Dirt Bike vs Pit Bike: Which one to choose?

Off-road bikes are quite fun. They are used for racing in the woods and in the dirt. Unlike street-legal bikes, these machines don’t follow the standard rules, like having lights and side mirrors.

There are two main types of off-road bikes, dirt bikes, and pit bikes. The names often mean the same thing, but there are distinct differences, which we will discuss in this guide.

FRP DB001 kids mini dirt bike

What Is a Dirt Bike?

Let’s begin by defining an off-road motorcycle. This will lay a perfect foundation for understanding the different types.

If you have ever dreamt of riding a motorcycle, but all you see in your dream as the terrain is rocky mountains and dirt streets, then you need an off-road bike. These machines are great for the adrenaline rush that comes with tackling hills.

Generally, they are small bikes used in off-road racing. As the name suggests, they are not allowed on the streets. Also, you don’t need a special license to ride such bikes, and that’s why you can buy one for your kids, and they will be ok with it.

So, is a dirt bike a motorcycle? Yes, this bike type doesn’t conform to the street safety rules, just like any off-road vehicle. As stated above, they don’t have headlights, brake lights, and mirrors.

The bikes are equipped with small four-stroke engines, gas tanks, and stiff suspension. This makes them ideal for moving through rough terrain without injuring your spine.

If you have a young rider that wishes to feel the power of off-road machines, get them a dirt bike.

Different types of dirt bikes

There are several types of dirt bikes. You may meet one and wonder how to classify it. A bike that does not have the safety equipment defined above but is designed for adult riders qualifies as a dirt bike.

The types include:

  • Motocross. These are higher-performance bikes because they carry a bigger engine and more modifications to enable them to do the jumps.
  • Trail. This is the most common type. They feature a larger gas tank than motocross because they can be used for longer-distance riding.
  • Enduro. These are bikes designed for speed and distance in rough terrain. Their upgraded technology makes them for riding through water rocks and the woods.
  • Dual sport. If you want something that can handle the tough terrain and ride on the streets, go to the dual sport. They are fit for both worlds.
  • Trails. This is more like a training machine used to test a rider’s ability. They don’t have a seat, feature a small tank, and the frame is modified for easy maneuvering.
  • Hill climb dirt bike. These bikes usually have an extended swing arm, a more prominent back tire, and a light frame. They are used for climbing hills.

Other types of dirt bikes include Supermoto and flat track, which are also used in such terrain. So, anything in this category, which is bigger and designed for the woods, qualifies as a dirt bike.

What Is a Pit Bike?

When you go to buy dirt bikes, you will not fail to meet pit bikes. But you will notice that pit bikes are much smaller and cheaper. They are an excellent alternative to a dirt bike.

And what is a pit bike exactly? They are small, lightweight motorcycles specially designed for kids and teenagers. They are smaller, with less powerful engines, which is why they come cheaper than dirt bikes.

Why are they called pit bikes?

Both pit and dirt fall under the motorcycle category. They generally look the same, only that pit bikes are much smaller and have a general purpose compared to dirt bikes that come in different types for various applications. The Honda Z50 Monkey bikes are believed to be the first pit bikes created.

The original purpose of pit bikes was to ride around pit areas of a motocross race, hence, their name. They are smaller, require simple maintenance, and are cheaper – making them quite popular.

Today, pit bikes have become a famous racing sport, especially for teenagers and older children. Therefore, if you want something they will enjoy, we suggest you get them on these machines.

Difference Between Dirt Bike and Pit Bike

Even though dirt and pit bikes are terms often used to mean the same thing, there are several differences. Perhaps you have already noticed from the explanations above that dirt bikes are generally bigger and more powerful, while pit bikes are much smaller.

Here are five primary differences:


Pit bikes feature four-stroke engines, making them strong and powerful. It’s perfect for swift acceleration and high speeds. Dirt bikes come with two-stroke engines. They don’t accelerate quickly but are more powerful and consume less fuel.

General size

Perhaps the most obvious distinguishing feature is that pit bikes are much smaller than dirt bikes. They have a smaller frame, which enables racers to go through pits. Pit bikes are small and have an attractive look. Also, they are easier to ride, making them a good fit for younger riders.

Tire type

The out surface of dirt bikes’ tires is rubberized, making them ideal for moving in the dirt, tough terrain, mud, sand, and water. On the other hand, Pit bikes don’t feature rubber on the outer surface of the types. Dirt bikes are, therefore, more efficient for rocky streets as the rubber gives them grip.

Suspension level

The suspension system is crucial in an off-road bike as it connects the wheel to the bike's main frame. The system is comprised of shock absorbers that make riding safer and more enjoyable. Dirt bikes come with more advanced suspension systems and are more secure and efficient.

User scenario and price

Pit bikes are more popular among teenagers and older kids. They are easy to fix, and their spare parts are easier to find. Above all, they are much cheaper. Dirt bikes are harder to fix and require more maintenance because of their enhanced performance. They are more expensive and designed for experienced adult riders.


Get a pit bike if your kid is interested in motocross and off-road motorcycle racing. This should act as a training tool, after which they can take on dirt bikes when they are much older and more experienced. So, dirt and pit bikes are important in a rider's life. Let us know what you think.

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