Off road riding can be divided into recreational and competitive and can be further divided into a couple of different categories.
Non-competitive recreational riding can occur in all forms of off-road riding. Trail riding is a very popular sport. You can venture through forests or backcountry. Motocross tracks, often used for races, are also open at set times for recreational riders who, instead of following a specific course, are free to choose their favourite approved trails.
Competitive off-road riding can consist of motocross, hare scrambles, enduro and trials. Motocross events use natural and structured courses. The tracks are usually challenging to ride, with lots of jumps and lots of bumps. The bikes are specifically designed to handle the stress.
Enduro races tend to be on naturally occurring terrain. The races are measured in hours, not minutes. Typically a race involves timed special tests and free ride sections in between the tests. Races can be well in excess of 100 km in distance.
Hare Scrambles are sort of a hybrid between motocross and enduro. Typically a race would be 2 hours long and the competitors would complete as many laps as they can in the allotted time. The course may involve woods, open terrain and motocross track.
Trials is the only competitive sport without speed. The trials course typically involves extreme terrain and the goal is to “clean” the section without having to put your feet down. The bike is specifically built for the purpose. Trials riders stand on the footpegs the entire course and therefore trials bikes are the only motorcycle designed without a real seat.
Mini bikes are designed for young riders but can also be a great option for shorter riders. Some mini bikes are small enough for children as young as six to ride (depending on the rules in your provinces) – others are large enough for teens. Mini bikes are great options to supplement your family ride. As with all new riders, it is always recommended that you utilize professional instruction to train your younger rider. Many smaller mini bikes have the ability to limit the throttle to walking speed.