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Quad bikes vs. motocross bikes guide to choose the best one for you

Love both, so, can’t choose one? You are not the only one. Quad bikes and motocross bikes are equally appealing because they are both exhilarating machines. They both have power, versatility, and excitement extreme sport-enthusiasts crave. While the two-wheeled spin hero can jump through the air, the four-wheeled quad can travel on any terrain you introduce it to. If you cannot make up your mind about which one is right for you, this quad bike vs. motocross bike rundown will make it easier for you to decide.

What is a quad bike?

A quad bike is a vehicle with all-terrain capability, four wheels, straddle-seating, and handlebar steering. There are several quad bike varieties and modifications, and they all share the same fundamentals.

What is a motocross bike?

A motocross bike is a type of dirt bike purpose-built for motocross racing. It has a long-travel suspension, knobby tyres, and a high seating position designed to tackle tough terrain. A motocross bike is lighter than a regular motorcycle. It has either a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine tuned for high RPM horsepower. The transmission has close-ratio gears and suspension engineered to absorb big impacts at high speeds.


While quad bike racing and dirt bike racing, both, exist as forms of Motosport, the motocross bike is the more agile one if you are a keen competitive racer. A motocross bike is faster than an ATV and lightweight enough to hurl across the air. Quad bikes have not been designed for stunts and tricks. They are heavier and not so forgiving on landings like dirt bikes. You cannot ride them on a single track and take sharp curves like dirt bikes, either.

Quad bikes are not only used for recreational riding. They are also power horses when it comes to farm work, forestry work, hauling, towing, and transporting goods. ATVs can be accessorised for these functions. Some quad bikes have seating for two. 

A motocross bike has little functionality outside racing. It can be modified for trail riding but, it cannot haul, tow, plough, or transport. A dirt bike rider can carry goods in a backpack and a passenger with limited comfort.


If you love extreme riding action, but your budget doesn't stretch far, go for the dirt bike. An ATV of the same power calibre as a dirt bike costs more.


Dirt bikes are faster than quad bikes. An ATV has a stronger motor but, a dirt bike has a better power to weight ratio, allowing it to accelerate faster than an ATV with the same engine.


ATVs can perform all year round because they are designed to withstand all weather and terrain conditions. You can ride them across snow and ice the same way you can ride them across mud and rocks. However, riding a dirt bike over wet, slippery ground is not safe.


Dirt bikes are easier to maintain due to their size and weight. It also costs less to replace parts as they are smaller compared to ATVs. However, the frequency of maintenance depends on the aggressiveness of use. If you are using your dirt bike for racing, then it needs constant maintenance to keep it at peak performance level. If you are using your ATV for just recreational use, you might not need to maintain it as much as a dirt bike.

Factors that determine which bike is right for you

Type of terrain

ATVs are all-terrain vehicles, which means you can ride them pretty much on any surface, be it sandy, rocky, muddy, icy, grassy, or paved. If conquering difficult terrain is your sport, then the ATV is your machine.

Level of practice and skill needed

You do not need much practice to ride an ATV. However, a dirt bike needs more technical know-how and control skills.


If you love high-octane racing, jumps, and spins, it doesn’t get any more exciting than a motocross bike. Dirt bikes are easier to transport, too, so you can take them to various off-road locations and tracks easily. However, if you want a more comfortable adventure riding up a mountainside, the ATV is your best bet. And if you want help with agri-work, the quad is the only vehicle out of the two that can be useful.

We hope this ATVs vs. dirt bikes guide helped you decide whether a motocross bike or an ATV is more suited to your needs. Always buy quad bikes and dirt bikes of quality construction with full safety features. Explore a range of mini and adult quad bikes and dirt bikes at Mini Bikes Off Road.

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