Houston Dirt Bike Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
There are various types of off-road motorcycles, also known as dirt bikes, specially designed for off-road events. The term off-road refers to driving surfaces that are not conventionally paved. These are rough surfaces, often created naturally, such as sand, gravel, a river, mud or snow. These types of terrain can sometimes only be traveled on with vehicles designed for off-road driving (such as SUVs, ATVs, snowmobiles and mountain bikes) or vehicles that have off-road equipment. Compared to road-going motorcycles, off-road machines are simpler and lighter, having long suspension travel, high ground clearance, and rugged construction with little bodywork and no fairings for less damage in spills. Wheels (usually 21″ front, 18″ rear) have knobby tires, often clamped to the rim with a rim lock.
There are specialized motorcycles for a variety of off-road motorcycle sports:
- Motocross — Such bikes are raced on short, closed off-road tracks with a variety of obstacles. The motorcycles have a small fuel tank for lightness and compactness. Long-travel suspension allows riders to take jumps at high speed. Motocross engines are usually single-cylinder two-stroke or four-stroke units, which vary in size from 50cc up to about 650cc. Motocross sidecar outfits have bigger engines, usually four-stroke and often twin-cylinder. Motocross bikes are also used in freestyle motocross.
- Enduro — A modified and road-legal motocross bike, having the addition of a horn, lights, effective silencing and a number plate. Enduro riders compete over a longer course (which may include roads); and an enduro event may last between one day and six days (such as the International Six Days Enduro). Some enduro events (known as “multi-lappers”) are held on rather shorter circuits, not unlike scramble tracks. “Multilappers” are especially popular with novice riders.
- Rally raid, or “rallies” — A special type of enduro bike with a significantly larger fuel tank for very long distance racing, typically through deserts (e.g. Paris-Dakar rally). Engine capacities tend to be larger, usually between 450 cc and 750 cc.
- Trail — A trail bike is a dual-purpose bike, made for on-road and recreational off-road riding. A trail bike may resemble an enduro bike, but since a trail bike is not intended to be used for competition, it may be less rugged, and equipped with dual-purpose tires and with more road legal equipment, such as indicators, mirrors and extra instruments.
- Trials — Trials riding is a specialized form of off-road competition testing balancing skills and precision rather than speed. For a trials bike, low weight and crisp throttle response power are the priorities, so trials bikes tend to have a small (125 cc to 300 cc) engine, with two-strokes being common. During the trial, the rider stands on the footpegs, so a trials bike will have only a vestigial seat, or no seat at all. Fuel tanks are very small, giving a very limited range.
- Track racing — High-speed oval racing, typically with no brakes, nor rear suspension. The engines, fuelled by methanol, are long-stroke four-stroke singles, such as JAP and Jawa. They have at most two gears. Some types, such as speedway, and grass-track bikes, are designed to take left turns only.