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Big Bike Riders Are Better

Eric Hall

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Attack position



Aren’t we though?

I’m only kidding!

It’s surely an incendiary thing to say but I do think there are some key differences in how the two are ridden that are worth mentioning. I do think small bikes are easier to ride off road than big bikes, but I’d never say that they are a breeze or that big bike riders are somehow “better.” Small bikes still require a lot of skill (skill I definitely am not in possession of) to ride well.

Let’s face it, big bikes are less forgiving, heavier, take longer to stop, easier to tip over/harder to pick up, have less traction and less suspension travel. They can’t go over the same terrain in the same fashion. I cannot go as fast over whoops or any other obstacle or I’m going to break my bike or get bucked off!

I recall hearing Ryan Frazier (GS Trophy Team USA ’12) say that’s why he likes riding the bigger bikes; because they require so much more finesse and control off road.

I’ve seen quite a few dirt bike riders be humbled by a bigger bike. The skills are similar but these riders don’t always make a smooth transition to the bigger bike. I have ridden with former Baja racers who found their skills didn’t automatically transfer to the bigger bike.

But as difficult as riding big bikes may be, so many find with a bit of instruction and feedback that they are a lot of fun off road. I’ve seen too many riders go from complete dirt noob to intermediate or advanced in as little as a year.

What do you think?

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No questions that all dirt bike skills don't translate. I still find it difficult to corner fast in the dirt. I haven't learned to really trust the front end and most of all, I can't just sit down, get up on the tank and grab a handful of clutch and throttle. But then again, I have to retrain my brain that ADV riding includes taking in the scenery, both while riding and when you stop. Hard to see much when you're in the zone, riding mach III. I still like to do that, unlike how I used to ride my dirt bike. When I did, it was all about going as fast as possible, everywhere.

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