How to Choose the Right Dirt Bike – 9 Crucial Factors You Should Consider


Are you thinking of purchasing a dirt bike? Well, this is a good idea, but you need to keep in mind that there are a lot of things you need to consider when picking the right size of a dirt bike to buy.

Apart from aesthetics and other features, you need to make sure that you choose a dirt bike that suits both your budget and style. 

And, one critical factor that shouldn’t slip your mind is the bike size. You need to remember the fact that the primary goal is to feel comfortable and secure while riding your dirt bike.

There will be dire consequences if your bike is too large or too small.

The other crucial factors that you need to consider while purchasing your dirt bike include your experience level, height, and body weight. Here is a quick summary of some of the critical factors that you need to consider when choosing the right dirt bike.

  • Your body weight
  • Height
  • Experience level
  • Budget
  • Trail, truck, or a dual sports bike?
  • Do you need a two or four-stroke bike?
  • Do you need a bike with a kick start or automatic start?
  • Dealer support
  • How much time do you plan to spend on your bike?

Experience/ Skill Level

One of the most critical things that you need to consider while choosing a dirt bike is your skill level. This should be an important consideration regardless of the type of bike that you want to purchase.

Just like buying a car, you will need to consider your driving experience before you make up your mind on the type of car that you need. 

If you are a skilled rider with a lot of experience, then you should consider heading over to Amazon and get a 110cc mini bike. Alternatively, you can also go for a regular motorbike other than a dirt bike.

However, if you don’t possess many years of riding experience under your belt, you should consider purchasing a 120cc mini bike since it doesn’t require much expertise.

If you have a basic understanding of bike riding, this option will still be much ideal for you.

If you aren’t much skilled with biking, you should consider going with the much lighter variants such as the 70cc mini bikes.

These bikes are much easy to use and are also light which makes them an excellent choice for anyone who isn’t too much into driving and biking.

This is one of the easiest ways of choosing the right bike for you or your loved one. It doesn’t matter whether you are acquiring your first dirt bike at 40 years old or you are planning to surprise your loved one with his/her first bike, experience level is a critical factor that should influence your decision.

If you are purchasing a dirt bike for a beginner rider who is less than 5 feet tall and ten years old, you should go for a dirt bike that is less than 110cc.

Fortunately, there are plenty of options available in the market that come with automatic clutches and three-speed transmissions that can help a beginner rider get used to riding on two wheels before they learn the complicated clutch system.

But, if you are a grown-up first-time rider, you will need something that is more appropriately sized.  However, you need to make sure that your preferred bike’s cc is below 250 to help you get used to the feel of a dirt bike before you start to advance.

Furthermore, if you are at least 15 years old, it is good to get used to the clutch system as you get along with your bike. If you are already used to the clutch system, size becomes the next critical factor to consider.

It is also good to keep in mind that a dirt bike differs from the regular road bikes in many ways. Dirt bikes are typically taller, with stiffer suspensions.

If you are a beginner and you have never rid a motorbike, it’s good to go for a dirt bike with a cc range of between 100 and 150.

Make sure that the bike has an automatic clutch for easy handling. If you have prior experience with road bikes and you are just shifting to dirt bikes, go for bikes with a cc of less than 250 to get the feeling before you upgrade.

Weight

Weight is the other critical factor that you need to consider while purchasing your dirt bike. A beginner weighing less than 100 pounds requires a different suspension compared to an adult weighing 250 pounds.

Beginners should avoid starting with dirt bikes that are too small since their overall weight could affect the suspension.

If you weigh 150 pounds or less, you should consider starting with a bike that is under 250cc. However, if you are heavier, you might need a dirt bike that is between 250cc and 450cc since they have sufficient suspension to accommodate your weight.

But, remember the fact that experience still plays a critical role even if you are heavier or taller. For instance, going for a 450cc dirt bike might not be a good idea if you are a novice rider.

If you weigh less than 150 pounds, you may be unable to control a dirt bike that is over 250cc. If you are heavier and you are experienced, a 450cc dirt bike will have the right amount of suspension to handle your body weight.

Your overall weight also plays an essential role in deciding the right bike for you. It determines the suspension of the bike that will suit your unique needs. This is the primary reason why you should consider your weight before choosing a dirt bike.

Avoid buying a bike that is too small since it may fail to accommodate your body weight. If you weigh less than 100 pounds, then you should consider going for a bike that is 100cc or less.

Height

How tall and strong are you? This is a critical question that you need to ask yourself before purchasing a dirt bike. The arm-stretching power of a two-stroke 250cc dirt bike may be too powerful for you if you aren’t strong.

On the other hand, if you are tall and too strong, make sure that you go for a dirt bike with the right suspension and sufficient power to accommodate you. Make sure that the seat of your dirt bike is adjustable before you walk away. Confirm this with your salesperson if you find a bike that is a little bit tall.

Height is also a critical factor to consider, especially if you are buying a bike for a fast-growing kid. The good news is that most youth-sized motorcycles tend to last longer as long as you maintain them well.

Purchasing a dirt bike that is ideal for your child’s height, weight, strength, and skill will allow them to grow into the sport of biking quite safely and effectively.

One of the best ways to know that a dirt bike suits you is to get on the bike, try sitting forward and see whether your feet will touch the ground.

You can only conclude that the bike is the right size for you if approximately one-third of your feet touch the ground.

If you flat-foot on the ground while sitting on the dirt bike, the ride is most likely too small for you. This means that you will put more weight on the bike’s suspension which you will feel if you rock in a trial or hit a bump.

If you can barely stand up straight while on the bike and find yourself using the tips of your toe to establish balance, then the bike might be too large for you.

Do You Need a Trail, Truck, or Dual Sports Bike?

Make sure that you also consider the type of riding that you will be doing most. It doesn’t make sense to acquire a motocross bike if you are going to spend most of your time riding on single tracks and trails.

The gear ratio for each dirt bike is designed for a specific purpose, and it is good to understand this while shopping for your ride.

If you take a motocross race bike on a single rack or trail, you will discover the performance deteriorates after every stall leaving you frustrated and annoyed.

Typically, track bikes are geared the lowest since you will rarely use the two top gears while on track. High speed isn’t a significant consideration for this type of bikes.

The lower gearing mechanism on a track bike gives the rider better acceleration allowing him/her to build speed quite easily and power out of the corners effectively.

The gearing mechanism on a track and dual sports bike is quite similar. In some instances, trail riders will gear a little lower to control the throttle better and achieve less riding of the clutch over obstacles.

Most of the dual sports bikes are well-geared for all-around riding. 

They also offer you an advantage of being able to maintain top speed while cruising down the highway. If you are an experienced rider, you can easily adjust your final drive gearing to suit the type of terrain that you are doing.

The features of these three types of dirt bikes also vary significantly. The trail bikes have an instrument panel that features an oil light, temp light, and a speedometer.

However, a dual sports bike will have full instrumentation that features a speedometer, amp trip meter, warning lights, odometer, and a fuel gauge.

Dual sports bikes are getting more and more popular due to their wide range of features. If you leave far away from your trails, consider acquiring a dual sports bike since it can cruise to your play area with much ease.

You need to be wary of dirt bikes that have been converted to street use while shopping for your ride. Such bikes may not be 100% legal.

If you happen to purchase such a bike, you might be in big trouble since the Department of Transport can pull it off the road without warning.

It is good to spend extra bucks on a bike that you are 100% sure that it is street legal.

Budget

Before you go shopping, sit down and establish how much you are willing to spend on your new dirt bike. Will you be paying cash or financing it? If you are going to finance your ride, it is good to go for a new top-quality dirt bike that will offer you value for your money.

Some bike financing companies may also not be willing to finance old model bikes. Furthermore, you stand a good chance of getting a lower interest rate if you purchase a new bike.

However, no matter what happens, make sure that you stick within your budget. You don’t want to miss paying for other things since you overspend on your bike.

Do You Want a 4-Stroke or 2-Stroke Bike?

Although the two-stroke bikes had started to be replaced with the more reliable four-stroke bikes, they have begun to make a comeback in recent years. While there is nothing wrong with a two-stroke dirt bike, most riders believe that they can sometimes be louder and smellier.

However, a two-stroke air-cooled bike requires less maintenance, and they are quite cheap. They are light and more agile compared to the four-stroke bikes.

The two-stroke bikes can also be quite addictive the moment you start hitting the sweet spot and feeling the immense power pulling you forward.

On the other hand, the four-stroke dirt bikes are quite a torque and possess a more predictable type of power.

The four-stroke bikes are ideal leisure and novice riders. Their engines are durable, but they require more maintenance compared to the two-stroke bikes.

You will need to change the oil frequently and carry out regular valve adjustments. In fact, a liquid-cooled four-stroke dirt bike can become your biggest nightmare if you try a top-end rebuild.

Consider Support/Help from the Dealers

Is the dealer willing to offer you the support that you need so that you get accustomed to your bike? Is the dealer close to you? 

Ask yourself these two questions since you will need parts, service, and other technical assistance at some point.

Keep in mind that shipping your bike parts can get expensive even if you are shopping from online sellers such as eBay.

Furthermore, you cannot always be sure that you are going to get what you need on eBay or Amazon.

Being able to shop for the parts that you need in person is something that you should thoroughly consider. You need to be sure that the person who will be servicing your bike is qualified and experienced.

If the technicians are close to you, they will become a rich source of information when it comes to understanding your new bike.

Never take the technicians for granted since they have everything you need to make your biking experience great.

Consider buying your dirt bike from a dealer who is much closer to you and willing to help you whenever you need assistance.

How Much Time Do You Plan to Spend Biking?

How much time are you going to spend on your bike every day? Will you be riding alone or as a family? These are some of the critical questions that you need to answer before you purchase your bike.

For instance, if you are going to spend a lot of time on your bike, you should invest in a bike that is best suited for you.

You may need a strong and long lasting bike if you will frequently be riding it.  The good news is that you don’t have to purchase the fanciest beast in the market if you don’t plan to ride regularly.

If you are a couple, consider going for dirt bikes with an automatic-type clutch to enhance your riding experience. If you have kids, consider purchasing child-friendly dirt bikes for your young ones to make them part of your riding experience.

Do You Need a Bike with an Electric Start?

Lastly, you need to consider whether you want a dirt bike with an electric start or you will be fine with a manual start. There is nothing wrong if you want a bike that has an electric start. Here is the thing; you will never realize the importance of having both starters until something happens to your manual starter.

While you may not see the importance of the electric start when it’s too cold, you definitely need it in times of emergency. In fact, this is a major factor to consider if you are buying a dirt bike for your young kid.

Having both is great, but if you must have only one, then you should consider going for the e-starter!

Conclusion

 It’s true that choosing the right dirt bike can be quite challenging, especially if you aren’t an experienced rider. Before you close the deal, it is recommended that you try out a few bikes to get the feel of what different bikes offer.

You should always remember the fact that your safety and happiness will depend on your willingness to be honest while shopping for your bike.

Above all, think about the bigger picture and go for a ride that will serve you for many years to come.

Make sure that whatever you get offers value for your money. The above guidelines can help you narrow down your search and identify a bike that is ideal for you. Feel free to consult experienced riders from your area and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Daniel Mose

Daniel is a big fan of dirt biking. I own KTM 250 SX-F. I love learning how to maintain this dirt bike and ensure it lasts long while serving me without any issues. Join me in this journey as I document stuff that we, as dirt bike lovers, ought to know.

Recent Content