Pit Bike vs Dirt Bike

What is the Difference Between Pit Bike and Dirt Bike?

There are so many varieties of displayed in the market that people have a hard time selecting one they can use to enjoy the adventures. Although dirt bikes are popular, you cannot overlook the growing market of pit bikes, a small variety.

Pit bikes were originally designed for people to navigate around pits (garages); however, their new modifications allow them to become worth comparing to dirt bikes, which have regular sizes.

Dirt bikes can easily navigate off-road trails and have higher speeds in comparison to pit bikes. Some of the other differences are discussed below:


A typical pit bike has four-stroke motors, and you can easily find them operating in the 50-1400cc range. One can barely find a pit bike that has gone beyond 250cc. Their small sizes also make one raise an eyebrow on why it needs four-stroke engines.

Having a 4-stroke motor indicates that the bike uses four-piston motion in making a complete engine cycle. Each stroke can easily provide the energy for propelling. Moreover, its output must portray steadiness and reliability.

This means that any bike targeted at children and teenager needs to have controllable power. On the other hand, Pit bikes can easily operate as a result of their smoother powerband.

Besides, dirt bikes are not restricted to a type of engine stroke. While some operate well with the two-stroke, the others are operating well with the four strokes. Bikes that use two-stroke engines will have a piston that moves twice in a complete engine cycle. Bikes like these are known for their track-worthy high acceleration power, with the downside of not being able to get under easy control.

What differentiates four-stroke dirt bikes, in this case, is the lack of limitation on their high speed, which makes them easy to use for races and street rides.

Another difference is the type of speed and acceleration. When you decide to pick between any of them, you must realize that two-stroke bikes work for quick initial acceleration, and that four-stroke dirt bikes operate at top speeds.

Thus, it is easy to notice the difference in the powerfulness of dirt bikes with the four-stroke engine than those designed to fit pit bikes. The range of four-stroke is always between 300-4000cc. And in some other cases, one can find one of 750cc.

Body Shape

One can also easily differentiate them through their body shapes. Pit bikes are known for their small frames, lightweights, and compact bodies. These features are enough to help them navigate around the pit without hitches. Since they are low, they are not safe for off-road trails.

To go off-road, one needs to operate with a big bike. That way, one can easily maneuver through the obstacles one might face. Dirt bikes have a higher chance of doing this job. It is, therefore, always wise to avoid placing a pit bike where dirt bikes can easily navigate because doing this makes it had to prevent damage on the initial designs of the model.

Since it has small frames, a child, teenager, or short adult can easily ride it through a clear and plain trail. Their body shapes can also cause issues in terms of storage. Dirt bikes have a bigger frame, meaning they are not easily stored. Additionally, moving them about can be more challenging in comparison to pit bikes. The only reason they are recommended for dirt roads is that they can easily clear obstacles with their big frame.

Another downside, which is an advantage to pit bikes, is that they can barely travel narrow paths. Yet, there are different sizes fit for riders of varying heights.


Each bike type is designed to fit the road they are created for. The knobby tires made for dirt bikes are specifically to help them navigate through off-road trails and street roads. These tires also support their movement through rough terrains including mountain tracks and standard streets. Another work these tires perform is the alleviation of their engines from the ground. Having their engines at that level provides the bike with a higher speed ability.

These tires also have an outer rubber surface that cushions their ride and help in providing the essential grip needed to navigate rocky surfaces. Subsequently, these features also allow for the movement of these bikes on such places as sand, mud, and dirt.

As opposed to the 12-14 inches tires you can easily find in a pit bike, dirt bikes are made with tires with an average size of 18 inches. Pit bikes, on the other hand, are made with tires that suit their smaller frame, giving them easy movement on smooth trails and clear tracks.


Bikes have a suspension system that serves as a link between the wheel and the mainframe of the bike. This system always has shock absorbers that help in cushioning riders whenever their rides are bumpy.

Despite their small frame, pit bikes are made with less sophisticated suspension than any known dirt bikes. Since pit tracks are clear and smooth, there is a need for exotic suspension. However, dirt bikes are always maneuvering through bumpy tracks and always required to ensure their wheels contact the ground; invariably, they are meant to have better suspension.

The type of suspension one will find in each model is as the product requires. Take the example of Motocross dirt bikes. They are created with long-travel suspension useful in handling high jumps whenever the ride is at a top speed.


Dirt bikes are created with more power and speed than pit bikes. Most pit bikes are with power ranging from 50cc to 150cc. Whereas, you can barely find a dirt bike with anything lower than 125cc. In fact, you are likely to encounter bikes with 750cc engine power.

One thing to note is that the smaller size and weight of the pit bikes give it lesser torque. No matter how both a pit and dirt bike have the same engine size, the dirt bike will remain more powerful.

The maximum speed you can expect from a 50cc dirt bike is usually 15-25 mph whenever they are on a short trail. Whenever they are on longer sections, the bikes are designed to have about 50 mph. Even if the pit bike has engine sizes that put them operate between 140cc and 160cc, their speeds are still 70-75 mph.

Nonetheless, one can easily modify the speed of a pit bike and still maintain the low-end force acceleration. The only thing one might be required to do is to ensure one replaces the stock 14-tooth drive sprocket with a higher version like a 15-tooth sprocket.

If you decide to increase the speed power by replacing a stock 42-tooth rear sprocket with a lower version like a 32-tooth sprocket, you are comprising the torque acceleration.

Racers go for dirt bikes because of their high speeds. Even if you go for the lower version of the spectrum, you will get still find a 50cc dirt bike riding at a speed that ranges between 25 to 40 mph. Those that love to ride professionally can reach 87mph with a 400cc.


For being slow, pit bikes are deemed safer since they are designed for smooth roads. Since their navigation and riding happen in controlled quarters, you can never compare them to dirt bike created for adventure lovers.

In an accident, however, there is a chance of getting a few cuts and bruises if you ride pit bikes. The same cannot be said of serious dirt bikers because the riders have a chance of getting serious injuries. You cannot compare the skills level needed for dirt bikes to that of a pit bike, which was created with children, teenagers, or beginner riders in view.


Being a heavy-duty bike, dirt bikes are louder due to the presence of high RPMs and short mufflers in them. Pit bikes can be also loud but never as loud as a dirt bike.


The same difference goes for these two. The most expensive pit bikes are always around $1200, while a used one might just cost you $200.

Dirt bikes, on the other hand, are largely dependent on their brands. Quality models can be bought within the price of $2000 and $5000. Meanwhile, you can buy dirt bikes for $10,000.

The same can be said for their maintenance and cost. One can barely buy the components of dirt bikes at a lower rate.

Dirt Bike or Pit Bike- Which to Buy?

Your preference is dependent on your need. If you want something to engage in off-roading rides, it is preferable to buy dirt bikes since pit bikes will crash under the rough terrains.

Thus, being a beginner, you should opt for a pit bike. That way, you will have the means of understanding how things operate at that level. 

Since the skills learned on one can be used on the other, you will find it easier to recreate whatever you get while riding pit bikes on dirt bikes. Also, if you are one that loves a community of riders, a dirt bike is the better choice since you are likely to get a group of riders near your locality than those of pit riders.