Dirt Bikes Are Some Of The Best Motorcycles To Learn On

Tip #20 from the pages of The Total Motorcycling Manual

dirt bike motorcycle studio side view
Typical dirt bike.Cycle World

Dirt bikes are some of the best machines to learn on, but only if you pick the right one. Here’s what to consider.

HIGH-QUALITY SUSPENSION These bikes are meant to handle rough terrain, and often need a foot (30 cm) of suspension travel in order to do it right.

RUGGED CONSTRUCTION Meant to ride through mud, sand, dust, dirt, gravel, and many other punishing conditions, dirt bikes need to be sturdy.

SIMPLE DESIGN You don't need turn signals, flashy lights, or aero-dynamic panels; you just need a strong, simple machine that will roar across the dirt.

TOUGH TIRES Built for pure off-roading, dirt bikes need tires that are going to claw into the terrain for traction.

VERSATILE Dirt bikes are available in a wide range of engine and chassis sizes, from 50cc bikes for kids to 500cc machines for adults. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with a smaller bike for newbies.

GREAT STARTER BIKES The lower price, light weight, simple construction, and the fact that you don't have to contend with traffic make dirt bikes great for beginners.

EASY TO HANDLE While recreational dirt bikes don't have the high-performance components found on motocross machines, that's actually better (and cheaper!) for most casual riders. Their broader powerbands also make them more forgiving than racing bikes that require serious precision.

HIGH MAINTENANCE Dirt bikes have a simple construction that makes them ideal for the DIY mechanic, but the beating they tend to take also means that mechanic will be doing more wrenching than the average street rider.