Best Dirt Bikes for Beginners to Start Riding

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Jumpstarting your dirt biking passion begins with the right bike. This guide zeroes in on the best dirt bikes for beginners, offering options that balance power, ease of use, and safety for both adults and kids. 

Expect practical insights to steer your decision-making, ensuring you hit the trails confidently and with the ideal starter bike. 

Best Beginner Dirt Bikes for Adults

Below are some best beginner dirt bikes for adults for your upcoming dirt bike adventure. 

Yamaha TT-R230

Price: $4,499

Engine type: 223cc air-cooled SOHC 4-stroke; 2 valves

Image courtesy of yamahamotorsports.com

The Yamaha TT-R230 stands out as a top choice for beginners. This bike is known for its:

  • Low center of gravity
  • Outstanding stability
  • Electric start feature for hassle-free start
  • Forgiving powerband for excellent control

Its easy handling features make it the perfect dirt bike for beginner adult riders, and a great beginner bike overall. 

The Yamaha TT-R230 is reliable for your off-road escapades thanks to its comfortable low gripper seat. The only slight downside? It’s a bit heavier than a 250cc motocross bike, which might take some getting used to for some riders.

Honda CRF250F

Price: $4,999

Engine Type: 250cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Image courtesy of powersports.honda.com

Its chuggable engine provides great low-end power, while its short wheelbase makes it easy to handle, especially on tighter trails.

Its adjustable suspension stands as one of the Honda CRF250F’s main attractions. With options like the CRF250F adjustable ride height linkage and adjustable aluminum rear shock, riders can personalize the suspension setup to match their riding style (or the trail conditions they’ll be up against). 

Suzuki DR200S

Price: $4,000 – $4,750

Engine Type: 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC

Image courtesy of globalsuzuki.com

Beginners often opt for the Suzuki DR200S due to its impressive fuel economy and convenient push-button start. Its 199cc 4-stroke, air-cooled engine is easy to handle, making it a great option for beginners.

What stands out about the Suzuki DR200S is its weight. Weighing in at 126kg, it’s lighter than bikes like the Kawasaki KLX230, which is a bonus for beginners looking for easier control.

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Top Beginner Dirt Bikes for Kids

Here are the top three beginner dirt bikes that keep your little ones safe while giving them a taste of the off-roading action.

Honda CRF50F

Price: $1,799

Engine Type: 50cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke

Image courtesy of powersports.honda.com

The Honda CRF50F is a solid choice for beginner youth riders. It features a user-friendly three-speed transmission with an automatic clutch, making it perfect for youngsters.

With its adjustable throttle limiter to control speed, a keyed ignition to manage usage, and a rugged steel frame for added durability, parents purchase the Honda CRF50F with confidence. 

Yamaha PW50

Price: $1,849

Engine type: 50cc 2-stroke air-cooled, 2-stroke, reed-valve

Image courtesy of yamaha-motor.eu

The Yamaha PW50 is another excellent pick for young riders. Its fully automatic transmission means no need to worry about shifting – just twist and go. The adjustable throttle control allows parents to limit speed, ensuring a safe ride for young beginners.

It is also a practical choice for parents who don’t want to worry about extensive bike maintenance. Its enclosed shaft drive feature means less time spent on upkeep and more time on the bike. The PW50 is just right for beginners as the engine delivers around 2.5-2.7 bhp at 2700 rpm.

Kawasaki KLX110

Price: $2,899

Engine type: 112cc air-cooled, 4-stroke engine

Image courtesy of kawasaki.com

The Kawasaki KLX110 is a great choice for kids graduating from smaller bikes. Its automatic clutch, right size, and user-friendliness make it a favorite among young riders.

While the KLX110 is suitable for beginners, it can also cater to those with some previous riding experience. Its seat height of 28.7 inches is a good option for taller children or those ready for a more powerful bike.

Best Dirt Bikes for Beginners According to Bike Type

As a beginner dirt biker, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the three categories of dirt bikes: 1) trail bikes, 2) motocross bikes, and 3) dual-sport bikes.

Knowing the differences between dirt bikes will help you, as a beginner, make the right decision.

Trail Bikes for New Riders

Trail bikes are perfect for new riders. Their mid-travel full suspension absorbs bumps and obstacles on the trail, boosting new riders’ confidence.

Popular trail bikes for new riders include:

  • Specialized Stumpjumper
  • Trek Fuel EX 9.7
  • Canyon Spectral 29 CF8.0
  • YT Izzo
  • Santa Cruz 5010
  • Cannondale

Entry-Level Motocross Bikes

In contrast, entry-level motocross bikes prioritize speed and power. They are lightweight and more powerful for racing but require more maintenance than trail bikes. Despite this, they offer a thrilling experience for those interested in trying their hand at racing.

Some top-rated entry-level motocross bikes are:

  • KTM 250 SX-F
  • Yamaha YZ125
  • Honda CRF450R
  • KTM 150 SX
  • Honda CR250

Dual Sport Bikes for Versatility

Dual sport bikes are designed to perform well on both off-road trails and paved roads. This makes them a perfect pick for beginner riders who want to explore different terrains.

Some dual sport bike models include:

  • Yamaha TW200
  • Suzuki DR200S
  • Kawasaki KLX230 S
  • Yamaha XT250
  • Honda CRF300L
  • Kawasaki KLX300
  • Suzuki DR-Z400S
  • Kawasaki KLR650

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Beginner Dirt Bike

Selecting the ideal dirt bike goes beyond merely choosing the most attractive model. It’s about considering your:

Size and Weight

A dirt bike’s size and weight can largely determine its ease of handling and maneuverability. When shopping for a beginner-friendly bike, consider the following: 

  • Smaller and wider rear wheels offer better traction and speed
  • Larger and narrower front wheels aid in shock absorption and control
  • The bike’s weight affects its grip on the ground, which is vital for maintaining control while riding.

In terms of weight, a beginner adult dirt bike should ideally be less than 250 cubic centimeters (cc) for easy handling.

Engine Power and Performance

The engine’s power and performance hold equal importance. A good engine size for beginners is usually around 125-150 cc for four-stroke engines or 100-125 cc for two-stroke engines.

Two-stroke engines are lighter and provide more initial power but less traction, while four-stroke engines are heavier, more powerful, and offer torque over a wider range of revs.

Safety Features and Gear

When dirt biking, safety must always remain uncompromised. A beginner bike should have safety features such as an adjustable throttle limiter for speed control and a keyed ignition for usage management. 

As for safety gear, the following items are essential:

  • DOT-approved helmet
  • Proper riding gear
  • Safety gloves
  • Goggles
  • Boots
  • Chest protector

Summary

Choosing the right dirt bike for beginners is crucial, whether you’re shopping for yourself (or your little ones). Understand your needs, abilities, and where you want to ride. Consider size, weight, engine power, and safety features before deciding. 

Remember, proper storage is essential for protecting your dirt bike. Consider a peer-to-peer storage marketplace like Neighbor for safe and convenient dirt bike storage options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Should a Beginner Dirt Bike Cost?

A brand new beginner 125cc dirt bike costs just over $3,000, while the price for 250cc ranges between $8,000 – $10,000.

What Dirt Bike Should a 16-Year-Old Get?

You should consider getting a 125cc dirt bike, as it is generally more than enough for most teenage riders and is easier to handle than a 250cc bike.

What Dirt Bike Should a Beginner Get?

For beginners, opt for a dirt bike under 250cc until you’re comfortable with handling. The 2024 Honda CRF250F, with its 249cc engine, is an excellent choice.

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