For most of us, summer is winding down. The air is getting cooler, the days are getting busier, and the nights are getting longer. Some of you may think that means less riding, but it doesn’t have to. If you haven’t ridden your dirt bike at night, you’re missing out. We’ve completed our fair share of trail rides in the dark, so we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you try it out for yourself.

Bike Lights

Our first tip may be an obvious one, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If your bike doesn’t have any lights, you’ll want to add some before you go riding. Even if your bike does have lights, though, it’s probably time for an upgrade. When it comes to night riding, you can never have enough light, which means whatever setup your bike came with likely isn’t cutting it. So, whether you’re installing lights for the first time or just adding onto what’s already there, here are a few options that can turn the night into day.

Dirt Bikes with Lights

Baja Designs Squadron Pro Lights

These lights are small, but boy are they bright. 4,900 lumens packed into a 3”x3” square, Baja Designs Squadron Pro lights are waterproof, rain proof, and backed by a lifetime warranty. Plus, with an LED life expectancy of just under 50,000 hours, they’re going to keep your nights lit for years to come. It’s worth noting that these lights don’t come with a mount for the handlebar, but an L bracket should do the trick.

Baja Designs Squadron Pro Lights
Baja Designs Squadron Pro Single LED Light Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Lights Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Light Kit Baja Designs Squadron ProS2 LED Light Kit
Baja Designs Squadron Pro Single LED Light Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Lights Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED Light Kit Baja Designs Squadron ProS2 LED Light Kit

Thumper Jockey Headlight Kits

These lights come with a handlebar mount, so no DIY will be required. Plus, the Thumper Jockey Kits connect directly to the battery of your dirt bike, making them reliable and easy to use. Encased in a virtually unbreakable lens and coming in a 3,000 and 5,000 lumen option, these lights will easily become a staple accessory on your bike.

Thumper Jockey Headlight Kits
Thumper Jockey Enduro 3000 Headlight Kit Thumper Jockey Crusader Headlight Kit
Thumper Jockey Enduro 3000 Headlight Kit Thumper Jockey Crusader Headlight Kit

Helmet Lights

The smaller, more lightweight version of the bike light, helmet lights mount directly onto the helmet. Most mount using the Go Pro mount that most riders already have on their helmets. An added bonus of helmet lights is that they allow you to see wherever you’re turning your head, not just where the bike is facing. You can figure out a setup that works best for you – one on top, one on either side, a kit, single lights, etc. – and go from there. With a combination of bike lights and helmet lights, the trail in front of you will be that much more illuminated. Click on the links below to see some of the highest rated, most popular helmet lights on our website.

Riding in the Dark

Clear Goggle Lens

If you’re like us, you’re all about the tinted lenses. You can see easier, you squint less, and you just look good at the starting gate or on the trail. Tinted lenses at night, though? Not so much. On a few of the night rides we’ve been on, some of us have forgotten to pack a different pair of goggles or bring a clear lens. That same tint that made the sun just a little bit dimmer has the same effect at night – what’s already dark just gets darker. Avoid this frustration and make sure you have a clear lens or additional pair of goggles on hand. You’re investing in all sorts of lights to make the night brighter – don’t negate those efforts with a dark tinted lens.

Emergency Preparedness

Everything is a little different and a little scarier when it’s dark. Plus, everything is a little more unavailable. That’s why you need a plan in case you find yourself in an emergency situation. Unexpected obstacles, bike issues, injured riders – these are all things that can catch you off guard. So, be prepared. Have a plan. Some of the things we recommend taking on every night ride with you:

First Aid Kit – No matter when or where you ride, a first aid kit is always a good thing to pack. From minor spills to major crashes, you’ll be happy you have a little first aid in your pack.

First Aid Kit
Adventure Medical Kits Adventure First Aid 2.0 Kit Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Explorer Kit Adventure Medical Kits UltralightWatertight .7 Kit Kwik Tek First Aid Kit
Adventure Medical Kits Adventure First Aid 2.0 Kit Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Explorer Kit Adventure Medical Kits UltralightWatertight .7 Kit Kwik Tek First Aid Kit

Survival Kit – Like we said, things are always a little scarier at night. That especially goes for being stranded. If something happens and you’re stuck in place for the night, a survival kit will help you stay calm and relatively comfortable until help arrives.

Rain Jacket – If you’re having to navigate slippery terrain in the dark on account of some unexpected rain, you shouldn’t have to be worried about getting soaked yourself. A compact, basic rain jacket stowed away can be a lifesaver in these situations.

Packable Rain Jacket
A.R.C. Packable Jacket Thor Rain Jacket Fly Racing Stow-Away II Jacket
A.R.C. Packable Jacket Thor Rain Jacket Fly Racing Stow-Away II Jacket
Leatt Jacket Race Cover Acerbis Rain Jacket Thor Pack Jacket
Leatt Jacket Race Cover Acerbis Rain Jacket Thor Pack Jacket

Tool Roll – Bike maintenance doesn’t discriminate by time of day. You’d take a tool roll with you on a long trail ride during the day, so you should take a tool roll with you on your ride at night.

Tool Rolls
Tusk Cache Tool Roll Moose Racing Tool Wrap Black Wolfman Wolfy Tool Roll Nelson Rigg Tool Roll Black
Tusk Cache Tool Roll Moose Racing Tool Wrap Black Wolfman Wolfy Tool Roll Nelson Rigg Tool Roll Black

Extras – Snacks, drinks, matches, a few extra headlights – these are all good things to have, even if you aren’t stranded over night.

Communication

Peace of mind is worth every penny, and that peace of mind comes courtesy of a reliable communication device. When we say reliable, we mean something that works off of satellites, not just cellular service. That’s why we don’t ever go on a ride without a Garmin inReach. It allows you to communicate with anyone in the world at any time. You can update friends and family, use GPS to help you navigate the trails, and contact emergency services should you ever need to. Once you feel the security a device like that offers, you’ll never go on a ride without it either.

Communication is Key

And a Few More…

Slow down! You’re riding at night, it’s not a race. Enjoy the change of scenery and extra challenges that riding in the dark brings without getting into an accident because you were reckless. If you can’t fully see and assess what’s in front of you, slow down enough that you can get through the section safely.

Be patient! Much like slowing down, being patient means taking the extra time to clear an obstacle, make a turn, or get through a rough section of the trail.

What Are You Waiting For?

You’ve got the tips and knowhow, now it’s time to try night riding for yourself! So long as you have lights, an emergency plan, and the ability to communicate, you should be ready to confidently tackle your favorite trails in the dark. For even more help on dirt bike night riding, though, you can check out our Night Riding Essentials page here, or subscribe to our YouTube channel here. We’re always posting new videos about riding and the latest and greatest accessories the industry has to offer.

Dirt Bike in the Dark