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Motocross with an enduro motorcycle and vice versa

22 mayo, 2021
motocross vs enduro

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Motocross is another world, and there despite great competition from KTM and Husqvarna, Japanese brands continue to enjoy great health, winning championships on both sides of the Atlantic and offering high-quality machines. The American market is completely different, and there it is allowed to ride without license plates in the field, which is why dirt bikes are used for enduro and cross country routinely.

In fact, XC models offered by many brands, including Yamaha and Honda – such as the CRF 450X on which the Redmoto models we have in Europe are based – are exclusive to the American market. Offering many of the benefits of both worlds and being specific motorcycles for that market, with the benefits of enduro motorcycles – 18 rim, adapted suspensions … – but without the extra weight required by the lights or the elements necessary to comply with the strict European regulations. traffic.

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But then what are those differences and how are they noticeable?

Most motocross and enduro bikes share some essential elements, such as the chassis and bodywork, which makes them look very similar aesthetically and it seems that only the lights are the difference. But there are many differences that are not seen but that when we get on one or the other they cause them to behave in a totally different way and make us understand what they are intended for.

Many of those differences are in the engine. Although both motorcycles can mount the same crankcases and the external appearance is the same, the answer is totally different. Starting with the sound, the enduro bike has a more restrictive exhaust system that makes the bike offer a more contained sound. This system obviously limits the power with respect to the dirt bike that, due to the fact of having a freer exhaust, offers more aggressive and instantaneous response.

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In the enduro engine we usually find a soft touch of gas, normally caused by a lower compression of the engine and by a smoother and more progressive mapping that helps us on trails or slippery areas common in enduro. In motocross, on the other hand, the gas response is more aggressive and powerful, because on a circuit there is always good traction and we look for maximum acceleration. The motocross motorcycle offers more power from the beginning, and this extends to the entire rev range, being fuller, faster and with more stretch capacity than an enduro motorcycle.

Another big difference in the engine is the gearbox. Enduro models tend to have 6 gears while cross ones ride 5. The staggering is very different, with the first much shorter on the enduro model, and the fifth and sixth much longer. This means that they have different points where you change gears on the same motocross circuit, and there will be many sections that with the Enduro circuit we will normally do with one more gear.

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On the contrary, if we do trails or extreme enduro zones with a cross bike, we will notice a very long first and a very aggressive touch of gas that will make it more difficult for us in these situations, where we will also notice another of the great differences, the clutch.

In enduro motorcycles it is usually hydraulic and with softer springs that make it more progressive and modulable. So we can help ourselves from him in many situations that occur in an enduro. The motocross clutch, less in European motorcycles, is usually cable, it has a more direct touch and harder springs that make it less progressive. The travel of the lever is less, because a more direct drive is sought and to be able to transmit all the power at once, on the other hand In enduro we are looking for a clutch similar to trial, which allows us to make it skid to climb steps and other obstacles.

To finish with the mechanical differences we cannot forget the cooling system. Many enduro bikes today have electro fan controlled by a thermostat, and even an expansion vessel, while cross-country bikes do not have either of the two elements. This in a chrono or fast zones does not matter, but if we do extreme zones with a motocross bike, it is most likely that we will get the antifreeze to boil very easily, while the Enduro will activate the electric fan and the engine will stay cooler. , and if it comes to a boil, the expansion tank will collect the antifreeze and then return it to the system.

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The character of the motorcycle

We have talked a lot about the engine, but there is another great key that are the suspensions. These will determine, even more importantly, the character of our bike and are another of the great differences between the two disciplines. At first glance they may seem the same, but once we get on them the differences are remarkable. A standard enduro model normally offers a much softer setting than a motocross one. Starting with the lower hardness springs, and usually mounting a faster hydraulic setting. This makes the suspension “fluffier” by absorbing all the little bumps. and stones that we can find without the motorcycle losing its trajectory.

Conversely the motocross bike offers a hard moron, adapted for the typical jumps of the specialty. Hard springs for the impacts and a tighter hydraulic for the big bumps and avoid bouncing on jumps. This allows us to jump with confidence and it will be more difficult to bump in any situation, but the smaller bumps are transmitted with greater intensity to the rider.

With these differences, it is easy to see that if we jump with an enduro motorcycle the easiest thing is that we do bumps, and we can not be comfortable either in braking or whoops. In addition, even when learning to do motocross, the enduro bike is worse in the jumps since it bounces more in the landings and can make us lose our balance more easily.

On the contrary, if we do stony areas with a motocross bike, it will be very difficult for us to keep the direction straight Since the hard suspension will not absorb the stones and they will constantly deflect the wheel. The slower bounce will make The bike loses a lot of traction when taking small bumps and it will be more difficult for us to find traction on the climbs. In addition, all the bumps are transmitted to the pilot, making him much more tired.

Some brands like KTM have the exclusive PDS system for Enduro models. This rear suspension system eliminates the connecting rods which is a great advantage to pass obstacles more easily. The PDS was used years ago in all KTM models, but the demands of the American market that demanded a link system at the end were stronger than the beliefs of the engineers, and for years the motocross and cross country models have mounted connecting rods while that the PDS is kept only for Enduro.

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Rest of components

There are more components that differentiate one motorcycle from another but they are not so decisive. One of them is the 18-inch rear wheel on Enduro models and 19-inch on motocross models. This is due to the fact that in enduro lower pressures or mousse are used and that it is common to find stone or cut steps that can make punctures easier. The 18 rim has a larger ball and with a mousse it allows the tire to deform and offer a greater traction surface, being also more difficult to puncture.

The handlebars of enduro bikes are usually narrower than those of motocross. It is because these bikes are designed to circulate between trees and narrow areas while motocross bikes can allow a little more width since the circuits are wider spaces.

As usual motocross bikes have higher seat height, and lower ground clearance. On the circuits you won’t find such big obstacles and you don’t have to put your feet down in almost any situation.

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By last, the electrical system is more complex on the enduro bike due to the lights and turn signals. Long ago there were more differences but with the incorporation of the electric starter to most motocross bikes, and the battery and all its elements, this difference is no longer so noticeable in terms of weight.

So, can you do a specialty with the other bike?

It depends somewhat on the motorcycle, especially if it offers electric start or not, but as a general rule doing enduro or extreme enduro with a motocross motorcycle is a torture. Because of the kick start of many not-so-old models, because of the clutch, because of overheating, because of the very long first and the greater seat height. All this makes it a lot more difficult for us if we want to do complicated trialeras.

To ride on roads or trails, we can spend the day, although we will end up more tired of using the clutch in slow areas and disgusted by having the engine “blown” in fast areas.

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On the contrary, doing motocross with a standard enduro bike is also difficult. Its closed gear motor will ask us to change gear in the middle of the curve, the suspensions will be very soft and we will have to be very careful not to fail in the jumps because we will hurt ourselves. In addition, if we carry a mousse, we will surely shatter it and have to change it, along with the motorcycle’s bulbs that may burn out and the headlight is broken by another rider with a stone.

In series state we will not enjoy much of any of the experiences. Another thing is that we adapt our motorcycle in one way or another to bring it closer to the other specialty and thus achieve something more versatile. We can stiffen the suspension of the enduro motorcycle or mount a competition kit that will …

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