Feb 8, 2020

Learning to Ride Dirt Bikes: What You Should Know Before You Hit the Saddle

Rusty G

Here’re some short-and-sweet tips to get you started in dirt bike riding.

There are many factors to consider before learning how to ride a dirt bike. For beginners, deciding between motocross racing and trail riding should be first and foremost on your to-do list.

Let’s break this down: riding conditions are less predictable on a dirt bike trail because climate conditions are always changing, which takes a huge toll on riding trails. On a motocross track, however, riding paths are man-made and obstacles are in plain view. If you don’t mind a little unpredictability and one-with-natureness, I recommend getting a trail riding dirt bike or dual sport motorcycle; but, if you thrive on competition and prefer a beaten path, go the MX route.
Interested in finding a beginner dirt bike that suits your riding style? Let’s get into it.

Learn to ride a dirt bike

What’s it like learning to ride dirt bikes?

Dirt bikes are quick, incredibly responsive, and a lot of fun to ride as long as there’s a capable rider behind the bars. It’s just as eager to perform as you are, and the margin for error is pretty small. In order to really rock it on the trail or track, you need skill, patience, and tons of practice, and it’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t check your expectations early on.

Remember: it’s not enough just to own one of the best dirt bikes—you have to know how to wield it.

Video Source: Brap Genius YouTube

Should I buy a used dirt bike?

Do you have enough riding experience to justify the purchase of a brand-new dirt bike? If not, buying used is the way to go. Your first few months of riding are going to be a little, well, shaky, and you definitely don’t want your new dirt bike to be clapped out before you’ve hit your peak riding performance.

What is a dirt bike?

Besides, you’d be doing your wallet a major solid buying used. Sure, it’ll have a few scars here and there, but that’s character building! And if you’re absolutely set on buying brand-new, you better be prepared to spend an extra $6,500.

What is the best beginner dirt bike?

If you're loyal to a particular brand, this section might be a waste of energy. On the other hand, if you’re completely green to the world of dirt bikes, I’d suggest looking into either KTM, Honda, or Yamaha. They’re all reliable and recognizable brands with deep roots in the powersports industry.  

Brands aside, there are some other factors to consider when you shop used dirt bikes. In addition to the engine’s displacement, pay special attention to whether the bike is two or four strokes. A skilled rider will have mastered both stroke types, but an unskilled rider would be wise to avoid investing in a swift ride characterized by frequent shifting and intense kicks to the motor.

Do you need a license to ride a dirt bike?

In most cases, no, you do not need a special license to ride a dirt bike. Things will change, however, if you want to ride your bike commercially (i.e. make it street-legal). Contact your state’s DMV or DOT to find out further licensing requirements.

Finally, while not as classroom-intensive as a motorcycle safety course, beginner dirt bike classes are designed for prospective riders and offer tons of valuable information, including basic riding skills and responsible riding practices.

To put it plainly, dirt bikes are not “one size fits all”—you truly do need to shop around to find the one that suits you best. With Spring fast-approaching, I’d suggest visiting RumbleOn’s impressive online inventory of dirt bikes, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles ASAP!

Note: RumbleOn is an Amazon Affiliate, dedicated to reviewing the best and safest gear and more, for riders everywhere. We may receive commissions if products are purchased from them.

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