Dirt Bikes, Dual-Sport, Adventure, Trials
Off-road motorcycles can take you anywhere off-road, whether you’re riding a trail or hovering in the air, Dirt Rider has the latest in off-road motorcycles.
Off-road motorcycles are off-road motorcycles designed to tackle terrain that would shatter any street motorcycle in two. Equipped with studded tires, high suspension and a torquey single-cylinder engine, off-road bikes can roll over, jump over and bounce just about anything they encounter on a trail. If you are more of a competitive rider, you can race your dirt bike.
There are several series of off-road races, such as the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) and the World Off Road Championship Series (WORCS). If you like a more typical track race then Motocross and Supercross would be your thing.
When purchasing a mountain bike, there are several manufacturers to choose from, with electric options becoming more readily available. Popular off-road motorcycle manufacturers include Beta, GasGas, Honda, Husqvarna, KTM, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. In 2019, the only manufacturers of electric off-road motorcycles are KTM and Zero, with Honda showcasing an electric CR prototype at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show and the first round of the MFJ All Japan Motocross Championship.
Coming straight from the factory, dirt bikes are not street legal. There are ways to titrate and make your All Terrain Motorcycle (ORV) street legal. The first step is to check out what your state’s requirements are to make your off-road motorcycle street legal. All states require a working headlight, tail / brake light, and horn. The turn signals and mirrors are state by state.
After you’ve installed all of your parts, you should contact your state’s titling agency to have your off-road motorcycle inspected. There are services that will do this process for you, saving you headaches. Off-road motorcycles are inherently not street legal. If you want a street-approved off-road motorcycle right off the showroom floor, you’d be in a better position to buy a dual-sport motorcycle instead.
Which mountain bike should I buy?
When buying a mountain bike, you should take into account your experience with motorcycles and your experience with riding off-road motorcycles. If you’re new to motorcycles and dirt bikes, consider taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course or attending an off-road motorcycle boot camp. These will get you used to riding and balancing on two wheels, and introduce you to some of the models you should be looking for.
Not all off-road motorcycle engines are created equal. A two-stroke 250cc and a four-stroke 250cc are two completely different bikes in their power and weight, with the two-stroke being faster and lighter. A two-stroke 250cc is more comparable in power to a four-stroke 450cc.
Once you’ve sorted out your training and decided on an engine displacement, it’s time to buy. If you are going to buy used, make sure the person you are buying from has followed all scheduled maintenance. There is no sense in buying an offroad motorcycle that is essentially a time bomb. If you are buying new, manufacturers like Beta, GasGas, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha offer full-size and / or youth off-road motorcycles with two-stroke and / or four-stroke engines.
Whether you are new to dirt bikes or a seasoned veteran, racing is a way to help you improve as a rider. Add to that that running is just pure fun. If you are looking to get started in the race, your best bet is to search locally in your area. There could be a local motocross track, or maybe an event planner who sets up a hare race. Join a local motocross group or search the internet to find a race.
One thing to keep in mind when running is that it will cost you money, more than if you were just running. It’s not just the cost of your bike, tires, general race wear and protective gear, but also the cost of track entry, a racing license, fees. race registration and, if you plan to stay at the track overnight, add an additional fee to hook up a motorhome or rent camping space. There are ways to mitigate the costs, as some runners do with referrals.
Riding off-road motorcycles is a great way to improve your off-road riding. The competitive nature will require you to correct your mistakes, ride to the best of your ability, and hone your off-road riding skills. You can hone your track driving skills as well, but nothing looks as good as a shiny first place trophy sitting on your coat.