New Dirt Bikes
Dirt bikes can take you anywhere off road, whether you’re riding a trail or soaring through the air, Dirt Rider has the latest news on dirt bikes.
Dirt bikes are off-road motorcycles designed to tackle terrain that would break any street-going motorcycle in half. Equipped with knobby tires, tall suspension, and a torquey single-cylinder engine, dirt bikes can ride over, jump over, and bounce off just about anything they encounter on a trail. If you’re more of a competitive rider, you can race your dirt bike.
There are multiple off-road series to race in, such as the Grand National Cross Country (GNCC) and the World Off-Road Championship Series (WORCS). If you enjoy a more typical track-based race, then motocross and Supercross would be your thing.
When purchasing a dirt bike, there are multiple manufacturers to choose from, with electric options becoming more readily available. Popular dirt bike manufacturers include Beta, GasGas, Honda, Husqvarna, KTM, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. In 2019, the only electric dirt bike manufacturers are KTM and Zero, with Honda displaying a CR electric prototype at the Tokyo Motorcycle Show and round 1 of the MFJ All Japan Motocross Championship.
Coming straight from the factory, dirt bikes are not street legal. There are ways about titling and getting your off-highway vehicle (OHV) dirt bike made street legal. The first step is to check what your state requirements are for making your dirt bike street legal. All states require a headlight, taillight/brake light, and a functioning horn. Turn signals and mirrors are on a state-by-state basis.
After installing all of your parts, you need to contact your state’s titling agency to have your dirt bike inspected. There are services that will do this process for you, saving you some of the headache. Dirt bikes are inherently not street legal. If you want a street-legal dirt bike right off the showroom floor, you would be better suited to purchase a dual-sport motorcycle instead.
Which Dirt Bike Should I Buy?
When purchasing a dirt bike, you should take into account your experience with motorcycles and your experience with off-road motorcycle riding. If you are new to motorcycles and dirt bikes, consider taking a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course or attending a dirt bike training camp. These will get you accustomed to riding and balancing on two wheels, and introduce you to some of the models that you should be on the lookout for.
All dirt bike engines are not created equal. A 250cc two-stroke and 250cc four-stroke are two completely different bikes in how they deliver power and in how much they weigh, with the two-stroke being faster and lighter. A 250cc two-stroke is more comparable in power to a 450cc four-stroke.
Once you’ve got your training sorted and have decided on an engine displacement, it’s time to buy. If you're going to buy used, make sure that the person you’re buying from has kept up on all of the scheduled maintenance. There’s no sense in buying a dirt bike that is essentially a ticking time bomb. If you’re buying new, manufacturers like Beta, GasGas, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki, and Yamaha offer full-size and/or youth dirt bikes in two-stroke and/or four-stroke engines.
Dirt Rider’s buyer’s guide is the most comprehensive source of information on off-road motorcycles. It’s continually updated as new models are released and as we thoroughly test and review them. Our dirt bike buyer’s guide also includes general model information along with our likes, dislikes, and verdict on each motorcycle. Specifications, pricing, weight, horsepower, and torque figures are all included as well to provide you with the information you need before making a buying decision.
A few factors to be considered when choosing a dirt bike include what type and the engine size. There are several different types of off-road motorcycles including motocross bikes, off-road bikes, trailbikes, dual-sport bikes, adventure bikes, and trials bikes. Engine sizes can range anywhere from 50cc minibikes to 450cc motocross bikes to 1,000cc or more for adventure bikes.