ATVs vs Dirtbikes
In the offroading world, there are several choices people have. they include Dirtbikes, ATVs, SUVs, and other machines like Dune Buggies. the vehicle I chose and prefer is the quad because of several reasons.
Now, I have done a lot of offroading and have tried several methods of transportation and know a little bit about each of them. I can attest that ATVs are the best, especially when compared to dirtbikes.
Anyways, if you are choosing between an ATV or a dirtbike, then remember that ATVs are generally the more versatile, more comfortable choice, while dirtbikes are a bit cheaper and have a more general acceptance among the general public.
Now, I’m not saying that dirtbiking isn’t fun. it is, especially when you have a trail full of big jumps, but I believe that ATVs do everything that dirtbikes do, and more. so here I talk about a few reasons why ATVs are superior to dirtbikes.
ATVs Provide The Same Adrenaline Rush As Dirtbikes.
Modern ATVs are really powerful. like I said in another article, there are several CC classes, from 100cc to over 700cc. the bigger ones can easily do a 0-60 in under 7 seconds, which is quite fast for a 4Wheeler. dirtbikes have pretty much the same acceleration rates of quads, but less stability, which makes accelerating much harder to do if you are not experienced.
They are also generally RWD, which can generate traction issues, unlike quads which are easily found with a 4WD drivetrain. it’s also easier to perform big jumps in an ATV because like I said, there’s more stability. if you are sitting in the correct way in the machine, the weight distribution will be pretty even, thus making big jumps an easy task.
Making bigger and longer jumps in a dirtbike require a little bit more practice and expertise, so it is not something that newbies should try, unlike quads, which can be easily done by someone without much experience.
ATVs are more forgiving for newbies and kids.
Since quads are a 4wheeled machine with a comfortable seating position, they are much easier to use for people new to the sport, shorter people, and younger kids. I have taught kids as small as 6 to drive an ATV. there are little safety concerns as long as the kids go slowly for the first few hours. one of the other great reasons to buy an ATV for a small kid is that since it has 4 wheels, the kid doesn’t need to worry about the balance that much.
You can compare them to dirtbikes, which require you to maintain a certain amount of balance that might make riding them much more tricky. taking corners might be a hassle since You need to tilt your bodyweight a bit to the side with some balance and if you don’t do that you might even fall down! that problem is much reduced in an ATV since you only need to tilt the handlebars instead.
ATVs can be less dangerous than dirtbikes.
Now, there have been some recent statistics showing that more people die from ATV related deaths than from dirtbikes, so I’m not saying that they are super safe, but most of those deaths result from inexperienced folks who decide to offroad without the proper guidance.
However, when you learn all the quirks of your quad and really have some driving time, then they become much safer than dirtbikes. the number one reason for this is because ATVs have more coverage in the engine and other parts in the chassis.
It’s much harder to burn your leg or another body part in an ATV than in a quad. it’s also much harder to lose control in a 4 wheeled ATV than in dirtbikes, that’s why leg injuries tend to be less prevalent in the ATV world than in the dirtbike realm.
Now, this doesn’t mean that ATVs are super safe or anything like that. ATV are heavier than dirtbikes, they have a higher center of gravity, so rollover risk is a real concern. always try to go as slowly as possible to familiarize yourself with the quad before you go heavy offroading.
ATVs are more useful than dirtbikes
This is another great argument why quads are the superior ride compared to dirtbikes they are much more versatile. as you might know, ATVs were originally made for utility work, first in wars and then in farms all over the world. those people needed a small vehicle with some offroading capability to help around on a farm. so maybe that might be one of the other reasons why they have better resale value too.
Simply, they are used for more things than dirtbikes. quads can even be used by hunters to maneuver across a prairie or woods, that way you can carry your catch in the back of the ATV if it is big enough.
ATVs are more comfortable than dirtbikes
One of the reasons for this is because of the suspension of the quad. they are generally more robust and well made given they are more commonly used for heavy offroading. this enables quads to have a very comfortable seating position, along with a plush ride.
This makes them ideal for people with back problems or people that are very tall or very small. dirtbikes generally feature more stiff suspension setups because they are generally used for racing in a trail, which makes the rough suspension more of a necessity in those conditions.
Anyways, some of the other benefits are that you can also fit 2 people easier in an ATV than in a dirtbike. so if you have more than 1 person that wants to ride, then it might be more plausible to get an ATV since they have more space.
You can ride ATVs in the snow without a problem, unlike dirtbikes.
I talked about why quads are more versatile than dirtbikes, and I want to add to that point saying that quads are also able to be used in the snow without any problem. especially if you have good snow tires, then they can thrive in the snow. they are super useful for plowing snow. using a dirtbike in the snow is not only counterproductive but also can be dangerous since you can easily slip in the wetness.
You might need to make some mods to adapt the quad to snow use, such as changing the tires and adding fuel additives since if its very cold, the quad might have some trouble running, especially if it’s very old.
Quads last longer than dirtbikes.
Quads are more rugged pieces of machinery. they take the same beating as bikes but they resist longer than them. it’s just that dirtbikes generally go in faster speeds while quads are more stationary. this rough use wears the internal components and suspension prematurely, this means that you need to buy suspension systems and internal components for the bike, and eventually you will have to buy another one. quads are tougher because of their work roots and it’s not unheard of you see 10, 20 and even 30-year-old quads still being used all over the country.
Now, my intention wasn’t to rip on dirtbikes! I have friends that primarily prefer dirtbikes, its just that I prefer ATVs myself. but honestly, both machines have their pros and cons. I will now mention the pros that dirtbikes have over ATVs
Dirtbikes are a bit cheaper than ATVs
This is the first one that comes to my mind, and the reason for this is simply because dirtbikes are easier to make. they require less raw materials and are easier to find. they are more represented in popular media, and so it’s natural that people with have a natural inclination towards them.
Dirtbike accessories and mods are much more plentiful than quad mods. the reason for this is that dirtbikes are simply more popular. the mods are also generally more accessible and cheaper.
Dirtbikes are more of a challenge to ride.
Some people say that quads are too easy to ride and so they don’t require as much skill as dirtbikes. this can certainly be true, especially considering all the automatic quads that have been appearing in the last few years. so they dismiss quads because of this a celebrate dirtbikes because it is a more hard sport to get into. you need to balance the dirtbike yourself or else you are gonna fall.
This is something that I agree on and if you have some experience with 2 wheeled vehicles then dirtbiking might be better for you, especially if you are solely gonna use the bike for recreation.
Dirtbikes have better fuel economy.
Just like I said earlier, bikes are cheaper in every sense of the word than quads, including fuel economy. some people are amazed when they find out that their new bike is really easy on gas even if you are accelerating hard all the time. the reason for this is that dirtbikes are less heavy with weaker engines.
It’s obvious that it will spend less gas. so, if you are concerned about fuel economy, go with dirtbikes.
Dirtbikes have a more developed culture/enthusiast community
It’s much easier to find support for a problem that you have in your dirtbike. not saying that nobody like quads, but there are more dirtbike forums than quad forums. so if you don’t have any friends that have quads already and you don’t know much about them, then go with dirtbikes.
So which is the best choice?
Like I said in the first paragraph, I prefer quads because of the reasons I mentioned. I have several years using ATVs and they are the hobby I enjoy the most right now. however, dirtbikes have some undeniable pros that you need to consider when trying to pick, like for example if the price is an issue or if you live in a snowy area.
But I think the best choice is both! but anyways, its better if you try both machines to see which one is best for you lifestyle and body type.