ATV vs Dirt Bike for Trail Riding: Which to Choose?

ATV vs dirt bike for trail riding

Both dirt bikes and ATVs come with their own pros and cons. When it comes to trail riding, both offer extreme fun and excitement. People wanting a thrill ride can choose a dirt bike while people not comfortable with dirt bikes can go for ATVs as they offer more stability than the dirt bikes.


Are Dirt Bikes Safer than ATVS?

Yes, this may surprise some, but the death rate when compared to dirt bikes and ATVs show that the fatality rate is much higher in ATV accidents than dirt bikes. While ATVs offer more support and stability technically, this gives a false sense of security to riders and they often push the ATV above its limits.

Compared to the dirt bikes, the ATVs are much heavy and during accidents, dirt bike riders are thrown away from the bikes. But with ATV accidents, there is more chances of the rider getting trapped under the 1000-pound riding machine. 

The major reasons that ATV riders meet with a lot of accidents in trail riding is that riders push the ATVs very hard and take sharp turns and ride fast on uneven surfaces. Another major issue seen is dirt bike riders mostly use helmets while ATV riders often neglect helmets considering that ATVs are safer.

Dirt Bikes are Perfect for Single Tracks

If you are looking for a challenging trail ride, is going for small trails with single tracks. It is often quite hard to ride ATVs on single tracks whereas dirt bikes do a great job on single tracks. 

ATVs Are Easier to Learn

ATVs are much easier to learn when compared to dirt bikes. A person can easily start riding an ATV within 5-10 minutes of learning the instruction about how to ride an ATV. They are more stable than the dirt bikes, and if people are careful and don’t push the ATV too hard, they are a very safer option on dirt and muddy trails. 

On the other hand, people experienced bike riding can find dirt bike riding a bit difficult. And it will take a few days to get accustomed to the bike and gain confidence about riding on muddy trails.

Dirt Bikes Are Easy to Transport

Dirt bikes weigh far less and are much smaller in size than ATVs. While you can easily fit 2-3 dirt bikes on the back of your truck, it is quite difficult even to fit a single ATV. 

Dirt Bikes Are More Fun?

If you are looking for that adrenaline rush during a trail ride, then you need to go for dirt bikes. While you can still make sharp turns and go faster on trails, nothing beats a high jump on a dirt bike.

ATVs Carry More than One Rider

Dirt bikes are not made to carry more than one rider, but with ATVs, you can bring a friend along to enjoy the fun of trail riding. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Which is better for trail riding? ATV or Dirt Bikes?
A: It largely depends on what you want to achieve. If you want a safer ride, then you can go for ATVs, but you want that thrill and excitement, then you better go with dirt bikes.