How to Pick a Dirt Bike

by David Johnston
Motocross bikes have specialized suspension for jumps.

Motocross bikes have specialized suspension for jumps.

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Dirt bikes can be an exhilarating option for outdoor fun. For weekend warriors, dirt bikes can be rented for short-term use, but if you think you'd like to take up dirt bike riding as a hobby or sport, you might consider purchasing your own bike. Dirt bikes can be big-ticket items, so be certain of which bike is best for you before you buy. There are a few main factors you should consider when deciding which bike is best suited to you.

Step 1

Choose the engine size best suited to your skill level and body size. Bikes with high-power engines require a great deal of skill and strength to control and can place inexperienced or weaker riders at risk of injury. Conversely, a well-seasoned rider may find an underpowered engine unable to deliver the performance needed. Also, heavier riders may have trouble climbing hills or accelerating if the engine is too small.

Step 2

Consider how you intend to use the bike. There are two main types of dirt bikes: motocross and trail bikes. Motocross bikes are built for high speed, acceleration and jumping, whereas trail bikes are designed for long-distance riding, stability and comfort. Each bike is poorly suited to do the other's job, so make sure you pick the one made for your type of riding.

Step 3

Pick the right size of bike. Because riders come in all ages, shapes and sizes, dirt bikes are made in a variety of sizes to suit most needs. When seated on the bike, both of your feet should touch the ground with minimal bending in the knees. A bike that's too big or small will be difficult to control.

About the Author

David Johnston works internationally as a freelance writer and editor in a number of professional fields. He received his bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images