So much fun in such a small package
I want to tell you a story, so sit down, grab a Miller Lite and ease into your chair. Alright, let’s get started. Last week my friend Steve and I were hanging out on a Sunday afternoon, with absolutely nothing to do. We were still hungover from the night before and were feeling equally buzzed on this particular afternoon. After discussing our options of what we could do, one of us brought up the notion of riding dirt bikes.
“Hmmm” I thought to myself. Should I go and blow my money on such an unnecessary item? Why not. We hopped in his car and headed over to BJs in search of a $500-range Go Kart or dirt bike. We ended up not finding anything at all and disappointed, we left and headed down the main road for a bit. As we were driving, I spotted a Pep Boys and instructed Steve to pull in. This could be just the place for a cheap ride.
We walked inside and spotted multiple no-name dirt bikes, quads and mopeds. Our initial inspection revealed expensive toys that we couldn’t afford for just cheap thrills. Then we spotted a $500 dirt bike with a $50 mail-in rebate. It was made by some company called Baja, it was 70cc, and was pretty small. I’m almost positive this bike was designed for 14-year-olds, but hey, we’re only 21. Close enough.
After watching some idiot employee (thanks Steve!) ride around out back on it for a minute, we agreed it’d be in our best interest to purchase two bikes and go home. We plunked down $500 for each bike, plus a $30 setup fee and 7-percent sales tax. The total came in around $1,300.
We went home, took the bikes out of the car, and tuned them up. Changed the oil, adjusted the throttle — standard stuff. Now at this point, I should probably mention I’ve never ridden a dirt bike before. Not once. After multiple attempts to start my bike, I got it going and headed out for a quick lap before it got dark out. I followed Steve into his neighbor’s backyard and and immediately plunged down a 4-foot drop, smashing the plastic tire guard and front end off.
What a crappy bike! I was hurting, in quite a lot of pain, and his neighbor was pissed. We took off and hid from the cops for awhile before calling it a night. Clearly these bikes were meant for out in the countryside. So the next day, we drove out to Steve’s father’s house, which is in the middle of nowhere in New Jersey and has about a football field or so of land in his backyard to ride on. There are also multiple, wooded dirt-bike trails all around the area, making it the perfect testing ground for the Baja 70cc.
After warming up and practicing for a bit, we were flying around in the backyard having the time of our lives. We built a small ramp and started launching ourselves off a wooden plank at 40mph and I must say, it was extremely fun. The bikes have four gears and no clutch, so shifting is simple and easy.
Of course, riding around in a backyard gets old after an hour or two. We needed to put these things to the test. Despite barely fitting on these bikes, we headed out into the woods and started flying around trails. Let me be honest with you: I didn’t think a $500 dirt bike that was half my size would handle me flying down trails in third gear. I expected these to snap in half hours after I started riding it. But these bikes didn’t break.
I flew into trees, I flew into bushes and I even flew into some poison ivy on one occasion. The crashes hurt like hell and my legs are black and blue with cuts. However, because the bike is so small, it’s easy to get it off you if it falls on you. No need to worry about being paralyzed with third-degree burns when you wipe out in the woods on a trail. For a $500 dirt bike, the Baja 70cc is an extremely sturdy piece of machinery. Sure some of the plastic fell off when I smashed it up and I had to remove the rear brake, but does the bike still run perfectly? Absolutely, and it’s a total blast.
If you have a car with a decent trunk, you can get one of these and transport it with ease. I suggest finding a Pep Boys near you and asking them if you or someone who works there can take a spin on it so you can check it out. Just make sure you have woods or trails near you that you can ride on safely. Cops absolutely hate these things and you will not be riding around on a street for long before the five-oh roll up ready to slap you with some fines.
So those of you with $500 and weekends of nothing ahead of you, I highly recommend picking up a Baja 70cc dirt bike from Pep Boys. Just make sure you grab gloves and a helmet for safety purposes. You do not want to get blisters on your hands from riding all day or a cracked skull. Trust me, the ticks are bad enough.
Note: I made a bunch of videos on the bike and showing off the bike. They’re all corrupted though so I have to go shoot all the fun moves all over again. I promise I’ll upload them to YouTube the minute we finish them!