Differences between a dirt bike and a pit bike

If you are a newbie dirt bike enthusiast, or are planning to gift one to your kid, do read this article. Or else you may end up buying a pit bike rather!

Yes, they are pretty similar in looks and in their use cases. Both are used for recreational activities, mostly by teenagers. However, devil is in the details and that’s what we aim to explore in this article.

How to recognize a Pit bike?

  • Pit bikes are a bit smaller than dirt bikes. The easiest tell-tale sign is the small rear tyre of a pit bike. In comparison, dirt bikes have bigger tyres. So, if you are a tall person, pit bikes may not be a good match for you.

Pit Bike: Bikes

Dirt Bike: Bikes

  • You may find large cc engines on a dirt bike. But in case of pit bikes, probably the most you will get is 450 cc.
  • Most pit bikes don’t have a clutch, while you will find a clutch in almost all dirt bikes. You may already be aware of the fact that when we press the clutch, it stops the engine from further accelerating the bike, without you having to turn off the bike or putting down the gears to neutral in quick succession.

Some other differences are:

  • Pit bikes generally have low power, but they make it up with their torque. So, some riders find it more fun to ride a pit bike to make a willy, as they can be easily controlled. Definitely, there lower centre of mass also helps in this aspect.
  • Pit bikes are more suited to shorter and younger riders, with limited riding skills. Dirt bikes have more power and so are more suitable for skilled riders.
  • Pit bikes are a bit more agile and you can take them on narrow trails.
  • There are more options available to upgrade/customize a dirt bike, than a pit bike. Pit bikes have a much simpler body structure.
  • Dirt bikes have bigger tyres and generally better suspension. So, dirt bikes handle bumps a lot easier than pit bikes.

Winding Up

So, in general you can say that pit bikes are the smaller, casual, and fun version of dirt bikes. Some smaller ones almost look like a toy or pocket bikes. However, if you are more serious about off-roading, and maybe want to participate in some competitions, you should opt for a dirt bike.

In short, the ground rule is:

  • Pit bikes for fun.
  • Dirt bikes for performance (though they are fun too!).

However, keep in mind that both of these may be illegal in some areas. So, do check the legal position of the city/state/country you live in as regards to dirt/pit bikes, before you get one for yourself or your kid.

Though they are definitely illegal on roads in almost all the places. So, avoid taking them on roads, and if you have to for a certain stretch then keep your eyes and ears open. Cops come after dirt bikes like moth to a flame!

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