The Difference Between, Motocross, Supercross, Enduro, and Trials


Just like science has different branches, dirt bike riding also has it, and every branch governs a different aspect than the other. So, if you are not that knowledgeable about those, we’ll tackle it right away.


Motocross vs. Supercross

These 2 are the biggest and most popular of all racing events. They may have some similarities but they are quite different. Both racing series invite the top professional athletes in racing. Both series feature jumps, insane tight turns and a whole lot of dirt. The difference lies in how each course is created.

Supercross takes place on a man-made course in an arena or stadium. It consists of 17 races and is based on a point system with the rider having the most points at the end of the season will be declared as the champion. Riders get about a month break at the conclusion of the Supercross season before the 12-race Motocross series starts in May. The riders that participate begin with zero points because the Supercross champ has already been crowned.

Motocross takes place outdoors. With man-made obstacles, course built into naturally occurring terrain and complex hill-like mounds that result to high jumps. Riders compete in two races, or motos, with the outcome of both determining the overall winner. So, a rider who places second in both motos can be the overall winner and take first-place on the podium. Each moto is 30 minutes plus two laps and the winner is whoever crosses the finish line first after the checkered flag is waved.

Arenacross is almost alike with Supercross but it usually takes place in a smaller arena. It is sometimes considered as a stepping stone to the supercross series. In fact, the AMSOIL Arenacross series is the biggest and most popular of all arenacross events and features Ricky Carmichael’s “Road to Supercross.” Riders that are gunning for Supercross needs to go through first the Arenacross.

In Motocross and Supercross, the races often use 450cc and 250cc bikes. 450 class is considered as the highest level of racing.





Is an Endurance test between the rider and the terrain. The rider often encounters low-hanging tree branches, fallen logs, rocky upgrades, splashing through streams and riding up and down hill on gravel, dirt, sand and even mud for long distances. This is very physically and mentally draining for the rider.

The most popular enduro racing in the United States is the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) series. Each race is three hours long and riders follow a predetermined path through the woods, forest, across creeks and whatever terrain makes up that part of the country. Most of the time, it is located on the east coast. Hard soil, sand and mud might be encountered at the same time in a single race. Some endure go for days so bringing extra equipments and a lot of gas to keep you in track of the race.

Riders eventually lap around back to the pits and can fill up, get new tires or address any mechanical issues if needed. Enduro bikes are all 450cc but usually have different suspension and larger gas tanks, among other differences from dirt bikes equipped for Supercross or Motocross.



Riders are judged for their ability to best boulders, fallen tree trunks and other obstacles without touching their feet to the ground. To accumulate as little points as possible is the main goal. If a rider touches the ground with their feet for support or “dabbing” they get one to three points. Riders also get points for dismounting, going out of bounds and rolling backwards among other infractions.

There are no time limits in trials so a rider can take as long as they need to finish. Trials use smaller bikes with engines designed for torque rather than the power needed to race.

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