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Motorcycle Stunt Riding Gear

Motorcycle Stunt Riding Gear

Motorcycle stunt riding offers an adrenaline rush that standard motorcycling cannot match. However, it also is several times more dangerous than daily, off-road, and race track riding. Stunt riding pushes a motorcycle’s capabilities and a rider’s ability to maintain control. Besides focus and experience, stunt riding requires special safety gear to reduce the risk of injury or death if you fail a maneuver. In this guide, you will learn all about motorcycle stunt riding gear.

1. What is Motorcycle Stunt Riding?

Motorcycle stunt riding, also called freestyle street bike riding, is a motorsport where highly skilled stunt riders use motorcycles to perform dangerous motorcycle maneuvers and thrilling tricks. Motorcycle stunts can be legally performed in closed areas, at stunt shows, in motorcycle rallies, shown in movies, and on designated public areas after creating a safe and controlled environment. Performing motorcycle stunts including wheelies on public roads is illegal in American states. Many stunt riders work in organized commercial teams that perform at private venues. Over the years, motorcycle stunt riding has gained immense popularity, compelling many motorcycle enthusiasts to learn and perform the stunts. However, stunt riding is still considered a controversial part of motorcycle culture.

1.1 History of Motorcycle Stunt Riding

During the mid-20th century motorcycle stunt riders, outlaws, showmen, or daredevils would entertain crowds with their bold maneuvers. In the late 20th century, motorcycle stunt riding became an official motorsport thanks to dedicated motorcycle enthusiasts who organized events to promote this activity.

In the 1970s and 1980s, organized motorcycle stunt teams first emerged. With multiple stunt teams vying for recognition, the motorcycle community began to organize formal competitions. This laid the groundwork for modern motorcycle stunt riding.

In the 1990s, the first formal freestyle motocross event was held, which helped further the growth of the sport.

In the 2000s, motorcycle stunt riding gained even more attention as the entertainment industry started hiring professional stunt riders for action movie scenes. This exposure led to motorcycle stunt riders receiving global recognition and becoming more important in the entertainment industry.

Currently, motorcycle stunt riding is considered a possible career. Moreover, thanks to YouTube and other social media platforms, stunt riders not part of the entertainment industry can showcase their skills to the world.

2. Popular Motorcycle Stunts & Maneuvers

Motorcycle stunt riding includes a wide range of stunts and maneuvers, each requiring precision and a specific skill set. All riders start by learning the basic maneuvers listed below. After you master these stunts, only then can you come up with new tricks, create a series of maneuvers, and try out advanced stunts. 


Wheelies involve lifting the motorcycle's front wheel off the ground and riding the bike on the rear wheel. Mastering this trick is no easy task as the rider must be able to maintain stability and balance on only a single wheel; otherwise, he can get seriously injured.


A stoppie is basically the opposite of a wheelie as it  involves using the front brake to lift the rear wheel off the ground, riding the motorcycle on the front wheel. This stunt requires knowing how much force to apply when using the brake or you risk flipping the motorcycle over.


Drifting involves sliding the rear wheel while moving the motorcycle in circles and  maintaining control throughout the movement. This stunt requires proper body positioning and throttle control that comes with practicing the move continuously.

Burnout/Tire Marking

Burnout is another basic stunt that involves rear tire spins while the motorcycle is stationary. The stunt is known for creating thick smoke and leaving tire marks on the road. Many riders perform burnouts off road or on gravel paths to make visible tire marks. For this, the rider must learn and master how to lock the rear brake and spin the rear wheel while keeping the bike in place.

Acrobatic Stunts

Acrobatic stunts involve standing on the seat or the fuel tank while the bike is moving, letting go of the handlebars and extending your limbs, sitting on the bike backward, and other maneuvers that showcase balance, flexibility, and precision.

Motorcycle Jumps

Motorcycle jumps involve launching the bike off a ramp and doing different tricks while in the air. Some riders also extend one or both legs while in mid-air. Timing is of the utmost importance in this stunt 


Professional motorcycle stunt riders often combine multiple maneuvers into a seamless sequence. Stunt series often transition smoothly from one trick to another.

3. Tips to Become a Skilled Motorcycle Stunt Rider

Listed below are steps you can take to become a better motorcycle stunt rider:

Learn to Ride & Gain Experience

The first step is to learn how to ride a motorcycle properly. It is best to complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) course or any other state-approved motorcycle training course to learn fundamental riding and safety skills. These courses will also help you earn a motorcycle endorsement/license. Moreover, you will become familiar with motorcycle operation and maintenance, allowing you to better understand your motorcycle’s capabilities. After completing a course, try to spend time practicing your riding skills on different roads and in various traffic and weather conditions.

Practice Basic Motorcycle Skills

Never try to pull off complex riding stunts while you are still learning. Focus on mastering basic motorcycle maneuvers, emergency braking, maintaining control at slow speeds, and cornering.

Professional Training

To learn how to do stunts, enroll in stunt riding schools and training programs. These programs are led by professional stunt riders who have mastered every advanced stunt and know how to create a safe environment to practice stunt riding. In the United States, there are several reputable stunt riding schools you can join, including:

Superbike School, California

California Superbike School teaches a range of skills useful for race tracks and high-speed riding. In this school, you will learn how to make the best of your motorcycle’s engine outputs on a track. Besides racing training, this school also offers one-day stunt riding classes in California. Aspirants learn how to perform common techniques, such as wheelies, stoppies, burnouts, drifting, and other basic stunts.

Nick Stunt School

Founded and run by a professional stunt artist Nick “Apex” Brocha, Nick Stunt School offers personalized motorcycle stunt training sessions and related workshops. Nick has garnered much attention for his challenging stunts over the years and he teaches all his signature motorcycle moves in a safe environment during different sessions. You can learn more about Nick’s workshops through his official Instagram handle. You can also check out Nick’s YouTube video to find out about his prowess over the motosport.

XDL Stunt School

XDL Street Jam frequently schedules stunt shows and workshops across America. At these events, experienced motorcycle stunt riders perform different stunts. Plus, aspiring stunt riders have an opportunity to learn basic stunt techniques from the prominent names of the stunt riding circuit. XDL is also known for organizing different stunt competitions that will inspire you to try out stunt riding. You can follow XDL Street Jam on social media platforms to stay updated on upcoming events.

Practice Basic Motorcycle Stunts

After you have finished basic training, you will need to practice different stunts on your own. Practice common stunts like wheelies, burnouts,  and endos in areas with little to no traffic and have enough room to maneuver. Practicing on areas with soft dirt is recommended since you will suffer less injuries if you fall off your bike. Search for designated stunt parks or open off-road areas where motorcycle riding is allowed. Once you master basic stunts, you can start searching for training sessions that teach more advanced stunts.

Motorcycle Stunt Riding Clubs

Motorcycle stunt riding clubs are composed of novice and experienced stunt riders. Interactions allow club members to share and learn from each other’s experiences. Through these clubs, you can expand your network and find opportunities to participate in events and competitions.

Record Your Stunts

When performing stunts, it is best to record it. The video will help you analyze your body position and technique. Plus, you can show the video to a trainer or a more experienced stunt rider for feedback. After reviewing a video of your performance, you can find areas that need further improvement. Any videos that demonstrate your mastery of stunts can be shared on social media platforms for self promotion and earn money.

Look for Professional Stunt Riding Opportunities

By promoting yourself on social media, you might be able to attract sponsors. You also may be offered opportunities in the entertainment industry, such as movies, stunt shows, private venues, and other motorcycle events. Any stunt videos you record can be compiled into a portfolio.

4. Motorcycle Stunt Riding Gear

To ensure your safety while riding, make sure to wear the following stunt riding safety gear:

4.1 Certified Helmet

A helmet acts as a protective shield and shock absorber, reducing the risk of severe or fatal head injuries during failed stunt attempts. Always wear a DOT-certified full-face helmet that is lightweight, durable, and impact-resistant. It should also offer clear vision and optimal airflow even when riding at slow speeds. 

4.2 Eye Protection

Eye protection keeps insects, wind, air-borne debris, and other tiny particles from interfering with your vision. Certified helmets with visors or protective goggles will protect your eyes.

4.3 Neck Brace

A neck brace is optional equipment, but it can provide neck support and reduce impact if you fall off your motorcycle.

4.4 Clothing

Wear full leather or padded attire to reduce impact and abrasions if you skid on the road. Kevlar or SuperFabric jackets and pants are the best options since they are tear-resistant, durable, and dry quickly after being washed.

4.5 Reinforced Gloves & Boots

Wear reinforced gloves and boots with plush ankle support to protect your hands and feet.

4.6 Elbow & Knee Joint Guards

Elbow and knee joint guards can help protect them from joint misalignment, ligament sprains, hairline fractures, major fractures, meniscus tears, and other injuries.

4.7 Fire-Resistant Clothing

Pyrotechnics are often used in motorcycle stunts. To avoid catching on fire, you need to wear fire-resistant clothing, including fire-proof undergarments and gasket suits. If the stunts involve coming in close proximity to fire but not actually touching them, then opt for clothes made of CarbonX, Modacrylic, Nomex, or Kevlar. Certain cotton fabrics can also be treated with chemicals to make them fireproof. Most  protective gloves are already made of fireproof materials. For stunts that involve riding your motorcycle through fire tracks or rings, wear a thick layer of fire gel. Fire gels are viscous and stay in place after being applied. They can also help make your undergarments and outer protective layers more fireproof. Look for fire gels that work best between 72-74°F.

4.8 Back Protectors

Motorcycle stunts are a primary cause of herniated discs, chronic back pain, and cervical injury. In severe cases, stunt riders can also become paralyzed or suffer impaired mobility (tetraplegia). Back protectors feature viscoelastic polymer foam or similar materials for optimal shock absorption to better protect your spine. Make sure the protector is lightweight, breathable, heat-resistant, and can fit inside your jacket. You can always keep them in your motorcycle luggage.

5. Takeaway

Motorcycle stunt riding is an impressive demonstration of control, handling, and courage, but it can be risky. To reduce the risk of injury, wearing proper riding gear will help protect your entire body. Missing even a single piece of safety gear can have grave consequences. As you gain experience and recognition, it is your duty to promote the use of protective gear to all riders.

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