You go out and ride in the dirt, anything but pavement, be it graded roads, fire roads. logging tracks, single or double track, and you take a low-speed dirt nap.

There are lots of new riders to the dirt and the interwebs are awash with photos of proud owners standing next to their downed bike.

After going down in an easy off most likely your riding buddies will most likely get a photo of you

Yep me and my dropped bike in sand


Ok so next get the bike up, jump on and ride away, right?

How about letting your adrenaline settle a little and do a quick 30-second, 5 point check

  1. are you bars aligned with your front wheel?


photo courtesy of thumper talk

This is the easiest thing to happen to your bike even on a minor impact or drop.

Quick and easy to resolve, loosen your pinch bolts, hold the front wheel straight between your knees then make bars line up correctly and square, then retighten the pinch bolts

2. hand control damage?

bent lever

Levers mostly are cast aluminum, if they are bent check for cracks, if they are useable don’t try and straighten them back to original shape until you are back home or somewhere you can get a replacement.

Also, check the mounts, if the lever took damage that impact energy has to go somewhere, double-check the pivot is not broken or cracked, or any hardware is loose or missing.

Did your handguards do their job, do they need realigning, is all the hardware still there and tight?

3. Brake and clutch lines, still hold pressure and other leaks?

Just simply hold the lever in tight and keep solid pressure on it, the lever should not move inwards once it’s settled if it does double-check for damage to the brake or clutch lines.

If there is no damage but the pressure doesn’t feel like normal there might be a chance, if your bike flipped, you might have a small air pocket. Simple multiple pumps of the lever normally will bring that air pocket back to the reservoir and it will go away.

Check your reservoirs front and rear for any signs of fluid. Check your gas tank for new damage especially if it’s angular, look closely at point of impact, this is where damage most likely can happen but also check the tank is still tight to the frame

4. Foot controls?

Don’t ride home like this

photo courtesy of endurorider119


A quick check on the pegs and levers are there, straight and no hardware is missing. If it is most likely it will be right there, ride away and if you’re carrying additional hardware this could be your new foot peg until the replacement arrives

5. Lastly, why did you go down in the first place?

A quick kick of the tires or longer pressure gauge check will let you know you didn’t get a pinch flat of the tire isn’t completely down yet

photo courtesy of Tube Saddle


once you know its all good, ride away and be the guy taking the photo next time.


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