Dirt Bike vs Dual Sportbike -What Should I Get? & Differences

The two types of motorcycle that mostly confuse people are dual-sport and dirt bikes. These two types of bikes are very similar in appearance. There are even those who will not notice differences at first, but the truth is that there are a lot of differences between these two types of motorcycles and you need to know them. So, you can choose which one of the two types of motorcycle that suits you.

So, what are the differences between dirt bikes and dual-sport bikes? The differences between these two types of a motorcycle are numerous – dirt bikes are very powerful and strong, they require more maintenance, and are designed for only road riding while dual-sport bikes are capable of riding anywhere such as riding in the field as well as on the road. Both bikes are legal to ride on roads but dual-sports are less powerful than dirt bikes and even slower and heavier but sold at lower prices and are designed for adventure.

In general, these two types of motorcycles look alike but have specific purposes. Dirt bikes will be more suitable for people who want to ride only in the field and get the highest performance. However, I would recommend dual-sports for people who want to ride both on the road and off the road to improve performance.

There are many other things you need to know about these two types of motorcycles. They have many differences that you need to know. In this guide, I will explain in detail each type of motorcycle, who they are suitable for, and the pros and cons of each.

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So, let’s get started.

What are dirt bikes & for who are they are intended?

Dirt bikes, such as Motocross, serve a very specific purpose of just riding in the field. This type of dirt bike is super-fast, lightweight, and are designed for racing, field riding, and with the highest possible performance.

  • Also, dirt bikes require a lot of maintenance and quite a lot of money each year. So, you have to take this into account. Dirt bike maintenance costs up to a few hundred dollars a year, even a few thousand dollars, so that’s why not everyone can afford dirt bikes.
  • By the way, in addition to the maintenance, you will need to know that dirt bikes are considered much more expensive than dual-sports, which cost an average price of between 8000 to 9000 dollars.
  • A big drawback to having dirt bikes versus dual-sports is that they are not designed for road riding, and they are also illegal for the road. Although it is possible to make them legal for riding on the road, it will cost you money, and even then asphalt road will ruin your wheels and tires because dirt bikes are not designed for road riding. Also, dirt bikes are much better than dual sports when it came to off-road riding.
  • Another drawback to having dirt bikes is that every time you want to ride in a forest or a place away from your home, you will have to mount it constantly in a car, trailer, or any other vehicle to take it there. Also, getting it out of the vehicle can be quite annoying and sucks compared to a dual-sport that you can just ride to wherever you want to go without worrying about transporting it there.

So, what is my opinion about dirt bikes? In my opinion, dirt bikes are absolutely amazing and very trusting. Believe me, this is one of the most fun and exciting things you can do in your life. I recommend dirt bikes especially for people who want high performance and want to ride their bike only off the road and are willing to pay the necessary price that dirt bikes require.

Pros of dirt bikes

  • Lightweight
  • Fast
  • high performances
  • Work amazingly in the field
  • Excellent for racing
  • Very beautiful and impressive design

Cons of dirt bikes

  • Expensive to purchase
  • Expensive for maintenance & repair
  • You can only ride in the field
  • You have to move it from one place to another before riding
  • Can’t ride on the road

Bonus: the top 10 most popular dirt bikes

Dirt bike model Price
1. Honda® CRF450R $9,399
2. Kawasaki KX450F $9299
3. Yamaha YZ450F $9,299
4. Kawasaki KX250F $7799
5. Suzuki RM-Z 250 $7,899
6. Yamaha YZ250F $8,199
7. Yamaha WR450F $9599
8. KTM 250 SX-F $9,099
9. KTM 450 SX $9,999
10. Yamaha YZ250X $7,499

What is a Dual-sport bike & for who are they intended?

Dual-sport motorcycles are quite popular among people who want to ride everywhere, and this is the biggest advantage of dual-sports. You can ride wherever you want – on the road, in the woods, in the field and, in short, every passable place. That is the reason why they so good for adventures.

  • Dual-sports are heavier than dirt bikes and also slower, and their overall performance is not as good. Also, dual-sports have tires that are simultaneously suitable for asphalt and, at the same time, for road riding. The disadvantage of dual-sports is that they are not the best for road and field riding. However, the advantage is that dual-sports allow you to ride anywhere.
  • The performance of dual-sports is poor and they do not require too much maintenance, especially when compared to dirt bikes. Also, the average price of dual-sports is relatively cheap – between 2000 to 4000 dollars.
  • As for speed, I know it is important for a lot of riders, but you have to understand that dual-sport bikes are, of course, not as fast as dirt bikes. Still, they are faster than any regular motorcycle both for riding off the road and on the road. While some will be bothered by the speed, others won’t. So, it’s all up to you and what you want.
  • The advantage of having dual-sports is that they are perfectly suitable for long-distance riding and especially adventure compared to dirt bikes. Dual-sports are highly recommended for adventure because you are not limited. You can ride wherever you want for longer distances without being afraid of running out of fuel or encountering difficult areas.
  • Another benefit of dual-sports that, by the way, I love the most is that there is not even a single part in dual-sports that is wasted in terms of engineering or design, which could make them expensive, unlike dirt bikes. In dual-sports, there is no wasting and adding of new designs or technologies that could raise the price, and that explains why their prices are low. And also, because dual-sport motorcycles are cheap including their parts, riders tend to ride them anyhow.
  • Also, dual-sport bikes are very easy to repair because they’re built with very poor, very old-fashioned, cheap, and less complex materials unlike dirt bikes, which means that you won’t find it difficult replacing parts in case any part gets damaged.

So, what is my opinion about dual-sport motorcycles and for who are they suitable? Dual sports motorcycles are more suitable for riders who do not want to ride very high-performance motorcycles or at high speeds, but those who wish to ride on an adventure together with other riders, and those who want to ride everywhere and without spending too much money.

Pros of dual-sport bikes

  • Ability to ride anywhere
  • Easy and cheap to repair
  • Does not require much maintenance
  • Very cheap
  • Great for long-distance riding and adventure
  • Can be ridden anyhow

Cons of dual-sport bikes

  • Slow
  • Heavy
  • Old technology and performance
  • Relatively ugly design
  • Not good for races
  • Not best on roads (50/50)

Bonus: the top 10 most popular dual-sport bike

dual sport bike model Price
1. Zero FX 10,495
2. Honda CRF450L $10,399
3. Husqvarna FE Line $9,899
4. Beta RR-S Line $10,599
5. KLX250 $5,349
6. Husqvarna 701 Enduro $11,899
7. Suzuki DR-Z 400 S $6,749
8. KTM EXC-F Line $9,799
9. KTM 690 Enduro $10,899
10. Yamaha WR250R $6,699

Differences between dirt bikes and dual-sport bikes

Dirt bikes offer more powerful and advanced performance than dual-sport bikes

It’s no secret, as I said before, dirt bikes are far more powerful in performance than dual-sport bikes, and it speaks in every aspect of the bike.

  • Speed ​​and Acceleration – Dirt bikes are much faster than dual-sport bikes. Even at minimum speed and acceleration, they can reach crazy distances.
  • Weight – Dirt bikes are much lighter than dual-sport bikes. The average weight of dual-sport bikes is between 300-500 pounds, which are considered very heavy, while dirt bikes are very lightweight, having an average weight of only 215 pounds.
  • Materials and build quality – Dirt bikes are constructed with the most quality materials on the market, while dual-sport bikes that come with poor build quality and are very old.
  • Design and beauty – dirt bikes are much more impressive and beautiful than dual-sport bikes that come with less impressive and less beautiful designs.

Dirt bikes are more expensive than dual-sport bikes

Dirt bikes are sold at prices twice as expensive as dual-sport bikes that are sold at super low prices, which I’m sure anyone can afford.

Dirt bikes are sold at average prices above $8000, while dual-sport bikes are sold at very low prices, starting at $2000 and can reach a maximum price of $4500.

Plus, if you compare used dirt bikes too new dual-sport bikes, even dirt bikes will cost you higher prices than dual-sports bikes. And the truth is that the prices are justified because dirt bikes provide much better and more advanced performance than dual-sports bikes.

Dirt bikes are more expensive to maintain than dual-sport bikes

Yes, dirt bikes are more expensive even in the long run because they require a lot of maintenance. You need to spend tons of money on maintenance and it can reach very high amounts of over 1000 dollars every year on fuel, oil change, air filter, tire replacement, and more.

However, dual-sport bikes are very cheap in terms of maintenance and will give you peace of mind.

Dirt bikes are more expensive to repair than dual-sport bikes

Yes! Yes! Yes! It will not only surprise to know that dirt bikes are more expensive in price and maintenance than dual-sports bikes, but they are even more expensive in terms of repairs due to the high materials they are built from.

That compared to dual-sport bikes which are very cheap to repair, and the truth is that dual-sport bikes are less likely to break or fall apart when accidents occur due to their cheap parts.

Dual-sports bikes can ride anywhere compared to dirt bikes

As I said before, dual-sport bikes are capable of riding anywhere you want: on the road and in the field, which gives you a huge advantage against dirt bikes that can be ridden effectively only off-road. And although they can be made legal for road riding, they are not yet suitable for that, and if you ride on the road, chances are you will ruin the tires and not be balanced.

Dual-sport bikes have a larger community than dirt bikes

This difference may surprise you, but in my opinion, dual-sport bikes have the best community in the world more than any other motorcycle community, and this is because they are very suitable for long rides.

In contrast, it is not common to find groups of people riding dirt bikes together because they are not meant for adventure and shared riding but for speed and independent riding.

Dirt bikes are better for racing than dual-sport bikes

Well, I know it’s pretty obvious, but I still have to point it out.

Dirt bikes are very powerful, which makes them more efficient and suitable for race compared to dual-sport bikes that are just not good for racing. And when you ride a dual-sport bike against a dirt bike, chances are you will lose.

Dirt bikes more fun than dual-sport bikes

Dirt bikes are much more fun to ride than dual-sport bikes. You will never get bored from dirt bikes because you can reach the highest speeds you want. So, it’s important to take this into account.

Dual-sport bikes are safer for beginner riders than dirt bikes

Dual-sport bikes are much safer for beginners riders because they are slow and not powerful, and this is the perfect reason why they are just excellent for beginners riders.

Need dirt bike safety gear? Click here to buy safety gear for dirt bike riding on amazon , or go check my sales pages of recommended safety gear page click here to view.

If you have any questions or opinions about this article, please write us a comment and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thanks for the reading


I’m Rob, the owner of RX Riders Place. My family and I have a long history of riding dirt bikes and ATVs and want to share what we have learned.

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