Watching others ride dirt bikes when you can’t afford it isn’t fun, but there are ways to make it cheap to get into the sport.
You can find a cheap dirt bike and start riding by searching for used dirt bikes or pit bikes through auction houses or trade-in deals through dealerships. Likewise, Craigslist and Gumtree often have discount deals on dirt bikes. You can also buy a Chinese dirt bike which is considered much cheaper than their Japanese and European counterparts.
It’s not too difficult to get into the sport and you certainly don’t need to pay $10,000+ for something amazing if this is your first dirt bike. Dirt bike riding used to be expensive but it’s more affordable today.
Buying a Cheap Dirt Bike
Stop watching the dirt bike channels on Youtube and instead, get yourself out there on the bike itself! Seriously – these are a heck of fun whether you’re racing or simply riding around on local trails.
While we don’t recommend getting finance given that dirt bikes are liabilities, there are some dealerships like Yamaha which offer 0% finance. So don’t discount these more expensive bikes if you can get a really good deal. The mainstream brands are more reliable than the cheap alternatives.
Then again, there are some super cheap ways to get into dirt bike riding:
1. Search on Craigslist/eBay/Gumtree
Yep – there are deals to be had on these platforms. The trick is to set up notifications so whenever a bike becomes available, you’ll be the first to find it and these are generally pre-2010 dirt bikes. Otherwise, if you wait a few hours, there will be others in your local area being you to these great opportunities.
Note: Be warned that some of these dirt bikes could be stolen which is why their price is very low. You’ll want to check the VIN number and collect as much information from the seller as you can. Sometimes you’ll want to cross-reference this information with your local police station just in case.
2. Buy a Chinese Dirt Bike
Go back 10 years ago and any keen dirt bike rider would’ve laughed if you rocked up with your Chinese dirt bike. These days though, technology has really caught up and these bikes are becoming very reliable with longer warranties than their Euro and Japanese counterparts.
You’ll generally pay half the price of the western equivalent. One challenge is parts availability and most dealerships won’t touch them when it comes time to service, but a great and cheap way to get into the sport today.
3. Look for Trade-Ins and Auction Deals
A little-known fact is that dealerships get used dirt bikes traded in all the time. These include the big brands like KTM, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki. Unfortunately, they sometimes get too many bikes at once and will fire-sell these at break-even prices to clear the space. This is a prime opportunity for you to get one cheap!
Likewise, look for government auctions where police dirt bikes are auctioned off occasionally. You’ll need to pay attention to the newsletters in your local area as you won’t find these deals online. Likewise, you’ll also find police-seized vehicles (retrieved from criminals) which weren’t claimed by the owners and are later auctioned off to raise state revenue.
4. Buy a Pit Bike
While not a true dirt bike, pit bikes are a great little fun toy to have some cheap thrills with. We do use the word ‘toy’ appropriately as these bikes aren’t going to win racing titles or climb steep hills or whoop sections, but a good for a few hours.
Once you’ve ridden one of these for a little while, you’ll be hooked on dirt bike riding and hopefully, you’ll be in a better cash position. Pit bikes are typically best for getting kids into dirt bike riding on a budget while adults will generally do better on a full-sized dirt bike.
Dirt bike riding isn’t a cheap sport but it doesn’t need to be expensive either. The biggest cost is the bike itself which is quite excessive. After this, you’ll need to invest in some good dirt bike riding gear so you’ll stay safer out there on the trails, whether you buy a cheap bike or a normal one.