’ day aimed as a taster session. £205 off-road.yamaha-offroadexperience.co.uk
4. Husqvarna UK’s ‘try-out days’ don’t provide instruction, just 15-20minutes sessions on the Husky range at practice days organised with key off-road clubs . Prices around £20-30. husqvarnamotorcycles.com/gb/dealer-search
5. KTM also run ‘try-out days’, again it is TBC for the imminent 2017 motocross and enduro models, which is a huge range, so plenty to choose from. Prices TBC again £20-30 is likely per session. ktm.com/gb/dealer/
6. KTM being the biggest off-road manufacturer, there are plenty of schools to choose from. KTM UK support two schools: enduro training with adysmith.co.uk (from £190) and MX with ktm-experience.co.uk (£185).
7. Wheeldon Farm has been running off-road training in Devon since 2003. Their 30,000ft track inside a barn helps training in all weathers, though outdoors is an option too. From £225 per day. wheeledontwo.co.uk
8. Slow-speed skills are the basis for good bike control on any bike and popular as a training tool for many road racers. These three schools can provide bike, kit and training.
>> inchperfecttrials.co.uk from £125 per day.
>> trialsday.com from £150 per day.
>> trickinthesticks.co.uk from £150.
9. Speedway could be the best value way of trying off-road. Regular sessions at Scunthorpe give you tuition, kit and a small capacity bike to learn the art of slide. £70 scunthorpescorpions.co.uk
10. Another way of learning the technique of slide is at the Flat Track School with Mr Lincolnshire ,UK bike sport legend and Bike road tester Peter Boast. £159 flattrackschool.co.uk