Is It Better To Buy A New Or Used Dirt Bike? - Risk Racing

June 11, 2021 6 min read

If you're just beginning to learn how to ride a dirt bike, the question of whether or not it's better to buy a new or used dirt bike may be in your thoughts. Some people will say that buying a new dirt bike is always better because then you know what kind of performance and reliability to expect from it. Others might argue that purchasing an older model can be beneficial because they are cheaper and have been proven durable over time. But which dirt bike option will be best for you?

If you are a beginner rider or new to riding a dirt bike, then a good quality used bike is recommended for you to learn on and discover the joys of off-road riding. If you have been riding for some time and have the money, or ride competitively, then a new dirt bike would be the better choice.

The best answer would depend on what type of riding experience you want out of your first dirt bike purchase. If this dirt bike is going to be your first purchase, then buying used could save some money for other items like gear or parts down the line when needed; but if this is something you plan on doing dirt bike riding competitively, then new may be the better option.

bike photoshoot

Should I Buy A Used Dirt Bike? 

Most people, when first starting out on dirt bikes, don't know if it's better to buy a new bike or a used dirt bike. There are aspects to consider when buying one of these machines, and the price is certainly not the only factor. 

There are several factors that can steer you towards buying a secondhand dirt bike rather than a new one.

  • It is your first dirt bike. If this is your first ever dirt bike and you are learning how to ride off-road, then it is certainly recommended that you get a used dirt bike. This will allow you to crash, fall off, or drop the bike without worrying too much about the well-being of the bike. Buying a used bike will also teach you a lot about the mechanics of your bike as you will have to tinker with it to keep it in good running order.
  • It is your first bike. If you have never ridden a motorcycle before and you want to learn, then a dirt bike is a great option. This is because you don't have to learn to ride on the streets where you have to contend with other traffic from day one. With a dirt bike, you can learn to ride in an empty field. Dirt bikes are also more robust, durable, and built to take a hammering, so they are ideal for learning to ride on. 
  • You are on a tight budget. Having a used bike is better than having no bike at all, so if a used bike fits your budget better, then a used bike is better than not having a dirt bike at all. You will need to be aware, however, that you may spend a little more on parts and maintenance, but if you learn how to maintain your dirt bike yourself, you can keep these costs low.
  • New dirt bikes are expensive. New dirt from major brand manufacturers can easily cost in excess of $10,000 which is a pretty hefty price tag. Used dirt bikes that are in good condition can be found with a little patience and searching for half that price or less.

Of course, as with any used item purchase, there are always risks associated with buying a used dirt bike, which is why this undertaking should always be approached with diligence and care. Don't just fall in love with the first motocross or dirt bike that you see advertised and buy it.

Take your time and shop around; the market is full enough of used dirt bikes that you will find one at some point that matches your needs and criteria and your budget.

Jeff Walker Bike

Should I Buy A New Dirt Bike?

There is simply no way of skirting around the fact that new dirt bikes are expensive, especially the bikes from bigger name brands. However, if you are buying a new dirt bike, buying a bike from a well-known manufacturer would be preferable to buying one from a relatively unknown brand.

There are some legitimate reasons that may steer you in the direction of buying a new dirt bike over a used model, and these may include the following.

  • You have the money. Maybe you have been saving your pennies since you were a toddler and now have the cash to buy a new dirt bike, or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones with an income that will support your dirt bike habit. Whichever way you get the money, it is certainly a pleasurable experience to head to a dealership and walk away, or rather ride away with a brand-new sparkly dirt bike. If you have the financial means, then there is nothing to stop you from spoiling yourself with a new dirt bike!
  • It is not your first bike. If you have been dirt bike riding for a while and started out on a used beater, you may want to upgrade to a new dirt bike. Once you have learned to ride and have got your technique down, there is nothing stopping you from upgrading to a new bike, providing that you have the funds or the credit to do so.
  • You will be riding competitively. To ride competitively, you will need the best bike that you can lay your hands on in order to compete with other riders. You don't want a tired, used dirt bike to negatively affect your performance out on the track. If you find yourself in this competitive position, you may need to bite the bullet and fork out the money for a new dirt bike!

A new dirt bike is a significant investment, and even though you can be sure the bike will be sound mechanically, you will need to evaluate the effect of buying the bike will have on your finances, which could impact other aspects of your life.

Bike work, A.T.S Stand

Do Dirt Bikes Hold Their Value?

Dirt bike riding is a growing activity, which creates demand in the market for both new and secondhand bikes. As a result of the continually growing popularity of off-road riding, the price of new bikes has increased quite substantially in recent years.

Consequent to the increased demand for these bikes and the increase in the price of new bikes, used bikes have become more sought after. This has resulted in the used prices of dirt bikes to also increase.

This essentially means that dirt bikes retain their value very well, and if you have a well-maintained but used dirt bike, it will likely fetch a good price on the used bike market.

JGR Holeshot Gate

What’s A Good Price For A Used Dirt Bike?

It is sometimes difficult to put a price on a used dirt bike because much will depend on how the bike has been treated during its life. Some really old dirt bikes that have had good care and been well maintained may be in much better condition than a newer model bike that has received rough treatment.

As a basic rule of thumb, a dirt bike will lose value to the tune of about $1000 per year. This is not a hard-and-fast rule but will give you a starting point to judge the price of a used dirt bike.

Thus, if the new price of the motorcycle was $11 000 and you are buying it used 2-years later, then $9000 should be the starting price for negotiation and the highest price that you should pay for the bike.

You would then need to evaluate the condition of the bike to establish if the price should be lowered any further due to wear and tear or lack of maintenance on the bike or how hard a life the bike has had.

That being said, it is certainly possible to find a dirt bike for under $5000 that is in very good shape and worth every penny that you pay for it. 

Used dirt bikes that are priced below $1500 should be viewed for what they are, and you should not have high expectations from a bike that prices in this range.

Trailer Lock-N-Load Pro build

Conclusion

New dirt bikes are pretty and enticing, but they are generally not recommended if you are a first-time dirt bike buyer or a recreational rider.

My recommendation would be to look for a good quality used dirt bike as a starting point for your off-road riding. Even if your first bike is a bit of a beater, you can always upgrade to a better used bike down the road.

Remember that the cost of dirt bike riding does not stop with the bike, so you need to leave enough meat in your budget to be in a position to afford all the gear and accessories that are associated with off-road bike riding.

Fortunately, this is where Risk Racing has got you covered! We offer innovative and quality dirt bike gear and accessories that are guaranteed to be superior products at a great price. Once you have purchased your dirt bike, new or used, check out our website for all your dirt bike riding accessories and gear!


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