How to Choose a Dirt Bike
Have you decided to invest in a new dirt bike? Picking out a dirt bike on your own can be very difficult, especially if you have limited experience or knowledge of the sport. You may be wondering how to choose the best dirt bike according to your experience level, riding style, and size. With such a wide variety of dirt bikes to choose from, this is not an easy process. This guide sheds some light on alternative methods, so you can pick the perfect dirt bike for your needs.
Borrow a Bike
Hopefully you have someone to guide you or at least steer you in the right direction. Borrowing a dirt bike can be very informative and provide that first-hand experience you need to make a wise decision. It is not at all uncommon for dirt bike enthusiasts to try each other's bikes when they are looking for a new model, even though it is not the same as riding a brand-new bike. Before you take your buddy's bike for a spin, remember to double check the setup. With his permission, mark where the handlebars and lever positions are so you can then adjust them to your specifications. Set the sag and take note of all the aftermarket items, so you can get a better feel for the bike and not your buddy's setup.
Though dealerships typically don't offer test rides on dirt bikes, many manufacturers provide opportunities for prospects and existing customers to experience their new bikes first-hand. KTM, for example, hosts different demo days in various locations all over the country. You have to sign up for the event in advance and you may need to be of a certain age in order to ride certain bikes. Participants must be 25 years or older for 690cc and above and 21 years or older for 390cc or above. You must also bring a government issued photo ID with your motorcycle endorsement, a signed waver, and proper riding apparel. Essentially, demo days such as these are not for learning to ride. Instead, demo days such as these are for experienced riders to learn more about the latest lineup of dirt bikes made by a specific brand. KTM offers a wide variety of models, including two-stroke and four-stroke bikes, motocross, and off-road models.
Find a Dealer
No matter what kind of bike you end up buying, the same criteria will hold true and play an important part in choosing the best dirt bike for you. What is your experience level? As an adult just starting out, you should stay under the 250cc range to get used to the dirt bike experience and clutch system. If you are buying your child's first dirt bike, you should stay under the 110cc range. If you have some riding experience, size should be your next priority.
When you sit on the bike and sit forward, do your feet touch the ground? If you are flat footed on the ground and sitting up, the bike is probably too small for you. If you are on the tips of your toes and barely able to stand up straight, the bike is probably too big for you. You should be able to put at least one-third of your foot on the ground, so you have some balance. When it comes to bumpy rides, you want to be able to control and stabilize the bike if you have to put your feet down. Weight will also play an important role in finding the right fit. If you weigh less than 150 pounds, you should stay under the 250cc range. If you weigh over 150 pounds, you need a bike with enough suspension to handle dirt paths. Depending on experience, a big rider can choose something between 250cc and 450cc.
Now that you know how to choose a dirt bike, now is the perfect time to get out there and test the trails or the track on a dirt bike that's just right for your experience level, height, and weight. At KTM Parts Nation, we proudly offer a wide selection of KTM motorcycles for off-road, sport, and street. We would be happy to help you find the perfect KTM model for your needs. You should also take a look at the KTM website for demo day locations and dates near you!