What constitutes budget biking? Well that depends upon your viewpoint and spending power, but with the majority of new dirtbikes costing upwards of six grand, we reckon a figure approaching half that would make a good starting point.
Yep, around three grand is the amount of money we reckon you now need to spend in order to purchase a good, clean secondhand machine… or at least, one that’s worth having. That’s not to say you can’t find cheaper bikes out there, or that every sub-3k machine is a disaster waiting for an owner. Not at all, but instead it’s a guideline price for finding something that’s still new enough to feel modern, whilst being young enough to (hopefully) avoid major mechanical problems.
Three grand gets you a bike that should have plenty of life left in it, that’s still pretty competitive (if it’s a race bike), and whilst it won’t feel like new, it will still feel up-to-the-minute and should be in pretty reasonable nick. Of course, when choosing secondhand machinery, reliability and durability are at least as important as performance and desireability.
The choice of four-stroke/two-stroke depends on your preference and what you’re looking to use the bike for. But remember when you’re considering purchasing secondhand that two-strokes are mechanically simpler and cheaper to work on, and if it all goes ‘Bang’, the rebuild costs are much smaller. On the other hand four-strokes - when treated correctly - should require less in the way of day-to-day maintenance, and tend to be much nicer to use on the road if you’re trail riding.
Remember too that any modern, serviceable dirtbike has a minimum value of approximately £1500 (below which it’s unlikely to drop, no matter what condition it’s in), so if you’re buying at three grand or less, you’re never going to lose much money on the deal. For that reason our advice is to set your budget as high as possible. Because the more you spend on a bike, the better it will be. And not only will that reward you in terms of reliability and subsequent running costs, but also in the way the bike feels and performs when you use it...