05 Dec Dirt Bike Riding VS Street Riding: What’s The Difference?
For many people, motorcycles are all the same – simply two-wheeled vehicles that can get you from one area to another. Many also think that riding a motorcycle on the street and on the dirt is the same. The truth is, there may be similarities but there are also differences and the differences are due to a variety of factors.
The motorcycles themselves are built differently because they are meant to be used in different scenarios. This also means that the technique on how to ride them also differs. Knowing what technique to use makes your ride safer.
Generally, you can usually ride a dirt bike like you would ride a street bike but your speed won’t be matched. On the other hand, riding a street bike like you would a dirt bike isn’t a good idea. There are different techniques in riding a dirt bike and they are highly different from riding a street bike. Here are a few of their differences:
One of the main differences between dirt riding and street riding is the riding position. Usually, a street rider sits in the middle of the motorcycle. The weight is moved from side to side while turning.
For motocross or dirt bike riding, the rider moves more and they might also stand up to shift their weight while turning. Also, the handlebars, footpeg, and seat on the dirt bikes are different from street motorcycles to improve control. This also makes it easier for riders to position themselves so they can control the dirt bike, especially on different terrains.
The Bike Itself
Street bikes usually have a goal of achieving top speeds in the quickest amount of time. The dirt bikes, on the other hand, are different. What it focuses on is low-end torque and they don’t usually need to be very speedy.
Another thing that dirt bikes focus on is its capability to absorb impact, which would normally break a street bike. The footpegs are reinforced to allow riders to stand while riding and they also have higher ground clearance. Dirt bikes are more designed for performance.
Quickly Accelerates But With Slower Speeds
There is less traction between a bike and dirt as compared to a bike on tar. The speed achieved on a racetrack is faster than what you would on the dirt. For motocross beginners, it is important to note that this is normal. If your target speed is the same as you would on the racetrack, then you’ll have a difficult time doing that and it is also dangerous to do so.
However, bursts in acceleration are achieved on the dirt rather than on the streets. Just make sure you throttle with caution because dirt is more inconsistent than the paved street. Also, riding on the dirt feels much faster than on the racetrack due to the inconsistencies of the dirt and the sudden bursts in acceleration.
While using street bikes, the front brakes are used first and with a lot of force. On the other hand, in motocross riding rear brakes are more used. It is also with the dirt bikes that the rear brakes are used to tighter turning.
A rider does this by using the rear brakes and then sliding the rear outwards. This technique is widely used for tighter turns and faster lap times.
Using Riders Weight For Turning
It is common to see a rider lean forward when making a turn. With this action, the front tire has a better grip and the rear tire slides for a harder turn. The peg and handlebars designed for the dirt bike all help in improved control while doing this action.
Extensive Clutch Use
For street bikes, the clutch is used sparingly but for dirt bikes, the clutch is used more extensively.
This allows riders to stay in the same gear by using the clutch for increased revs. Dirt bikes involve controlling the bike at slower speeds instead of switching gears to control the speed. The clutch makes it possible to modulate drive to the wheels.
Like riding on the street, riding on dirt also suggest looking ahead. For beginners, it can be challenging to look far ahead because of the different obstacles that are right in front of you. When you stare and gaze at closer obstacles, there is an increased risk of crashing.
These different techniques used for dirt riding makes it much safer to ride on the dirt. It is important to know the difference so that you don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can ride all motorcycles with your experience.
It is still best to learn the basics, especially if you are new to it.