Known for excellent agility, and things like long suspension and rugged look, these bikes are actually far more unique than you can even imagine. Here are some interesting facts:
1. Two-stroke engine
Unlike other types, dirt bikes still use two-stroke engines, at least most of them. This technology might not be very sophisticated, but it perfectly fits off-road condition. They are simple, easy for maintenance and highly reliable. Most importantly, they are much lighter than four-stroke units, which is critical for the excellent agility. On the other side, these engines are actually oil burners, so refueling means mixing petrol with a small amount of oil. Read more about this at Magic Bike.
2. UK origins
First dirt bikes actually came from the United Kingdom. Trial events were organized back in 1909 by Auto-Cycle Union, while Scottish Six Days Trials were held in 1912. First races started already in 1920’s. One of the first races was at Camberley, Surrey in 1924.
3. BSA produced not just rifles, but dirt bikes as well
The famous British major industrial combine from Birmingham was best known for weapons, but they produced motorcycles as well. Moreover, they were dominating for decades, until 1950’s. Later, two-stroke engines took over the segment, so manufacturers like Husqvarna and Czechoslovakian CZ started outperforming these heavy motorcycles.
4. Japanese domination started in 1970’s
Like in many other fields, Japanese became real masters in making dirt bikes. The first Japanese victory was by Suzuki. Today, leaders at the market are models from Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki etc.
5. LA Coliseum hosted the first stadium motocross event
Motocross races became so popular in 1970’s that stadium races became a common thing. The first one was held in the famous LA Coliseum stadium in 1972.
6. Unique technologies and design solutions
You probably know that dirt bikes feature many interesting design solutions, like lightweight, rugged construction, very little bodywork, long-travel suspension, or high ground clearance. Actually, there is much more than you can probably imagine. For example, many dirt bikes features have advanced steering dampers, which are designed to provide easier cornering, less arm fatigue and improve overall stability.
7. Street bikes are street illegal
Most of these bikes are designed only for the off-road drive and don’t have parts that usual bike has. For example, there are no such things as headlights, turn signals, brake lights, rearview mirrors, horn etc. Another important aspect is the exhaust. These bikes usually can’t meet emission standards.
8. Health benefits
Just like all physical activities, motocross is also good for your health. Brain stimulation, improved cardiovascular health, improved posture, calories burning and increased strength are just some of the benefits.
9. Popular recreation activity among children
As we can see, riding dirt bikes is both fun and healthy. So, it’s not wondering that this activity is hugely popular among children. These days, all major manufacturers offer bikes of different sizes, in order to fit all ages.
A huge majority of modern motorcycles have electric starters. When it comes to dirt bikes, many have electric, but all have kickstarters. This old-school way of starting will save your day if the battery runs out or electric starter let you down.