No, you start out on a smaller, easier to manage size, like an 80 or 125 (these numbers refer to the cubic centimeter size of the engines which correlates to the size and weight of the frame). You learn the techniques, the basics like shifting, braking, balancing, stopping and starting, accelerating (different than starting), torque, jerking over a bump, tilting when you turn. When you master those on a smaller biker you can throw around and pick up when you fall, then you can go up to the next size.
You never skip sizes either.
Some things to keep in mind:
Size is relevant to more than the motor. The height of the bike determines if you can touch or are tiptoeing. If you can’t reach the ground when standing still, you will not be able to reach the ground when you’re losing your balance or turning.
Weight can topple you. Bikes are easy to balance when they’re in motion, but stopped, well, let’s just say the bigger they are the harder it gets and we’re talking broken bones.
What do you want the bike to do? If you’re riding for speed, bigger engine size will do it. But enjoyment and challenge will come with the terrain you cover, not necessarily bike size. Sometimes it’s like finding that pair of shoes that just do it for you. They make you feel stronger, confident, smarter, and faster, but they don’t actually increase any abilities.
Dirt bikes need to fit the rider or they’re ineffective. Sure, you can ride them but you’ll never feel capable to try new things because the bike is too big or too small for you.
Safety first though. Helmets, pads, breastplates, are all necessary wear. Especially if you have no idea what you’re doing. These need to fit you well also – retailers and distributors can help you find the not-too-tight-but-tight-enough gear.
My perfect fit is the Honda CR250X. Electric start with kick option, the height is great and the engine has just enough kick to keep me on my toes – and a little breathless.
My motto is “Ride like you write – with you everything you’ve got.”
Questions about dirt biking? Slam them in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them.
Bonnie R. Paulson writes and rides with emotion. Breathe Again releasing from Carina Press 08/22/2011 has another passion of hers inside – an antique VW wagon. It doesn’t get any better than that.