starting on dirt bike vs street bike?

Im planning on getting a streetbike soon probably a gixxer 600, would it be good for me to learn and practice on a dirtbike first? I have lots of trails near my house and I read it can help you learn control and balance but some people say it is completely different from street riding so it doesnt even matter.

Im planning on getting a streetbike soon probably a gixxer 600, would it be good for me to learn and practice on a dirtbike first? I have lots of trails near my house and I read it can help you learn control and balance but some people say it is completely different from street riding so it doesnt even matter.

 

If you don't have any public road driving experience in a car, you're better off learning how to survive with a steel cage surrounding you. 

 

If you don't have experience with 2-wheel vehicles, ride a bicycle for a few hundred miles on public roads, and you can get a feel how everyone is trying to kill you. 

 

Either way, you need experience on public roads in order to maximize your chance of survival, dealing with distracted drivers everywhere. 

 

Bicycling is probably the least expensive and you get in good physical shape. 

Edited by cat0020

ive been driving for 5 years

ive been driving for 5 years

 

Great, how many miles have you driven in a car?

 

how many close calls have you had in 5 years in a car?

 

The instincts you need to survive on 2-wheel while on public roads is something you can develop from driving, but the reaction you take in response to traffic pattern changes while on 2-wheel can sometimes comoplelte opposite of what you would do in a car. 

 

If you feel insecure about operating a 2-wheel vehicle in general, I would suggest getting into a Moto-Safety class, most states offer the classes offer them for free, just need to sign up before classes get full.

From a dirt bike the closest transistion would be a dual sport going to street riding.  A gixxer will require you to learn a few more skills to be safe on the road.  Dirt is great for teaching you balance at low speed, which is learning a lot of clutch/friction zone, braking, and throttle work on trails.   These are essential skills on street for parking lots/gas stations/stop and go traffic.  It surely won't hurt you to learn that off road first - best to stall and fall in a field than with a car behind you.  When you transition to street, it would really be beneficial for you to take a basic course in street rider safety.  Techniques for handling turns (outside, inside, outside), delaying the apex in the turn, emergency braking, etc...   that while useful on dirt, can be life or death on pavement as you've added the element of a lot of much bigger vehicles around you and many of them aren't paying attention to you even if you had a 200 decibel horn and 3 million candlepower of lights in all directions.  I've been through one of those courses with many experienced bikers and they admitted to gaining many new skills and tricks to keep them alive.  If you can get into some MSF courses, I highly recommend it.   I've started on a DRZ400S just for the reasons you pointed out, and having rode both street and this dual sport, I can tell you the dual sport definitely is more challenging on pavement.  Makes riding a street bike seem easy in comparison when your butt is about a foot closer to the road.  Something to consider...  You could get a dual sport bike that lets you do both and then transition to the gixxer.  

Personally, I recommend learning to ride in the dirt, then making the transition to street.

 

You learn to ride in conditions that aren't always favorable.  Loose terrain, uneven terrain, unfriendlies like rocks and stumps... and you don't have a car/truck behind you. 

 

Moving up to street riding, now you've got the reactions down of what to do when your back tire starts to slide out, or your front end starts to wash out.  You handle it without even thinking twice.  If you didn't have that experience in the dirt, what would happen?

 

Dualsport's a great way to make the transition. 

 

Also consider insurance... often costs a lot more than the bike, especially in your age group.  Get a quote for that, then get one for a dualsport. ;)

Another vote for the dirt, the street is not the place to learn how to ride a motorcycle and its controls....

I learned on dirt... rode a bicycle in traffic since I was about 12 yrs old, then this year started riding dirt (I am 25 yrs old.) I would do it exactly the same again, except I would want to have transitioned to dirt at a much younger age (I'm pretty sure my dad hated fun...) and been riding a street bike by now (just earned my class M license two weeks ago!) I am casting another vote for starting on the dirt! Take it easy, have fun, fall a couple times if you must, and be ready when it comes time to put the rubber to the asphalt.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now