Do you wish to buy a pit bike? Do pit bikes break easily? Here is everything you need to know before getting a new pit bike, especially for off-road riding.
Why is a pit bike called a pit bike? It is because these certain motorcycle brands specifically manufactured these bikes for riding in a pit. Earlier, bikers rode pit bikes in the pit area of a motocross race.
However, nowadays, people buy it for a bit of amateur riding, as well. So, are you thinking of buying a pit bike? You need to consider how sturdy it is, whether it will break easily, and if it is worth the price. Pit bikes are usually very cheap, and to know more about them, please read on.
Are Pit Bikes Reliable?
If you are thinking about buying a pit bike, you may have a few questions. Why are they called pit bikes? While this is possibly the first question you’ll have, you might also wonder if it is a good choice.
Pit bikes do resemble a motorcycle. However, they are usually available for children. As an adult, you can only rely on the pit bikes that will support your weight in the pit.
Pit bikes are usually lightweight, which might cause concern if you decide on pit racing as an adult. Pit bikes that are specifically for adults are sturdier and do not break or topple over easily.
However, regular pit bikes are not that reliable. While teenagers can have a lot of fun pit racing before going dirt biking, these bikes can be dangerous if you cannot control them.
The reliability of pit bikes also depends on the riding conditions. Since pit bikes are lightweight, you cannot ride one on very rocky terrain. Pit bikes are extremely unreliable on steep roads.
However, if you are riding a pit bike in the pit, this will not be a problem. Pit bikes are also great on smooth biking trails. Certain racing arenas are safe for pit bikes. If you choose such an area to race your bike, you can rely on a pit bike.
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Why Are Pit Bikes So Cheap?
You might wonder if the low price of pit bikes has anything to do with the quality and safety of the bikes. Well, pit bikes are cheap because their tires do not have a heavy-duty layer on top and the frame material is less durable than that of dirt bikes or other similar vehicles.
Pit bikes also have engines that come between 50 ccs to 150 ccs. These engines are therefore not that powerful. Now, does this affect the condition of pit bikes and make them unreliable?
That depends on how you plan to use a pit bike. For example, if you are looking for high traction, a pit bike cannot offer that. The engine may also die down, so you cannot plan long racing or biking sessions. Otherwise, pit bikes are pretty reliable. You can race a pit bike in a proper pit or trail and not worry about your safety or the bike’s condition.
How Do You Brake in a Pit Bike?
Once you buy a new pit bike, you will need to break it in before riding it. If you do not break in a pit bike correctly, the engine will deteriorate.
The engine’s power is already low in pit bikes, so if the engine loses power faster, then the bike might not function at all. A pit bike that you have not broken in may lose its warranty. The warranty will become void if malfunctions start to occur because the bike has not been broken in.
Before starting to break in a pit bike, make sure that you have changed the motor oil. Once you have finished the break-in process, you will need to change the oil again.
While there are complicated ways to break in a pit bike, the most common way to do it is known as “heat cycling.” Take a look at the heat cycling steps below and break in your new pit bike easily.
Step 1: Engine at Low Idle
In heat cycling, you will have to keep the engine of your pit bike at low idle for about five to ten minutes. You may need to make changes to the idle during this period. After about ten minutes, you will find that the engine’s temperature is a little less than the operating temperature.
Step 2: Cool Down the Engine
Once the engine temperature has reached a point below the operating temperature, you will need to turn it off. It would be best to allow the engine to cool down completely before you can continue with the rest of the heat cycling process.
Step 3: Repeat the Process
After some time, check if the pit bike’s engine has cooled down enough and then turn the engine on for another ten minutes. Then turn it off again and allow it to cool. You need to repeat this process about three or four times. While doing this, you need to make sure that the pit bike is not in gear. If it is in gear, the entire heat cycling procedure will fail.
Step 4: Run the Pit Bike
You have to run the pit bike at a slow pace once you have finished repeating the above process. To run it at an easy and slow pace, you need to shift through each bike gear. Do this at intervals of ten to fifteen minutes, and make sure that the gas tank is full when you start.
Step 5: Change the Oil
Once you have finished running the pit bike at an easy pace for the first time, you need to change the oil. Allow the motor to cool down, and then replace the old oil with new volumes. It would help if you did this after the first tank of gas and before running the bike for the second time.
When you are braking in your pit bike, do not put too much pressure on the engine. It would be best to keep in mind that the RPMs need to be low for the first four to eight hours. Frequent oil changes are also significant.
So change the motor oil for every twenty to thirty hours of run time. You can also change the oil every three months, depending on which period comes earlier. If you can do this, your pit bike will be successfully broken in, and the rides will be smooth and hassle-free.
Can Pit Bikes Go Off-Road?
Pit bikes are usually not suitable for going off-road. If you buy a pit bike for your child, they can take it for a short ride around the backyard or go off-road a bit behind your home. But pit bikes are not made for off-road riding on rocky terrain.
So why are pit bikes not suitable for going off-road?
Pit bikes have cheap tires that are not durable enough for rough biking trails. They also do not have the suspension necessary for safe off-road riding. Unlike dirt bikes meant for off-road riding, pit bikes do not have the height that allows bikers to go off-road without any accidents.
When you go off-road riding on any bike, you will want to ride at a certain speed. You cannot do this with a pit bike. It is difficult and even dangerous to pick up the pace when riding a pit bike on rough terrain.
Therefore, you need to stick to smooth roads or bike trails that do not have loose rocks or uneven surfaces. Unfortunately, this is near impossible to get when you go off-road riding. So it is best to avoid such adventurous trips on your pit bike.
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Is It Harder to Wheelie a Pit Bike?
When you need to wheelie a pit bike, you need to maintain the right balance. It is easier to do the wheelie in second and third gear. However, it can be pretty hard to do the same thing when the bike is at a slow pace.
It usually happens because the wheelbase is short, and this disturbs the balance. However, if you are looking for wheelie practice, pit bikes are a good choice. Once you can hold the balance point, you will have enough rear brake control. But, it would be best if you kept in mind that pit bikes are not ideal for throttle control.
So when you have to wheelie a pit bike, you will need to note the timings of weighting the rear or de-weighting the front, as well as the throttle input. If you can figure out this timing, it will be easier to wheelie the pit bike.
Pit bikes are ideal for practice before you transition to proper dirt bikes. Now that you know what a pit bike has to offer, you can easily make the right choice. Leave a comment here if you’ve bought a pit bike, and don’t forget to share this with others who are thinking of