In this article, we talk about the different types of dirt bikes that are out there.
Dirt bikes come in all sorts of sizes and styles. It’s important that you choose the right type of dirt bike for the type of dirt bike riding you plan on doing.
Luckily for use, the dirt bike manufactures have spent the research dollars and have come up with a dirt bike for any rider and any rider skill.
You have dirt bikes for kids, teenagers, Young Adults, Adults, and Older Adults.
Now there really is only 2 type of engines when it comes to dirt biking.
- 4 Strokes
- 2 Strokes
Dirt Bike History of 2-stroke vs 4-stroke
For a long time, the 2 stroke dirt bike held the highest honors as the top racing dirt bike. At that time most of the 4 strokes were air-cooled and not nearly as powerful or fast as the 2 strokes.
Per CC a 2 stroke makes more horsepower than a 4 stroke!
It was not until the late nineties that a high compression liquid-cooled race 4-stroke made its way into a dirt bike.
At that time the 4 stroke still was not as good as the tried and true 2 stroke dirt bikes. Four strokes were heavy and had a lower power to weight ratio.
But the manufactures decided that they did not want all their research dollars to go to waste so they started forcing all of their professional dirt bike riders onto 4-strokes. They worked hard on telling the dirt bike consumer that 4strokes were better than 2 strokes.
This almost killed 2 stroke dirt bikes and did in the supercross and motocross area.
Luckily, In the mid-2000s a major offroad/enduro resurgence started for form and this started to breathe new life into the 2 strokes.
You see, a 2 stroke dirt bike is better at going slow with the right 2 stroke motor and gearing versus a comparable 4 stroke. Two-strokes are lighter, cheaper to maintain, and do not flame out.
However, fast forward to today and in supercross and motocross racing you see really powerful and lightweight 4 stroke dirt bikes. The offroad and enduro racing world is dominated by modern 2 strokes.
Interestingly enough the offroad dirt bike world has become the leader in dirt bike sales.
Types of Dirt Bikes on the Market
Let’s dive into all the different types of dirtbikes that are available to buy here in 2021. We have already established that there are just 2 different types of dirt bike motors but there are all sorts of different types of dirt bike riding and CC sizes.
Types of Dirt Bikes
- Supercross Dirt Bike
- Motocross Dirt Bike
- Cross Country Dirt Bike
- Enduro Single Track Dirt Bike
- Kids Dirt Bike
- Street Legal Dirt Bike
- Trials Dirt Bike
- Electric Dirt Bike
Supercross and Motocross type dirt bikes
Motocross and supercross dirt bikes are what you see on TV and these types of dirt bikes have a stiffer suspension, gearing, and engine that is tuned for this type of riding.
Built for this type of dirt bike riding they generally do not do very well in the other types of dirt bike riding.
(Closed Course Race Bike)
Cross Country Dirt Bike Type
Closely related to its motocross brother with suspension, gearing, and engine tuning set for riding in the wide-open desert types of riding. Typically this is the best all-around do it all type of dirt bike. These dirt bikes come with an electric start and an 18″ rear tire. While not built specifically for motocross riding these cross country dirt bikes are close enough cousins that you can ride a motocross track without very many changes. You can also ride these types of dirt bikes on singletrack in a more technical types of riding.
This is the reason the cross country dirt bikes tend to be the do it all dirt bikes.
(Closed Course Race Bike)
Enduro Dirt Bike Type
In the past, an enduro dirt bike usually meant that it was street legal. However, with the rise of competitive hard enduro racing, we have seen a HUGE resurgence in the 2 stroke market with these offroad hard enduro dirt bikes. Made for technical single track riding they come with an electric start, grunty motor, and 18″ rear wheel.
Also under this is trail dirt bikes these are dirt bikes that are more detuned than its hard enduro race brothers.
(Closed Course Race Bike)
Street Legal Dirt Bike Type
Closely related to its enduro cousins these are dirt bikes that have all the safety and emissions required in order to ride your dirt bike on the street. These dirt bikes come with mirrors, horns, and DOT-approved tires.
Kids Types of Dirt Bikes
These are dirt bikes built for kids. Typically you either have motocross dirt bikes for closed-course racing or you have trail dirt bikes.
Trials Dirt Bike
These are unique types of dirt bikes. Specifically built for trial dirt bike riding or racing. They typically are lightweight and have no seat.
Electric Dirt Bike Type
We are starting to see electric types of dirt bikes. KTM has started making electric dirt bikes.
In conclusion, there are a few different types of dirt bikes out there but you really can only choose a 2 stroke or 4 stroke dirt bike. Keep in mind a motocross dirt bike is completely different than a closed course hard enduro dirt bike.
You need to make sure you are getting the right dirt bike for the type of riding you plan on doing. If you plan on doing a bit of everything I would recommend getting a cross-country dirt bike. Almost all the major dirt bike manufacturers make cross-country dirt bikes.