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how common are serious injuries on dirtbikes?

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I raced mx for 25 yrs and been in the ER at several hospitals all over the state...and once almost died (12 broken ribs with punctured collapsed lungs). However, I've  only had one ER visit in 50 yrs. of off road riding...and I ride pretty fast.  Even that was kinda a freak accident. A sharp rock cut my rear brake line and when I went to brake my foot pointed way downward (I have a big foot!) and caught a rock or root. I was going fast and the impact wrapped my foot around the peg breaking it so bad they almost had to amputate it! Took a bunch of pins and cadaver bone to rebuild the sucker. 

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I've been hurt several times on a motocross track. But only once riding off-road and I blame the bike. 02 KTM 520 PDS shock bucked me over the bars, Broke my elbow on a rock.

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i’ve been on bikes for about 6-7 years now, and the only injury i’ve had beside scraps bruises and cuts was a couple ribs when i hit a tree in the trails, but like they said above if you ride smart you’ll almost never get hurt only reason i did was cause i was racing a buddy and lost it in a corner

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I do not race. No MX, no hare scrambles, no enduros. I have been back riding dirt bikes for 5 years. I am old and slow and careful. I've been to the ER four times. Broken my forearm (both bones), broken both hands, broken my wrist, nose and neck. I wear all the gear, all the time. People who say its safe are lying. There is risk. You can manage the risk, but it never goes away.

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28 minutes ago, willc86 said:

man yall making dirtbiking sound scary lol

Its a whole lot of fun, but there are safer things you could do.  Like video games. ;)

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think of it this way, if you’re sitting on something that is powered by a combustion motor, there’s gonna be a time when you’re gonna feel some pain, now depending how smart you are controlling that motor will reflect on how much pain you’ll be in.

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22 minutes ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Its a whole lot of fun, but there are safer things you could do.  Like video games. ;)

nah im good lol!

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26 minutes ago, cjjeepercreeper said:

Its a whole lot of fun, but there are safer things you could do.  Like video games. ;)

Faster! Faster! Until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death!

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dang well, seems to be the inevitable  unless the trails I do end up riding when my skills build up actually aint that bad but shit can happen even walking lol. hopefully me lifting weights will keep preventing me from breaking anything but im not going to stop...too much fun lol. and im one to always want to progress and get better..but i think im going to limit myself to real technical riding (maybe) lol

would you guys say most ER visit type of injuries happen on downhill, technical? normal flowly type rides? just getting some responses to mitigate my risks

I bet it’s high speed, jumping, or head impacts on trails that cause the most

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5 hours ago, willc86 said:

dang yeah i figure thats the case. Ive seen that in the ATV world. some girl is there and they just start hitting these nasty hole and quad flip on them in the water. I might avoid track though since ive heard trail riding is much safer. If I was younger, I think I would do track but now have health insurance to think about lol. 

Quads are the worst...4 wheels makes everyone think they can ride fast....then they have to turn...n when they role that beast comes after them...I have 4 boys 8, 5, 4 and 1.... the top three all ride...started on crf 50, then pw80 now my 8 year old rides a klx110l , they all show really good common sence.... yes they wiped out lots, yes they were all the gear and only injury so far was a minor leg burn...for the max track I paid for a few lessons 3 to be exact n never one wipe out....they don’t compete but they have fun....gear even on a hot day or a short ride is always on or they don’t ride....it’s saved them countless times

quads n horse back riding are far more dangerous then your average dirt bike adventure riding...max track I won’t comment on as I’ve never been on one myself..the local max track in popkum, bc has a junior track when my boys are there...I run support

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6 minutes ago, TeamGreenPilot said:

Faster! Faster! Until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death!

Says the guy that suddenly realized this weekend that he really did miss going faster and to heck with those logs and rocks and stuff. :lol:

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A lot of people have covered the main points but I'll add my 2cents. Dirtbiking can be dangerous just like any other physical activity but your personal decisions can have a  lot to do with it. 

  1. Don't ride over your head - This is easier said than done nowadays since most dirt bikes are sooo good even in stock form and just beg you to go faster.
  2. Don't ride faster than you can see and stop - Another hard one thats hard to stick too but I can't tell you how many times I've been riding down a bland flat dirt road in the desert and just get greeted out of nowhere by a 4-6ft deep washout or come around a corner on a trail I've ridden a thousand times get greeted by a rockslide.
  3. Crashing is a skill - Most people never think about this but how you react once things start to go bad has a big effect on whether you get injured or not. For example, Lock up, get stiff and start doing all kinds of pointless emergency dabs instead of just ditching the bike? Thats a good way to blow out a knee or twist an ankle. Even if you're a slow rider who never crashes on trails its important to still practice technique drills so you don't panic when something unexpected happens.
  4. Knowing when to let go - Kind of a variation of 3. Shifters, Levers, Pipes, Plastics, Clutch covers and Radiators are easy to fix or replace...your body parts aren't. You see so many crashes where if the rider would have just let go of the bike might it may have gotten busted up but they wouldn't have.
  5. Safety gear - Having good safety gear is important. Riding 60mph through the desert in a just a helmet, short sleeve shirt and cheap boots? Probably is going to look like a crime scene chalk outline when they eventually crash.
  6. Slowing your pace once you get fatigued - I lot of my crashes have come from this one. You've been riding 4-6 hours and go for that epic last hill climb or obstacle...then things start to go wrong...but since your tired you can't manhandle the bike and recover like you would have 3 hours ago and get injured.

I feel trail riding is safer because of less peer pressure (I guess that depends on your trail riding partners too) If your getting lapped by everyone on a motocross track its hard to not try to go faster. I ride in the desert so head on collisions aren't that likely since you can see the other persons roost dust cloud a mile away but in tight woods that another risk.

So yeah it can be safe if you prepare for the crash ahead of time (gear, technique, planning) and ignore the voices in your head telling you to "Send it" lol

Edited by 2WheelsOffroad
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if you are accident prone outside of riding. chances are you will be accident prone riding. if you do things out of your comfort zone or over your ability on a normal basis, then theres a good chance you will eventually try things outside your comfort zone or above your ability riding.

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6 hours ago, emperialwizzard said:

I have seen multiple people literally almost die. Multiple helicopter rides out, etc. Every one of them were riding wayyy above their heads and on a moto track. Rule #1 to stay out of the ER is never ride over your ability level. Peer pressure is a huge cause in making you want to ride over your head. Don’t do it! I have been riding mx for over 20 years and I have only had a couple ER trips so far (collar bones), but I always ride within my means. I rather not jump something and go home with a smile and all my health rather than launch something I’m not comfortable on just because others are doing it. It’s ok to push your limits, but keep it in perspective. Always go with an extra body to drive your shit home too Incase you do take a spill. That my .02 cents. If you want some good reading material check out the motorcycle safety foundation online. They have a lot of good stats and info. They also have classes if your learning and want more confidence. emoji106.png

Peer pressure and video cameras.   

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Proper gear is also a big must. Like a lot of these guys have said, riding and doing something beyond your skill level will get you hurt. The proper bike for your skill level is important as well. The wrong bike for what you are doing can get you in trouble. Get the right bike, right gear and the right crowd to ride with will keep you 90% healthy and having fun. There are always a few bumps and bruises during the learning curve and even after you get in your comfort zone, but the major injuries hopefully will be limited.

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6 hours ago, willc86 said:

so out of curiosity and slowly getting hooked on dirtbikes...how common are serious injuries on dirtbikes that required you a medical / ER visit? ive met a few people who never had any bad injuries, just spills and falls. 

I know MX tracks provide more, so I wont include this, but maybe for trail riders and technical trail riders. Lets just say my health insurance is not its best lol, so I always been curious about this. TBH, i havent met anyone who was seriously injured and required ER visit from trail riding. Curious about you guys

I have ridden from when I was 6 to now I’m 14 and have only ever crashed once and that was when I was 7. Not bragging just saying you’ll only get hurt if you take risks

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The worst injuries I've seen in trail riding have been head on accidents. I minimize that issue by choosing where and when to ride certain trails and always looking through the trees as I'm riding, occasionally shutting off and listening for other bikes ahead on the trail....even then,  I've had a few near misses over the years. Now I try to ride less populated areas so I don't have to worry about it so much.

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24 minutes ago, HevyRotashunz said:

Shit happens, then you take pills and do physical therapy, then you go to rehab and do thousands of pushups, then you ride again. Repeat. 

The best part of getting hurt is the pills I do have to admit.

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