What’s The Difference Between Trail Dirt Bikes and Motocross?

One of the most commonly asked questions in the world of motor racing is the difference between a trail dirt bike and a motocross bike. Although both bikes look alike, there are subtle differences in their outlook. If you look at them closely, you can see that trail dirt bikes are slightly more beefy and possess more in terms of power, weight and also fuel capacity. All these cannot be determined by just looking at them. The only person who can point out the exact differences is someone who has ridden them and possesses a little knowledge about bikes. This article will put together the major differences between trail dirt bikes and motocross bikes.

motocross-bike What’s The Difference Between Trail Dirt Bikes and Motocross?

Difference in The Conditions They are Used In

Motocross bikes are used in specially designed dirt tracks and generally, a very controlled atmosphere. So, these bikes are designed for raw power and not much emphasis is laid on safety, as the bikes will be used on tracks where the conditions can be adjusted to ensure safety . However, trail bikes are used in completely different conditions. They are ridden in marked dirt trails which will not be altered in any way. The rider will have to adjust to the conditions and hence, these bikes will have slightly higher pick up and lower top speeds. They also come with a harder suspension and weigh a little more than your average dirt bike. They are also outfitted with headlights, in case the light deteriorates.

More Shielding

Dirt trail bikes come with more shielding to protect its components from the natural elements. These shields include engine cowls that encase the engine, and ‘bark busters’ which protect the hands of the rider from the barks of the trees and other elements which can damage them. Motocross bikes, on the other hand,have very minimal or no shielding.

Motocross Bikes have Narrow Gear Ratios

Since motocross bikes are rode on tracks which have sharper turns and twists, their gear ratios are narrower when compared with the dirt track bikes, which can encounter longer stretches. So, dirt track bikes or endure bikes, have wider gear ratios.


Noise levels of dirt trail bikes are reduced and meet street standards as they might have to travel on roads in case the track and road overlap. Motocross bikes however, are not silenced and the exhaust speaks of raw power and is one of the reasons why people are attracted to it. They virtually have no mufflers on their silencers.

Photo credit by Moosealope