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Small but perfectly formed, pit bikes are mini powerhouses that can be a total blast, whether that’s out and about off-road, on the track or in your own back yard. Originally used as convenient, pint-sized bikes to transport people between pits at the race track, the pit bike has now come into its own. With the looks of downsized mini dirt bikes but with a cracker of a big personality, the pit bike is a joy to own.
Often seen as a kid’s affordable dirt bike, there is much more to the pit bike than meets the eye. And increasing numbers of grown up kids are getting in on the act. OK, it may not have the engine size of a straight up speed monster, or the frame dimensions of a grown-up off-road race bike but where the pit bike may lack in stature, it more than makes up in attitude and big-time thrills.
So, if you fancy a piece of the pit bike action, then check out our guide to what we think are currently the best pit bikes out there, when it comes to price, performance and downright wheel-spinning, turf-churning fun.
The Best Pit Bike
The heavyweight in our review, the Apollo is also our best choice, thanks to its styling, build quality and sheer performance which all adds up to a lot of pit bike for your money.
Yes, it is at the top end of our budget, but you really do get what you are paying for, and as an adult bike that thinks and acts like a dirt bike, this is a heap of off-road adult fun. First up, you get a whole 250 of ccs, giving you a seriously impressive top speed of 115 km/h, although you will have to ride it hard. This does mean it is not for the smaller rider but in the right hands the Apollo is a fantastic introduction to going off road or on to the pit bike track. You will have to self-assemble but hey, this is a great way to get to know your ride! And, with both electric and kick start and manual transmission, you are firmly in the driving seat with the Apollo 250cc. For hills, thrills and rough terrain this is your best pit bike dude.
Kick and electric start
250cc engine; 15.64HP
Top speed of 115 km/hr
Max rider weight: 440 pounds
- BrandApollo Tools
The real deal when it comes to speed and performance
A large tank but it’s also economical on the gas
This is our review’s physical heavyweight so not suited for younger or smaller riders
As a transition from a smaller kid’s electric or petrol mini dirt bike to a decent sized pit bike with plenty of poke, the DB14 from TaoTao is not only great value but awesome fun. With its 110cc, air-cooled, manual kickstart engine, this a responsive ride and its frame is sized for the teen or small adult rider. And, with enough ground clearance, the DB14 can handle some tough off-road blasts.
We like the semi-automatic transmission, which supports the younger rider into the world of the fully manual bike, but also enables them to concentrate on their balance and control. Add in dual disc brakes, all-terrain tires and the overall lightweight design and you have a pit/dirt bike that handles well off-road while also stepping it up for when a larger, more experienced rider wants to take over. Available in a choice of six colors, you will need to know a little about bike mechanics as it requires assembly but for the price you get a neat 110cc pit bike for your money.
110cc, air-cooled 4-stroke engine
Dual disc brakes
Comes in a choice of six colors
Top speed of 50km/hr
- Weight175 pounds
A nice step up for the young pit bike rider in your life
A good performance pit bike for the budget price
Some self-assembly required
A grown-up dirt monster with the big kid fun of a pit bike, this 125cc machine from Apollo also comes with 17-inch tires for eating up the trails. With its heavier frame this is not a pit bike for smaller kids but with a more experienced rider on board it can make light work of going off-road.
The brakes are super responsive, giving a good level of control and the top speed is a decent 90km/h, making it a blast to go out and play with. Manual transmission means your young (or not so young) rider can really master the art of playing out the gears and the power in the ride is also impressive. The black/white/red decal is pretty cool looking too. For the price, with the Big Size Dirt Bike you get a 125cc dirt bike that while not quite ready to go straight out of the box, will soon have you eating up the track in no time.
Kickstart and manual clutch
Top speed of 90km/hr
Max ride weight: 220 pounds
- BrandApollo Precision Tools
- ModelAGB 37
- Weight250 pounds
The large 17-inch tires make for a smoother ride over rough terrain
Parts are cost-effect to either replace or update
This pit bike will require full assembly, so some mechanical knowledge is needed
For less than $600 you get a decent bike for your money, with all the spec and styling you need to go out and have some serious pit bike fun. With a 125cc engine, this is no lightweight pit bike when it comes to power and speed, and with its full manual transmission you get up close and personal with the ride.
The styling of this 125cc dirt bike from Coolster is compact and solid yet easy to ride and with its 67km/h top speed is no couch potato. The kick start keeps it all real and can be handled by the less experienced youngster or teenager with little problem. And, with reinforced fork tubing and stiff heavy-duty springs, it can take the spills and thrills of a wide range of terrain all in its wheel-spinning stride. It also comes part-assembled, so less work and more fun tinkering to get it right for your off-road adventures. One of the best pit bikes for sale for the money.
Air-cooled 4-stroke engine
Kick start and manual clutch
Top speed of 72km/hr
Max rider weight: 143.3 pounds
- Model Extreme 125cc
- Weight170 pounds
Lightweight and powerful, the Coolster eats up rougher terrain
Lovely sleek and stylish design
Younger riders may initially find it a little tricky to start
At just over 49cc, this is a mini dirt bike that has more than a mini attitude when it comes to the ride! It’s cute proportions and cool, chrome styling will certainly catch your own mini-me’s attention and as a first step from electric to gas, this pint-sized pit bike from PCC Motor is the diddy dude.
The pull-rope start, air-cooled, 2-stroke engine, quick automatic transmission and kill cord make it a breeze to ride and will be the garage toy of choice for the little person in your life. This 50cc dirt bike is not road legal so must only be used on private land, but this shouldn’t stop junior’s sheer pit bike enjoyment, even in your own back yard. And for dad, the assembly responsibilities are minimal – handlebars and brakes – so your keen young rider can soon be out cutting up the off-road terrain like his Pa.
49cc single cylinder
Air-cooled 2-stroke engine
Top speed of 40km/hr
Max rider weight: 100 pounds
- BrandPCC Motor
- Model PCC DB49A BLACK
- Weight 50.3 pounds
Easy to ride cheap dirt bike that’s a great for a first step to gas power
Quick to assemble so reduced waiting time for your mini pit bike rider
Stop pull rope could be a little stronger
Slick, lightweight and nimble on its tire tracks, this 125cc dirt bike skids in as our premium pick. For just shy of 1,000 bucks, you get a cool-looking machine that is a lot of fun to ride without making too much of a fuss. The air-cooled, 4-stroke engine has a decent amount of poke and is straightforward to maintain, leaving you plenty of time for some serious pit bike play.
The frame is tall enough for lightweight adults and also suitable for a teenager or experienced youngster looking to go to their next pit bike riding level without breaking the ‘bank of Mom and Dad’. We also like the ample ground clearance for popping over rough terrain. The suspension is good too, especially for the lighter rider. Straightforward and honest, this is a premium performance pit bike that simply wants to cut to the chase – and that is out on the trail.
125cc single cylinder
Air-cooled 4-stroke engine
Four speed gears
Top speed of 60km/hr
- BrandDirt Bike
- Weight250 pounds
A lot of quality spec and performance for the price
At the expensive end of our budget but good value compared to cheap pit bikes
This pit bike from Tao Tao is certain to turn your kid’s head, with its awesome styling and quick as a zip performance. The DB10 is a good-priced 110cc pit bike that will get any young rider excited. With its automatic transmission, it’s not quite the step to fully manual but it is a mini pit bike that demands focus and some skill to ride, making it a good first pit bike for the younger dude.
The kick start keeps it all fun and real and its super sturdy frame means it can cope with all the off-road thrills as well as the occasional (or not so occasional) spills as your young rider hones their pit bike skills. And what we also like about the DB10 is that it is not just exclusive to the kids as it has enough oomph to take on a larger rider so you can also join in on all the fun. In short, the perfect family pit bike for you all to enjoy without busting the budget.
110cc single cylinder
Air-cooled 4-stroke engine
Top speed of 40km/hr
- Weight120 pounds
A great pit bike for the younger rider that can step it up for an adult jockey
Great value for a starter bike that has all the essential spec
The battery life on the DB10 could be better
If Junior has been drooling over your dirt bike, then check out this 70cc pit bike from Coolster – a great beginner bike for the 7-13s in your life. As a mini dirt bike for under $450, this cool-looking machine ticks all the boxes. Semi-automatic with four gears and a responsive kick start, your mini rider is engaged and involved right from the start and is a great way to learn.
But it’s fun where this awesome mini pit bike is at. Perfect for trail riding, kicking up the dirt and bike play in the mud, the Coolster Kids Pit bike is a wild ride with a sensible head on its shoulders. The frame is solid and sturdy, the wheels larger and the stiffer springs give suspension when you need it the most and it starts up pretty much every time, so no holding back on precious pit bike play time. And if you also want to test out the action, the Coolster is also strong enough to take an adult out for a short ride.
70cc single cylinder
Air-cooled 4-stroke engine
Top speed of 48km/hr
Max rider weight: 130 pounds
A spunky mini dirt bike which is ideal for kids starting out in pike bike riding
The shift pattern is four down rather than one down, three up so a little out of synch with some other bikes
Best Pit Bike Buying Guide
What is a Pit Bike?
Simply put, a pit bike is a small on or off-road motorbike that has some similarities to a dirt bike but is much smaller and generally ridden by kids, although big kids (AKA, adults) are also getting in on the action too.
Small, practical and inexpensive, they were originally used by event staff at motocross race tracks to get around the pit areas, but their versatility was soon realized, and they started to be used for more than ferrying VIPs around. Robust and zippy, riders started to play around with tricks and jumps on the pit bikes and the potential of these small capacity machines started to catch on. Manufacturers started to up-spec their pit bikes and since the early 2000s, pit bike racing has also been a thing.
The pit bike is smaller than your typical dirt bike and has smaller diameter wheels, and has an engine generally between 50cc and 150cc, although some manufacturers are starting to significantly up the engine sizes and spec. While the speed is typically slower than a dirt or full-sized off-road bike, it is easier to handle, especially for a beginner and thanks to the size and ride of the pit bike, the drive is no less exhilarating and a whole heap of pint-sized fun.
As a way to get into racing, as a starter machine for a youngster…or simply as an affordable way to have a bit of four-stroke fun, the pit bike is an awesome way to get out and off the road.
Things to Consider When Buying a Pit Bike
Not all pit bikes are made equal and they can vary greatly in price and build quality. To ensure you get the right mini dirt bike for your skill level as well as your pocket, you will need to take into account the following:
- What do you need it to do?
Be clear on why you want to pit bike ride, and this will ensure you get the best pit bike for the job at hand. If you simply want it to be a fun alternative to your ordinary motorbike and will ride it for leisure, then opt for an uncomplicated model that is reliable. The same applies for if you are only just starting out. But if you are serious about going off-road and down the motocross and trail riding route, then opt for a quality machine that offers a higher spec.
- Your skill level
Bbe honest with yourself when it comes to this one as some pit bikes really are only intended for the off-road Pro. As a beginner, go for a low-maintenance small displacement pit bike – trust us you won’t be sacrificing the fun factor for the CCs – to learn the ropes and get your confidence while still having an off-road blast. The more competent riders could look for a more spec’d model with more power and performance options to take you to the next level. If in any doubt, chat to your salesman to ensure you get the right pit bike ‘love match’.
If you are opting for a model that requires some self-assembly, choose a pit bike you can easily put together yourself. If you are not mechanically-minded, then opt for a ready assembled or make sure you have a professional you can call on to help.
There are a lot of cheap and cheerful models out there, just as there are budget-busting racing pit bike thoroughbreds so be sure you have your maximum spend in mind before you hit the showroom or online sale. It all depends on what you want to do with your new mini dirt bike and how much spec and features you really need. Weigh up the pros and cons to ensure you are getting the right model for your needs as well as your price.
- Speed and engine size
Most pit bikes are in the 50-150cc range, although you can go for a more pimped up engine – with pit bikes, typically up to 250cc. The engine size and max speed of the bike will depend on what you want it for – if the race track is in your pit bike sights then go bigger…there are models that can give out speeds of 60km+ per hour – not bad for a mini pit bike!
As mini bikes that are largely the toy of kids, always check the maximum weight capacity of your new pit bike to ensure it can take your adult bulk.
Different Types of Pit Bikes
No one size fits all – even with the mini bike so we’ve taken a look at the main types of pit bike to help you make the right choice:
- Children’s mini-cycles
As the name suggests, these pit bikes have been built with junior in mind and are a whole (mini) heap of fun. Also known as the ‘Japanese Children’s mini-cycle’, they can also be upgraded, depending on what you want to do with the bike, although this can be both time-consuming and costly.
- Production pit bikes
With the main brands leading the way, these pit bikes are fully formed and are ideal for adults as well, They are designed to have larger displacement engines, taller handlebars and a much stronger suspension, meaning they can be used off-road as they can take the hard knocks.
- Racing pit bikes
This is the business end of the pit bike, built specifically for the track. This means they are typically for racing only rather than mucking about in the park or on the road. Smaller than motocross bikes, these mini bikes are a great way for youngsters to start out in the racing world – as well as giving adults an awesome, racing ride.
Our Top Pick
Not strictly a low cc pit bike, but the Apollo 250cc has all the power of a dirt bike with the looks, ride and fun factor of a pit bike, making it our all-round best choice for versatility and value. A top speed of over 100km/h, plus all the durability and build quality you need for off-road and rough terrains, this is a pit bike that gives you plenty of options as you build your experience and skills.
- The Average Speed of a Pit Bike - Livestrong.com