Ever wondered if that dirt bike you just saw has a speedometer? Well, it depends.
Most late-model dirt bikes have speedometers fitted as standard. Some unregistered motocross, pit bikes and children’s dirt bikes don’t come with speedometers as they aren’t necessary for closed-circuit MX tracks. To ride your dirt bike on the road, you will need to have a speedometer fitted with mirrors, indicators and a licence plate attached.
You’ll find that these days, most will have them fitted though the dire-hard MX racing bikes don’t have them to consume space on the handlebars and reduce overall weight.
Speedometers on Dirt Bikes
Having a speedometer, otherwise known as a ‘speedo’, can help you track how fast you’re going on the track. However, once you’ve been riding a while, you tend not to notice your speedo and instead rely on your instincts.
To say it another way – you’ll actually feel how fast you’re going as opposed to needing to rely on a gadget. The faster you ride – the more wind in your helmet – and thus, the faster you go!
Most dirt bikes still run an analog system while others like KTM are digital. It really depends.
Can I Ride Without a Speedometer?
You won’t really need a speedometer on your dirt bike for racing purposes in most cases. It’s only a legal requirement if you intend to ride on formed roads. You can even get a recreational registration in some states and territories where you can ride without a speedometer, provided you’re only riding on unsealed tracks and roads in the wilderness.
If you do break your speedo when riding, then it’s unlikely that anyone will know. The police aren’t able to tell that your speedometer isn’t working. In fact, there are riders who have ridden for years with faulty speedos and have avoided detection…so don’t worry too much about this.
If you are riding an adventure motorcycle – then yes – you’ll need a speedometer which is working, as well as the indicators, mirrors, lights and registration.
Alternative to Dirt Bike Speedometer
Let’s say your dirt bike speedometer isn’t working. What you can do is use your smart phone mounted to the handlebars. This technically isn’t a legal replacement, but certainly workable.
There are several apps that show your live speed through data but also work online. These are available in both the Play Store and App Store. Simply look through by searching for ‘speedometer’.
You can also buy replacement dirt bike speedometers on places like eBay and Amazon. Your local dirt bike dealership likely has some in stock too if you need one today. Also consider the used parts on Craigslist and Gumtree.
While dirt bikes do typically have speedometers, this is most typical on registered dirt bikes. The MX bikes don’t really have them fitted as standard. If you do need one, you can install one quite easily.
If you do buy a dirt bike and it doesn’t have a speedo, then don’t be alarmed. It isn’t stolen and likely this is how it came from the factory. You can start riding without one if you’re riding offroad and may realize that you actually don’t need one…just like times gone by!