Buying your very first dirt bike? Though full of awesome features and the newest technology, a high-end dirt bike is not yet necessary for a beginner. What you need is a machine that will allow you to get the feel of gravel roads or muddy tracks, while gaining the mastery of dirt biking.
If you need help selecting the right model for this exhilarating recreation, here are the things to consider before buying your first bike. We also cover the best dirt bikes for beginners in this article.
Trail riding Vs Motocross
Dirt bikes are classified based on the type of recreational riding they serve: Motocross or trail riding. When buying your first dirt bike, you need to determine which purpose your bike will serve so you can purchase the right one. Motocross is a sport of dirt bike racing done in a set of outdoor tracks with different types of terrain. Trail riding is like off-road riding with a 4×4 truck, where you’ll ride on your chosen path and face whatever type of terrain you encounter.
Read our other article: Tips for Off-Road Riding
How do these two activities affect the dirt bike that you’ll be purchasing? Since Motocross is a competitive sport, dirt bikes are lighter and have easier handling so riders can finish a track faster. They have smaller thanks, larger but narrower tyres, and more powerful engines. A motocross dirt bike also has a kick-start engine.
Dirt bikes for trail riding have more features for comfort as they are intended for long drives. For example, you can start the engine with a simple push of a button. The tyres have more rubber that makes them larger and the bike taller, giving riders more ground clearance to manage big obstacles. The suspensions are also softer for a more comfortable ride and the gas tank has a larger capacity.
There’s no rule saying that you can’t use a Motocross dirt bike for trail riding or vise versa. You most certainly can, but you can achieve better results with a dirt bike intended for the type of riding you want to do.
Weight, size & height
Aside from the type of dirt bike, you also must consider the weight, height, and size of the bike you’ll be purchasing. Every dirt bike has different specifications for these three categories, and you need to find out which bike fits you well. You can do so by trying out the dirt bikes for yourself.
When doing a test drive, you’ll know that the dirt bike fits you if you can plant your two feet flat on the ground while sitting on it. Your hands should bend 90 degrees at the elbow and your back should be straight when grasping the handlebars. Meanwhile, your legs must not be cramped so you can move them easily when maneuvering the dirt bike around obstacles.
In terms of weight, the dirt bike should be light enough for you to handle when turning and pushing with the engine off. All in all, the key is choosing the dirt bike that you feel comfortable with while riding and handling.
New vs Used
Just like when buying a car, you should also consider whether it’s best to buy a new or used dirt bike. New dirt bikes are, of course, great to have whether you are a beginner or seasoned rider. However, if you are still getting the hang of dirt biking, it’s likely that you’ll get into some minor accidents while riding. You will risk damaging your machine and we all know that a new bike is not cheap.
As a beginner in dirt biking, you should seriously consider getting a used dirt bike first. Many used dirt bikes on the market today still work like a new one but are less expensive. Once you’ve mastered the skill, then you can upgrade to a new bike with the best features that you can now manage.
5 Top Bikes for Beginners
Now that you have a good idea of the things to consider when buying a dirt bike, you’ll have an easier time choosing among the wide array of dirt bike models available at the dealerships. To narrow down your choices further, here are the best dirt bikes for beginners you can find in Australia.
1. Honda CRF230F
A 223cc four-stroke engine, Honda CRF230F is a great dirt bike for beginners who want to explore the different types of terrains. It’s lightweight, reliable, and easy-to-control. The seat is super comfortable and the suspension is extra soft to help you ride through rough and bumpy tracks with confidence. With an 18-inch rear wheel and 21-inch front wheel, the Honda CRF230 also has enough ground clearance to overcome most obstacles when trail riding.
2. Honda CRF250X
The big brother of CRF230F, Honda CRF250X is taller and has a higher ground clearance that can help you get past bigger obstacles. This dirt bike takes little effort to control and is equipped with a 250cc four-stroke engine that gives consistent power for a smooth ride. At 254 pounds, CRF250X has a low center of gravity to make it easier to maneuver whichever type of terrain you choose to explore. Honda CRF250X is also highly-customisable. Should you fancy any after-market parts in the future, they will fit this dirt bike perfectly.
3. Kawasaki KLX110
A popular choice for beginners, Kawasaki KLX110 is best for finance-savvy individuals who want to get the most out of their investments. This dirt bike is one of the most customisable two-wheelers in the market, allowing you to keep its resale value high until the time to get a bigger and better machine. With a 112cc four-stroke engine, the KLX110 is lightweight and easy to handle. It also has an automatic clutch so you will not have any problem running the machine even on your first time. Fitted with 12 and 14-inch tyres, the Kawasaki KLX110 is perfect for the young ones exploring the outdoors with their parents.
4. Yamaha TTR-50
Yamaha TTR-50 is another dirt bike specifically created for kids. Your children will learn the ropes of dirt biking early with this no-clutch three-geared mini dirt bike, powered by a four-stroke engine. You can teach them how to balance, control the throttle, and step on the brake safely. If they need a bit more help, you can attach two bicycle training wheels on the rear end for faster balance learning. There’s also a throttle limiter if they’re not yet ready to speed up. Equipped with an electric start button, the Yamaha TTR-50 is the best dirt bike for young learners.
5. Yamaha YZ125
Yamaha’s offering to adult beginners is the YZ125, one of the top 125cc liquid-cooled two-stroke engine dirt bike you can buy. Many people who became legends in Motorcross started with this machine and it has become one of the best dirt bikes for beginners since its introduction in the late 1970s. The Yamaha YZ125 weighs just 207 pounds with a lightweight frame, which is perfect for Motocross learners for more nimble handling.
Dirt Bike Loan with Aussie
Whether you want to be a Motocross champion or the best trail rider in the future, this list of best dirt bikes for beginners should help jump-start your dirt bike learning.
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