Are You Dirt Ready?
Do you think you have what it takes to ride a street legal dirt bike? Are you an experienced rider on another kind of bike, but you’ve never ridden dirt? Chances are you know more than you think. You might be Dirt Ready and not even know it.
Today we’re going to talk about the most and least prepared riders to make the jump to supermoto and riding street legal dirt bikes. Where do you fall? Time to find out.
Cruisers: The Nuns of Anarchy
Sadly, all the lives you saved with your loud pipes aren’t going to get you very far on a street legal dirt bike.
To your credit, you know the basics of riding – shifting, throttle control, countersteering, and watching traffic like a hawk – but chances are you’re less of a Hell’s Angel than you think. You may spend most of your time cruising backroads at 60 MPH, with nobody else around and no reason to push the limits of grip and physics.
That’s not your fault though. Bikes like the Honda Shadow, Kawasaki Vulcan, and almost any Harley-Davidson don’t reward going hard in the paint. You might break the rear tire loose off the line now and then, but in the corners these bikes want you to play it safe. Which I suspect is why you want a taste of the wild side: the world of street legal dirt bikes, with high lean angles and gobs of agility.
Your experience handling low-end torque will be helpful, and the very fact that you’re on two wheels means the brapping flame is burning within you.
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There are two flavors of adventure rider: those who push their bikes to the limits, and the weekenders.
You’ll find the latter riding mint condition BMW GS’s through California’s wine country or up and down the Florida coast. Their bikes see about 5000 miles and 50 washes a year, and they clean out the BMW accessories catalog like a frat guy clears a 12-pack.
That puts weekend ADVers just a step above cruisers in the Dirt Ready countdown. It’s the down-and-dirty ones, the GS Trophy guys, that have most of the skills necessary to ride a street legal dirt bike to its fullest potential.
Chances are you’re somewhere in between, and that’s fine – you’re familiar with the commanding seating position you’ll find on street legal dirt bikes, and you know what it’s like to handle torque.
Mopeds: Did someone order a pizza?
Yeah, I said mopeds. Scooters. Vespas. Faggios. They’re the stuff of memes in the countryside and the stuff of dreams in the city.
If you live in a dense metro like Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, or New York, a scooter is a godsend for navigating dense standstill traffic without feathering the clutch all the time. Heck, most of the world has a love affair with scooters – in many countries they greatly outnumber cars. In those places the rush hour traffic makes Grand Theft Auto look boring as shit.
The reason moped riders are Dirt Ready is because they’re masters of low-speed maneuvers. When it comes to riding street legal dirt bikes, learning how to handle more power often comes easier than learning to handle less. You’re already used to having very little power on tap, so the transition to bikes like the XT250 and CRF230L will be natural.
Crotch Rockets: What’s in a name?
That brings us to the speed demons. The guys who refuse to start on anything less than a 600 because small bikes are for girls. The guys who promptly lay their bike over while they’re leaving the dealership.
See, it’s not impossible to learn on a “big bike.” It just takes the right kind of person, someone who’s respectful of the machine and patiently learns the limits before trying to push them. The kind of rider who took the MSF course, who’s maybe been to a track day or two, and who knows a thing or two about body positioning and advanced throttle and braking techniques.
With that said, one critical aspect of being a good rider – or being good at anything – is pushing past the limit to see what’s on the other side. That’s some of what makes a sport bike rider Dirt Ready: you’ve ridden fast and you’ve had close calls. On a street legal dirt bike there’s no room for mistakes, and any fear you have of riding fast or hitting the ground won’t last a week off road.
If you ride a Japanese inline four, the torque of a dirt bike will surprise you. So will the suspension travel, the traction, the low redline, and the go-anywhere spirit. You’re probably the furthest from a dirt biker of anyone on this list, and that only makes you want it more 😉
Dirt Riders: BRAAAP
Of course, you’re most prepared for riding a street legal dirt bike if you’ve already ridden dirt. You know that thanks to their instant torque and high power-to-weight ratios, dirt bikes are livelier than most other motorcycles. You also know how to slide the tail out around corners and control a bike in rough terrain.
You’re familiar with the upright riding position that gives you precise control over the front wheel. You can fine-tune various aspects of a bike to make the most of the conditions, and you’re no stranger to jumps, wheelies, stoppies, and anything in between. You’ve been Dirt Ready for a while now – the only thing left to do is get a street legal dirt bike.
There are lots of factory street legal supermotos out there, but it would be best if you could legalize a bike you already have. When you’re ready to take that step, give Dirt Legal a call. It’s cheaper, easier, and quicker than you think to make a dirt bike street legal and there are a million reasons why you should do it.
We’ve had a lot of fun with this article, but the truth is dirt bikes are some of the most forgiving motorcycles out there. Even if you’ve never ridden before, dirt bikes are a great way to learn the ropes. It can also be some of the most technical riding in the world if you really get into it, and that makes mastering dirt an incredibly rewarding experience.
It’s even more fun if you can ride that dirt bike legally on public roads. Of course, we’re a bit biased. Call us today and get Dirt Legal for as little as $299.