Pit bikes have become a phenomenon in recent years, and if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for the best pit bikes and considering a purchase for yourself.
Unlike the main traditional off road motorcycling niches, such as motocross and enduro, the hierarchy of brands and models has not been clearly established for pit bikes yet. Many brands and styles of pit bike are still completely unfamiliar to the general public.
In this article we explore the best pit bikes currently available on the market and cover a few of the key factors you will want to take into consideration when selecting one.
Read on to discover more about the best pit bikes currently available in the market.
An Introduction To Pit Bikes
Not quite a dirt bike, and not quite a minimoto, pit bikes fill a unique space in the motor biking world offering casual fun, but also potential for some more serious competition. All while being remarkably affordable compared to traditional dirt biking.
The original intention of pit bikes is somewhat unclear, but it’s commonly believed that they are the result of the human desire to modify their machines.
The small, unexciting utilitarian motorcycles originally used for convenience in getting around pit complexes at race tracks and events were customised to hit the dirt and given striking motocross styling, and thus pit bikes were born.
From uncommon bikes built by a small group of talented customisers to mass produced miniature motorcycles, the pit bike has already come a long way.
This is no surprise and I suspect it will continue, as they really are great fun!
Which Pit Bike Is Right For You?
There’s a lot to think about when selecting the best pit bike for you.
The usual metrics used to compare motorcycles don’t apply quite as easily to this style of bike which can lead to further confusion among buyers. So let’s explore a few of the key aspects to consider when selecting the best pit bike for your needs.
What Size of Pit Bike?
Originally, pit bikes were intended for adults to enjoy casually. These are miniature dirt bike style motorcycles designed to hop on for short rides for convenience or enjoyment purposes.
Due to this, most pit bikes have a larger seat height and ground clearance than their physical appearance suggests.
These bikes are definitely not to be confused with traditional kids dirt bikes which are not designed to take an adult rider.
Contrary to this, as the pit bike niche has grown, people have realised that some of the key pit bike ingredients make for excellent kids bikes and they can potentially be the ideal first bike to get a youngster up on two wheels.
This has led to the availability of pit bikes in all shapes and sizes, and these differences are often a lot less obvious than you’d expect, with confusion between the miniature bikes for adults and “about the right size” pit bikes for kids, as these look almost the same at a glance.
If you’re an adult rider looking to jump on a pit bike then you’re best sticking to 82cm and up. If you’re looking to purchase a pit bike for your kid, junior sizes are generally 76cm and down.
Pit Bike Engine Selection
The engine displacement is one of the easier metrics to go on when pit bike shopping, and they can range widely.
Originally pit bikes were found in 50cc and 70cc 4-stroke configuration, but these displacements have got higher and higher in recent years, and it’s almost become a war between manufacturers.
Now pit bikes can range from 50cc all the way up to 160cc. Although the most common and best pit bike sizes are 125c and 140cc currently.
The simple truth however, is that these pit bike engines are largely the same design, some being better quality than others. Larger cc displacement variants are simply bored and stroked to add the additional capacity.
Do your research beforehand on which bikes come equipped with which engine. Non-brand pit bike engines are likely to be worse than the well known Lifan engines for example, despite both being of Chinese origin.
The larger capacity pit bike motors do kick out a bit more torque and power if fed by a correctly set up carburettor and fitted with a decent flowing exhaust, but they can be a bit harder to live with being less reliable and delivering power in a less linear fashion.
Another thing to be aware of is a 125cc pit bike engine is not comparable to a 125cc dirt bike engine. They are vastly different beasts and I can guarantee you the simple pit bike engine will not stack up well in a comparison, especially if the dirt bike is a 2-stroke.
That doesn’t mean they dont pack a punch though! Being a smaller sized bike, these glorified lawn mower engines offer plenty of bite, more than enough to hurt you if you don’t treat them with respect.
Electric pit bikes are also starting to appear on the market, and while the selection is sparse and the cost high now, we fully expect these to take over the market within the coming years.
What To Look Out For
Like many things, you want to check the reviews carefully when searching for the best pit bike, as they can tell you a lot.
The core manufacturers have spent time refining their offering and increasing customer satisfaction to aid their brand reputation. You will pay a bit more for this.
On the flip side, lesser known pit bike brands newer to the market can often undercut and they do this by sourcing cheaper parts and using less stringent manufacturing tolerances during assembly.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t some great value gems out there, but whether you want to take a punt comes down to how risk tolerant you are, and also how mechanically minded.
At the end of the say, if you’ve read this far, you probably want to jump on a pit bike and have some fun riding it! Not be stuck waiting for parts or dealing with a bike that wont run properly.
If you can visit or contact a real pit bike dealer and get a proper look at a bike, while speaking to someone hopefully trustworthy and knowledgeable, you will be on the right track. The beauty of purchasing from a known dealer is the aftermarket and warranty support you will have on hand.
Top Pit Bike Manufacturers
– M2R Racing (Made2Race)
More commonly referred to as M2R, this pit bike manufacturer is in our top spot among best pit bike manufacturers.
Having been consistently developing their bikes for around 20 years now, M2R produce some of the most competitive pit bikes in the game, and this can be seen in the BMB (british mini bikes) racing series.
These bikes aren’t the cheapest, but they have fantastic pace and reliability from 50cc all the way up to 160cc. They also do a variety of styles including supermoto which has been especially popular for mini bike racing.
– 10Ten MX
These pit bikes are another brand with a strong racing presence, and with wins under their belt they are showing their quality and performance well.
With pit bikes from adults down to children’s sizes, and even with a fledgeling electric bike range, 10Ten are really arriving on the map.
– Stomp Pit Bikes
This is one of the top Chinese pit bike brands on the market. Bear in mind almost all the parts for the bikes are sourced from China so don’t let that put you off.
With aggressive styling and performance to boot, Stomp are some of the most popular pit bikes available and for good reason.
With plenty of industry leading research and development to fall back on, Stomp produces some of the fastest pit bikes available and boasts engines with uprated camshafts and stiffened valve springs to make the numbers.
– WPB (Welsh Pit Bikes)
A brand a bit closer to home WPB actually started out as a UK Stomp dealer before branching out into their own range of pit bikes.
Following years of experience sourcing and selling pit bikes, WPB were well positioned to create their own using the best parts available from a variety of brands.
WPB specialise more in adult pit bikes and their bikes are known to be a larger shape and size more comfortable for larger riders.
With their recently released “beast” 190cc pit bike, they are really pushing the limits of what’s possible with these machines, they are a force to be reckoned with.
– Apollo Pit Bikes
Apollo is our budget pick on this list. This is another Chinese pit bike brand and their objective is to offer maximum value for money without a big compromise on quality.
While there are some mixed reviews for these Apollo bikes, their highly competitive price always makes up for it.
You might need to be a bit more hands on with one of these machines, but if you are a competent mechanic this might be the right entry point into pit bikes for you.
Our Best UK Pit Bike Recommendations
- M2R 140cc RF140 Pit Bike
This is our all-round favourite and the best pit bike on our list. This bike has just the right combination of performance, reliability and style. You can take this bike out for some serious riding, or even racing and it’s guaranteed not to let you down.
2. 10Ten MX 125cc 125R Pit Bike
This 125cc option is a great value proposition with enough power to have outrageous fun, eye-catching yellow graphics, solid build quality and an attractive price. What’s not to like about this pit bike?
3. M2R 160cc KM160SM Racing Supermoto Pit Bike
Indulge yourself with something truly awesome. This supermoto pit bike is the pinnacle of mini bike racing fun. With amazing tarmac performance at its 160cc displacement this is a “ready to race” competition winning machine.
If it weren’t for the heftier price tag and the fact we’re primarily into hitting the dirt off-road, this would have landed itself in the top spot. What a machine!
4. Stomp 140cc Z3 140R
With fancy “Detroit plastics” and various nicely polished parts, this Stomp pit bike is a glorious thing to look at. With its Stomp tuned 140cc YX140 engine it can also really shift.
Quite expensive for a Chinese pit bike, but this one has epic adjustability and is ready to race, or at least have a whale of a time kicking up the dirt.
5. M2R Racing 110cc KX110F Pit Bike
This is actually M2R Racing’s entry level off-road pit bike. All of the M2R machines come highly recommended and this one has such a competitive price, it’s hard to ignore!
There is a temptation to go for the larger engined bikes, but this machine will be reliable and plenty powerful to have fun on, especially if you’re a more casual rider looking to have fun on a bike rather than win races.
This one is more for smaller or junior riders anyway with a smaller seat height of 76cm.
6. Apollo 110cc RFZ DB X-4 Semi-Auto Pit Bike
This Apollo pit bike just makes it on to our list with its trick semi-auto transmission. If you are just starting out with pit bikes or looking to get a kid into riding, this gearbox is an awesome way to jump on and have fun quickly.
With plenty of trick bits, this Apollo bike looks amazing for the price on paper, but we’d recommend you select one of the others on the list if you’re not a competent home mechanic. If you are though, this is a solid option, it may not be the best pit bike, but it’s still a great one.
We hope this article helps shine some light on the confusing world of pit bikes and our recommendations help you in your selection.
As always, if you’ve any other questions or suggestions regarding the best pit bikes for 2021 (ideally specifically available in the United Kingdom), feel free to share them in the comments and we’ll check them out.