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Dirt Bike Advice, Newbie here!

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by matty__, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. G'day Guys,

    I am currently looking for an XR250 but theres a few things stopping me in terms of safety as you'll see below. This seems like a friendly community so I am glad to be here but hoping for some help on this issue!

    Ok well I am new to the world of motorbikes and i understand safety is so important and i want to go about everything properly....

    First of all, I will be using the motorbike for on road commuting to my tafe which is about 30 mins from here (on a low-traffic highway up the blue mountains) and whenever else i want to get around locally.
    The second main usage would be off road of course, obviously not as much as on road but two of my friends who just got into motorbiking are saying it is too dangerous to ride the dirt bikes on road...

    I am not sure how to go about it but I am very much into the bush and love riding in it, so I think by buying a road bike i would regret it.

    So any advice on this, please post up! I've been told you can get "road" tyres for the dirt bikes but how would these be on the dirt? Can you get something in between e.g. all terrain...

    Now for safety gear, Suggestions for gear for use on both on and off road?

    Look forward to hearing your opinions. Appreciate it guys!

  2. Nice. I'd love to live in the mountains just for the dirtbiking potential.


    I'd guess you'd be wanting the half and half tyres - strictly dirt tyres are $hit on road, just aren't safe. And road tyres aren't safe offroad. So unless you want to be changing your tyres all the time get the hybrid ones.
  3. Thanks for the reply! Yeah i love the mountains :D

    How much are these hybrid tyres approx?
  4. Not actually sure..

    They kind of look this this tread:

  5. :LOL: do they fit dirt bikes? :p
  6. Harley dirtbikes :grin: :grin:

    Wow that would be a sight..
  7. An XR250 would make a great first bike - nice and easy to maneuver, not too powerful and a bucketload of fun to ride - on and off road.

    Look into "Dual sport" tyres - they're basically medium-chunky tyres which are a good compromise between road and off-road usage. I run that style on my XT600 and have not had any issues with grip yet, on or off road.

    You should also have a look at the Yamaha TTR250 - they've got an electric start which makes them a lot more practical for commuting.

  8. Hey thanks for the replies guys, I will look into those tyres eventually.

    I agree, the XR250 seems a great bike to start out on :D I can only afford an early 90's model but we have to start somewhere right!

    Any advice on the protective gear guys? On a budget (full time student) :( but obviously i wouldn't want to settle for any cheap crappy gear that won't save me.
  9. Helmetwise it depends if you want a moto style helmet or road style.

    If you go road, AGV have a fiberglass, removable liner, SNELL approved helmet very reasonably priced at $300. I've got a blue one and its extremely good value for its small price.

    Jacket - don't skimp here! Very important. Whether you go leather / textile it should be a good fit and something you can wear every time. Built in pads for elbows, shoulders, chest and back are also advised. I have a dri rider climate control that was $300. 3 layers for mesh, rain and warmth - the latter two can be taken out. So its basically just a mesh jacket, very cool for summer with good level of protection. But obviously leather is more abrasive resistant so have a look at that too.

    Boots - big difference between on and off road style. If you're going to be doing alot of offroad I'd get some kick arse, full length ones. Which will be expensive but definitely worth it when you crash into that tree. And those will be ok for road too, just don't expect to be too comfy when walking around town. I have a pair of rjay boots that are basically joggers but almost boot height, with padding where needed (especially ankle), and kevlar all round for abrasive resistance. They were very budget at $129 and I'll be buying some sweet racing style ones when I can afford it.

    Pants - Leather is best, but not practical. There is a big variety of draggin jeans in different styles. These have kelvar material sewn into bum and knee regions to hopefully stop gravel rash. Good for street riding, but perhaps not sufficient for offroad. Don't ride with in jeans with synthetic material in them (apart from kelvar etc! :p) such as polyester as I've been told that they will melt into your skin with the temp of sliding down a road. Draggins are around 200.

    Gloves - same as before, road might not be enough for offroad, and someone was saying that offroad gloves aren't designed, or safe, for unroad. Not sure exactly why someone else might explain that. Don't skimp as your gloves will see noticeable damage in almost any incident, you will put your hands down from instinct. Mine cost $120, at the time I thought I would only need to spend 60 but ended up going for more protection. They're second skin now, despite the blue hands I get after riding for an extended period from the blue leather coming off.

    Can't think of anything else as its late.

    By the way I started riding with just helmet jacket and gloves, only buying semi decent jeans and boots after 3 months. I had the money, just didn't spend it. You will feel safer in full gear, but after spending so much money on the bike and gear I left the other stuff for another day.

    And when you buy all your gear, try to get it all from the same place so you can get a good amount off. I saved $120 in total when I bought jacket helmet and gloves together, and that all that took was saying 'what you do this stuff for?'. If you push it you can get another $20 off or whatever.
  10. Gee thanks for the detailed response their Phizog!!

    I am learning alot of useful info here. As you said at the end there, I will be starting off also with just the helmet, gloves and jacket as they seem the most important first off and I will definitely be getting a very good helmet. Its just deciding on which one to get... people have told me the "off road / dirt bike" helmets fly around in the wind quite a bit..
  11. On the jacket, I've got a Dri-Rider rallycross mesh jacket. It's great for brisbane summers, but can get a bit cold. The windproof liner blocks out the wind, but you still tend to lose a lot of heat because it's in direct contact with your skin. For me, I find it can be a bit cold cruising for more than a few hours at 100kmh, with or without the liner in autumn and spring.

    As for gloves, motocross gloves are lighter and cooler. They won't give as good protection as leather road gloves, as they tend not to be lighter in the palm, lacking armour on the back, and don't cover your wrist over your jacket (gauntlet style). I wear motocross gloves in summer, but leather road gloves in winter.

    You'll really only find out what suits you by trying different types. My advice is to not spend huge amounts of money getting "the ultimate set of riding gear which will last me the next 5 years", since after a year your ideas or needs will probably change.

    In my case, after a year, i got a new jacket (replaced dri rider summit with cheaper dri rider rallycross), new gloves (motocross, better leather road gloves), stopped using my draggin jeans and mesh pants because they were impractical, and realised that a $30 pair of spray pants has been the best spent money so far!

    Have fun!
  12. Seeing as you're in the Blue Mountains, check out the LAMS listing

    Don't know your budget, but maybe look at an older model KLR or DR 650 and they will also have the magic button and save you from kick starting in the rain or when flooded from toppling over off-road.

    You can usually get some OK Dri-rider jackets for $150 on sale at the shops at Parramatta

    Good luck with it all
  13. Thanks alot guys, really appreciate it! :grin: Been very helpful and I shall let you all know how i go.
  14. Whats the LAMS listing?
  15. Oh right.. I just thought the limit was 250cc and thats it.. well then thanks :)
  16. [​IMG]
    click to enlarge

  17. Interesting :shock: harley dirt bikes..

    I am at that stage again, I need some help on deciding whether or not to buy a road or dirt bike... as I just read on here somewhere the bike may require alot of maintenance doing alot of commuter km's.

    It would be at least 280kms at the moment anyway (TAFE), but it will become less.

    Can anyone help me out with further details on this? cheers!
  18. The road bike is always going to be the better commuter

    Check out the LAMS list previous page. There are literally dozens of older bikes that would be cheap to buy and would do a 280km commute much easier than any road-trail.
  19. Yeah I have, i know theres alot of bikes out there but it just means no going off road :(