You can look at dirt bikes and see that it’s quite different from a street bike or motorcycle. Dirtbikes are made and designed for off-road riding. While this can include racing and competitions, off-road riding on trails can be done just for fun and excitement. One thing about dirt bikes is that they come in several different styles and formats, and choosing the right bike can be a bit challenging, especially if you’re new to the dirt biking scene. No need to worry. Here’s everything you need to know about dirtbikes.
In simple terms, a dirtbike is any type of off-road bike that’s designed to be used on rough, unpaved terrain. You can ride a dirtbike on paved roads but keep in mind that not all dirtbikes are street legal, which means you can’t ride them legally on public roads. There are five basic types of dirtbikes: Motocross, Enduro, Trails Bike, Adventure touring, and Dual Sports.
Choosing a dirtbike for beginners
Dirt Bike riding is a challenging and dangerous sport. Beginners should start with a bike that’s easy to handle and not too powerful. Begin with a model between 85cc or 125cc. The Yamaha YZ125 has been around for over 40 years and is a great bike for beginners.
Riding a dirtbike on hills, jumps, and rough, uneven terrain takes a lot of practice and skill. Start off on easy-to-ride courses and trails that don’t have a lot of high jumps or rocky terrain. If you plan on riding on a track, begin with one designed for beginners.
Can kids drive dirtbikes, and what dirt bikes are best for them?
Dirtbikes are a great way for kids to get exercise, develop balance and riding skills. Kids can begin riding small electric dirtbikes as early as three years old. There are 50cc dirtbikes with training wheels for young kids to get started with and develop their skills until they’re ready to move on to more advanced bikes.
What is the best dirtbike for adults?
There are many models, formats, brands, and styles of dirtbikes for adults on the market today. Here are two of the best for adults:
The CFR 250x is a great off-road bike by Honda. The CFR 250X can handle all the bumps, thrills, and trail-riding you can handle in a season with complete efficiency. The Honda CRF250X features a liquid-cooled, 249cc, 78mm x 54mm bore and stroke, a single four-stroke power plant with a single-cam layout. The bike has a sturdy, well-designed frame and a dependable electric start that’s built to last.
The Honda 250R is another excellent bike for adults. It features a 249cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, 79.0mm x 50.9mm bore and stroke, and a programmed Fuel-Injection system (PGM-FI); 44mm throttle bore. If you’re into the racing scene, this bike features an HRC launching system that offers some amazing advantages.
You can read our article: “CRF250x vs CRF250R – which dirt bike should I buy”, if you want to read more about the CRF250X and CRF250R.
How is a dirt bike built?
Dirtbikes are built to handle the harsh elements of off-road riding. Since a lot of riding is done in mud, sand, and other harsh road conditions that can damage engines, dirtbikes are made with a higher lift than street bikes and have knobby tires for gripping dirt roads. Dirtbikes also have very tough frames and wheels with shocks built in to absorb the impact of jumps.
Here are some key points to keep in mind about dirtbikes:
Engines can range from 49cc to over 249cc depending on the model and brand.
Tires(Adult and Children)
Tire size plays a crucial role in performance. Here are some things to consider when dealing with tires:
*Consider engine size and output when choosing tires. A 120mm wide tire on a 125cc two-stroke is not a good idea because the engine has to work harder to spin the tire.
*In the same instance, you don’t want to use a 90mm wide tire on a 450 cc bike because it could lead to less traction and more significant tire wear.
If you want to select the best tires for kid’s and adult bikes, consult your owners manual for recommendations.
Dirtbike frames are made of aluminum, steel, or a combination of the two. Aluminum frames are the most common because it’s a lightweight meta
Gearbox configurations will vary by bike, brand, and style, but there’s usually a first gear that you engage by pressing down on a foot lever on the right-hand side. Following gears (IE 2nd, 3rd) are found by raising the lever up each time much the same as a street bike.
Handlebars and Exhaust
The exhaust pipes on dirt bikes are located behind the seat at the rear of the bike. Exhaust pipes are positioned beneath a plastic or aluminum housing to protect the rider from exhaust fumes and burns. Handlebars on dirtbikes are flat and study for hard turns and tight gripping.
Suspension on off-road bikes will vary by the type of bike, brand, and model. Most dirtbikes have strong front fork and rear wheel suspension systems to absorb jumps and rough terrain shocks.
Braking is crucial to trail and motocross riding. Braking on a dirtbike is controlled via a hand lever for the front brake and a foot lever for the rear brake.
Brake, gear, and clutch configurations can be different on electric dirt bikes because the engine allows for different formats.
Electric Dirt Bike
Today, it seems just about every type of vehicle has an electric version, and dirtbikes are no exception. If you’re considering an electric version of a dirtbike, here are some things you should know:
Most electric dirtbikes run on lithium-ion batteries and they do not have a combustion engine. Electric bikes are much quieter than gas-powered bikes and they tend to have less power and have a much higher price tag.
Electric dirtbikes are better for the environment since they burn no fuel and emit no CO2 emissions.
The batteries on an electric dirtbike generally take 2 to 6 hours to charge and depending on their range, but some batteries may take up to 12 hours to become fully charged. The average battery life is about 4 to 8 years, depending on the quality and how often you use your electric dirtbike.
How does the best electric dirt bike compare to the best normal dirt bike?
When you compare electric and gas-powered dirtbikes, electric dirtbikes are easier and less costly to maintain since they run on an electric motor. However, electric dirtbikes will cost more than a gas-powered bike.
Dirtbikes have quick acceleration, but acceleration is not as significant as top speed during a motocross racing event.
Gas bike estimated acceleration- 125cc two-stroke 0 to 60 in 5 seconds.
Electric dirt bike estimated acceleration- Unknown but possibly 0 to 30 in 5 to 7 seconds.
Gas bikes will average more horsepower than most electric bikes.
Gas bike horsepower- 20 hp to 78 hp.
Electric dirt bike horsepower- 12 hp to 50 hp.
Electric bikes tend to weigh less than traditional bikes.
Gas bike average weight- 215 lbs.
Electric bike average weight- 115 lbs.
Gas bike(adult)- $3,000 to $12,000
Eletric bike(adult)- $6,000 to $12,000
Top 5 best electric dirt bikes
1. KTM Freeride E-XC-Fast and sleek witha max speed of 96km/h.
2. Electric Motion Escape-A good bike for trails and tracks. Max speed of 70km/h.
3. Cake Kalk OR Electric Bike-Lightweight futuristic design, 80 km/h max speed.
4. Alta Motors Redshift MX Electric Dirt Bike-50 Hp with a max speed of 114km/h.
5. Zero Motorcycles Zero FX Bike-Fast and durable with a top speed of 136km/h.
Read more about electric dirt bikes here
Major dirt bike competitions and legends
The Baja 1000 is a desert endurance race that has attracted all types of competitors, including a few Hollywood movie stars like Paul Newman. Dirt Bike legends Malcolm Smith and JN Roberts are a few of the winners of the Baja 1000.
The Erzberg Rodeo is held in Australia and is part of the Red Bull World Enduro Super Series. Winning legends of the sport include Graham Jarvis, Johnny Walder, and David Knight, to name a few. (Watch a video about Erzberg Rodeo here)
Rules in official dirt bike competitions
The rules for motocross and other dirtbike competitions are relatively extensive. If you’re planning on entering a professional or amateur competition, familiarize yourself with the rules such as class, equipment standards, and age limits(if any). You must follow the rules and regulations set forth by The American Motorcycle Association for their races.
Four of the biggest dirt bike tournaments
1. Mammoth Motocross- The Mammoth Motocross is the oldest continuing motocross racing event in the U.S. and is held in Mammoth Lakes, CA.
2. Loretta Lynn’s I and II- this racing event is part of the National Pro Motocross schedule. This event allows amateurs to go pro in the Open Pro Sport and 250 A divisions.
3. Motoplayground and World National Pit Bike Race- This is an amateur race with a huge following. This race features riders from many different age groups and is very popular among riders and spectators.
4. RedBud MX- The RedBud MX is held at the popular Michigan track and is part of the Pro Motocross schedule. This event is home to the famous Larocco’s Leap, a 120-foot triple step up named after a motocross icon.
Most successful dirt bikes in history
1974 Yamaha YZ360- With a 360cc engine, this was one of the most powerful bikes ever built. This bike was designed for racing and had the first mono-shock suspension system.
2007 YAMAHA YZ250- This bike is famous for its ability to handle tricky corners and for its handling capabilities. This bike is still a popular choice for riders.
1974 Honda CR125M- This bike’s production didn’t last long, but it was made famous after Marty Smith broke many racing records while riding this bike.
Some of the best dirt bike riders include Joel Roberts, Ricky Johnson, John Michael Bayle, Bob Hannah, and Ricky Carmichael.
Records and big achievements
Here are some of the top riders and their achievements:
Ricky Carmichael- 76 career wins in the premier class.
Bob Hannah- 27 career wins in the 250/450 class.
Ricky Johnson- 22 wins in the 250/450 class.