In this article, I’ll go over every category of dirt bike, the types of riding each is designed for, and how to pick the best one for you.
An off-road motorcycle is known as a dirt bike. It differs from a street bike in that it has distinctive qualities.
Each of the eight major categories of dirt bikes is made for a particular riding style. Choose the bike that is best for you after reading each name and description.
How is a Dirt Bike Built?
Off-road riding’s harsh conditions are designed to be handled by dirtbikes. Since mud, sand, and other rough road surfaces are frequently used for riding, which can harm engines, dirtbikes are built with a higher lift than street bikes and have knobby tires for traction on dirt roads. In order to cushion the impact of jumps, dirtbikes also have extremely durable frames and wheels with shocks built in.
Here are some key points to keep in mind about dirtbikes:
Depending on the model and brand, engines can have a displacement of 49 cc or more.
Tires(Adult and Children)
Performance is highly impacted by tire size. Here are some things to consider when dealing with tires:
*When selecting tires, take into account engine size and output. Because the engine must work harder to spin a tire that wide on a 125cc two-stroke, it is not a good idea to use one.
*Likewise, using a 90mm wide tire on a 450cc bike is not advised because it may result in decreased traction and increased tire wear.
Consult the recommendations in your owner’s manual when choosing the best tires for children’s and adult bicycles.
Steel, aluminum, or a mix of the two are used to make dirtbike frames. Aluminum frames are the most common because it’s lightweight meta.
Handlebars and Exhaust
Behind the seat at the back of the bike, on dirt bikes, are the exhaust pipes. In order to shield the rider from exhaust fumes and burns, exhaust pipes are placed beneath a plastic or aluminum housing. For tight gripping and hard turns, dirtbike handlebars are flat and shaped for them.
By bike type, manufacturer, and model, suspension on off-road bikes varies. The majority of dirtbikes have sturdy suspension systems in the front fork and rear wheels to cushion the impact of jumps and uneven terrain.
Trail and motocross riding require effective braking. On a dirt bike, the front brake is operated by a hand lever, and the rear brake is operated by a foot lever.
Electric dirt bikes can be built in a variety of brake, gear, and clutch configurations due to the flexibility of the engine.
Types of Dirt Bikes
Below are 8 types of dirt bikes:
Trail Dirt Bike
Designed for riding on trails, a trail bike is a cheap, lightweight dirt bike. The trail bike is user-friendly for beginners and low maintenance. Having fewer features and fewer technological advancements also makes it less expensive.
For riders’ convenience in putting their feet on the ground, they typically have lower seat heights. Since they aren’t meant for long trips, the fuel tank is usually small, at just a few gallons. Depending on the manufacturer and model, the engine may be two- or four-stroke.
You will need a truck or trailer to transport your bike to the trail because these bikes are not designed to be ridden on city streets. Prices for trail bikes typically start around $4,000 and include only the most basic features and parts. Check for Best Dirt Bike For Trail Riding
Dual Sport Bike
Motorcycles known as dual sport bikes are adaptable vehicles made for both dirt and asphalt trails. They operate similarly to typical street bikes but also have good off-road ability, making them ideal for both weekday commutes and weekend excursions.
They typically have longer maintenance intervals and can go thousands of miles between oil changes because they are designed to be used on flat roads as well as trails. Compared to other types of dirt bikes, they typically have higher levels of dependability, making them suitable for road use.
As they are light, have good balance, and are not overly powerful, dual sport bikes are suitable for riders of all skill levels. For better road visibility, it has a higher seat height than a trial bike.
The added convenience of being able to ride from your home to a nearby trail or taking a break to refuel at a nearby gas station is made possible by the ability to travel on both streets and trails.
The goal of dual sport bikes is great value for the money rather than high performance. The starting price of new dual sport motorcycles is around $5,000 because they have fewer high-end components.
A high-performance dirt bike known as an enduro bike is made to compete in long off-road endurance races. Enduro motorcycles have been around for over 100 years and first appeared in the International Six Day Trial in 1913.
They have more horsepower than other dirt bikes and are built for high performance, giving aggressive riders plenty of speed.
They have top-tier suspension to cushion the effects of the enduro course’s terrain. With protective hardware encircling the engine, an enduro bike is built to withstand abuse. Enduro bikes weigh between 230 and 260 pounds overall thanks to their lightweight frames.
Enduro bikes have shorter maintenance windows and may need oil changes every few hundred miles, which is a drawback.
Many enduro bikes, unlike dual sport bikes, are not street legal unless they are specifically designed for use on roads. The knobby enduro tires and less comfortable seat design are just two of their features that make them more suitable for off-road use.
Motocross Dirt Bike
A motocross bike, or MX bike for short, is made specifically for off-road racing. These are high-end dirt bikes designed for seasoned riders who prioritize top performance. In professional competitions held in the United States, such as the AMA Motocross Championship and AMA Supercross Championship, they are utilized. On a Honda CRF250R, Jett Lawrence won the national AMA Pro Motocross 250 championship in 2021.
The stiffer suspension used in motocross bikes to absorb the impact of landing jumps is one of their main design differences. Strong acceleration is provided by the potent engine, making it perfect for navigating incline. They are a little bit lighter than enduro bikes for faster acceleration.
Motocross bikes typically don’t have lights because they are designed for shorter daytime races. However, if you intend to ride at night, lights can be installed. The bikes are not built to be as comfortable as other bikes due to the short duration of motocross races. And unlike enduro bikes, they have smaller fuel tanks.
Since new bikes in this category cost between $8,000 and $10,000, higher performance comes at a higher price. Check for How Much Does A Dirt Bike Cost?
Motorcycles that are primarily designed for long-distance street rides and sporadic off-road excursions are referred to as adventure bikes. They create a motorcycle that is adaptable and suitable for both asphalt and dirt surfaces by combining the features of sportbikes and dirt bikes.
Because they have many features for convenient road riding, adventure bikes are typically heavier than the other dirt bikes on this list. They can have a cozy seat, additional storage, and a bigger fuel tank for longer journeys. Additionally, they have more electronic components and sophisticated features for road riding, like cruise control.
The term “adventure bike” is a marketing term that can refer to a wide variety of bikes suitable for various adventures, such as touring thousands of miles across the country or discovering hidden trails in the woods.
Adventure bikes may not be appropriate for novice off-road riders due to their heavier weight, which will make them more challenging to handle and pick up.
A trails bike—different from a trail bike—is designed for unique competitions where the rider must demonstrate their skill steering the bike around obstacles without putting their feet on the ground.
The riders must navigate around natural barriers like boulders, streams, and even waterfalls during a trails event.
Child Dirt Bike
For smaller riders, the majority of dirt bike manufacturers also offer smaller models. These kid-friendly dirt bikes have compact engines and lower seat heights so that kids can put their feet on the ground. With the right safety measures and instruction, even very young kids (ages 4 and up) frequently ride dirt bikes. For young riders, two well-liked options that cost $2,500 or less brand new are the Honda CRF110F and Yamaha PW50.
Electric Dirt Bike
Since electric dirt bikes are a new category, there will probably be more options available as manufacturers create more electric-powered models.
Zero Motorcycles creates the Zero FX, a fully electric dual sport bike with an urban range of 46 miles and a top speed of 85 mph.
The Stark Varg, a fully electric motocross bike with performance on par with or better than that of conventional gas-powered motocross bikes, is another choice. It is significantly more powerful than the Honda CRF450R, which only has about 55 horsepower, with an impressive 80 horsepower.
With fewer moving parts and no need for oil changes, electric vehicles are simple to maintain. Because of their less expensive fuel and maintenance requirements, they are more affordable to use.
The fact that they require a lengthy charge when the battery is running low, as opposed to a gas-powered bike, which can be quickly refueled for longer rides, is a drawback.
See also: Best Dirt Bike Brands On Your Needs
Facts About Dirt Bikes You Should Know before You Buy One
Riding a dirt bike is a difficult and perilous sport. Beginners should start with a bike that is simple to control and not overly powerful.
The Engines Are Smaller
There are two different kinds of dirt bike engines. One has two strokes, while the other has four. If your bike has a four-stroke engine, it will consume a lot of oil.
A two-stroke engine, on the other hand, will require more oil and engine consumption overall.
Depending on your goals for the bike and your intended uses, you should choose a specific engine.
They First Came from the U.K.
Did you know that the UK was where dirt bikes first appeared? Trial events dating back to 1909 were held there, where the races also began. In the 1920s, actual races first took place.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the trends began to spread across the US. One of the most well-liked dirt bikes available was the BSA.
A Chainsaw is More Powerful Than a Dirt Bike
You might be surprised to learn that the chainsaw in your garage has more power than the engine in your dirt bike, which is one of the dirt bike facts you may not have known.
Since dirt bikes aren’t really designed for speed, you should be aware that even if you decide to upgrade your engine, it might not perform as well as you expect.
Due to the bike’s off-road orientation, the engine doesn’t propel you very quickly; rather, it provides additional propulsion when negotiating rough terrain.
The good news is that these motorcycles don’t need much maintenance. Additionally, they are very dependable and simple to understand.
Editor’s tip: How Fast Does a 50cc Dirt Bike Go?
Dirt Biking Can Be Relatively Safe
Despite what most people believe, dirt bikes are actually fairly safe compared to motorcycles.
Your child will be safe on a dirt bike, if you were considering getting one for them. It’s safer overall, especially when they are off the main road, even though they may end up falling off a few times and getting some scrapes and bruises.
Easy to Get Used To
In contrast to some other motorcycles, dirt bikes are actually very simple to learn. A dirt bike is also capable of more tricks than a motorcycle.
Compared to a motorcycle, a dirt bike is also much simpler to understand if you want to start performing maintenance and customizations. The parts are also significantly less expensive if you require additional parts or anything else.
If you’re interested in learning about vehicle mechanics, it’s a great vehicle to practice on because you don’t have to worry about connecting or disconnecting the incorrect wires.
They’re Somewhat Illegal
It’s possible that you were unaware that riding a dirt bike on a public road is technically prohibited. Have you ever seen a dirt bike zoom past you on the road?
They weren’t intended for that, so most likely not. They lack turn signals, rearview mirrors, brake lights, headlights, and brake lights, making them unsafe to drive on the road.
Due to the high levels of exhaust they produce, these bikes typically don’t meet emission standards either.
Additionally, since a dirt bike requires no license to operate, it cannot be driven on public roads. To own or drive it off-road, though, you might need to find out if you need a license.
Riding Them is Great for Your Health
The benefits of exercise are numerous, and riding a dirt bike can feel like a great workout.
As you have to consider the terrain you are riding on and make split-second decisions while motorcrossing, your brain is stimulated.
Being required to sit up straight and pay attention to how you are riding will also help you to improve your posture.
In addition to all of that, it will help you strengthen your heart and burn calories.
They Have Unique Designs
Different people have different needs, so there are no two dirt bikes that look the same.
You can purchase a dirt bike with unique graphics and patterns. With just a little bodywork, you can also get one that is lighter than other models.
A long-travel suspension or high ground clearance are other options. You can customize your bike in a huge variety of ways. Before you buy a bike, you should start considering what you want from it and how you plan to use it.
To prevent wasting money, make sure you do your research.
They Are a Type of Motorcycles
Although you can’t ride a dirt bike on the road, they are still considered to be motorcycles. It is, however, an off-road motorcycle.
However, what distinguishes it?
Due to its design for handling rough terrain and other tricks, a dirt bike is typically more lightweight and tough than a motorcycle.
Special tires and a firm suspension are standard on a dirt bike, allowing you to ride over the roughest terrain imaginable. With this bike, you will be more able to navigate rough turns and hop over logs than you would on a motorcycle.
Can Kids Drive Dirt Bikes, and What Dirt Bikes Are Best for Them?
Children can exercise, improve their balance, and learn how to ride a bike by using dirt bikes. As young as three years old, children can start riding small electric dirtbikes. To get started and hone their skills before upgrading to more capable bikes, young children can use 50cc dirtbikes with training wheels.
Dirt bikes are designed to travel over various terrains and pick up dirt. Usually, the tires are where it starts. For pushing aside rocks, dirt, and other debris, dirt bikes have tires that are narrower and have thicker treads.
Especially when landing a trick, dirt bikes are built to help you absorb shocks and bumps along the way. For a more comfortable ride when traveling off-road, the hydraulic suspension system is improved with better spring shocks. You can run over hills and bumps on these bikes without damaging the mechanics because they are built to withstand abuse. When riding with lower handlebars for impact absorption, you will be seated forward.