I’m looking for some new hobbies and I think learning to ride a dirt bike would be pretty sweet. Problem is, I have no idea where to start. I’m 23 and in mississippi. Is there somewhere I can learn to ride and maybe rent a bike? How did y’all get into biking? Would love to hear everyone’s stories and suggestion. 

Welcome to TT! It is smart of you not to blindly jump in and instead, do some research. Realize dirt biking is not a cheap hobby and requires dedication and time.

First, I'd swing by some dealers and see if they know of any local ORV training going on. There is some, but not a lot. These groups often have 'loaner' bikes for use during the training. You first day would be pretty basic. You'd be taught about the bike, how to operate it in a controlled fashion. A good first start. Failing finding an ORV training class, you can try a street bike one, MSF  (Motorcycle Safety)

Once you have your appetite whetted and are ready to buy a bike, I suggest buying a small, beginners bike for the first year. Get a gently used basic trail bike. You want something that will not get you into trouble, not require you to spend a lot of time maintaining it. Even the mildest of bikes are capable to doing a lot. Do not get caught up in any sort of testosterone 'gotta have a big race bike' mentality. Figure out how you plan to get to the trails. Pick Truck/trailer or are you going to ride it there? If you are going to ride it to the trails, you need a bike that is road legal. What kinds of off road are you going to do? Park roads? Park trails? Big open fields?

I got into riding at eight years old and was a die hard motorcyclist throughout my teens and twenties.

If there is a cross country racing association in MS I would check to see if you can attend a couple of their events. There will be lots of trail riders there as well as racers typically who can give you advice and will probably let you try out their bikes during practice if it is anything like here in Oklahoma.

What bike you buy depends on your budget, height, and whether you choose to get in to motocross tracks or trail riding.

For most riders an electric start CRF230 or a kick start XR250R are great starting out, forgiving, low maintenance, and fun. The older XR200R for shorter riders is also a good choice. Stay away from 2 strokes until you get a few months of riding time  unless you are an adrenaline type and don't mind wrecking and changing spark plugs alot.

Lastly, you need to figure in the cost of riding equipment. Good Riding Boots and a Good helmet are like the air you breathe. You always need to wear them. After that a chest protector and neck brace are very important.

Good luck!

Edited by Firestone

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