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Can You Ride a Dirt Bike Without a Licence?

So you’re looking at dirt bikes but don’t yet have the licence? Sounds like a tough situation but it isn’t.

You can ride a dirt bike without a licence if you are riding on private property. This is also true if the motorcycle itself is registered, but your licence is yet to come – you’ll need to stay away from government land for now.

The exception to the rule is organized group tours. You’ve probably been on vacation and have seen signs saying ‘ATV tours’ and the like where the organizers don’t expect you to have a licence to ride these bikes in the tour. They have sought special permission from the government with insurance as well to cover you.

Riding Dirt Bikes with No Licence

There are certainly places where a licence isn’t necessary to ride a dirt bike. These include:

  • Motocross tracks. Many MX riders aren’t licenced, including under 16s.
  • Dirt bike parks. They generally don’t ask you to have a licence to ride.
  • Private property. If you own a large portion of land, then anyone can ride here without a licence.

At the same time, there are some liability issues which come to the surface if you’re riding without a licence. Your health insurance may not cover you if you’re riding a dirt bike without a licence so do check with them prior to going on the trails.

Some people think that they can ride a low-powered motorcycle with a car licence. This is true as some states allow you to ride a 50cc moped without an actual motorcycle licence, yet dirt bikes are almost always much more powerful than these.

Children Riding with No Licence

Kids riding dirt bikes is an interesting issue as they can’t generally get a licence until age 16 in most states, with some states making the minimum age 17 or 18. This doesn’t prevent them from riding, however, if they stick to the 3 solutions we’ve provided above.

You can enroll your kids into a dirt bike school to help their skills development. In fact, most MX tracks provide coaching for children weekly to help develop their skills and this may be an insurance requirement.

In terms of riding on public land, the rules are almost universal. Children aren’t allowed to ride on government or public land with their dirt bikes, which includes roads, parks, trail bike routes and dirt roads. The only exception is teenagers and they need to have both a licence to ride and registration on their dirt bike.

While you may be able to claim recreational registration for a children’s dirt bike in some areas of Australia and the United States, they still won’t qualify for a licence. Therefore this can be an expensive process with no real benefit unless you want to ride your own children’s bike offroad which is unlikely.

The Solution

Often the best solution for kids who are in love with their dirt bikes is the parents choosing to move into the country. It’s here that children can ride as much as they want without looking over their shoulder.

Certainly, there is no need for licences or registration for dirt bikes being ridden at home. It’s your land and your rights. You’ll find that just about every pro rider in the world had open land that they could practice on daily. If your kids are committed – then this is a solid way to go.

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👉 39 Most Common Dirt Bike Terms (How Many Do You Really Know?)

🔥 21 Awesome Dirt Bike Riding Tips ('Cause We Want You Safe Out There!)

🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)

Barkbusters Review: Are They Really That Good?

When buying a dirt bike, one of the first modifications you’ll make is fitting a set of barkbusters to the handlebars.

It makes sense. Protect your hands from stray branches on the technical trails and from nasty crashes. They can even stop your brake and clutch levers from snapping off.

But then again…are they really *that* good? After all, they are quite expensive and there are some cheaper Barkbuster alternatives on the market.

In our experience: Barkbusters represent excellent value for money. They are more expensive but also hold up much better you crash compared to cheap Chinese alternatives. The reviews and user experiences show that Barkbusters

Barkbusters Review

Fitting a set of Barkbusters to your dirt bike or adventure motorcycle certain transforms it from a showroom pony to a trail warrior. The type that will actually push themselves so much further.

Here at Frontaer, we’ve used Barkbusters in the past to protect our hands and wouldn’t live without a pair. They certainly live up to expectations when you crash, with the inserts preventing them from rotating when you crash.

In addition, we’ve found plenty of space in the cockpit still for cables and brake lines. For the adventure rider, this is helpful with the volume of electronics mounted these days on the handlebars. Let’s not forget that they stop wind chill quite well!

Given the universal fit of Barkbusters, they do fit on almost every modern dirt bike. You see – handlebars themselves are a universal fit these days and you’ll find them quite easily on the bar ends. Yes – you will need some basic tools from the toolbox.

Suggested Improvements

We can recommend some good improvements particularly around color matching. Some of them don’t match perfectly the main manufacturers and we believe this may be due to Pantone color patents. In laymans terms, this means that the main manufacturers may already have a patent on exactly one specific color and so Barkbusters can’t make them a picture-perfect match.

Another improvement would be better airflow for summer riding. They do have some designs which are more minimalistic yet these also leave you more exposed to tree branches and the like, while reducing the structural integrity.

Then again – these are merely 1st world issues that their design team is certainly working on. Barkbusters have built an excellent product that we’ll continue using for years.

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👉 39 Most Common Dirt Bike Terms (How Many Do You Really Know?)

🔥 21 Awesome Dirt Bike Riding Tips ('Cause We Want You Safe Out There!)

🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)

Can You Ride A Dirt Bike to High School?

Riding a dirt bike to school…sounds great in theory, but is it actually possible? Well, the rules are quite clear:

If your dirt bike is registered, you have insurance and you hold a licence – then yes, you can ride a dirt bike to school. Some schools discourage students riding a motorcycle of any kind to school, but legally there isn’t much stopping you as long as you park off school grounds.

The school principals don’t like dirt bikes because of the anti-social behavior they bring. There have been instances of teenagers riding on school ovals which rips up the grass and you risk striking a child.

Riding a Dirt Bike to School

It probably isn’t the wisest idea to bring your dirt bike to high school or even college/university. Some reasons we would discourage it include:

  1. What if someone pushes over your dirt bike while you’re in class?
  2. What if it gets stolen? Do you have insurance to cover a replacement?
  3. What do you do when it’s raining? Riding wet clothes to school isn’t fun.
  4. How will the teachers and principal accept it? Usually it’s banned.

In fact, riding any sort of motorcycle to school isn’t a good idea and isn’t worth the risks involved as we’ve outlined above.

Alternative Options

What are some good alternative options that will still give you a thrill? Well – you could get an electric mountain bike with a 1,000+ Watt motor which will be a fun ride. Simply disconnect the battery and keep it in your schoolbag.

Another option is to simply leave dirt bike riding for the weekend rides only. It can be too much trouble trying to bring a dirt bike to school. You’ll be spending too much time worrying about it being damaged or stolen rather than the school work.

In Summary

While a novel idea, we wouldn’t recommend it. Leave it for the Instagram or Snapchat feed for weekend riding and after school muck-arounds. School is a place for learning and inspiration.

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[elementor-template id="4784"]

👉 39 Most Common Dirt Bike Terms (How Many Do You Really Know?)

🔥 21 Awesome Dirt Bike Riding Tips ('Cause We Want You Safe Out There!)

🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)

5 Things To Ask Your Dirt Bike Dealer Today

So you’re looking to buy a new or used dirt bike? Your dealer could be a great talker and thus, here are some things you should ask them.

Because when you’re spending your hard-earned money, you’ll want to ensure you’re simply asking the right questions.

We recently published a guide for used ADV motorcycles and now let’s get into dirt bikes which are slightly different. Be sure to ask any dirt bike dealership these questions:

1. Is this the right offroad motorcycle for me?

Not all dirt bikes are created equal and you should be asking specific questions on whether this particular dirt bike will fit your needs as a rider. Are you riding tight technical tracks or wide-open savannah? Are you racing or simply going recreational? Do you need to have road-legal registration? There is a clear difference in throttle responses, bike weights and engine capacities.

2. Do they have a wide range of dirt bikes?

We generally discourage people from simply using a one-stop dealership unless they have their heart set on a particular color or manufacturer like KTM. Within each manufacturer, they have specific dirt bikes that may better suit you as a rider, though some have very strong similarities such as Yamaha and Honda’s dirt bike range.

3. What mechanical checks do they do on used bikes?

You can buy used dirt bikes at dealerships and so you should be asking about their comprehensive range of checks that they’ll do before selling you the bike. In some cases, it will actually come with a warranty though this will be limited and won’t cover accidental damage. Most dirt bikes today are actually very reliable and most problems are quick and cheap fixes anyway.

4. Do they also stock gear?

Chances are that this is your 1st dirt bike purchase. If so – congratulations and welcome to the world of offroad fun! Ask your dealership if they stock gear because you’ll need protection gear out there on the tracks. It isn’t just a helmet but boots, clothing, gloves and protection plates such as a neck brace. Expect this to cost you between $700 and $1,500 depending on the quality of workmanship you require from your gear.

5. Can you test-ride the dirt bikes?

Some motorcycle dealerships run test-ride days where you can try out some various dirt bikes and find that one that suits you the best. Others might actually have a short yet simple test track located behind their premises for potential customers to use. This is one of the best ways to pick a dirt bike yet most dealerships sadly don’t offer this, especially for riders who haven’t touched a clutch level for a while.

In Summary

Dirt bike riding is a heck of a lot of fun. If this is your first purchase, then we can highly recommend using a motorbike dealership over a private sale for peace of mind. Then again – you’ll want to throw them these questions either over the phone or simply when going in.

Also ask them for great local riding spots in the neighborhood which are legal. You should expect a dirt bike dealer of all people to know this bit of information…if they are indeed enthusiasts.

See you out there!

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👉 39 Most Common Dirt Bike Terms (How Many Do You Really Know?)

🔥 21 Awesome Dirt Bike Riding Tips ('Cause We Want You Safe Out There!)

🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)

12 Tips for Riding Dirt Bikes in Winter & Keeping Warm

If you live in a cold climate, you can still ride your dirt bike during the colder winter months. There ain’t no excuse to store your bike away.

Sure – it’s demanding and you’re going to have to outlay some dollars on gear and modifications, but let’s us allow you in on some secrets.

You can certainly ride a dirt bike in the snow and cold weather conditions as long as you are prepared in advance. This includes layering up and making some potential modifications to your dirt bike so you’re equipped for the colder conditions. Unless you’re below freezing, then most dirt bike engines will still perform relatively well.

Altitude does have some effect on performance. In other words, the higher you go, the less your motorcycle can breathe but for most riders, then will be just fine.

Winter Dirt Bike Riding Tips

The challenges are certainly worth the risks. You’ll find the trails and tracks to be much quieter and you’ll be building up skills when it’s otherwise the off-season for other riders.

You really have no excuse with our tips to help you get through the colder months with your dirt bike.

Here’s what we can share:

1. Invest in some cold-weather riding gear

Get yourself a good jacket and riding pants. You may wish to wear thermals under each which will help to block the wind chill quite considerably. Also get yourself some cold weather ADV riding gloves instead of your typical MX gloves.

2. Be mindful that cold dirt bike tyres offer less grip

Just like racing motorcycles or street cruisers, you’ll need to warm your tyres up before each ride. This will enhance the grip quite considerably. If you can (and if you’ve got a registered dirt bike), then find a quiet bitumen road in which to pre-heat your tyres by swaying side to side.

3. Install some hand guards

If you haven’t already fitted a set, then dirt bike handguards are massively helpful to block a considerable amount of wind from chilling your knuckles and affecting your grip strength. You can buy either the wide square-style guards or a full wrap-around handlebar guard.

4. Watch for windburnt skin

It’s actually true that you can develop windburnt skin from riding a dirt bike in winter, especially on your hands and face. Keep this in mind and aim to layer up where possible. This is an effect of continuous wind being struck against the skin causing intense dryness among other issues.

5. Invest in a heated winter riding jacket

Did you know that you can get 12v heated winter jackets? These are one of the best investments money can buy. Adventure riders commonly use these when covering large stretches in colder months and these are certainly helpful to keep you riding for long out there on the trails. The only downside is that they’re heavier and yes, you’ll need a 12v outlet installed.

Riding dirt bikes in winter and keeping warm is a lot of fun

6. Buy some dirt bike winter tyres

Not all dirt bike tyres are created the same, with some offering more channel and grip for winter riding though these same tyres will wear out faster in the warmer months. Consider having 2 sets of tyres – one for winter and one for summer. For snow riding, we can recommend studded tyres which are easily sourced online for most dirt bike makes and models.

7. Be mindful of internal sweating

While you are layering up with clothes to stay warm when riding your dirt bike, you can inadvertently take things too far. If you start mildly sweating under your clothes, then this moisture could lead to you becoming colder and unable to retain heat so easily. Essentially, take off layers as you need.

8. Invest in some heated grips

Again, we’re using the word ‘investment’ here. These are relatively cheap and can make a real difference in your enjoyment when riding offroad in the colder months. They’ll allow your grip to stop being so tight and slow to respond and the power comes from the engine, though much less than a heated vest or jacket.

9. Consider a better helmet or goggles

Just like having winter and summer riding tyres, you should consider a seperate helmet just for winter riding which has less front-end ventilation. A pair of goggles that perfectly fits and minimizes air inflow will be very helpful. Some riders also wear a neck guard between their jersey/jacket and the helmet.

10. Consider an adventure fairing

Now we’re moving slightly into adventure-riding territory, but an adventure fairing will help deflect a lot of wind when riding at higher speeds. Think of the Dakar Rally, only those large fairings help riders to reduce fatigue over many hours of riding at higher speeds. You’ll be more away from the low-budget essence of dirt bike riding but will help reduce the wind effects as well as opening up the way for riding on highways.

11. Monitor the weather

There’s winter and then there’s harsh winter. By monitoring the weather with many of the riding apps available, you can look for opportunistic windows where rain is unlikely and where you can make the most of a good day. Then again – don’t just rely on technology but learn to read the weather including cloud directions and wind speeds.

12. Keep the boots dry

We’ve left one of the best until last on this list of dirt bike riding tips for winter riders. Keeping those boots dry will help you ride for longer, so do try to avoid those creek/river crossings and use goretex where possible. This also includes replacing your boots when they get too worn out since boot technology has risen quite considerably over these recent years, with both summer and winter versions available for some makes and models.

In Summary

If winter is coming, then don’t let snow or simply cold whether discourage you from heading out on your dirt bike. You can certainly have a lot of fun out there if you come prepared for the battle!

When others are at home relaxing on the couch, you can be improving your skills and generally having much more fun. This time without the crowds or the harsh heat of the summer months.

So there’s Frontaer’s top 12 tips, so it’s time to make it happen!

Continue Reading More Guides by Frontaer

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👉 39 Most Common Dirt Bike Terms (How Many Do You Really Know?)

🔥 21 Awesome Dirt Bike Riding Tips ('Cause We Want You Safe Out There!)

🌲 How To Go Camping With Your Dirt Bike (And Arrive Home Safely)

🔧 7 Tools Every Dirt Bike Rider Must Carry (To Avoid Those Awkward Rescue Calls)

🥾 Best Dirt Bike Boots That Go The Distance (Who's Got The Best for 2021?)