Are you planning on purchasing a pit bike and you don’t want any pit bike but a Honda pit bike? If this is the case, you are at the right place because we will cover everything you need to know when it comes to Honda bikes and more.
Doing the proper research before you jump out there on the market and decide what to purchase is key if you want to get the best product for your money. Especially if it is a pit bike that you plan on racing. You need to get a reliable motorcycle that will withstand all those hard maneuvers on the track.
And the Honda pit bike is one of the best when it comes to tackling these courses. Their models are one of the best when it comes to this stuff and for sure are one of the best motorcycle manufacturers out there. There are others like KTM or Yamaha. But what Honda can do with their motorcycle is a pure miracle.
Why I’m saying this? Well, because it is true. Honda bikes are one of the best out there and this good name has been built with decades and billions of dollars spent on engineering the best motorcycles for your money. And that’s why we are going to cover everything when it comes to pit bikes.
We will start from the basics and then we will move on to the history of pit bikes in general and their main characteristics. How they differentiate from dirt bikes and learn the Honda pit bike offering that is out there. After reading this article, you will have a better idea of what a Honda pit bike is for you.
What Is A Pit Bike?
So what is a pit bike in reality? A pit bike is a small off-road racing motorcycle. It is very similar to a dirt bike (more so if you’re willing to learn how to make a dirt bike street legal and how to ride a dirt bike). But more on the differences between the two, we are going to cover later in the article when we will discuss both of them in detail and pinpoint what is different.
What is important to note when it comes to pit bikes is that they typically have air-cooled engines that are starting from 50cc and are limited to 250cc. They implement 4 stroke engine design and when imagining how small they are you will be amazed how this engine could be fit inside them.
They are not that quick since they are relatively smaller than dirt bikes. Thus, they are relatively safer to drive on the track. Making them ideal for children and younger adults to enter the dirt track world. The 50cc pit bikes usually go only up to 25 mph. Which is really not that much, to begin with.
Another thing that is characteristic of the Honda pit bike is that this type of bike has a smaller frame than the regular dirt bike. These motorcycles are quite compact and you can fit them basically anywhere. So, taking them on your pickup truck to the trails will be one of the easiest things ever.
And to be honest, if you plan to enter the dirt track and want to start with something, getting a Honda pit bike would be one of the best decisions that you are going to make. Honda makes one of the best pit bikes out there. But more on that, we are going to cover later. Let’s first learn something about the history of these pit bikes.
Pit Bike History
Now let’s cover something about the history of the pit bike. There is a lot to cover and it would be a pity not to cover the history of these motorcycles.
The pit bike has evolved from the usage of two-wheeled motorized machines that were also known as clown bikes. These bikes started to appear in the late ’40s of the past century and were known to be included in pit racing events. As you know pit is a pit stop. This term pit bike is also applied to motorcycles that were used for navigation in event staging areas.
What was characteristic of the first pit bikes was that they were hand-built. They were not built in a factory and these small motorcycles have quickly created a niche market in the motorcycle world also known as the Minibike market.
The heyday of the minibike market was probably the 60’s with Honda’s Z series which is a legend itself. This motorcycle was one of the well known mini bikes ever made until its discontinuation in 2001. Then the XR50R was introduced, this motorcycle was part of the CRF lineup of Honda.
The CRF as we know is Honda’s dirt bike lineup and every bike below 125cc in this lineup can be considered to be a pit bike since these are quite smaller than the regular dirt bikes. More on these models we are going to cover a bit later when we will elaborate on them in great detail and learn more about their specs and also the price tag they have. Now, let’s move on to pit bike racing and learn more about these races.
Pit Bike Racing
As we said above, pit bike racing has started in the late ’40s and early ’50s. This type of racing is mostly popular among the younger audience. This sport is quite similar to motocross but on a smaller scale. Everything is smaller, the tracks, the bikes as well as the driver’s which are relatively young and fearless. Racing to the limit at 12 years old. Which I honestly quite respect.
These drivers should be one of the top dirt track race drivers when they grow up and make the pit bikes look small on them.
Currently, there are a ton of events worldwide when it comes to pit bikes. These events are usually races with several laps during two or sometimes more legs. Then the winner of these events is decided. The winner is usually the driver that scores the most points during each of these events on the weekend or the race day depending on the event type.
There are events that are held in the US. To be more exact there are two series. The Masters of Minis as well as the 2 Up Minis. These two events are held in the North East while there are also other events like the AMA Pro Supercross in Las Vegas. But there are also other smaller events where you can race your Honda pit bike.
In addition to racing, these bikes are also used for stunt driving as well. Many stunt events incorporate these types of motorcycles. They are used because they are not that powerful like the regular dirt bikes that are packing big engines. So, the slower they go, the easier is to pull off the stunts. Simple as that.
Honda Pit Bike VS Honda Dirt Bike
Now let’s elaborate on the key similarities and differences when it comes to the Honda pit bike vs dirt bike. There are key similarities and differences between the two. So, you really need to train your eye to differentiate them.
In the following chapters, we are going to elaborate on the differences in great detail. We will focus on separate aspects that are of great importance when it comes to their overall performance. So, let’s get into it.
Pit Bike Vs Dirt Bike Engines
In terms of engines, both of these types of motorcycles have air-cooled 2-stroke engines. Air cooling is far cheaper and easier to make. Since these are disposable machines that are meant for the race track.
What is different is the engine size that these pit bikes have. They never go for more than 125cc, while dirt track bikes go above this number and can easily hit 450cc. The most notable example is the Honda CRF450X.
Dirt bikes also come in 4 stroke variants. 4 stroke engines are far more powerful and can create better engine performance. So, these are the key distinctive features when it comes to dirt bike vs pit bike engines. Later on, we will cover the Honda pit bike models in depth. But first, let’s finish with the pit bike vs dirt bike differences.
Pit Bike VS Dirt Bike Chassis
The chassis used in pit bikes is a lot smaller than that found in dirt bikes. Dirt bikes use 4 stroke engines. So, it is a normal thing for their engines to be far bigger and to require far bigger chassis to accommodate them.
Pit bikes on the other hand are really lightweight when it comes to their chassis. Their chassis is similar to the one found in dirt bikes. But produced on a smaller scale.
Their small size makes them perfect for tackling narrow courses. Something almost impossible to do with big dirt bikes.
Their smaller size also makes them far simpler to manufacture. So, if you want to get a Honda pit bike that has 50cc will cost you a fraction of the price of a dirt bike. But the real question is that if you are going to fit this motorcycle. That is up to you.
Pit Bike VS Dirt Tires And Suspension
In terms of suspension, it is worth noting that dirt bike suspension is far more complex and more heavy-duty. The dirt bike suspension is designed to withstand a ton of more pressure than a pit bike.
Another thing that makes them different is their philosophy. Pit courses are not that demanding on the suspension like dirt tracks. There is not a lot of jumping, so their suspension can be a little bit lighter than the one found on dirt bikes. But still, it is quite well put together. Especially if it is a Honda pit bike.
The wheels and tires are different as well. On pit bikes, the tires are skinnier than on dirt bikes and lower in diameter. The tire size on pit bikes goes from 12 to 14 inches. While on dirt bikes this number is about 18. Which is crazy, to be honest.
And last but not least are the brakes. Dirt bikes have much better brakes than pit bikes. Usually on pit courses brakes are not used a lot so, a lightweight brake system is installed on these bikes. Especially on the lower tier models, more precisely the 50cc pit bikes that often go only up to 25 mph.
Pit Bike VS Dirt Bike Speed & Safety
When it comes to the comparison of the dirt bike vs pit bike, we cannot avoid the safety and speed aspects. Safety should always be the number one priority and you should always opt for a bike that you can drive without worrying that you will get yourself hurt. And trust me, with bikes, you never know what can happen and sometimes it is better to be cautious.
Pit bikes are considerably slower. They are usually packing engines at about 125cc. So, you cannot expect them to reach some incredible speeds. About 50 mph is probably their limit on a race track.
Dirt bikes on the other hand are packing some engines that go well beyond 125cc and these engines are far more powerful and can create some damage. These bikes usually reach even 80 mph on some dirt tracks. And that is a lot of speed for you to carry on the track. Especially if you are an inexperienced driver that doesn’t have a lot of dirt track miles under its belt.
The safety aspect understandably is on the side of the pit bikes. They are slower and lighter. Meaning that they are far safer than your regular dirt bike. So, if you are a beginner in the dirt track world and you are an adult, the 125cc Honda pit bike would be your best bet when it comes to this class of bikes.
Don’t go into dirt track territory if you are inexperienced and you do not know what you are doing because you might end up hurt and break some bones. Some incidents can also be fatal. So, going in this game with a cool head will save your health and also money. But what about the Honda pit bike? Follow along.
What Are The Honda Pit Bike Options?
We have covered the characteristics of the pit bikes and we learned the main differences between the two types of bikes. Namely pit bikes and dirt bikes. As we know, pit bikes are smaller and are usually up to 125cc of displacement. But when it comes to Honda pit bikes, which are the models that are offered by Honda in this category? Let’s elaborate in detail on all the 3 different models in this category.
The Honda CRF50F is the entry-level pit bike. This bike as its name implies has an engine of 50cc. Although it is a small engine it has 4 strokes and is air-cooled.
It has a rake of 25 degrees and a wheelbase of 36 inches. The seat height is 21.6 inches and has a ground clearance of about 5.8 inches. The weight of the Honda pit bike is about 110 lbs This weight is the curb weight with all the equipment as well as a full tank of gas that also is about 0.7 gallons.
But what about the price? The MSRP price for this model is $1,649. This price is without destination charges and other small fees. Now let’s move on to the next Honda pit bike.
This motorcycle also implements a 4 stroke engine design. It has a bore of 50mm and a stroke of 55.6 with a compression ratio of 9.0:1.
The engine implements a SOHC design with 2 valves. What is different in comparison to the 50cc is that this motorcycle is fuel injected. Meaning that is far more reliable when it comes to starting.
It has a 4-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of dimensions, this motorcycle has a 25-degree rake, and 53mm trail. The wheelbase is 41.9 inches, quite bigger than the base 50cc model. The seat position is also taller coming at 25.9 inches and ground clearance of 6.7 inches. The curb weight is about 170 lbs with all the equipment and a full tank of fuel in it.
For the braking, there are in charge drum brakes for the front as well as for the rear. This motorcycle is also available in only one color and that is red. But what about the price of this motorcycle?
The MSRP price for this Honda pit bike is about $2,499. This price doesn’t include the destination charge as well as the freight charge which also costs about $300. So, if you are lucky you can get this motorcycle for a good deal of about $2.799.
Now let’s discuss the big player when it comes to pit bikes and that is the Honda CRF125F. This motorcycle is another class when it comes to the weaker models that we discussed and will be the perfect option if you are an adult since there are two versions. Once version with smaller diameter wheels and another version with normal wheels and tires that will be good for an adult person to ride this motorcycle.
The engine in this motorcycle is a 124.9cc 4 stroke air-cooled engine. The bore of the piston is 53.4mm and the stroke is 57.9mm long. The engine has a compression ratio of 9.0:1 similar to the other motorcycles that we covered, the engine head is a 2 valve SOHC design. The fuel injection is computerized and the ignition is fully transistorized.
The suspension on this Honda pit bike is also a great improvement compared to the smaller displacement models. Implementing disks at the front and drum brakes in the rear.
The dimensions of this motorcycle are the following. It has a rake of 27 degrees and a trail of 81mm. The wheelbase is about 48 inches. The seat height is 29.1 inches. The tallest from the bunch. The curb weight with all of the required equipment and a tank of gas is 194 pounds. The ground clearance is about 8.3 in. But what about the price of this Honda Pit Bike?
The MSRP of this model is about $3,249 without the destination fees, this price is for the small wheel model. For the bigger wheel model, this price is about $3,649 also without destination charges. With the destination charges, it will cost you about $3,999.
Should You Get A Honda Pit Bike?
If you are a trail guy who wants to drive a bike on dirt roads then you should definitely get a Honda pit bike. A Honda pit bike will set you far ahead of the competition because these motorcycles are offering quite a bit of performance for what you pay for.
But also they are good for children. Especially the 50cc version that is the base model. If you are into dirt racing, then this is probably the way to introduce your kids into this world of dirt racing. Then we can go up on the scale and one day ride a proper dirt bike with a lot of power.
Pit Bikes Facts:
- Pit bikes are small, lightweight motorcycles mainly used for pit racing and riding in pits.
- Pit bikes were originally made for riding around the pit areas of a motocross race, and nowadays pit bike racing is a popular sport.
- Pit bikes are usually made for and used by children and teenagers, but there are pit bikes that are made for adults as well.
- Pit bikes are much cheaper than dirt bikes because they have smaller and less powerful engines.
- Pit bikes are not designed to be competitive or function at the level of a normal dirt bike and are focused on being more of a toy than a vehicle.
- Pit bikes are great beginner bikes and a good way to get a feel for riding a motorcycle.
- Pit bikes are easier to maintain and require less time and money to maintain than dirt bikes.
- Pit bikes are not meant to be ridden in rocky trails or steep paths, and they have less protection for their engines and lower ground clearance.
- Pit bikes can be street-legal, but it is usually somewhat easier to make a pit bike street-legal than a full-size dirt bike.
- When buying a pit bike, it’s important to consider factors such as engine size, weight, height, and quality, and to purchase protective gear for safety.
In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to pit bikes. We learned what pit bikes are and their history. Then we made a comparison between the pit bike and the dirt bike. There are many differences between the two.
The biggest difference would probably be the size itself. Dirt bikes are far bigger and more powerful motorcycles. Pit bikes on the other hand are limited to 125cc and are relatively small in size as well as the engine displacement. Making them ideal for children and younger adults to get into the dirt bike game.
Then we covered the three best sellers when it comes to Honda pit bike and we listed their main characteristics as well as their overall price. Just to know what you can expect when you are on the market looking for a Honda pit bike.