Take motorcycling. Now, make every part of motorcycling leaner and scrappier, wilder and off the road, and what you have is dirt biking, which involves bikes with considerably less physical power than their on-road counterparts still pulling off Adrenalist feats that seem equally improbable. In fact, when you get away from the asphalt, everything tends to just seem that much more spectacular.
Watch these five extreme dirt bike videos.
Dirt Biking Through Baja
If extreme dirt bikes are slower and less physically strong than motorcycles, then what’s the appeal? Well, you can go places like this, places that more conventional vehicles can never go, because of the terrain or the weather or any number of other factors. Dirt biking is a sport much like hiking or mountain climbing in that much of it stems from the ability to explore the world’s most remote and uninhabitable spots; it’s as much about where you are as what you actually do there. Here, these guys get out into the American Baja, going from waterside beaches to craggy passes through mountains and deserts. The only way they can handle such versatile and frequently shifting terrain is because they have versatile and adaptable vehicles — otherwise, they would’ve gotten stuck somewhere around that point where they first turned off the road.
Dirt Bike Riding Experience
Part of the whole experience of dirt biking is that the ride is, to put it simply, not particularly comfortable. The rough terrain that these bikes usually handle leads to a huge amount of turbulence and bumps, and, apart from some shocks on the bike, there’s not a ton to brace the rider against this motion; instead, you get to feel and absorb all of it into your body. It’s painful, but it’s also part of the experience, and you can get a sense of it here in this video shot from the first-person perspective of a rider. The faster you go, the choppier the ride’s going to get, and also the more likely you are to go shooting over a bump in the trail like you just cleared an enormous jump.
Dirt Bike Desert Dune Riding
Of course, dirt trails and backyard areas only pose so much of a challenge — if you really want to push your dirtbike to the full extent of its usefulness, you have to take it out to the dunes. Deserts are famously difficult areas to navigate, and not only for the more common reasons of scarce water and supplies and the extreme heat. The dust and sand, as well as the always shifting, unstable ground, means that most vehicles will break down if left too long or used too much in a desert. Instead, you need a particularly lean and flexible ride, like a dirtbike. The bike’s light weight also helps from causing a huge avalanche of sand when crusting a dune, or some similarly unpredictable seismic movement, meaning that you’re more likely to stay on your ride and less likely to end up with a face full of grit.
Dirt Biking On The Edge Of A Mountain
Now, there’s the kind of dirtbiking that creates the circumstances for extreme behavior, like most of the videos we’ve seen so far. Then there’s the kind that is in and of itself extreme, possibly life-threatening, and requires the utmost amount of skill and ability to accomplish. This is that: a rider takes his bike up into the mountains and essentially rides along the edge of one, keeping just from falling to either side and who knows how far down. To say this is difficult would be a massive understatement; the snow and ice make it nothing short of a vehicular miracle.
Dirt Bike Video: The Climb
At the end of the day, though, why do we use vehicles? To get places. And can dirt bikes help us get places we might not otherwise be able to get to? Absolutely. Here, the rider strives bravely to get to the top of a snow-covered hill, needing to both pick up enough momentum at the bottom and to stay in the particular rut of the hill to make sure he didn’t skid out and lose it. He does, then skates along the edge, then eventually goes shooting back down, because if you go up you have to eventually go down again. And when you go down again, you can go right back up.
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