There are few thrills out there that are better than getting on the back of a bike for a ride. Whether it’s for a long-haul road adventure or a short trip on Sunday afternoon, there’s something about the freedom of the road. However, dirt bike riding offers up its very own adventure for those who like their thrills a little less tamed! Getting on a bike can be great, no matter if it’s motorized or not, but getting in the dirt can be best when it comes to bringing out your inner child.
Whether you’re a novice to the sport of biking or you’re practically a professional, it can be hard to know where to begin when it comes to this exciting sport. And, while there’s a lot to know about dirt biking, we’ve got the information that will get you started. From the kind of bikes you’ll need to the best dirt bike brand out there, there’s an awful lot to know. Fortunately, whether you’ve done your research or you’re just starting out, here are some great pointers for where to begin before hitting the trail.
What are dirt bikes?
Whether you’re entirely new to the dirt bike world or you’re getting off your motorcycle in search of a new adventure, dirt bikes are a little different. Since dirt bikes are meant for riding through dirt, they have a different handle than the average street motorcycle. While the controls on both bikes are often the same, there are many differences. Dirt bikes are generally taller, lighter and offer more suspension than a motorcycle. As a result, there are different types of dirt bikes that will offer their rider a different experience:
- Recreational Bike – If you’re new to dirt biking, a recreational bike is a good place to test out your skills. These bikes are easy to ride, comfortable and they won’t break the budget. They usually feature a 4-stroke engine and are perfect for hitting the local dirt bike track. However, if you’re looking for something a little bit more robust, you may need to go with something a little sportier.
- Trail Bike – In order to ride along rough trails, these bikes are built to be more durable than a recreational bike. They are usually high performance, high compression and more high tech than their recreational counterpart. They are also taller so that they can easily clear the ground and help you avoid trail mishaps. The Husqvarna dirt bike TXC series and KTM XC series are good examples of this style of bike.
- Motocross Bike – If you’re thinking about getting involved in the sport of motocross, this bike style is perfect for embracing your competitive spirit! In addition to being high performance, its engine and suspension are well suited for riding the rough dirt bike trails without incident.
How do dirt bikes work?
If you’ve come to understand a little bit about dirt biking, you’ve probably heard a little bit about the 2-stroke and the 4-stroke engine. While both styles have internal combustion engines with pistons, cylinder block and head, and exhaust outlets, there is a difference. A two-stroke engine completes a power cycle with two strokes of the piston during a crankshaft revolution. A four-stroke engine requires four strokes of the piston during a crankshaft revolution, which makes it less powerful than the two-stroke. Whatever engine you have, the movement of the piston is responsible for rotating the crankshaft. This motion is transmitted by the clutch and the transmission, and it’s this that makes your dirt bike run.
How to ride a dirt bike?
Dirt biking isn’t complicated, but it’s important to know how to ride from the get-go. This will ensure that you don’t develop any bad habits along the way.
- To begin, turn on the bike’s battery power.
- You may not need the choke if it’s a warm day, but it may be necessary for a cooler climate.
- Since neutral can be tricky to find on your first ride, it’s a good idea to start the bike in first gear using the clutch.
- Once you’re here, you can push a button or step down on the lever to start the engine. Most bikes don’t tell you what gear you’re in, so you’ll have to get used to what feels right for you.
- To move, you’ll want to roll back the throttle as you let go of the clutch.
- It’s important, though, to do this at the same time to avoid any mishaps. It’s worth being aware that it can take a little practice to get it right.
- If you want to slow down while riding, you’ll want to pull the clutch before you brake.
- It’s also a good idea to get in the habit of using your foot brake before your hand brake.
- The foot brake will provide a smoother stop before you get the feel for your hand brake.
- As well, when needed, ensure you are using proper rider’s position with your bum balanced a few inches about the seat to better weather any bumps.
How to buy a dirt bike?
If you’re completely new to the world of dirt biking, it can be more than a little overwhelming to go out and buy a bike. Fortunately, whether you’re looking for a recreational bike or a trail bike, there are a few tips for getting what you need from your new thrill ride.
- Determine a Budget – A dirt bike may not cost the same as a car or truck. However, you’ll still need to put aside a few thousand to make the right purchase. It’s important to keep in mind when deciding on the amount you want to spend that there will be extras along the way. In addition to basic bike maintenance, you’ll also want to set aside money for dirt bike gear, biking tools, and even a dirt bike stand. If you think you may want to upgrade anything down the road, ensure that you put some money aside in the budget.
- Do the Research – Whether you’re new to dirt biking or not, it’s always important to do the necessary research before you make a purchase. The Internet is a great resource for determining what kind of bike you’ll need, and what the best bike models are. However, you may also want to head down to your local dirt bike shop and get some advice from the professionals. If they really love the sport, they’ll be happy to give you some pointers on exactly what you should be looking for. You’ll also want to get some ideas on customer reviews and average prices so you know you’re getting the best bike for what you’re paying.
- Test Out the Bike – It might not always be possible to test out the dirt bike that you’re considering buying. However, if a local bike shop provides this option, it’s a good idea to take advantage of it. You may be able to head to a local bike conference to see if they offer this service. It’s all well and good if you feel you’ve found the right bike for the right price. But that’s no assurance that you’re going to feel comfortable on it. For that reason, it’s important to try out a bike to make sure the suspension feels right, the height works for you and you can easily envision a comfortable ride.
What are the best dirt bike tracks in the world?
There are a number of great destinations around the world where you can enjoy all the freedom that comes along with riding a dirt bike. Fortunately, the following three are the best dirt bike tracks that are famed in the world of professional dirt biking.
- Red Bud MX Track (United States) – This destination track in the United States offers up not one but three different tracks for the dirt biker! Luckily for avid riders, it’s also known for the annual Motocross Championships that take place every July 4th weekend to much fanfare. While this might make it a great destination, it’s Larocco’s Leap that really takes the cake. Constructed in 1991, this jump stretches for 120 feet and offers up one of the greatest thrills you can find anywhere in the world.
- Ernee Circuit (France) – When it comes to dirt biking, most people don’t think immediately of the European country of France. However, this famous track located just outside of Ernee, France offers up one of the most heart-pounding dirt bikes tracks in all of Europe. While it’s not a great place for the newbie to begin, it’s the perfect thrill ride for the seasoned professional. With plenty of twists, turns, and vertical drop-offs, this is a dirt biker’s dream destination.
- Louee Enduro and Motocross Complex (Australia) – Located in New South Wales, you’ll know this track is the real thing because it’s owned by an avid dirt biker! Fortunately, everyone from the novice to the professional will find something to love about this locale. This track features more than 150 kilometres of riding and racing space stretched across 10,000 acres. And, there are even five Motocross tracks that riders can choose from! These include the Motocross track at 1500 metres, the Thumper Nationals at 1450 metres, and the Enduro Special Test, a single line trail featuring a water obstacle.
What are the best dirt bike brands?
When it comes to motorcycling, most people have heard of the big names like Harley Davidson and Indian. But, the world of dirt biking can be a little less familiar. Fortunately, when it comes to some of the best dirt bike brands out there, they aren’t as unknown as you might think.
- KTM – One of the most important aspects of a dirt bike is lightness, and the manufacturer KTM has it covered when it comes to this design style. Fortunately, they also offer a variety of up-to-date features that are popular with dirt bikers and make for a truly customized bike. In addition to focusing on the 2-stroke engine, KTM also has great features like accessible air filters and removable seats.
- Husqvarna – Known commonly as Husky, this brand is owned by KTM but it’s still one of the most popular dirt bike brands around in its own right. While the Husqvarna bikes do have a variety of features that differentiate them from KTM, they offer a lot of the same lightness and adaptability that KTM bikes do.
- Yamaha – This is probably the most well-known manufacturer of dirt bikes in the world, and they’re certainly appreciated for being at the top of their game. In fact, the Yamaha 250F has been voted the most popular bike of its style by Dirt Bike Magazine for many years. While they may not have the customization of KTMs, Yamaha has made a name for itself and it shows in the final product.
- Kawasaki – While Kawasaki is one of the more familiar names in the world of dirt biking, they also happen to be budget friendly. If you’re a novice looking to start out, Kawasaki will provide you with a great bike at a great price. For those looking for a 4-stroke model, Kawasaki can be the manufacturer of choice.
- Honda – Honda may be one of the manufacturers last in line when it comes to dirt biking. However, they do have some great bikes out there like the 50 CC and the Honda 250 dirt bike. While Honda was once considered one of the best the dirt bike manufacturers, their reputation has fallen a little since they began to focus on 4-stroke engines.
It can feel like there’s a lot to learn for those who are new to the world of dirt biking. From how to purchase a bike to exactly what you’ll need to ride, it’s a world away from riding the roads on a motorcycle! Fortunately, there are plenty of thrill rides and dirt bike parts Australia offers up for the novice or the pro. Whether you want to hang out in Australia or spend your time traveling tracks around the world, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to dirt biking. Whether you’re looking to hit the trails or you want a truly recreational ride, there’s a dirt bike out there to suit every kind of rider.