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Everything to know about pit bike vs. dirt bike for kids differences

At first glance, one can pass off as the other. And, if you are new to the motosport world, you might even wonder why we are having this discussion. Yet, the differences are concise. Pit bike vs. dirt bike for kids differences help children and parents make informed decisions about their purchases and thrill pursuits. The pit bike is the smaller sibling of the dirt bike, once used for riding around the pit, therefore the name. Let’s take a look at both these bikes in detail.

What is a pit bike?

Pit bikes are smaller, lighter, less powerful, and cheaper. They seem to have originated from the bikes used by the racing staff as they drove around 1940s and 50s racing event pits. Predominantly used for racing in the pit and tracks and stunt riding, their design is only compatible with smoother and plainer terrains.

What is a dirt bike?

Dirt bikes are bigger, more powerful, and more expensive. They work well on rough terrain as well as smooth trails, making them more versatile. They are faster, have high-speed thresholds and knobby tyres meant for off-roading.


As a rule, pit bikes come with four-stroke engines. They are available within the 50cc-140cc range and do not exceed 250cc. Dirt bikes can either be two-stroke or four strokes. Their engine sizes can range from 49cc to 750cc. Two-strokes complete their engine cycle in two-piston movements, while four-strokes take four-piston motions.

However, kids’ dirt bikes have a limited power range between 49cc and 125cc. Two-stroke dirt bikes offer a higher rate of acceleration but not as stable as a four-stroke engine. A four-stroke bike gives you higher maximum speeds with linear power delivery. Electric dirt bikes are also available in 36V power for kids.


Both pit bikes and dirt bikes can be noisy. They are loud due to their short mufflers, high RPMs, and constant acceleration. Generally, two-stroke dirt bikes are louder than four-stroke ones, but a four-stroke engine's noise carries further. If you want a quieter riding experience, choose electric dirt bikes.


A suspension system connects the bike wheels to the bike body. Shock absorbers cushion riders against bumpy rides. Dirt bikes require advanced suspension than pit bikes to withstand irregular and uneven terrains. Pit bike courses are smoother and have even bumps that do not require superior suspension.


Pit bikes have smaller frames compared to dirt bikes. They have smaller wheels, too, which makes it easier to manoeuver around minimal obstacle pit courses. Pit bikes generally have14 inch front tyres and12 inch back tyres. The pit bike's body is lower, which places the engine closer to the ground. Major obstacles and rough terrains can damage the bike due to this reason. You can't ride a pit bike on off-road trails. Dirt bikes have a larger frame and are higher than pit bikes. They have bigger tyres, too, usually 18inch suited for all types of terrain. The tyres have an outer rubber surface for a better grip on rocky surfaces.


Pit bikes are relatively more budget-friendly than dirt bikes. However, it all depends on the engine power and the model of the bike you compare.

Which one should you choose?

The dirt bike is an all-rounder, but the pit bike is limited to stunts on the pit, riding on even and clear paths, or your backyard. Dirt bikes can tackle all kinds of terrain. You can ride both bikes on the road, but they need street-legal improvements. Find out if your child is keen on pit bike racing or off-road riding.

Young children and shorter teens find the pit bike easy to handle due to its size and height. Taller kids with longer legs are much comfortable on dirt bikes. Pit bikes have less torque. A pit bike with a similar engine as a dirt bike is still less powerful than a dirt bike. Dirt bikes can reach faster speeds consistently and are more compatible with motocross. If it is faster speeds your child is after, a pit bike may not be the best option.

Beginners will find a pit bike easy to ride. They are much safer for young riders who do not have experience in motorcycle riding. Pit bikes also do not require much maintenance, which means kids do not need the technical know-how to repair and service them. However, dirt bikes can be more durable due to their high-functioning parts, although pit bike parts are cheaper to replace.

The leisurely freedom of pit bike riding and the intense sporty rush of adrenaline on a dirt bike are two different worlds. Talk to your kids about the pros and cons of each bike and what they have set their hearts on before you buy a pit bike or a dirt bike. Find the latest motocross dirt bikes and electric start pit bikes for kids at Mini Bikes Off Road.

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