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Pit Bike vs Dirt Bike for Kids – What’s the Difference?

There are substantial differences between a pit bike and a dirt bike. A pit bike is a wheeler that is great for pits. It’s more popular among kids. While a dirt bike is for riding on uneven trails. The youth and adults prefer this type of vehicle.

Pit bikes and dirt bikes have a lot of things in common. And they seem to look like the same two-wheeler. You may be wondering which type is better for kids. This article will help you to get the hang of it. Pit bike vs Dirt bike – let the battle begin!

boy is doing stunt on his dirt bike

Engine Types

The most significant feature that differs a pit bike from a dirt bike is an engine. A pit bike comes with a four-stroke engine. Such gear makes the two-wheeler more powerful and strong. It can accelerate fast and reach a high speed.

A dirt bike has a two-stroke engine. It’s quite solid too, though is less powerful. Such a vehicle consumes more fuel and it speeds up quickly. The engine is placed higher than in a pit bike. The reason is to avoid rocks hitting the gear while riding. The gas tank is set between the wheeler for better balance.

Thus, a dirt bike is a better option if you don’t want your kid to get too wild. For more advanced riders, a pit bike is worth consideration.

girl is dressed in a protective suit and helmet

Frame Size

Dirt bikes are bigger than pit bikes. They are perfect for rough obstacles on the way. If you’re interested in off-road riding – this wheeler is the one. However, such bikes are not good for narrow spaces as they are quite bulky. They have a big frame with smaller handlebars. Read the Razor dirt bike review to check its perks.

A pit bike is a smaller wheeler ideal for little riders. Such a vehicle has a smaller frame that makes it pretty lightweight. It needs less space to be stored. And it’s easily portable to get in a new spot. Pit bikes come with big handlebars that are easy to operate.

Pit bikes have a low-profile design so they are not good for off-road riding. As its name implies, they are made for pit riding. Kids find it comfy to ride with its small frame. Both dirt and pit bikes come in a wide range of sizes. This gives you the opportunity to find the best vehicle for your youngster.

Child on motorcycle participates in motocross race


Pay attention to the type of tires when choosing a wheeler for children. They affect the vehicle’s safety and balance. As a dirt bike is for riding off-road, the tires should be solid to traverse the obstacles. That’s why these two-wheelers come with knobby tires. Such a design enhances the gripping, which is great for uneven trails.

The dirt bike tires have outer rubber for better gripping. This helps to deal with a bumpy road. Besides, the two-wheeler is perfect for riding on dirt, mud, or sand.

A pit bike doesn’t have the outer rubber. As it’s made for pit riding, the wheeler’s tires have a simpler design.

Think about the place where your kid will be riding his fave bike. A dirt bike can handle rocky trails. And a pit bike is better for a smooth surface. Comparing the size, dirt bikes have typically 18” tires. While pit bikes come with 14” tires or smaller.

little boy motorcyclist rider jump


The suspension is the system that attaches the frame to the wheels. Shock absorbers as part of the suspension help to deal with obstacles. They provide a safe ride while you’re on a bumpy road.

Dirt bikes obviously have a more advanced suspension system. As we already mentioned, this wheeler is great for off-road trails. The suspension ensures a smooth and safe ride. And the wheels touch the ground in a proper direction.

Pit bikes have a lower level of the suspension system. And it’s enough for a secure ride on smooth trails. The system may vary in different bike models.

boy is on his small dirt bike

Speed Range

Of course, speed is a top priority. Your kids want to have a blast while riding. And you want to provide them with a quality wheeler.

Pit bikes are perfect for little kids as they are not too speedy. The engine power is usually 50cc to 150cc. Dirt bikes win in case of engine power. You can find a model as low as 125cc and up to 750cc.

A pit bike for kids speeds up to 25 mph. There are wheelers with a top speed of 15 mph and even lower. For more advanced riders, you can consider 125cc to 150cc bikes. Their speed is up to 75 mph, which is solid.

There are also 50cc dirt bikes on the market. They are good for kids and their top speed is 40 mph. 125cc+ models are ideal for youth who can handle the speed of 60 mph and higher.

Ride Safe

In terms of safety, a pit bike is a top choice. This two-wheeler is slower and it’s good for smooth roads. You can rest assured your little rider won’t speed up like a rocket. Thus, such a bike is perfect for kids and teens who are new to riding.

On the contrary, a dirt bike is ideal for pro adventurers. The vehicle allows you to feel the speed and get off-road. That’s a wheeler for those who aren’t afraid to get dirty.

mini cross pit bike close up


Pit bikes are more budget-friendly, which is a plus. If your child is a newcomer, this bike is a great option to start with. You can find a wheeler as low as $200. The average price for a kid’s vehicle is around $700. Depending on the manufacturer and the model, the cost ranges from $200 to $1500. So there’s a bike to every budget.

Speaking of a dirt bike, the lower range hits $400. That’s a regular price for 50cc – 70cc bikes. For top-quality models, expect to fork out a few thousands of dollars. The range is between $1,000 – $5,000, depending on the model.

Look for a solid bike made from a reputable brand. that will guarantee the wheeler will come in handy for long. Plus, you’ll be able to find and replace the parts when needed.

Kid on a motorcycle doing motocross

Pit Bike vs Dirt Bike – What to Choose?

Now you know what the difference between dirt and pit bikes is. We mentioned a wide range of aspects that may affect your choice. Both of these wheelers have their pros and cons. Consider these aspects when choosing a bike for your kid. As they are used in different conditions for various purposes.

In short, a pit bike is suitable for kids, while a dirt bike is ideal for teens. Dirt bikes are faster, whereas pit bikes are safer. No matter what type of two-wheeler you pick, consider investing in safety equipment. This includes a riding helmet, goggles, pads, and boots.

Jerry is a former motorcycle mechanic. He’s dedicated his life to nuts and bolts of two- and four-wheelers. Pottering around in the garage - that’s, Jerry claims, the best way to spend all evening long. Currently, Jerry Kidd is a consultant at CFMOTO dealer in Chicago, IL, that offers high-performance ATVs and UTVs. The company has been serving for more than 30 years to provide its customers of all ages with heavy-duty vehicles.

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