Dirt Bike Vs Quad : Which is Right For You?


Have you decided to step into off roading but are still confused about what to buy a quad or a dirt bike well, continue reading we have the full list of pros and cons for you and till this article ends you will be getting your choice.

We are giving you the cmplete details of difference between dirtbike and quad. This will clear your mind if you have any doubt regarding boh types of the sports bikes.

What is a quad?

A quad or a quad bike also called an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) as the name suggests is simply in appearance a bike with four wheels but is a lot different from bike, also there’s a great history associated with ATV in 1960s we first had six wheeled ATV and they were non-straddled.

A typical quad bike or ATV looks as shown below in the image (1):

Image (1): Quad bike

How is a quad different from dirt bike?

The basic difference is dirt bike is a two-wheeler unlike quad which has four wheels moreover it has a different seating capacity and a different engine power, also many countries have different laws for both vehicles. Let’s take a close look at both and discuss the pros and cons.

Why should you buy a quad?

  • Easy to learn for beginners

First of all, a quad is four-wheeled hence it’s easy to balance and riding a quad does not require many balancing skills so it is a safer option for children and anyone who is new to quad can learn it within few minutes however, for professional off-roading one should have a good amount of experience for their safety. Also drifting is much easier in a quad than in dirt bike.

  • Can be parked easily

Unlike dirt bikes quad can be easily parked at an uneven surface and slopes as they have parking brakes and four wheels but to park a dirt bike a proper plain surface is required which at times can create problem in off-roading.

  • More Seating capacity and comfort

A quad bike has a large seat and most of these can acquire two people, though it is recommended for single person use only. Also, many quads provide you with a reverse option moreover it offers a very relaxed seating as compared to dirt bike and its suspension are smooth compared to dirt bike hence travelling for long distances gives less fatigue to rider.  

  • Quad bike is multi-function vehicle

Quad bike can be used not only for riding but also for pulling any heavy object or machine and can be dragged for long distances.

Moreover, if you are on a camping trip quad will be more helpful to carry your stuff, also in rural areas, people use it for snow plowing, lawn mowing, seed spreading, loading logs and field plowing.

I think quad is doing quite impressive work, let’s see more.

  • Fit for all season use

A quad is built for functioning in difficult conditions also hence they can be used in all seasons like in winters just replace your tires with snow tires and you are ready to go. You can even clear your blocked driveway by plowing snow, your quad can run on sand and mud too.

  • Quad bikes are durable

If durability is your concern, I would suggest go for a quad let me tell you why, quads run generally slower than dirt bike, even if motors of equal power are placed in both, quad being a way heavier than dirt bikes will definitely go slower due to which less wear and tear happens moreover, quad bikes are made tougher and can last up to 20 to 30 years.  

Hold a minute before you make your mind to buy a quad, let’s also talk about its drawbacks.

Cons of a quad:

  • Quads are heavy

Although quads are easy to balance but for proper off-roading, it requires experience and technique and if not handled properly they roll quite often and if by any chance it falls above the rider due to its heavy weight, a serious injury can happen and also turning them back alone is a challenge.

  • Few brands make new quad bikes

There are few brands in the market like Yamaha which make new models of quad bikes hence there’s very less variety available in comparison to dirt bikes.   

  • Serious accidents

This point might sound like point 1 but here I want to tell you that usually quads have less chances of accidents but if they happen it leads to serious injury and many a times to death. It has also been observed through data that 1 of every 3 deaths are of children who are under 16. Moreover, people often take its four wheels for granted as it seems more safer many people ride it without safety helmet and equipment which sometimes become lethal.

  • Requires wide trail

Quads being four-wheeled are broad and thus require a wide trail to run, failing to which can make them rolling.

  • Quads are expensive

As quads cover almost all types of terrains, they are needed to be strong and sturdy, so their production costs more amount as good quality of material is used to make them strong, hence brands charge a good amount for a quad bike, also quads are very less fuel efficient which increases its expense.

  • Less modifications available

Unlike dirt bike which has a number modifications to change speed, acceleration and torque because a number of dirt bikes on the road available but quad bike being less popular cannot be modified to that extent.

  • Difficult to transport 

If you want to take your quad bike from one place to another or want to carry it with you, being large in size it takes more space and inconvenient to load many pickup trucks can’t even load a single quad.

Now let’s talk about pros of a dirt bike.

Why you should buy a dirt bike?

  • Dirt bikes are lightweight

Dirt bike as compared to a quad are light in weight with an average weight of 215 pounds or 98 Kg with a better power to weight ratio and hence accelerates fast also if your bike suffers some fault, it would be easy to drag it with you on foot, FX5 Mountain Moto is the best light weight dirt bike. Also, if you fall while riding it would be easy to quickly pick it up and continue riding.

  • Dirt bikes are safer

As discussed above due to its light weight dirt bike becomes a more safer option in off-roading because if bike topples it’s not going to hurt the rider even if it falls above him/her. Also, it has been observed that more people at dirt bikes wear safety equipment due to its inability of self-balance unlike quads which are stable.

  • Dirt bikes are cheaper

Less material is used in manufacturing of dirt bikes hence these are available at cheap prices so it can be your cost-effective off-roading vehicle, also if your bike got damaged its parts are pretty easily available in the market. Moreover, you can also get second hand parts for your dirt bike because of their popularity.

  • Can run on tight trails

Dirt bikes being two-wheeled are small so can easily go on narrow trails moreover, they are light weight hence have more power to weight ratio and can climb slopes easily with speed and can take sharp turns.

  • Easy to transport

Dirt bike are more convenient in terms of transportation as compared to quad even a mid-sized truck can easily carry a dirt bike, roughly three dirt bikes can be loaded at a time in place of a single quad.

  • Many brands available

Dirt bikes are manufactured by almost all the big brands like HONDA, KAWASAKI etc. and they regularly come up with new models and new technologies allowing more modifications which ultimately offers more variety and riders can choose according to their use. Moreover, if market has many brands the competition will rise and ultimately customers are going to get benefits.

  • Fuel Efficient

Although if you are stepping into off-roading, you should not consider this factor because off-roading vehicles require more fuel compared to normal vehicles. But if we compare dirt bikes with quads, dirt bikes are more fuel efficient.

Dirt bikes do have cons let’s see below

Cons of a dirt bike:

  1. Difficult for beginners

Unlike quads dirt bikes are bit complex to learn for beginners and require more training and years to master because it requires many skills like a constant balance is to be maintained, body positioning, vision and many more that you learn through experience.

  • Unfit for some terrains

Dirt bikes run well in mud and hilly areas but they fail on sand and ice as they slip very often and it becomes difficult to keep the balance on ice and sand.

  • No extra space

These are made for a single person use and have very less space so if you want to carry something along you can only carry it in a bag unlike a quad which has a space to even carry a person.

  • Not long-lasting

Dirt bikes mostly move at higher speeds hence they suffer more internal and external wear-n-tear due to which replacement of parts are required more often and after a certain time it would be better to buy a new one instead of replacing most parts.

  • Problem in Parking

When you go for off-roading many a times it becomes difficult to find a plain surface for parking dirt bikes, moreover they do not have parking brakes hence they cannot be parked on slopes.

  • Less comfortable

If we compare dirt bikes with quads in terms of comfort these are definitely going to lose because they have a narrow seat and tougher suspension also if a person is too short or tall will find it difficult to ride in fact will prefer to ride a quad bike.

Which is better for racing, dirt bike or Quad?

Now as we have seen some important pros and cons of both it is easy to conclude that for racing purposes dirt bike is better because it runs very fast compared to a quad also, it is easy to take sharp turns. Moreover, a number of modifications are available for dirt bikes which can increase its acceleration or top speed. We had also seen due to its light weight it is safer and has better power to weight ratio.

I would say for professional racing consider dirt bikes because they are the best fast and flexible vehicles.

If you want to take leisure rides, enjoy off-roading and want a multi-function vehicle like which can help you with heavy objects, quad is for you.

So, this was all in today’s blog hope that you guys got some help in deciding your vehicle.

It’s time for a good bye stay tuned for more such informative blogs.

Thomas A. Talley

I’m Thomas. Since childhood, I am fond of bikes and hence dirt bikes are my passion now. Ever since then, I’ve been giving advice to the beginners and this has become my hobby.

Recent Posts