A pit bike is any variety of miniature motorcycle; the term used to be used to describe only miniature motorcycles used in the pit areas at races, but now the term can be used to describe any number of miniature motorcycles. A pit bike is very often known as a pocket bike or mini moto, and today these tiny motorcycles are used for much more than simply getting around the tight pit areas at races. Pit bike racing is quite popular, and these small bikes are popular among kids as well as adults looking for an inexpensive and fun hobby for around the yard or campground.
The main purpose of a pit bike when the small machines were originally invented was to help racers and mechanics navigate the tight pit areas at car and motorcycle races. The bikes were made from spare parts, and the small stature made them a popular choice for the tight areas, as well as for storage in the back of trucks. The early versions were crude constructions, often welded together and fairly unattractive. They were functional machines and nothing more. The popularity of the pit bike grew, and people began customizing the small motorcycles for more power, better aesthetics, and comfort.
After several years of use for crude transportation, pit bike racing became a popular form of entertainment, even in pit areas. The small bikes are very maneuverable, and they can reach fairly high speeds. More modern models mimic the look and feel of full-sized bikes, and the capabilities of the pit bike have grown over time. Pit bike race circuits now exist, and people of all ages participate in these fast and exciting races.
Several types of pit bikes exist, each with its own specific purpose. Mini moto bikes mimic the look and riding qualities of full-size motocross bikes. The mini motos have suspension with a fair amount of travel, tires with aggressive treads, and relatively high ground clearance. The bike is designed for racing motocross. Moto GP mini bikes mimic the look and feel of road racing bikes, and they are designed for speed. Aerodynamics play a major role in the design of such bikes, and they, too, can reach fairly high speeds. Other bikes are designed simply for show, like mini chopper bikes. As is the case with full-sized motorcycles, a rider should always wear protective equipment while riding mini bikes, as they can reach high speeds and cause injury.