Biking is not just a means of commute, but also a popular hobby for many people. Off-road riding is a style of biking that involves riding bikes on trails and unpaved roads. The challenges faced by the rider are much different from those faced on the road, adding to the thrill of it all.
Then why dirt bikes are illegal in India? The culture of dirt bikes is still an unpopular one in India. Most dirt bikes are not street legal as they face issues with meeting emissions and noise regulations. The high cost of dirt bikes makes them impractical to buy when you have many affordable options.
Riders with a love for off-road trails and seeking new challenges on dirt trails know the importance of a dirt bike. These bikes are popular for performing stunts and jumps, thanks to the way they are designed and built.
— Also read: 10 Best Dirt Bike Stand, Reviews & Buying Guide (Why you must have a Dirt Bike Stand)
However, these bikes are not very popular in India. There are not many options available in the dirt bike segment market. Many of you may wonder what the reasons behind this are.
If this has cleared your initial doubts about the reasons why dirt bikes are unpopular in India, do read on as we explain these points in detail.
Dirt Bikes are not Street Legal
Dirt bikes are built for off-road riding and racing on irregular surfaces. This means they require certain modifications that allow them to function efficiently while providing grip to the rider and tackling the flying dirt and debris.
These bikes have smaller frames and are stripped down to the basic necessities required to provide better grip, ease of handling, and maximum power output. As a result, these bikes do not have many safety features incorporated in them.
They do not have headlights or tail lights, turning indicators, rear-view mirrors, and street-legal tires. The lack of these safety features can seriously compromise riders in unfortunate circumstances. This prevents dirt bikes from meeting the necessary standards to make them legal on the road.
Dirt Bikes have Increased Emissions
Most dirt bikes are manufactured to meet the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) standards. While this standard ensures the bike has sufficient grip and is suitable for off-road purposes, it also has a much-reduced emission requirement.
As a result, dirt bike engines emit a much higher level of pollutants than street-legal bikes. This can have an adverse effect on the environment, as studies have linked an emission increase of up to 118 times per mile. The harmful effects of the pollutants include increasing the smog and air pollution of the surroundings drastically.
As a result, the Central Pollution Control Board as well as the Pollution Control Boards of various states do not issue a pollution clearance certificate for dirt bikes. This makes dirt bikes illegal to ride, and thus prevents the rider from using these bikes for their daily commute.
Dirt Bikes are Not Practical for Daily Use
Dirt bikes are designed to provide maximum grip on irregular surfaces while allowing the rider to go fast and make jumps as well. As a result, they are lightweight, have very powerful engines, and are provided with large tires that have blocks in the thread to provide increased grip.
The bikes are also provided with suspensions that need to be tuned according to the rider’s off-road requirement. When this setup of the bike is brought to the road, it can be a very different experience.
Riders may find themselves having a bike that is too powerful for the road. As a result, the bike may be restricted from performing as intended, which could be bad for the motorcycle in the long run.
Another drawback on the roads is the poor mileage that dirt bikes have to offer for riders, which increases the cost of riding in urban conditions and conditions of heavy traffic, where the increased power output does not make much of a difference.
Dirt Bikes are Very Expensive
The market segment in India is not very competitive for dirt bikes. As a result, there are very few manufacturers who sell dirt bikes. These manufacturers are forced to make multiple modifications that are required to make the bike legal on Indian roads. As a result, they are forced to have a separate production line or manufacturing plants for Indian products, which increases costs.
Dirt bikes also have advanced design features that provide them with the specifications required to tackle the off-road conditions. This includes advanced suspension systems, powerful engines, tires with a large wheelbase and modified tread patterns, and so on.
Dirt bikes also require the riders to invest in top of the line safety equipment that helps improve performance and stability while riding. Dirt bikes also have low fuel mileage, thanks to the high engine power output. This further increases the expenses in using and maintaining the bike.
As a result, owning and maintaining a dirt bike is an expensive affair. The lack of multi-purpose use will also deter a lot of Indian biking enthusiasts from purchasing a dirt bike.
Dirt Bike Culture is Not Popular in India
Most Indian bikers use their bikes for quick and efficient urban commuting. For those looking for a thrilling experience on their bikes, the most popular option is sports bikes, which are great for racing and track events.
The other option for those looking to go on long rides is highway tourers and cruisers, which provide great mileage and comfortable postures on long rides. As a result, there is a lack of interest amongst Indian riders when it comes to off-roading using dirt bikes, which makes it a weak segment in the bike market.
Another issue when it comes to off-road riding is the lack of suitable facilities. Most riders associate dirt biking with professional competitions, which require a high level of skill. The geography of India is such that trails suitable for off-roading are found in the Northern parts of the country primarily.
The lack of off-road tracks and facilities also acts as a barrier for those interested in this style of riding, making it a category of biking that only a few prefer. These are some of the reasons why dirt bikes are illegal in India, if you have anything to share that we miss then you can comment down below.
How to make a Dirt Bike Street Legal in India?
Dirt Bikes are not affordable to buy in India, if you look at some of the dirt bike makers that sold dirt bikes, then you will know why people are not making their dirt bikes street legal, it costs a lot to make a dirt bike street legal.
To make a dirt bike street legal you have to follow all the rules and regulations that are necessary for every two-wheeler to have, such as, headlights, brake lights, turn indicators, street-legal tires, horn, street-legal exhaust, license plate.
Then after this you when you made all the changes to your dirt bike, you have to update the documents of the motorcycle from the official departments so that they can add these new changes to their official database.
And to register all these changes to the documents of the motorcycle you also have to pay a fees to the officials to update all these to the database.
Best Dirt Bikes in India
Right now there is only one company which are selling dirt bikes in India, and there are new companies that are planning to launch their own models of dirt bikes in India as well. These all bikes are imported from other countries and due to this, the cost of the bike increases a lot.
Kawasaki is the only company that is selling four different kinds of dirt bikes in the Indian market, and later on Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha are planning to sell their dirt bikes as well. Here are the models of dirt bikes that are available to buy right now in India:
|Kawasaki KLX 100||5.41 Lakh|
|Kawasaki KLX 110||3.34 Lakh|
|Kawasaki KLX 140||4.52 Lakh|
|Kawasaki KLX 250||8.21 Lakh|
|Kawasaki KLX 450F||8.67 Lakh|
|Kawasaki KLX 450R||9.43 Lakh|
These prices are approximate prices of the dirt bikes, you can contact the nearby Kawasaki showroom to know the new cost of the bikes. As the Indian government changes the taxes yearly, and the final price of the dirt bikes changes according to that.
Where you can ride your Dirt Bike in India?
Dirt bikes are not street legal, if you do ride on streets then you have to pay fine and officers may cieze your motorcycle, and then you have to go to the court to release your motorcycle from them.
So, we recommend you not to ride motorcycle on streets, and on highways, you can ride your dirt bike in your own property, if you own a farm, or you can take it to offroad tracks, you have to search them where are the offroad tracks in your city.
These places are out from the rules and regulations of officials, and so you can use them there.