Electric vs Gas-Powered Dirt Bikes: Which is Right for You?

For dirt bike enthusiasts and their children, few decisions are as important as choosing the right bike, especially for a young beginner. As electric motorcycles for kids have grown in capability and popularity, they have become an increasingly viable option for our little rippers. So how do electric dirt bikes compare against their gas-powered counterparts in day-to-day life? Let us take a detailed look at the key aspects that might need to be considered.


In the past, electric bikes lagged petrol models in terms of outright power and top speed. But that gap has closed considerably in recent years. Many recent electric dirt bikes are similar or even exceed the power of petrol bikes. The instantaneous torque delivery of electric motors provides hard-hitting acceleration off the line.

However, mainstream petrol bikes still have an advantage at the upper levels of performance. The latest 450-500cc four-stroke motors remain the kings for sustained top-end power. Riding a properly setup 450 or 500 demands immense fitness and skill. But also, these screaming machines can be a handful, even for professionals.

For most riding situations of your child (short of professional racing), the latest electric bikes bring thrilling speed and power to the table. Innovative kids’ electric dirt bikes can top 80km/h and climb extremely steep grades with ease.


One of the most obvious benefits of electric bikes is drastically lower noise output. Petrol dirt bikes, particularly aggressive two-stroke models, are infamous for producing excessive noise. This noise pollution can be extremely disruptive to the environment and other outdoor enthusiasts trying to enjoy nature. Finally, noise is one of the main factors why private and public motorcross tracks for casual riding are closing in Australia.

 With near-silent operation, high-performance electrics provide a way to rip around all kinds of tracks and trails without disturbing everyone within a 4km radius. And even if noise does not bother you personally as a rider, the ability to slip by unnoticed can be a stealth advantage. Less intrusive sound also opens ride areas where loud bikes are prohibited.

 Of course, some noise can function as a safety feature too. The distinctive sound of an idling or revving petrol bike keeps humans and animals on alert. With an electric's silent whizzing, riders are required to make more of an effort to make themselves known in overtaking situations.

Range and Recharging

For all their performance potential, range and recharging times remain limitations for most electric motorcycles. The latest lithium-ion battery packs offer decent capacity, but they still lag the range compared to the energy density of a tank of petrol. Even with the most efficient controller, motor, and battery setup, you are typically looking at maximum of 1.5-2 hours of aggressive action before swapping out batteries or recharging.

Petrol dirt bikes derive their huge advantage here, with 6+ liters of petrol providing all-day riding endurance if you pace yourself a little. Simply refuelling takes a couple of minutes to top up your tank.

Recharging an electric bike's battery, on the other hand, requires much more patience. A typical lithium battery needs nowadays several hours to fully recharge when depleted. Owning multiple batteries that you can hot-swap extends your maximum ride time, but it is also an added investment.

Range limitations of electric dirt bikes make them better for shorter loop rides from a central base, like following tight woods trails near your home or ute. Long adventure rides spanning entire regions are still strongly a domain for petrol bikes for their sheer range capabilities.

Maintenance and Longevity

Car manufacturers often tout the minimal maintenance requirements of electric vehicles versus their internal combustion counterparts. And to a large degree, that advantage carries over to the world of motorcycles as well. With electric drivetrains containing far fewer moving parts, the opportunities for things to wear out or break down are reduced.

No more checking/changing spark plugs, dealing with finicky carburettors, shifting gears precisely, or getting a fresh top-end rebuild after riding seasons. Electric bikes provide a wonderfully simpler and refined experience.

That said, the motors and batteries in electric bikes still have finite lifespans. Controllers and electrical components can eventually malfunction too. But overall, the maintenance burden is much lower versus constantly tuning and repairing the multitude of complex components in an internal combustion motor.

Most quality electric dirt bikes feature durable design and components, which are tailored for off-road conditions. They are protected against water/dust ingress, while their simple drivetrains minimize potential failure points. With reasonable care, an electric dirt bike should provide years and years of fun for your little one.

Gas bikes on the other hand require much more routine service to remain in top running condition long-term. Parts need replacing, valves need adjusting, etc. Skipping services is a recipe for headaches and breakdowns. That said, a well-maintained modern four-stroke dirt bike can remain dependable for an impressively long period with the proper care.

 Weight and Handling

Here is an area where adult petrol motorcycles have traditionally held a significant edge: weight and handling agility. Internal combustion motors and simple frames allow petrol bikes to stay remarkably light and flickable compared to electric counterparts weighed down by heavy batteries for adults.

However, in the kids and youth area, bikes featuring lithium batteries can offer same (or lighter) weight compared with common 4-stroke models. This is because the battery capacity for kids’ bikes can be smaller because the rider weight is significantly less than for adult bikes.

Electric bikes and battery technology are only getting better at putting their mass to effective use through central mass positioning and tuned geometry. So, the handling gaps and weight advantage continues to narrow down each year.

Throttle Response and Traction Control

An electric dirt bike's instantaneous torque response and throttle modulation can provide a handling advantage in certain situations. With no transmission or clutch to modulate, electric bikes provide seamless throttle response and traction control.

Internal combustion engines produce power in distinct surges and pulses. Torque or power curve is more dependent on the engine’s displacement volume, gearing and the motor RPM. Petrol power hits the ground in a less linear fashion compared to an electric motor. And modern controller technology makes it simpler to modify the bikes’ characteristics and throttle modulation compared to a petrol bike.

In low-traction scenarios like mud, sand, or soft dirt, electric bikes can more effectively apply power without overwhelming available traction. An expert rider can dial in the precise amount of torque to keep the wheels driving forward without excessive wheelspin or stalling. It becomes a superior tool for established techniques like modulating throttle input for traction.

With petrol bikes, maintaining traction is more of a conscious effort of working the clutch and throttle together precisely based on experience and feel. It is an intervention-intensive process compared to twisting an electric bike's grip to perfection.

Environmental Impact

For an increasing number of families, choosing an electric dirt bike is a decision rooted in minimizing their environmental impact. The energy expenditure to manufacture a petrol-powered vehicle and constantly burn fuel is significant in terms of emissions and resource consumption.

 Electric vehicles can offset those environmental costs by deriving their power from whatever energy sources are present on the grid. Charging up via renewable clean sources like solar, wind, or hydroelectric minimizes their carbon footprint. Even electricity derived from fossil fuels can still provide efficiency gains in terms of overall emissions versus burning (oil and) petrol directly in an internal combustion engine.

 But the environmental scales tip even further in electric bikes' favour when you factor in latest LiFePo4 battery technology and excessive noise pollution. While less obvious than emissions, the invasive high-decibel noise of a petrol dirt bike still creates a major disruption to natural environments and outdoor spaces. The near-silent operation of an electric dirt bike allows riders to enjoy nature without disturbing plants, animals, or human visitors around them.

 Riding Style

At the end of the day, a rider's particular styles and ride habits should really affect whether an electric or petrol bike is the best choice. There is no one-size-fits-all solution yet, as each type of power system has its own advantages.

If your little rippers’ riding terrain revolves around your backyard, or occasional track riding with short bursts speed around tight confines, an electric bike would be the perfect tool. Your youngster will have effortless power on tap in and it is a low-maintenance package for busy parents. Controllable power delivery supports the learning process and extracts every watt of battery juice into hard packed grounds. And the silent operation is just icing on the cake for most parents and our neighbourhoods.

For those preferring wide-open exploration across Australia’s regions, single bush trails, a lightweight and efficient petrol motorcycle still has range advantages. You can traverse whole regions on a single tank before needing to refuel. Just be prepared for more noise, emissions, and buy-in to the long-term maintenance of internal combustion systems.


Budgets factor in as well. Some electric dirt bikes remain pricier than petrol alternatives when parents factor in the costs of second battery packs. You are paying a premium for cutting-edge electric technology versus the time-tested simplicity of internal combustion.

But as battery energy density and motor efficiency continue progressing, those economic scales continue tilting in favour of electrics. Each year, manufacturers can extract more range and longevity from more compact, cost-efficient batteries and drivetrains. It is only a matter of time before electrics achieve price parity to make the switch decision even easier.

Ultimately, there's no objectively "better" choice between petrol and electric dirt bikes today. Each has clear advantages and shortcomings that riders must weigh based on their unique needs and priorities around performance, range, environmental impact, and budgets. But do not forget: The incredible speed of innovation in electric bikes ensures even more exciting prospects literally just around the next turn.


Questions? Reach Out to the TAKANI Experts

While this article has covered the major considerations around choosing an electric or petrol-powered dirt bike, there are endless nuances to explore. Every parent and child have their own specific needs, preferences, opinions, habits, and riding styles to account for.

If you find yourself weighing the pros and cons of TAKANI's industry-leading electric dirt bikes for kids, do not hesitate to contact us directly. Our team lives and breathes high-performance electric motorcycles. We would be happy to provide personalized guidance on which TAKANI model best suits your unique riding goals.

Do you prioritize blistering acceleration and tight trail slaying? Or do you need a bike that can conquer vast distances? You are looking to go electric but have lingering range or recharging concerns? Whatever is on your mind, we can walk you through the nuances and cutting-edge tech that sets TAKANI apart.

Beyond specifying the right bike, we can also counsel you on proper sizing, motocross gear or modifications to achieve an ideal fit.

And of course, we are always ready to discuss the specific advantages of TAKANI's leading electric powertrains, proprietary battery technology, and premium quality components. Empowering parents and young riders with in-depth knowledge are a core part of our brand philosophy.

 Also, the world of electric balance bikes continues rapidly evolving and improving with each passing year. Why not enlist to guidance and news from TAKANI by signing up to our newsletter or reach out to TAKANI today for a chat.

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