Dirt bikes. Just saying those two words can conjure up all kinds of feelings. For some, it’s the sound of the roaring two-stroke engine. For others, it’s the vibrating, teeth-clenching, jarring ride and still, for others, it’s the racket and flying dirt that sets them off. Dirt bikes are a special kind of bike that pretty much puts all others to shame unless you plan on long distance highway touring.
Regardless of what you think about dirt bikes, you probably don’t know nearly as much about them as you think. Here’s a look at some interesting facts about dirt bikes:
1 – Dirt Bikes Typically Have Small Engines
Okay, before your cousin decided to start a major overhaul and ‘modified’ your ride, there was an engine on that dirt bike that was no larger than 500cc. The point behind that is because dirt bikes are not exactly built for speed (ignore what we were saying about Moto-X for a moment). The average dirt bike was designed for off-road activity and requires a lighter push from the engine as it is usually ridden in terrain that is not especially flat or fun.
2 – Your Chain Saw May Have More Power Than A Dirt Bike
There are two main types of dirt bike engines. You have your two-stroke, and there’s the four-stroke. With a four-stroke engine, you are going to burn through a lot more oil than with a two-stroke. The tradeoff here is that with a two-stroke engine, you will be going through the same amount of oil and gas as they are required simultaneously in the two-stroke design. Which is the better engine? That really depends on how you ride and what you expect.
3 – Technically Speaking, Your Dirt Bike Is An Illegal Mode Of Transportation
Have you ever wondered why you’ve never seen anyone zip down the main street of your hometown on a dirt bike? Well, other than if you live in one of those ‘special’ places where anything goes? That’s because dirt bikes are not licensable – if there is such a word. You may need a permit to own one, but you can’t get a plate so you can rip on down to the grocery store or greasy spoon for something to do on a boring day at home.
4 – Dirt Bikes Originate In Britain
The British made BSA was the ride of choice in the United States when dirt biking started to trend in the 1950s and 1960s. Naturally, at the time there was no such thing as the internet and trending meant something else. However, the BSA continued to be popular, and it got a lot of guys off their butts and onto bike seats that were a little more exciting than cruising up and down the main street in Dad’s borrowed Studebaker. It was also cheaper on gas.
5 – The Japanese Waged A War They Easily Won This Time Around
It was in the 1970s when Japanese bike makers took the world by storm. It wasn’t long before most dirt bikers had a rig that was stamped Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha or Suzuki. We suspect it was BSA riders who chased the Japanese bike riders into the woods and accidentally created Moto-X, but we can’t verify that. However, if you think about it long enough, that theory does start to sound a little more logical than anything else we’ve heard to date.
6 – That Noisy Kid Down The Street Won’t Be On A Regular Bike
There comes a time in each young boy’s life when peddling the ten or fifteen speed no longer cuts it. That is at about the time when dad or an uncle will introduce a dirt bike to the equation. It’s never a bad idea, however, if you are planning on doing this, make sure you explain that the dirt bike is a transitional set of wheels. This can mean it’s a step before an actual motorcycle or – we don’t envy you whatsoever – a four-wheeled vehicle. The dirt bike should be temporary.
7 – Dirt Biking Is Somewhat Safer Than Target Practice
Depending on the maturity level of your child – and by the way, girls make pretty awesome dirt bikers (just watch out for the boys who hang around with them) – you could be doing a good thing by handing over the keys to a dirt bike as opposed to the keys to the gun cabinet. There are likely to be some skinned knees and a bit of road rash here and there, but those are easy to deal with compared to having to explain why you kid used 201 rounds to destroy a tree with a target.
8 – They Are Versions Of Motorcycles
By definition, a dirt bike is an off-road motorcycle. The difference between the two extends beyond that as a dirt bike is rugged and lightweight. This makes it easy for the rider to get around all sorts of obstacles you’d never seen any self-respecting motorcyclist attempt – even on a dare. A dirt bike has stiff suspension and special tires to allow for the spine-jarring ride one would expect with hopping over fallen logs and debris on a bike made for that purpose.
9 – Motocross Racing was Made For These Noisy Little Rockets On Wheels
The racing world of dirt bikes is known simply as motocross (or Moto-X as they prefer) and is big business in Europe, Asia, and North America. There are actual Moto-X associations where member riders participate in a racing circuit for points that result in major prizes at the end of a typical racing season. This is such a serious sport that Moto-X features the three different types of dirt bikes to allow all enthusiasts a crack at setting and breaking records.
10 – Here Is A Super Secret To How To Win At Moto-X
Experts at Moto-X have devised a surefire way to get into the top five of most any race they enter. All you have to do is study the terrain that the racecourse is located on. Then build your dirt bike accordingly. In other words, if you build a dirt bike for hilly terrain, you will have a fighting chance at placing in the top of the finishers. Using a bike designed for hilly terrain on a wet and slick mud track would be kind of dumb. Okay, dumb.
11 – Dirt Biking Movies Are A Lot Of Fun To Watch
Have you ever noticed how often a dirt bike ends up as a major prop in Hollywood movies? That isn’t by accident, either. For fast getaways in crowded streets and gridlock, your best escape route is one carved out by that road rocket between your legs. We know, they are not street legal but in the movies that stuff doesn’t normally matter and, for the sake of saving a few plot points to improve the ending, a dirt bike is a bit sexier than a souped-up ice cream truck.
12 – Dirt Bikes Are Easier To Experiment With
There are a ton of things you can do with a dirt bike that you can’t do as well with a regular motorcycle. Just ask the Knievel Family about that. With this in mind, a dirt bike is a great set of wheels to tinker around with that won’t cost you an arm and a leg in parts. Nor will you ever get close to blowing one up if you disconnect the wrong wire. Dirt bikes are great for learning all about mechanics without spending the required time in class.
13 – Dirt Bikes Are Named For Playing In The Dirt
Okay, we know. That’s a little bit obvious, but someone had to say it. So there. Dirt bikes are meant to perform in the dirt. They perform best in the dirt, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Usually miles from the next town and most definitely somewhere out of normal cell tower range.
Let’s Just Go For Another Lap Here
Dirt bikes are fun and a little bit dangerous. We’re convinced that the danger element is what makes them so attractive to most riders. There are not too many ways you can race someone else in an uncharted section of woodland forest and scare away all wildlife just by revving your engine.
Dirt bikes are not built for that kind of dull and boring activity. They need some excitement and uneven terrain to navigate around, over and through. If this sort of gets you a bit excited, then a dirt bike could fit nicely into your future.
That is a special hidden bonus as far as we are concerned and you should, too. There’s a reason why dirt bikes are so noisy, and it’s to let everyone in a five-mile radius know that one is coming and you’d best do yourself a favor by letting your domestic pets indoors until the dirt bike has passed or sputters out of gas. Hey, but these two-wheeled marvels are so much fun!