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bkoz

The Cost of Dirtbiking

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My first desert race weekend cost about $125,entry,gas,food,and new tire. But that was 43 years ago. Same race one year later cost over $6K, tore ACL. Insurance covered 80%.  Bikes are still way cheaper than cars. My last bike KTM 450, bought used, had 6 years and sold for same amount I paid.

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8 hours ago, jmttech said:

I’ve always said that It can cost as much as you want it to... you can go eat a steak on the way back home after a 2+hour harescramble or eat a Sammich that you packed in the cooler... when we go racing it’s a family affair for us. (Wife and 3 kids) I added it up one year and I spent way more than I realized. A 12 round race season and trail riding as much as possible on non race weekends. I added up entry fees (for myself and two boys), gas, parts and maintenance, hotel rooms (wife doesn’t camp lol) insurance on the vehicle and bikes and trailer and came up with close to $12,000.00 and I’m sure I missed some receipts lol!
I could probably spend close to the same amount of cash on a trip to Disney and fight crowds and stand in line and be miserable the entire time lol!emoji849.png
My biggest expense for that season was hotel stays and fuel costs. I’ve since invested in a toy hauler and have actually saved a little money vs just completely losing it to hotels.
As far as bikes go I’ve found it’s easier to own new or “newer” bikes and keep them maintained than to buy older bikes and constantly have to work on them plus doing the regular maintenance. Especially when it comes to kid bikes... in my area guys be wanting 2k and up for a 3-4 yr old 85’s. I’ve bought a few and had to spend close to a $1,000 on em pretty quick to get them in “race shape” new tires, tubes , brakes chain/sprockets etc etc. I’d rather just buy one new and not have to worry about it. It may cost more up front but I have more time to ride rather than wrenching.

I’m sure it’s a different financial commitment for everybody. I’ve seen the $300k motor homes at the National Enduros and saw guys camping in tents right next to them.
All in all I’m just thankful that I have enough disposable income and have the time it takes to enjoy the hobby wether it be just riding or racing. As others have said you can’t put a price on happiness. I’d gladly spend way more on it if I could.

I agree.  We see guys with really nice moto homes ect.  We also see people who camp out in vans.  That being said, I won't but used bikes because in the end, it's not worth it.  Some people don't take good care of their bikes.  I also don't want to dump a bunch of money into a bike jut to get it into race shape.  I pay less for used bikes than some pay for used ones.  No money down, low APR and pay more than the minimum and it works out better for us.  I buy new and then trade them in and start the process all over again.  It may not be the best financial move but my son gets a new bike every year or so the cost of maintence is less in the long run.  By then, we have gotten our monies worth.  I will disagree with you on one point, you can put a price on happiness lol.  That being said, I'm teaching my son things that he would only learn in college.  In the end, it's worth it. This sport cost money, no way around it.    

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One thing is for sure, the harder you ride, the more it costs.

Maintenance and upgrades are kind of insane on a dirt bike, and it's not the money, but more the time, at least for me.  For each hour I have to spend in the garage, well that's an hour I can't spend riding.  And the more you ride, the more wrenching you have to do.  It's a vicious cycle, particularly when you have an adrenaline habit.

I bought an uber powerful street bike a few years back, just so I had something to get my kicks, which didn't require hours in the garage after every ride.  But now I want to do track days, so there goes the low maintenance lol.

I envy those riders that are happy to just cruse around and enjoy the scenery.... the guys only have to change tires once or twice a year.

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1 hour ago, Colorado^ said:

Maintenance and upgrades are kind of insane on a dirt bike, and it's not the money, but more the time, at least for me.  For each hour I have to spend in the garage, well that's an hour I can't spend riding.  And the more you ride, the more wrenching you have to do.  It's a vicious cycle, particularly when you have an adrenaline habit.

I don't see this at all. I ride a lot, I've put 250 hours on my KTM 300 in three seasons. I work on it nights and in the winter. I change the rear tire twice a season, takes a bit over an hour. Most of the time, I gas it and ride.

But I don't race. Clearly racing wears out parts. Its not the dirt bike, its the combination of high RPM and  WFO throttle.

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My wife walks up behind me as I'm reading this topic:

Me: <quickly shuts off monitor>

Wife: "What are you looking at?"

Me: "ummm...errr...PORN!"   😀

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1 minute ago, Force10 said:

My wife walks up behind me as I'm reading this topic:

Me: <quickly shuts off monitor>

Wife: "What are you looking at?"

Me: "ummm...errr...PORN!"   😀

I was having cybersex with my mistress 

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Not true ,   lots of trail and recreational riders .......
I have raced most bikes i owned at least once. Few full seasons but certainly one off events at places i wanted to ride. I entered my 701 in a sprint enduro just because.
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I don't even want to mention what I pay every year lol.  It's a hell of a lot more than the OP's 10K a year.  I wish I got off that easy lol.  I still ride and my son races so that's why I pay so much a year but it's silly how much this sport cost.  I use to race cars (drag, auto x and road race) and MX is actually more for me.  Now if my son wasn't racing, I'm sure it would be much-much cheaper.  I have an actual breakdown and it's silly what I spend just in gas, parts, gear ect.  Bikes alone at 10K.  I can't imangine why any parent would want their kids to ride/race lol.  I don't go all out like some parents do but I make sure my son is on good equipment and has all saftey gear.  My son has some excellent sponsors that help out so I don't even want to think how much some parents pay that have zero outside help.  I spoke to a dad yesterday that got his kid into mx.  He said this sport cost a lot of money.  I asked him how long has his son been riding, he said 6 months.  I told him that he has no idea how expensieve this sport is going to be lol.  I was looking at his son and he kid had an old helment, no boots, kneew or elbow pads.  I said give me your number and I will give you some of my sons gear that he has outgrown.  I felt bad for the guy.  He has no idea what he's getting into lol.      
 
    
My brother wants to buy his kid a dirt bike, I told him to get the kid a frisbee.
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One thing is for sure, the harder you ride, the more it costs.
Maintenance and upgrades are kind of insane on a dirt bike, and it's not the money, but more the time, at least for me.  For each hour I have to spend in the garage, well that's an hour I can't spend riding.  And the more you ride, the more wrenching you have to do.  It's a vicious cycle, particularly when you have an adrenaline habit.
I bought an uber powerful street bike a few years back, just so I had something to get my kicks, which didn't require hours in the garage after every ride.  But now I want to do track days, so there goes the low maintenance lol.
I envy those riders that are happy to just cruse around and enjoy the scenery.... the guys only have to change tires once or twice a year.
Amen brother. Overpowered street bike = days and days of riding between maintenance vs a couple hours. I work on my yz about 1:2 hours of ride time. Including what it took to get rideable from original clapped out purchase, I haven't even broken even on ride time yet.
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On 1/11/2020 at 8:29 AM, bkoz said:

Last year I created a category in Mint to track my dirtbiking expenses.  All the numbers are in CDN dollars.  I came to a grand total of $10,822.17 for the year.  This surprised the hell out of me.  I didn't think it cost this much to ride. 

This total includes the costs to run 2 bikes.  One bike is a DR650 that I only put about ~1500kms on.  I put a battery in it, rear brakes, one oil change, insurance and fuel.

The other bike is a KTM EXCF which I bought new.  But I did sell 2 Yamaha's and the difference amounted to ~$1100.

The number also included race fees and licenses for 6 local races and 2 dualsport events.  I did include every bike fuel fill up but only included truck fuel for trips over 2 hours.  Another big cost was getting the suspension done on the KTM for ~$1500.  I also did a trip to Moab for ~$1000.

I ended up putting 110hrs and about ~2800kms on the KTM.  I did loose 5-6 weeks during prime riding conditions with being sick so this should have been higher. 

Even if I minus the cost of ~1100 for the bike upgrade (??) and the suspension work I am still sitting at over $8k to go riding.  Ouch.  And I am pretty cheap about things.  I only buy closeout gear and my new KTM ended up with some used and budget parts to get it race ready.  I definitely want to bring the total cost down this year. 

 

Que the tards saying it's cheap in 3, 2, 1.

I can see a normal trail ride costing around 40 bucks aussie a shot if you do not break anything.

Fuel for car and bike, oil, wear on chain and sprockets, wear on your gear.

 

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Just now, BushPig said:

Que the tards saying it's cheap in 3, 2, 1.

I can see a normal trail ride costing around 40 bucks aussie a shot if you do not break anything.

Fuel for car and bike, oil, wear on chain and sprockets, wear on your gear.

 

Don't forget the Macca's :D. That's where a decent chunk of my $100.00 goes.

The 2T oil I use is expensive as ...... heck as well. Also only use BP Ultimate 98. In which case I have to drive 30 minutes just to get it. We only have the Indian Independent servo here. No chance I'm using that shit, not even in the lawn mower.

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6 minutes ago, Drop-Bear said:

Don't forget the Macca's :D. That's where a decent chunk of my $100.00 goes.

The 2T oil I use is expensive as ...... heck as well. Also only use BP Ultimate 98. In which case I have to drive 30 minutes just to get it. We only have the Indian Independent servo here. No chance I'm using that shit, not even in the lawn mower.

I normally make breakfast at home and 98 is 2 minutes away.

But yeah your numbers sound right to me. Break something like a helmet or a handguard, bend a rad, and that blows out pretty quick.

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3 minutes ago, highmarker said:

Commuted for years on a bike, don't think it saved me anything.

No kidding.... All those people who thing commuting on a motorcycle is cheaper then a car is out to lunch.. Maybe so on a scooter or such but as the displacement increase the costs start to elevate quickly...

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13 minutes ago, highmarker said:

Commuted for years on a bike, don't think it saved me anything.

Now move to Melbourne Aus where there's toll roads :D.

They actually tried to make us put number plates on the front of our street bikes so they could charge us tolls as well.

Also, time is money. A bike is quicker through heavy traffic.

Cars need 4 x tires replaced at $250.00 each. Bikes need 2 x tires replaced at $250.00 for the rear, around $200.00 for the front. etc, etc, etc.

Costs more to park a car in some places as well. The list goes on.

Bikes are a lot more cost efficient. 

Edited by Drop-Bear

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15 minutes ago, highmarker said:

Commuted for years on a bike, don't think it saved me anything.

How about a small capacity and gutless 4t commuter bike?

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34 minutes ago, BushPig said:

How about a small capacity and gutless 4t commuter bike?

I had to ride freeway so needed something bigger, wanted to sit up tall to see over the cars and catch the brake lights ahead in 70-0-70mph idiot commuter traffic., a big tank so I wouldn't be pumping gas everyday. Found a 92 klr650 . Rode in rain a lot so wanted an effective street tire that channeled water well, used Avon gripsters, they weren't cheap.  My other option was to drive 25mpg toyota truck.  Bike was at 50mpg. Those 14" truck tires were way cheaper than the bikes tires and lasted way longer. Not counting chains sprockets and cush hub rubbers.  If I had put the bike purchase price,insurance tires chains etc into the tank of the toyota (that didn't need any maintance brake pads etc) I probably would have been ahead (figured it out once).    The only real money saver on the bike I wasn't stopping for coffee or a beer on way home and ride with it, Another positive on the bike was you were really really glad to get to work or home when it was raining.  Riding fun too , but not on freeway,side effect high blood pressure.

Edited by highmarker
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Where I live now I could totally make an electric DS work at no fuel cost , plugged in at work each day would make both trips. Just factoring in the cost of the bike, tires, drive belts, insurance. It'd be cheaper to drive my car and sip coffee with the heat on for the next year.  Everyone situation is different.  Rode a bicycle to work 3 miles, that was the best.

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56 minutes ago, highmarker said:

I had to ride freeway so needed something bigger, wanted to sit up tall to see over the cars and catch the brake lights ahead in 70-0-70mph idiot commuter traffic., a big tank so I wouldn't be pumping gas everyday. Found a 92 klr650 . Rode in rain a lot so wanted an effective street tire that channeled water well, used Avon gripsters, they weren't cheap.  My other option was to drive 25mpg toyota truck.  Bike was at 50mpg. Those 14" truck tires were way cheaper than the bikes tires and lasted way longer. Not counting chains sprockets and cush hub rubbers.  If I had put the bike purchase price,insurance tires chains etc into the tank of the toyota (that didn't need any maintance brake pads etc) I probably would have been ahead (figured it out once).    The only real money saver on the bike I wasn't stopping for coffee or a beer on way home and ride with it, Another positive on the bike was you were really really glad to get to work or home when it was raining.  Riding fun too , but not on freeway,side effect high blood pressure.

Opposite for me. I'd always prefer to be on a bike. no matter the weather or roads. I hate getting stuck in slow traffic.

I get around 350ks from a tank of fuel in the bike (Husky 701 SM). Costs about $18.00 to $20.00 to fill the tank. A car is at least double that. Costs us $30.00 just to drive to the city in the car. Diesel car that is as well. I can go to the city and back on the bike for less than $20.00, and don't have to pay the Insane road tolls. At the front at every set of traffic lights for a quick get away. Don't have to pay the Insane parking fees either. I can park the bike on the footpath right out the front of which ever shop I wish to go to. Cost me $50.00 to park the car last time i drove a car into the city.

Other than that. Cars are just a big PITA to own and run. I sold mine because it was a money pit, and just gave me the shits. Never been happier since selling it. My life is a lot less stressful now.

Mrs still owns a car. But. It's quicker to walk to our shops, and her walk, than it is to drive. Plus then you don't get scum bags opening their doors into your car. 

The previous 3 times I went to drive my car before selling it, the battery was flat and the fuel tank was almost empty. I was driving it about once every 3 to 6 months. The Mrs's car gets used 2 days a week, her days off.

Edited by Drop-Bear
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