Are you sick of not being able to clear the jumps at your local tracks? Do other riders not like you because you’re always in their way? A simple way to fix this is to build your own jumps in your yard. Although building a jump might not be easy without good equipment, it will be worth it once you make a jump or two because you will learn how to clear these obstacles in no time.
The first thing you want to do is find an area where to put the jump. You probably don’t want to build it next to trees or big pits until you are more experienced. The ground does not have to be flat though. In fact, a little slant or elevation change will make it a easier to build a jump because you can dig into ground for the take-off. Once you found a good spot for your dirt bike jump you should have some other thoughts in mind, such as: what type of jump you want, how big the jump will be, and what kind of dirt you will use.
If you want a motocross style jump that gives you more distance, a good estimation to go by is the 3-to-1 ratio. It basically means that if you have a jump 3 feet long then the height of the jump should be 1 foot. So if your jump is 9 feet long then a good height will be about 3 feet. So far you should have figured out where you are going to put a dirt bike jump and how big it is going to be.
On the other hand, if you want a supercross style jump it will be a little bit different. Motocross jumps are more gradual, while supercross jumps generally have a greater angle and give you more height. The main difference in building a supercross jump is that you want a steeper angle, so instead of a 3:1 ratio it might be 2 1/2: or even 2:1.
A couple more things to think about while building the actual jumps is to make sure it’s gradual take-off and not abrupt, or else you will be getting bucked around and have a high chance of flipping the bike in the air. Also, you want to make sure the take-off/base of the jump is longer than the length of the dirt bikes wheelbase. If the take-off is not long enough then it’s not going to be a smooth jump.
Once you figure out what kind of jump you want and how big it’s going to be then you have to decide what to do about dirt. A well made jump should have a good amount of clay in it, so if you’re lucky enough to have clay or a mixture of clay for soil then use it. If you have sand but don’t want to rebuild the jump every time you use it then you can always bring in some clay. Clay itself is fairly cheap, but if you have to get it hauled in by someone else then it’s going to take a chunk out of your wallet. This is not to say that you shouldn’t make sand jumps for dirt biking, because it’s a easy and will last longer if you pack it down and water it often.
Now to the actual building of the dirt bike jump… If you have heavy duty equipment, such as a skid-loader, then great! But for those that are using a tractor, four-wheeler with attachments, or even just shovels, don’t lose your confidence. It’s still possible to make a good jump, it will just take more effort. Plus, you will build some muscle if you do the work yourself! To cut the building time down to almost half, at the start you can put logs, bricks, or any objects to make the base, then just pile dirt on top. If you’re making a jump on a hill or if the ground is slanted (having the jump go uphill is easiest) simply dig dirt out below the jump and pile it up on the base of the jump. Remember to keep it smooth and fill in any holes or drops, even if they are small. The wider the jump is the better, especially when it’s packed down. For one, it’s wider so you can have more than one line, and it will last longer. If you’re bringing in enough dirt then there’s no need to dig prior to the jump, unless you want more air.
Just keep putting more and more dirt on the jump until you think there’s plenty, then add a little more. It may seem like a lot, but it’s better than fixing it or repeatedly adding more dirt. As soon as you’re done building the jump you scan it over a couple more times and get rid of any bumps or divots that might affect riding. Another key to having a good jump is making a good lip. The lip of the jump is the edge where the bike takes off. If this is not made right then you will not stay as stable in the air. To make a good lip just smooth of the top and make sure it flows with the rest of the jump. You can look at from the side to see if the angle is gradual or not.
I’m not done!
To put the finishing touches you should water the jump and let it sit for a day or two so it hardens…. I think that pretty much covers the basics of how to make dirt bike jumps. Just be sure to build the jumps safe, and that you are making them on your own property. Good luck, and have fun!