Motocross vs Enduro: Which Is Right For Me?


Updated on October 6, 2021

Over the years, there have been debates on what type of dirt bike is incredible to use – mostly, the two options were Motocross and Enduro.

Off-Road racing has been much fun and better with these two identical dirt bikes; however, it is time to set the differences between them.

The aim of this Motocross vs Enduro guide is to provide some useful pieces of information that you can work with to decide on the best bike for competitive racing.

Motocross Bikes

Motocross bikes are the perfect dirt bikes for MX racing, which is a type of race that involves performing stunts, turns, and jumps along with a figure-eight path.

This racing gives way to several obstacles, and with an MX bike, it is possible to overcome them and show some tricks.

Some of the best terrains for Motocross racing include forest trails, railroads, dirt tracks, and regular trails and roadways

In 1956, Motocross became an approved sport by the Federal Internationale de Motocyclisme after its first trials close to Venice Beach, California.

How do Motocross bikes Look?

Generally, a Motocross bike is fast and lightweight. It reaches a high speed of 75 mph almost immediately, with a 450 cc four-stroke engine.

This dirt bike, depending on the manufacturer, often comes with minimalistic features such as short gas tanks, few electrical appliances, and low water resistance.

Indeed, the bike is only suitable for off-road use only – not long journey distance or street use.

The Design of a Motocross Bike

Motocross is a rev-ready bike with a close-ratio gear that can only be adjusted by changing the sprockets. That is the sole reason why it is not street legal.

This dirt bike, however, has stiffer suspension, light flywheel, and hard seat foam, thus, enhancing its strength for tough situations – up hills, corners, etc.

The tires also contribute to their rugged design since they have a high grip on dirt with low road traction.

Additionally, an MX bike is noisy due to its exhaust system lacking spark arrestors and proper silencing.

Enduro Bikes

Enduro bikes are more competitive and challenging. They are built solely for enduro racing – a motorcycle sports competition to test skills and endurance.

They are often suitable on any kind of terrain, including dirt, rock, mountains, etc. More importantly, they are perfect to use under any weather condition.

When Enduro first came into existence in Europe, it was only limited to certain places. However, years later, it is perfect on both private and public lands – except close circuits.

How Do Enduro Bikes Look?

Enduro bikes are also lightweight but heavier than motocross.

They have tons of features that make them suitable for different kinds of occasions – including comfortable long-distance travel.

Enduro uses either a 250 cc and 450cc 4 stroke engine and moves at a high speed of 95 mph.

The Design of an Enduro Bike

Depending on the manufacturer, an enduro bike could have appliances such as horn, direction indicators, front and rear lights, ignition barrel, and so on.

The bike is designed to have a kickstand,  soft suspension, thick seat foam, and a large gas tank. It is also a slow rev-builder to enhance smooth power delivery.

The tires of the enduro dirt bike are good – street legal, in fact. They have good traction for different terrain types.

Furthermore, dirt bikes designed for enduro races have a great exhaust system that is heavy with a silencer and a spark arrestor. These internal features of the exhaust reduce the bike’s noise levels and improve efficiency.

What is the Difference between Motocross and enduro?

Having described both dirt bikes for trail riding above, it is important to set out the significant differences they have.

Motocross vs Enduro – How Do They Differ?

Below is a list of factors that distinguish a motocross bike from an enduro bike.

Popularity

One of the significant differences between the two dirt bikes is their popularity.

It has been discovered that motocross bikes have more riders and fans than enduro.

People are often thrilled by riders performing their skills on impossible terrains while competing.

There isn’t much to be thrilled about when it comes to enduro races because the bikes only perform on off-road trails.

Speed

Another crucial factor that sets the difference between an enduro dirt bike and motocross is the speed.

Motocross uses a 450 cc 4 stroke engine with close-ratio gear, making it quite limited when it comes to speed. It doesn’t move beyond 75 mph.

On the other hand, enduro dirt bikes have a top speed of 95 mph, depending on the manufacturer. They use a two-stroke or four-stroke 250 cc / 450 cc engine with extensive gearing to achieve high speeds. 

Horsepower or Torque

When it comes to power, it may be a bit difficult to list one of these dirt bikes as the best.

Nevertheless, motocross bikes are said to have better horsepower or torque because of their rugged construction and limited features.

However, there are only some sets of motocross bikes that can do this much compared to enduro bikes. These MX bikes are called Supercross bikes.

A 450cc 4 stroke  SX-F dirt bike can have similar torque as a 450 cc two-stroke or four-stroke EXC bike.

Suspension

Following the various features integrated into both bikes, the suspension is another factor that can determine the best out of the duo.

Motocross bikes have stiffer suspension contributing to their solid performance and strength, while enduro bikes have softer suspension for smooth riding.

Exhaust System

An enduro bike, being an ideal trail bike, has a good exhaust system compared to an MX bike.

This exhaust is responsible for the overall performance of the dirt bike on any terrain or road.

Enduro bikes have heavier exhaust because of the silencer and spark arrestor while MX bikes have lighter exhaust because they lack these features.

Acceleration

MX bikes have a rev-ready acceleration, making them fast and reliable.

On the other hand, regardless of the strokes, i.e., 2 strokes or more, enduros have a slower rev, which is why they are not as fast as their competition.

Road Trail Use

Trail riding is pretty much everything when choosing a dirt bike.

Enduro is a better trail bike compared to an MX. It is road-friendly and comfortable to use.

However, there are ways to improve MX bikes for road use but that would require spending extra.

Track Use

While enduro is a trail bike, motocross is a track bike.

Weight

Based on the different types of features integrated into both dirt bikes, there are variations in weight.

Enduros have been discovered to be heavier than MX because of features like spark arrestors, silencers, electrical appliances, etc.

Maintenance

Bikes with stiffer suspensions are often difficult to handle.

In this case, MX bikes have high maintenance compared to enduros that have a soft suspension system.

Gas Tank

The fuel capacity of these dirt bikes also adds to the list of factors responsible for their differences.

Enduro bikes have large gas tanks while Motocross bikes have small tanks.

Comfort

Whether riding in a dirt trail or cross country, comfort is always an important factor to consider.

Enduros are more comfortable to use than MX bikes.

Road comfort is extraordinary with reduced noise levels because of the silencing feature built into them.

Besides, enduro bikes have great thick seat foam compared to MX with hard seats.

From these motocross vs enduro differential factors, you can easily tell which dirt bike wins in each case.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are enduro dirt bikes good?

Yes, they are. Enduro is a perfect trail bike suitable for long-distance occasions and competitions. It is also suitable to use under any condition – day or night, wind or rain.

To start using this bike, there are enduro courses to take. The course is designed to help riders with getting the hang of short to long-distance riding.

Are Motocross bikes good?

Likewise, motocross bikes are good even though they are not so perfect for trail riding. In retrospect, they perform better in difficult terrain or places with lots of obstacles.

The freestyle course associated with the motocross bike is to teach skills and tricks.

Is enduro dirt bike street legal?

A dirt bike is only street legal when its exhaust system has a lower noise level. Enduro dirt bikes with heavier flywheels are the ideal option here.

Can motocross bikes be used for enduro racing?

Noise regulations are a significant reason why a motocross bike cannot be used for enduro racing. If the exhaust has a pretty much convenient replacement, then it can be used.

Conclusion

Generally, enduro and motocross dirt bikes are great in their own way.

What you have to realize is that the significant difference between them is their use, i.e., the type of racing.

Having read this enduro vs motocross dirt bikes article, hopefully, you know where you stand with both options.

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