Electric scooters and dirt bikes may seem like odd bedfellows. They are linked by the fact that they are both fun and a great way to spend your spare time. What though are the significant differences between e-scooters and dirt bikes?
Utility & comfort
Dirt bikes can only be used offroad. They need a lot of work to become road legal. The work required reduces their utility compared to electric scooters. You can use your e-scooter to get to work or school, which is highly unlikely to be true for a dirt bike.
You will also need a much bigger area in which to store your dirt bike. Most e-scooters can easily be folded and hidden away in any corner of your home. You will also be able to take your scooter on buses and trains very easily. You probably don’t want to try and take a dirt bike on a bus.
Comfort wise an electric scooter will not be comfy on a dirt bike track and vice versa. Electric scooters are becoming more refined, and many feature pneumatic and smooth tires to make riding along roads comfortable.
Your dirt bike will have suspension to help smooth out the worst of the bumps you come across. You’ll also have some big knobbly tires to help dig into the dirt and keep you upright. Which as a comfort is something that can never be over-rated.
Fun and adrenaline
Dirt bikes are fun but only depending on your mindset. For some people, a dirt bike is nothing else than a death filled contraption. If you are willing to hang loose, you’ll find dirt bikes to be great fun. You will want to make sure you wear appropriate protection when riding.
You don’t need to be jumping 50ft doubles to have a load of fun on dirt bikes. Just pinning the throttle on a trail can bring you a huge jolt of adrenaline.
An electric scooter might seem like a more sedate option, but you can still have a lot of fun on an e-scooter. Taking an electric scooter on your work commute can see you diving around spaces, having people walk in front of you, and unseen obstacles. All of these will give your heart a jolt and a little burst of adrenaline.
How much do dirt bikes and e-scooters cost?
For an adult-sized dirt bike you can be looking at $5000 upwards. You will find many high-end dirt bikes coming in at over $10000. You will see that two-stroke engines tend to be cheaper than four-stroke engines and the more you spend, the more power you’ll find.
Electric scooters are a lot cheaper. You can find them for as cheap as $100, and the high end starts just above $500. We have found the sweet spot for buying electric scooters to be around $350. For that price, you will get a great battery and lightweight.
To get a good lightweight dirt bike, you will be looking at around $7000, which is a big chunk of change no matter how you cut it.
What gear do I need?
An electric scooter will not need you to buy a lot of new gear. The only thing you will really want to buy is perhaps a helmet. We could be looking at a helmet for between $30 and $100. We really love the Giro Sutton MIPS helmet for using on electric scooters.
Dirt bikes will need a little more gear, especially if you value staying alive. You will require a helmet like you want for an electric scooter but a much heavier helmet. You will be looking for a specific dirt bike helmet. You will be looking north of $50 for this.
To go with the helmet, you will want a pair of goggles. Getting dirt or even stones in your eyes when racing around on a dirt bike is not fun and can lead to issues you really don’t want to have. Googles start at about $10.
Now you have your head sorted you will want to look at the other end of your body. A great set of dirt bike boots will protect your legs and angles. You can find dirt bike boots from $100. The end of your other limbs will also want a bit of protection. You can get gloves from $20.
You will then want to make sure the rest of your body has some protection. You can find motocross pants and jersey combos for around $100. You will love these the first time you slide out and still have skin left. I would also seriously consider a chest protector, and they come in at $60 upwards.
As you may have guessed even with a minimum set up a dirt bike will need a lot more gear than an e-scooter needs.
Do you need a license for them?
If you want to ride your dirt bike offroad, then you do not need any form of license. If you’re going to ride it on the road, then things start to get a little bit more complicates. The easy part is that you will need an “M” license or a learners permit.
The bigger problem might be that your dirt bike is not road legal. Afterall it was designed to be ridden offroad. The laws regarding dirt bike usage on the road will change from state to state so always check what your own local laws say about converting a dirt bike to road use.
To use an electric scooter, you will not need a license. In the majority of states, you will be able to ride an electric scooter down trails, pathways, and streets with a bike lane. You will generally find sidewalks are off limits, but as with dirt bikes, you will need to check your own state’s laws and rules.
Can a kid ride a dirt bike or e-scooter?
You will find small electric dirt bikes that kids can ride from as young as 3 years old. After they have played about for a year or so they would be able to move to gas powered dirt bikes. You will preferably want to fit a nice set of training wheels, at the start of their career.
By 5 they should have removed their training wheels and maybe started to jump things. Kids will always be more fearless than adults so remember and keep an eye on your children as they progress. It can be heart racing stuff as you watch them tear about on their dirt bikes.
Remember and start your kids somewhere safe and quiet and preferably not too rutted. You might be able to push through the ruts but your child won’t have the strength and may fall a lot. Falling will likely put them off dirt biking so always check the terrain.
If you are under 12, you can do something with an electric scooter that adults can’t do. You are allowed to ride on the sidewalk. So being a kid on an e-scooter will be easier than if you’re an adult.
Both dirt bikes and e-scooters are fun. With dirt bikes, you will need access to a lot of land, and with e-scooters, you would ideally want to live in a city that allows their use. An e-scooter will also not make as big a dent into your finances. In an ideal world, you could have both.