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3 Tips for Beginner Dirt Bikers


Article by Cate Marian

Photography by Stock Images

You have visions of whipping along rocky mountainous trails, and speeding across shallow rivers in your brand new dirt bike ... but first you need to buy the dirt bike. That involves figuring out which type of dirt bike is right for you, deciding if you want to buy one that's new or used, and then purchasing all the gear and equipment to protect yourself when you're popping wheelies and dodging trees.

Here's a look at how to get started, thanks to some advice from RidersWest and

1. Pick a Play Bike

Play bikes are designed for exactly what they're named for — playing. They're built to be tough, low maintenance and are perfect for first-time riders. You will not win any races, but you'll definitely get dirty — and have fun doing it.

For a bit more power, competitive trail bikes are designed with rocks, rivers and mud in mind. Based on a motocross bike but with a weaker engine, they're made for off-road conditions. If high speeds and maneuverability are what you're after, motocross bikes will have you racing on a groomed track in no time. And dual purpose bikes come in great combinations — think a street-legal option that's also great for trails.

2. Consider a Used Bike

If you're trying to be budget conscious, or just want to test one out before making more of a commitment, consider purchasing a used dirt bike, which generally run between $500 and $2,000. In comparison, a new dirt bike will range from $2,000 to $3,000 for a beginner bike, to $7,000 to $8,000 for the best ones on the market.

3. Play it Safe

Don't rev up that engine without making sure you first have the proper helmet, goggles, gloves and boots. You can get away with jeans and a heavy jacket at first, but once you decide dirt bikes are now part of your lifestyle, it will be worth it to invest in a jersey and pants for comfort as well as to allow for more protection such as knee braces.

READ MORE: Dirt Bike Hobby - What You Need to Know | Your first dirt bike: buy the reality, not the dream