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Dirt Bike Mechanic: Worthwhile Job To Learn?

Becoming a dirt bike mechanic sounds like the dream job as you’re playing with your favorite toys all day long.

But is it actually worth it and does it pay well? This really depends.

Dirt bike mechanics working at dealerships typically earn less than $39,000 per year unless they are working with major manufacturers in competitive events. This equates to $14 to $18 per hour plus benefits. Given the low pay rates, most mechanics aim to own a dealership one day where they can sell dirt bikes, parts, accessories and hire staff do the lower-paying jobs.

Of course there are variations to these numbers and it’s based on the country you’re from, but reasonably accurate for those in the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and South Africa.

A Career as a Dirt Bike Mechanic

It can certainly be rewarding to be a dirt bike mechanic full time. Even if you’re over the age of 30, it isn’t too late to pick up these skills. You don’t need to do this career for life either. If you learn how they operate, then you’ll be the last one stuck on the side of the track.

To get into this field, you won’t need much other than a love for motorcycles. There isn’t a specific dirt-bike-only trade and you’ll be learning on general motorcycles initially. This means you’ll be exposed to different engine types and a range of motorbikes in the workshops.

There are several trade schools and colleges that offer courses but nothing is really offered at a university level. After all, this is a trade and one that requires only a mild amount of engineering knowledge. Apart from some basic English and Maths, there isn’t much you need to get accepted and start learning.

A recent survey shows that motorcycle mechanics are happy with their job, despite the low pay and long hours. This problem stems from the fact that dirt bikes are just fun to tinker with…and getting paid is just a bonus.

Increasing Pay Rates

While most working in mainstream dealerships do make less than $40k annually, there are ways to increase this.

You can:

  1. Open up your own exclusive performance workshop. Many riders are always trying to extract more power out of their dirt bikes, especially the 2-stroke crowd.
  2. Join a factory racing team. Big brands like KTM and Yamaha have their own factory teams which travel the country or even the world. Being paid to travel the world and work on dirt bikes sounds epic. Just imagine being apart of the Dakar Rally and a key reason why a competitor won a stage..or even the whole event!
  3. Market yourself better. There are numerous active Facebook groups with local riders all discussing issues they’re having with their dirt bikes. You can become the go-to person who can solve these problems and get paid more than the dudes working at the big dealerships while charging far less. You’re effectively taking out the middle man.
  4. Specialise in 1 brand only. If we had to take a pick, we’d say go with KTM. Those riders have the biggest bank accounts and the type who typically wants to ride faster. If you can become the cities most specialized KTM dirt bike mechanic and know each model inside and out, then you’ll never be short of happy customers.

A dying industry?

With electric dirt bikes becoming a hot item over the next few years, we wander if this industry might be at risk of going into decline real soon.

Since these dirt bikes need next to no maintenance (their engines are electric and are self-contained), there won’t be much for a mechanic to do. The occasional handlebar replacement or a new set of rims and tyres…and that’s it!

With the rise of YouTube tutorials, most riders are also learning how to get jobs done easily themselves. This saves them money and the messing around with booking in a time slot with the mechanic and hauling their bike on the back of the truck.

So the payscale is quite low and the longevity of the job role is questionable. Yet if you’re passionate about repairing, maintaining and increasing the performance of dirt bikes all day long, then you’ve got the perfect job!

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Riding a Dirt Bike in Residential Areas: Bad Idea?

Have you seen those crazy guys pulling wheelies with the front wheel up on residential streets with kids around? Crazy. There have been instances where crashes have happened and life-altering damage.

If you’re the type that things it’s OK to ride your dirt bike in public parks, playground areas and residential streets in an irresponsible manner, then pay close attention. Frontaer has some wise words:

The police are constantly cracking down in illegal dirt bike riding in residential streets. This hooligan behavior where young and unlicenced riders are riding dirt bikes aggressively can lead to accidents and injuries, or even death. Essentially, it’s a bad idea to ride your dirt bike on a street unless it’s registered and you’re riding legally with a licence and insurance.

We’re sure that many share the same opinion here. After all, we’re all for responsible riding ethics. If you want to have fun and let loose some steam from the day, then head out to somewhere remote.

Dirt Bikes on Residential Streets

Dirt bikes don’t really belong in the neighbourhoods where children reside. They belong out there exploring the wooded trails of the forests far away, on the many MX tracks this country has and the deserts where no one can really get hurt, apart from the rider themselves.

On the other hand, enduro and dual-sport motorcycles are more tame and more silent. The riders generally are on better behavior and will be respectful in these areas. Sure – they might not always stick to the speed limit, but they’re certainly more than capable of showing respect to other individuals within the community.

When you ride your dirt bike on a residential street, you’re merely asking for trouble especially if it’s a motocross bike. These are generally unregistered and you can only go offroad if it’s private property or you have an OHV sticker in Norht America.

The police love to chase guys down and they’re becoming even more sophisticated now. They might send police on dirt bikes themselves, or they might even track your cell phone now. There is a slim chance of running away because they know where you are and what you ride.

Responsible Riding

Clearly we’re fans of responsible dirt bike ownership here at Frontaer. We’d love to see everyone out there enjoying the sport and doing their part to improve the otherwise dimished view of dirt bike riders globally. It’s often the case where a few bad apples spoil the whole bunch.

If you are itching to go for a ride, simply call up your local MX club. They often have open days where you can ride until your right wrist simply can’t twist any more. You’ll be sore and battered but you won’t need to be looking over your shoulder….unless you tag some buddies along for a ride.

Through riding responsibly, we can work together to keep our riding tracks open for our next generation of riders. We need to lead by example so kids who start dirt bike riding see what’s expected of them. The last thing they should be doing is riding on a residential street.

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🌲 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)

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Why Are Dirt Bikes So Loud? (Quite Frustrating)

Is it frustrating for you to hear a dirt bike whizzing past which is so loud and distracting in the woods? It certainly spoils the mood and ambience in nature, and we’re sure humans aren’t the only individuals annoyed.

Dirt bikes are loud due to having short mufflers which only have a small impact in reducing sound. Given that dirt bike engines have high revs and typically accelerate hard, it causes the loud and thick sound to emerge and echo for miles. Add in the fact that 2-strokes are even louder, it certainly leads to riders not being welcomed in some areas.

There is more to this though as there are variances between engine power and manufacturers.

Why Do Dirt Bikes Much So Much Sound?

Dirt bikes are loud even when idling and there are several reasons for that. Combined, they certainly make a sound that is heaven to the ears of the rider, but frustrating for those who don’t like dirt bikes.


Typically it’s the older dirt bikes that make the most sound. Manufacturers today have produced dirt bikes that don’t make too much sound at high speeds which means that riders can go casually through tracks and trails without causing as much frustrating towards other users. In the other meaning of age is the age of the rider, as it’s mostly the younger crowd (under the age of 30) that loves to rev their dirt bikes hard.


The biggest culprit of them all is 2-strokes. As the 2-stroke engines have internal combustion happening more frequently, they have an annoying rattling sound which is almost twice as loud as a 4-stroke. Luckily, we find fewer 2-strokes available for sale by dealerships today because 4-strokes have caught up performance-wise.


One of the best ways to make a dirt bike quieter is to install a better muffler. Unfortunately, it’s last on the list of desirables by riders as they prefer to increase their dirt bikes performance, not reduce the sound that it makes. In fact, some even install special mufflers so their dirt bike is even more annoyingly loud! So much so that it annoys other dirt bike riders. Argh!

Riding areas

For those riding around the mountains and valleys, sound tends to travel far as it can echo against the cliff faces. Compare this to open deserts where there is nowhere for the sound to travel or bounce off, and you’ve got yourself a haven for dirt bike riders. Essentially, where someone rides do have an impact as to the sounds and nuisances that they create. This is why you’ll find MX events held at entertainment centres very loud as the sound is bouncing off the stadium.

Throttle and Clutch Control

This is something that few people think about – throttle and clutch control. The smoother someone can get this, the quieter their dirt bike can be when switching up gears. This takes practice and in most instances, you actually wouldn’t even need to touch the clutch at all.

Performance Modifications

If someone has increased their power output through some performance modifications, then this is a key reason why their dirt bike becomes louder. This can annoy the neighbors when their revving up their dirt bike in the garage. If you’re concerned about noise, then we recommend that you leave things stock-standard.

Final Thoughts

It’s always best to leave your dirt bike stock. If you’re simply someone who doesn’t appreciate the sound of dirt bikes, well the sound is due to the rider and type of bike they choose. Not all dirt bikes are loud.

Fortunately, there are electric dirt bikes coming to the market which will solve these problems once and for all. As 2-wheel enthusiasts ourselves…we can’t wait!

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🔥 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)

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How To Deal With Arm Pump When Riding Dirt Bikes

Have you ever experienced arm pump when riding your dirt bike and were frustrated in the feeling? We’ve all been there before.

It’s a quick way to spoil what would have otherwise been a great ride. You instantly lack strength and handlebar control while trying to keep up with others out there on the ride. Argh!

Arm Pump is due to a build up of lactic acid inside the forearms which leads to the nerves and muscles losing the ability to function normally. As dirt bike riders experience this frequently, there are some things we can do to help reduce the impacts and continue riding strong.

Today we’ll look at what you can do about it so you can spend more time twisting that throttle and less time worrying about going over the handlebars.

Reducing Dirt Bike Arm Pump

There are various ways that you can actually reduce the arm pump. Some are old wives tales which others are tried, tested and true ways in which riders have found which works well.

One thing is for sure – there is no magical whizzbang cure here. You can’t eliminate this, however you can try and reduce the onslaught.

Here’s how dirt bike riders typically reduce arm pump:

1. Warm Up and Stretch Before Riding

Yes – we know this is as awkward as going to a yoga class, but it’s gotta be done. By warming up and massaging your muscles, you’re able to start moving blood flow throughout your body. Focus on your arm area including the forearm and bicep. Some riders will use the roof racks of their 4×4 to hang off or even a nearby tree. Don’t forget to stretch the hands as well!

2. Go Dirt Bike Riding More Regularly

It’s most common to see riders who don’t ride that often complaining about arm pump. This is because their arms aren’t conditioned to the feeling and thus, their body responds appropiately. You’ll be mentally training your arms to push through the hard times by riding at least once per week.

3. Enhance Your Riding Skills and Techniques

Most of us could really nip up our riding skills by going on a training course or simply by watching some YouTube videos. There are certainly some things that we have been doing wrong for all these years without realizing it. One key and immediate improvement is to grip with your legs and not your arms, allowing your arms to be free for clutch and throttle control.

4. Buy Some New Gloves That Promote Circulation

Wearing tight gloves is a real culprit that we don’t always think of. After all, your hands seem to be just fine. Truth is: the blood isn’t circulating properly. Of course you’ll want gloves that fit well but just ensure that they aren’t restricting anything including finger movement. Also, a wrist brace could be reducing blood movement too along the arm.

5. Stay Hydrated and Use Hydration Drinks

Even on a cold day, you’ll need to stay hydrated. The problem is that most riders only start hydrating after they’ve started riding. Bad idea! You should focus on getting hydrated before the ride so that dehydration has no chance to take hold, and thus, you can continue riding strong! Pack a Gatorade in your backpack for a lunchtime drink too which will help with the blood sugars.

6. Adjust Your Bike Controls

There is an art and science in having the best dirt bike setup. From the dealership, they set these up for the average of all riders, and most riders aren’t average. Have a play around and adjust your clutch and brake level angles. Also, ensure they are easy to use as they shouldn’t be tight at all. If they take more than 2 fingers to actuate, then they are certainly too tight and need lubrication!

In Summary

We all struggle with arm pump but it becomes progressively less the more often you ride. You’ll just need to get better prepared when out there on the tracks and you’ll become a more safer and confident rider in no time.

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

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What Is Adventure Motorcycle Riding? A Simple Guide

Adventure Motorcycling sounds like a lot of fun…and it is. With this guide, we’ll be taking you through the journey on how to get started.

Adventure Motorcycling is taking a motorcycle on anything from a weekend-long adventure in your area, to a global expedition taking several years. Adventure riders bring their camping supplies along in saddle bags paired with extra fuel, a GPS, spare clothing and the love of the open road. For many in the adventure motorcycling world, the journey becomes more fun than the destination.

Think of remote tracks and getting off the beaten path but with all your gear for a great night away from all the problems of the world. This is true adventure riding, with a blend of a dirt bike and cruiser rolled into one.

While this represents just a small percentage of motorcycle riders globally, it’s these riders who are known for being opened minded and friendly. Certainly if you were to ask questions to any of these riders, they’ll be more than willing to help out.

Getting Started with Adventure Motorcycling

Adventure motorcycling is becoming ever popular, especially with the release of the famous motorcycling documentaries Long Way Round and Long Way Down by Charlie Boorman and Ewan McGregor. Since then, multiple YouTube channels have sprung up and the most popular ones seem to be the female riders.

With that comes brands like KTM, Yamaha, Klim and Krieger to serve adventure motorcyclists (commonly known as ADV riders) at the heart. Frontaer is continuing to rise higher and stronger to also serve this market in the coming years, with our customer base being built through excellent content.

To get started with Adventure Motorcycling, there are some things that you’ll need.

Buying the Right Adventure Motorcycle

It’s important that you choose the right bike for your needs. Walking into a dealership without prior research is a recipe for disaster. To choose the right bike, you should ask yourself what type of riding you’ll be doing.

If it’s single-lane dirt tracks, then you’ll want a dirt orientated motorcycle that has some creature comforts. If it’s bitumen roads, then you’ll definitely want a road-based motorcycle with dual-sport features. In other words, it can handle dirt roads but will struggle on tight single-tracks.

The bigger the motorcycle, the more motorcycle you’ll have to pick up when you crash. And yes – you will crash at some stage. It’s how you respond and your ability to get moving again that does determine the type of motorcycle you should buy.

For many – something as simple as the Honda CRF250L Rally is enough to handle most riding conditions, though it won’t be the most highway-friendly motorcycle.

Then you’ll have to think of a new motorcycle is within your budget, or whether you’ll have to settle for a used ADV motorcycle. A new bike is only new until the day that it crashes on some gnarly rocks, then those scratches may start to break your heart.

Investing in Gear

We use the term ‘investing’ because the right protective gear is certainly necessary if you are to survive in the offroad motorcycling world. As we’ve mentioned, crashing is an eventual and somewhat routine part of ADV motorcycling. A key difference between those who keep going and those who need to be airlifted to safety is the gear that they’re wearing.

There is a developing range of adventure motorcycling gear around the world. While you can get away with some offerings from the dirt bike world, adventure riding gear is actually different. Adventure motorcycling boots, for example, are built stronger and with less flexibility than the dirt bike and motocross equivalents.

When it comes to protective gear, you’ll easily be able to spend more than $2,000 on the following:

  • An excellent quality riding jacket from Klim or Dririder ($500)
  • Matching ADV trousers which have ventilation panels ($300)
  • A very high-quality helmet that is designed for offroad use ($500)
  • Adventure motorcycling boots by an ADV brand like Sidi & Alpinestars ($400)
  • 4L Hydration Pack, although these are sometimes built into jackets ($150)
  • Two sets of riding gloves; One for winter and one for summer ($150 total)
  • Emergency SPOT Beacon to track your location similar to an EPIRB ($150)

So when you’re shopping for your adventure motorcycle, keep this in mind as your protective gear from other motorcycles can’t exactly transfer over. Most riders sell their old gear and then upgrade to some ADV-spec gear when they can see the intrinsic benefits.

Now, let’s not forget the extras you’ll be needing:

  • Two saddlebags to store clothing, cooking equipment, food and tents ($500)
  • A tank bag to store documents, extra clothing and camera equipment ($300)
  • A small tool roll with tools to store tools, two spare tubes and extra oils ($300)
  • One tent from a quality manufacturer such as the Redverze Expedition ($500)

In addition, you’ll need some cash set aside for insurance and registration, plus any modifications you may wish to make such as an adventure fairing.

Learning to Ride ADV Style

While you’ve probably got a motorcycle licence already, the skills learned in these classes generally pertain towards road rules and hazard awareness. These are crucial skills that any motorcycle rider regardless of their style needs to learn.

When it comes to adventure motorcycle riding, you’ll need to upskill your knowledge by both experience and knowledge acquisition. While you can learn plenty for free from the numerous YouTube channels now in existence, it’s best to enrol into an adventure motorcycling school in your local area.

One of the most popular adventure riding schools in North America is RawHyde Adventures. That said – many of their students ride the bigger BMWs and as a beginner, you’re often better with a smaller motorcycle.

Likewise, there are numerous ADV riding clubs that welcome beginners with open arms. It’s these clubs that often hold information days and riding experiences where beginners can improve their skills is an open and non-judgemental area.

Making Connections

While many adventure motorcyclists prefer to be on their own, having friends who share the same passion is an integral part of what makes you more successful. By having this shared interest, you’ll both be able to find new places to go riding. Perhaps that connection is your significant other.

Such connections can also be made through group rides. You can spend most of your time on your own and join the occasional group ride to share some common interests. Plus you’ll have someone there for backup to help you during tricky scenarios, such as changing the rear tire.

This isn’t just a local connection either. All across the world there are ADV riders who share a common bond – the thrill of the open road. When you’re crossing large deserts, don’t be surprised when you find an adventure riding coming the other way who can share information about border crossings and track conditions.

Planning Motorcycle Routes

There is an art and science involved with planning effective motorcycle routes. Planning is obviously an effective way of stopping yourself from getting lost, but also a way to ensure you really see all the good things there is to experience out there. You’ll also be able to plan around weather, seasonal track closures, public events and gradients.

Fortunately, many GPS systems these days become loaded with maps for offroad enthusiasts with regular updates. Riders can even upload their own waypoints and share maps with others. As you become more involved with adventure motorcycling, you’ll love the planning element as much as the journey itself.

Domestic planning is easy, at least compared to international route selection. Traversing countries can be a little tricky especially as you’ll be dealing with Carnets (a passport for your motorcycle), customs, borders and other nuances. Border crossings can take between 10 minutes and 7 hours, depending on the countries and their bureaucracy.

Staying Alive

While we may think of ‘staying alive’ is not being attacked in your tent, it’s actually quite rare. Sure – there is the occasional bear or questionable camper nearby, but that doesn’t compare much to the very real risk: Traffic.

You’ll need to stay alive out there on the road and this brings us back to the importance of effective motorcycle knowledge. You may wish to start watching channels on YouTube such as EveRide who shares plenty about the reality of adventure motorcycling with a solid focus on safety out there on the trails.

In addition to staying alive, you’ll want to ensure you’ve packed a good first-aid kit and tracking system. Choose the best routes and stay out of harms way when riding in foreign countries. Many ADV riders choose to do stealth camping to lessen their risk of an attack or theft at 3am. That said – such stories are rare and the world is much safer than the media organisations claim.

Common Questions

It’s time to address some frequently asked questions on here. These include:

How much is an adventure motorcycle?

Adventure motorcycles can vary greatly in pricing, but generally speaking, you can buy an adventure motorcycle used for around $2,700 while a new motorcycle that’s relatively capable will cost between $5,600 and $6,800.

Where can I go riding?

You can ride an adventure motorcycle on any track or trail that you can drive a car. Additionally, you can take your bike along dirt bike tracks although steep hills are to be avoided.

What is the most reliable adventure bike?

The most reliable adventure motorcycles are the Suzuki DRZ-400, the Kawasaki KLR 650, the KTM 690R, Honda’s CR250L Adventure and the Yamaha Super Tenere. These motorcycles and their respective brands are proven as expedition-ready for global travel.

Do people ride alone or in groups?

Most adventure riders choose to ride alone, though may rendezvous with others on their journey, either planned or improptu. The very nature of being on a motorcycle shows that these individuals prefer to be by themselves as opposed to being in groups.

Can I go adventure riding with my dirt bike?

Absolutely! There is no issue with using a 4-stroke dirt bike for adventure touring. Their lightweight means they are able to access trails that most other riders can’t. Some upgrades we can suggest include a bigger fuel tank and adventure fairing for highway riding, and perhaps a better rear sprocket.

Do I have to bring my camping gear?

No. Adventure riders don’t need to bring camping gear if they plan on staying at hotels each night. This can become an expensive process, and so many riders choose to do a combination of hotels and free or low-cost camping in national parks, depending on the weather and region in which they are traveling.

Is it dangerous to ride adventure motorcycles?

It can be dangerous depending on where you’re travelling and the motorcycle you have. As time progresses, riders become more aware of their surroundings and can spot trouble much more easily. In fact, there have been dozens of adventure riders who have travelled the world without a single incident, including many 3rd world countries.

Closing Thoughts

Adventure motorcycling is a pathway for freedom for many ladies and gentlemen. Yes – ladies are ever-increasing in their numbers here year on year. After all, many humans crave freedom and the sense of adventure.

This all begins by investing in the right bike and the right gear. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time though, as it often takes 2 to 3 motorcycles before you finally find ‘the one’.

Start spending some time around the ADV community either through online forums or Facebook groups, or even stay connected with many of the rising YouTubers. As you do, you’ll become even more in love with this sport and the true sense of freedom that it brings to the soul.

Catch you out there!

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?)