A lot of people say you need to first figure out what type of riding you want to do. How can you do that when you haven't ridden recently or at all? You have no idea what your going to like just yet. While there are still many unknowns about what type of riding you'll enjoy, sticking to some basics will help guide you in the right direction. Plus, these bikes are like adult legos! You can add aftermarket parts until your heart is content and customize most any bike to suit your riding style and needs.
I'll keep it simple and just give you my recommendations ahead of time.
Adult Male: 4-Stroke 250cc dirt bike. This dirt bike is going to give you a good starting point and as your skill advances, you can use it to it's full potential. You can go with a smaller cc bike, but most likely once you get beyond the beginning stages of learning to ride, you're going to want something bigger.
Adult Female: 4-Stroke 150cc or 125cc dirt bike. These bikes are a great starting point for women becuase they have a very manageable power delivery, they have less power, they don't sit as tall as the larger cc dirt bikes and they're not as heavy. It is a great starting point. The 4-Stroke 250cc dirt bike is another option here too, depending on your overall comfort level with motorcycles.
This sport is supposed to be fun! Making this subject some big convoluted mystery doesn't help you at all.
Most likely you're not getting into it to make a living at it, so there's no need to go out and break the bank getting yourself the latest and greatest dirt bike from your local dealer. Unless of course that's what you want. If you want to get the latest dirt bike model off the showroom floor, by all means, go for it. Just don't get talked into thinking that a brand new dirt bike is an absolute must, because it's not.
IS A NEW DIRT BIKE A MUST?
2-Stroke vs. 4-Stroke.
One of the things that will definitely come up during your search is the GREAT DEBATE, 2-Stroke vs. 4-Stroke engines. If you don't know the difference, no worries, I'll keep it simple. There are people that will argue both sides of this until the end of time. They'll do the same with dirt bike brands too. Really, for a beginner, try not to get too hung up on this. 2-Strokes are lighter, they make more power than their same CC counterparts, and they are cheaper to maintain. They can be a bit harder to ride and a 2-Stroke powerband (optimum power RPM) hits hard. A 4-Stroke is easier to ride in most peoples' opinion. It has a smoother and more manageable power delivery, there's no need to mix gas & oil, but it does have more moving parts and will cost roughly two times more when engine maintenance is needed.
Ideally you would get the chance to ride each bike and pick which one you like. Really, there's no wrong answer here though, as they are both are excellent machines. Contrary to some opinions, 2-Stroke technology is not outdated. Manufacturers are still producing them and companies like KTM and Husqvarna are actually advancing the technology by producing the first fuel injected 2-Strokes.
Height, Weight & Skill.
You will want to factor in your height, weight and skill level when determining what size (Engine CC's. 125, 250, 450, etc.) bike you want. However, in most cases, it's the skill level that matters most. Starting out on a bike that has less power is going to be way easier to learn on than one with too much power. Plus, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, remember? It won't be too much fun if you bust your butt the first time out and end up in the ER.
How much do you want to spend? You can pick up running bikes from $1,000 all the way up to $9,000+. If you're just starting out, don't spend your entire savings on this adventure. You can get a decent bike for right around $2,500 or so that will suit your needs just fine for now. Like I said before, these bikes are like legos. So if you spend half your budget on a bike and then the other half on bike setup and aftermarket parts, you'll end up with a pretty nice machine.
BUYING A USED DIRT BIKE
One more thing, stick with major brands. Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Husqvarna, KTM. These brands are going to be your go to brands. While KTM and Husqvarna make some very good machines NOW, it hasn't always been the case, so make sure you know what your getting. You're typically going to pay more for a Husky or KTM as compared to the Big 4 Japanese brands, so be prepared. I personally prefer the japanese brands. They are cheaper to maintain and repair and they've had good reputations for a very long time. I will say that a factory edition KTM 450 is one of the nicest dirt bikes I've ridden, but it comes with a high price tag.
A 125cc, 150cc or 250cc 4-Stroke dirt bike is going to give you a good place to start from. These bikes are easier to ride than the big 450's and definitely easier than the 2-Stroke machines. These bikes are good starter bikes for a beginner to start riding off road, trail riding, motocross, etc. Once you refine your skills on one of these machines, you'll be ready to jump on your next bike.
Hope that helps you to get started. If you need more info or you want us to help you get started, leave us a comment below or contact us through the contact page.
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