How Do RC Bikes Work?

How Do RC Bikes Work?

Remote-control vehicles are a ton of fun. But, there’s a special sort of extra thrill to driving RC bikes. Now, being new to these, you might be wondering, how do RC bikes work? There is no need to look any further as I will answer that exact question in this article today.

RC bikes work just like other types of RC vehicles. They are powered with motors and other necessary parts, built similarly to full-size vehicles, with added parts so they can be controlled by a radio transmitter. RC bikes stay upright and drive in a similar way to how regular life-size bikes do.

RC bikes are very interesting. They are quite similar to life-sized bikes, yet they are not completely. You can be very creative with these types of vehicle and have loads of fun. I will be discussing the many aspects of RC bikes in detail in this article so you can jump straight into all the fun. So, let’s not beat around the bush anymore and get right to it.

How Are RC Bikes Powered?

RC bikes are powered similarly to any other RC vehicle. They are powered either by electricity or by nitro. Electric RC bikes are powered by rechargeable or disposable batteries and generally easy to use. Nitro RC bikes are powered by nitro fuel. For real enthusiasts, Nitro RC bikes are the closest thing to riding real bikes but there is a lot to learn.

All radio-controlled vehicles follow the same principle. They have machinery powering a small-scale vehicle, and there’s a radio control component attached to them that enables a user to control them via remote controls. If you want to know more about radio control or remote-control vehicles in general, click here.

Electric-powered bikes are simple, they have a set of rechargeable or disposable batteries powering them. These batteries give power to the electric motor and all the other parts of the RC bike. Having rechargeable batteries is preferable as RC bikes tend to consume a lot of power. If you use disposable batteries, it can get very costly very quickly.

On the other hand, Nitro-powered RC bikes are more similar to real motorbikes. They are powered by fuel, referred to as “nitro”. The fuel burns and powers the bike much like in the engine of a real bike. These bikes can give you a bit more power than the electric ones, but they can be hard to control.

How Do RC Bikes Stay Upright?

With RC bikes being so small you may wonder how they stay upright compared to their real counterparts.

As a whole, RC bikes stay upright very similar to the way real motorbikes do. The speed of the wheels along with calculated steering helps an RC bike to stay balanced. For beginners, RC bikes can have training wheels to help with learning to drive them. Counter steering can help an RC bike stay upright if it becomes unbalanced.

An RC bike is much smaller than a real motorbike. An RC bike is usually in the 1:10 to 1:20 range when it comes to size comparison with full-sized motorbikes. This small size makes it a bit tricky to keep balance on these bikes and keep them upright.

But they still keep balance almost exactly like how full-sized motorbikes do. The weight of the wheels along with their circular force creates a gyroscopic effect. Anything that is spinning wants to maintain its axis. This helps keep the bike upright.

If the bike starts to become unbalanced the driver can use a method called counter steering. This means steering in the direction opposite to the lean. If you steer the direction opposite to the leaning, the two will cancel each other and the bike will return to balance.

Sometimes an RC bike will have a scratch bar or even training wheels. These are not there to act as the direct balance but they are there to decrease the learning effect. If you are a beginner, you can consider using a bike with training wheels, but once you learn the basics, they won’t be necessary anymore.

Electric Vs. Nitro: Which is Better?  

Which one of these is better? Well, the answer to that question is not simple. They both have situations where they excel and fall short. you need to consider what you want out of an RC bike to decide which one is better for you.

Electric bikes are easier to control while driving. You charge the batteries and you drive your RC bike, it’s a fairly simple hassle-free process. These bikes are also very easy to maintain and fix, no need to mess around with fuels or anything.

While they are easier to control, they are not the fastest RC bikes out there. If you want a powerful RC bike to play with you will have to go with Nitro-powered RC bikes. Nitro refers to the fuel they use.

A lot of people think Nitro-powered RC bikes are dangerous, but they are in fact relatively safe. You do have to be a bit careful when handling the fuel as it is highly flammable, but otherwise, it is fairly safe. Nitro bikes run on fuel like actual motorbikes, that is what gives them that immense boost in power.

While Nitro bikes are more powerful, they are much harder to control. So, the choice just boils down to whether you want better control or do you want to sacrifice a bit of that control for more power. I hope that helps you choose.

Types Of RC Bikes: What Makes Each Unique? 

Just like RC cars, RC bikes are also of two types. There are RC bikes made for tracks and indoors, and then there are RC bikes made to be driven outdoors on off road tracks. Let me discuss a bit about both of these.

On-Road RC Bikes

On-road RC bikes are the more common variety of the two. These bikes are meant for indoor driving or are meant to be driven on a track. These have smoother wheels and lighter chassis. The smooth wheels and lightweight body make them go quite fast.

On the road, RC bikes are usually much faster than the alternative. They offer a pure sports-like experience with smooth and fast driving on a track. But the caveat is that they are horrible once you take them off the road. They are not meant to handle any sort of off-road terrain so it becomes a hassle when you cannot find an indoor spot or track to drive them on.

Off-Road RC Bikes

You are supposed to drive these on rough terrains. You can drive them on tracks or indoor spaces too but there their performance will be subpar. Take them on an off-road drive and that is where they shine the brightest.

Off-Road RC bikes have heavier chassis, their center of gravity is much more stable so they don’t lose balance easily. These bikes have patterned heavier wheels that help them grip on dirt-filled roads. 

While off-road bikes are slower than on-road RC bikes, you can drive them pretty much anywhere. So, you do not have to worry about finding indoor space or proper tracks, you can just take them outdoors and start driving anywhere.


RC bikes are a very fun and interesting piece of technology. They are simultaneously both similar and dissimilar to real motorbikes. They can be on-road or off-road, powered by fuel or electricity. They also drive and keep their balance almost exactly like real bikes. Fuel types are a bit challenging to run. But provide a more realistic feel which many prefer. 

Thank you for reading till the end. I hope you enjoyed it and found this guide on “How do RC bikes work?” helpful in one way or another. I hope you have a ton of fun with your RC bike.

Paul Good

This awesome hobby has something for everyone, whether you like to build your RC from scratch and keep modifying till you've got it to just how you want it, to track racing. You might be out with a boat, or perfecting your skills with a plane. Are you taking some cool pics with your drone? I'm sure my site will help you on your journey.

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