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Whether you’re an experienced rider or a dirt bike newbie, finding the right ride might be challenging. It’s a huge decision you’ll make as a rider, and it’s one you’ll want to stick with for as long as possible.

When you buy a bike, you’ll need to carefully consider a few different aspects of your prospective purchase. Read below to learn which questions we recommend asking in order to get the most out of your decision.

READ MORE: Tips For Winter Dirt Bike Riding

These Are the Top Questions You Should Ask When Picking Out a New Dirt Bike

What Type of Bike Do I Want?

Not all bikes serve the same purpose. The first decision you should make is which kind of bike you want. These are your options:

  • Competition bike: These motocross-ready bikes are perfect for thrilling races and riders who like to go full-speed.

  • Trail bike: These bikes are designed for off-road recreational riding. They’re durable and versatile for any type of terrain.

  • Dual bike: These bikes combine the best of both worlds. They’re tough enough for any trail, and they’re perfect for racing and leisurely riding.

If you’re not sure which kind of bike you want, ask around to fellow riders, and learn which bikes are right for beginners.

What’s My Budget?

This might seem obvious, but for any significant purchase, you should determine what you can realistically afford. Dirt bikes aren’t quite as expensive as other vehicles, but the purchase is still significant enough to require careful consideration.

Something important to think about is the additional costs. Not only is the base price of the bike important, but you’ll also want think about things like:

  • Maintenance to the bike (if it’s used)

  • Future maintenance to the bike

  • Fuel

  • Extra parts

  • Tools for winter storage

No matter how much you spend on your bike, it’s not a bad idea to keep some savings aside just in case you need to perform repairs on your bike.

How Much Experience or Skill Do I Have?

Your status as a rider – beginner, intermediate, or expert – is relevant to which bike you choose. As a beginner, choosing the right bike will help you thrive as you develop your skills. Otherwise, choosing a bike that’s out of your skill zone will overwhelm you and put you at risk for danger.

When buying, ask your retailer which bikes they recommend to someone with your experience level.

Do I Want a Two-Stroke Bike or a Four-Stroke Bike?

‘Stroke’ refers to the motion of the piston in the dirt bike’s engine. A bike will either have two motions or four in order to complete a full engine cycle.

What difference does this make? The number of strokes can dramatically affect your riding style.

Two-stroke bikes can accelerate faster but are often harder to control and offer less stability. Four-stroke bikes, meanwhile, have a higher top speed and run more smoothly.

More specifically, four-stroke bikes have a four-step process for their engine cycles: intake, compression, combustion and exhaust. Two-stroke bikes compress these four steps into two.

Am I Good With Maintenance?

No matter how hard you try to keep your bike in top condition, you’ll inevitably need to perform repairs at some point. The costs of these repairs can sneak up on you. For that reason, you should think about maintenance costs before you even acquire your bike.

If you trust your own abilities, you may choose to save money by performing your own repairs. However, this might violate warranty agreements in some cases. The retailer you get your bike from may also offer specific deals for repairs down the road.

Learn about these options as you make your purchase.

Have I Ridden This Kind of Bike Before?

One of the most exciting things about buying a new bike is challenging yourself. You may prefer to stick to what you’re familiar with, or you may choose to try a new brand or build. Understand, though, that if you’re going to try something new, you’ll have to follow the learning curve and give yourself time to master your new ride.

Am I Able to Try Out the Bike?

Some retailers may allow you to try a model bike to help illustrate what it’ll actually feel like on real dirt. Though this option won’t always be available, but it’s worth asking. After all, your retailer might surprise you with what options you have in advance of your purchase.

Beginner Dirt Bike Tips

Riding a dirt bike for the first time is a total blast. You’ll want to consider these tips, though, to make the most of your new hobby.

  • It’s okay to be nervous – stay hydrated and warm up to calm nerves

  • Learn the trail before you ride

  • Ride with someone experienced

  • Practice on uncomplicated trails

READ MORE: New Riders: What To Look For in a Dirt Bike


Buying a new dirt bike might require some complex decision-making, but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Consider the questions we’ve proposed above, and we guarantee you’ll be happy with your purchase.