March 1, 2006
Dirt bikes, also known as Trails Bikes are off-road, lightweight motorcycles built for cross country, unpaved, rough or uneven grounds. Since they are specifically designed for rough terrains, they are also equipped with rugged tires and suspension. They also have a smaller engine power than typical street motorcycles, normally less than 500 cc
There are many types of Dirt Bikes. Some of the most popular ones are those manufactured by Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Yamaha, Husqvarna, Husaberg and KTM. Because these Bikes are meant to be ridden on rough tracks and off-road competitions such as Motocross, all the Dirt Bikes manufactured by these Companies are sturdy and light with knobby tires for maximum grip.
There are two main types of engines built for dirt bikes – The two-stroke and the four-stroke. The two-stroke engine ignites a mixture of oil and gas in the cylinder, thereby powering up the bike and lubricating the engine all at once. The four stroke engine is a smaller version of a car engine in which the gas is ignited and the oil can be reused again.
The main difference between a Dirt Bike and a Street Bike is the suspension. Dirt Bikes have suspension with a lot more travel than Street Bikes, with higher ground clearance and are much lighter. Knobbies or deep treads on the tires of Dirt Bikes also give better traction through dirt, mud, sand or gravel. The engine is also placed on a higher level to avoid ground obstructions such as rocks, and the gas tank installed in the mid-section for better balance.
The US Department of Motor Vehicles issues green stickers for Dirt bikes once a year since they do not have license plates. It is also illegal to ride a Dirt Bike on city streets since it is only meant for off-road tracks.
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