The Top 9 New Dirt Bikes We’re Dying To Ride In 2020

Motocross, off-road, and dual sport bikes we’re looking forward to riding

The 2020 dirt bike models from most of the major motorcycle manufacturers have been announced, and we're looking forward to another year of riding, testing, and comparing all of the new bikes. We've compiled a list of nine bikes we're excited to ride in 2020, ranging from everything from dual sport to off-road to motocross. These nine models don't by any means sum up all of what we're looking forward to riding, so drop your favorite in the comments. For now, let's look at what we believe are the most compelling bikes for 2020.

2020 KTM 500 EXC-F

2020 KTM 500 EXC-F on white background.
Last year’s 450 Dual Sport Shootout winner, the KTM 500 EXC-F now enjoys many of the updates the four-stroke motocross bikes got last year including a more compact cylinder head and a stiffer frame.Courtesy of KTM

The KTM 500 EXC-F needs very little, if any, introduction. It won the 2019 450 Dual Sport Shootout, but the Austrian manufacturer doesn't let comparison test wins make it complacent on product development. KTM took this proven machine and revised the engine, suspension, and chassis. The engine has a new cylinder head that is 500 grams lighter and 15mm shorter, a new camshaft, shorter valves, and a new König piston with a higher compression ratio. The WP Xplor fork features a new mid-valve piston and the Xplor shock has a new second piston. The frame is stiffer, the bodywork is new, the radiators have been redesigned and are mounted 12mm lower, and the seat has a different shape. We look forward to seeing if KTM was able to make an already-great bike even better.

2020 Yamaha YZ250FX

2020 Yamaha YZ250FX on white background.
Since its older cross-country sibling, the YZ450FX, received all of the attention last year, the 2020 Yamaha YZ250FX now inherits many of the same updates the all-new YZ250F motocrosser got last year.Courtesy of Yamaha

While its older cross-country sibling, the Yamaha YZ450FX, was completely overhauled last year, the YZ250FX is taking its turn in 2020. It receives many of the same changes the YZ250F motocrosser did with an all-new engine, revised KYB SSS suspension components, and a different frame. The prior-generation model set the bar high with its excellent low-end power, plush suspension, and stable handling, so we're curious to see if it maintains and improves upon those qualities.

2020 KTM 500 XCF-W

KTM 500 XCF-W on white background.
The 500 XCF-W is an all-new model for KTM. It’s similar to the 500 EXC-F dual sport but is an off-road-only model and therefore doesn’t have street-legal components such as mirrors or turn signals. It’s also claimed to produce more power.Courtesy of KTM

For 2020, KTM has taken its popular 500 EXC-F dual sport and stripped it of all that enables it to be street-legal, effectively producing the largest-displacement four-stroke enduro bike in its lineup—the 500 XCF-W. This off-road-only model features more aggressive mapping and a less restrictive power pack than the 500 EXC-F, and also comes with Dunlop AT81 knobby tires. Being that it doesn’t have components that are needed to make it street-legal, such as mirrors and turn signals, the 500 XCF-W is claimed to be lighter than the 500 EXC-F as well. According to KTM, it comes in at 235 pounds (wet, but without fuel). As we mentioned above, we are big fans of the 500 EXC-F, so we can’t wait to throw a leg over a bike that’s claimed to have more power and be even lighter.

2020 Kawasaki KX250

2020 Kawasaki KX250 on white background.
While it didn’t receive the same level of overhaul the KX450 got last year, the 2020 Kawasaki KX250 features several engine changes, new KYB suspension components, and a few minor chassis revisions.Courtesy of Kawasaki

While the Kawasaki KX250 didn’t receive the full overhaul its older sibling, the KX450, got last year, it features a number of updates that are targeted to fix what we felt were its shortcomings in the past two years—namely a lack of top-end power and a fork that felt harsh throughout the stroke. The engine looks identical from the outside, but internally it has a new finger-follower valve train, a larger bore, less stroke, larger valves, more aggressive cam profiles, and a higher-compression piston. The Showa suspension components have been swapped out for KYB units front and rear, while the chassis updates are minor including lower front engine mounts, a larger 250mm rear brake disc, revised rear brake master cylinder and brake line, and new front brake pads. The KX450 went from fourth place in the 2018 450 MX Shootout to first place in the 2019 450 MX Shootout with its complete model refresh; can the KX250 climb to the top this year as well?

2020 Husqvarna TE 150i

Husqvarna TE 150i on white background.
The Husqvarna TE 150i now features Transfer Port Injection (TPI) like its larger-displacement siblings, the TE 250i and TE 300i, have had for the past two years.Courtesy of Husqvarna

A small-bore two-stroke on the trails is a bike that can put a smile on nearly every rider’s face. For 2020, Husqvarna has taken its 150cc two-stroke enduro bike and added the same Transfer Port Injection (TPI) technology that its older siblings—the TE 250i and TE 300i—have had for the past two years. The TE 150i also has a new stiffer frame and revised WP suspension components to further increase its agility and comfort on the trail.

2020 Honda CRF450RWE

2020 Honda CRF450RWE on white background.
In its second year on the market, the Honda CRF450RWE (“Works Edition”) now comes with a Yoshimura titanium header pipe.Courtesy of Honda

The Honda CRF450R is a bike that has won and consistently finishes on the podium in the 450 MX Shootout, especially since 2017 when it was completely new from the ground up. Since then, it's received notable improvements from year to year. Honda also came out with the CRF450RWE ("Works Edition") last year—a factory-replica version of the standard model. In its debut in 2019, it received all of the updates the CRF450R did along with a specially designed cylinder head with hand-polished ports, a Yoshimura RS-9 titanium slip-on muffler, special ECU settings, Kashima-coated fork tubes, titanium-nitride-coated fork legs and shock shaft, D.I.D LT-X black rims, a gold RK chain, a Throttle Jockey seat cover, and factory Team Honda HRC graphics that are also done by Throttle Jockey. For 2020, this special-edition motocrosser once again comes with all of the same updates as the CRF450R, but with the addition of a Yoshimura titanium header pipe, new dual-compound Renthal grips, and updated graphics that are similar to the Team Honda HRC racebikes.

2020 KTM 300 XC TPI

2020 KTM 250 XC TPI on white background.
In 2020, TPI is no longer a feature that only comes on KTM’s XC-W enduro two-stroke bikes. The 250 XC TPI and 300 XC TPI cross-country bikes now utilize the same technology.Courtesy of KTM

TPI technology isn’t stopping at KTM’s XC-W enduro bikes. The Austrian manufacturer has added it to its XC cross-country two-stroke models with the 300 XC TPI and 250 XC TPI. We look forward to riding both bikes, but the larger-displacement engine piques our curiosity just slightly more due to its extra displacement. The two machines also share a new exhaust system and updates to the WP Xact air fork and WP Xact shock.

2020 Yamaha YZ125X

2020 Yamaha YZ125X on white background.
Yamaha has taken its YZ125 motocross bike and made a few engine changes, tweaked the suspension settings, added a kickstand, spec’d a sealed O-ring chain, and wrapped the wheels with Dunlop AT81 tires to make a 125cc cross-country bike—the YZ125X.Courtesy of Yamaha

The Yamaha YZ125 is a remarkably fun motocross bike to ride. It boasts a lightweight chassis, phenomenal KYB Speed Sensitive System (SSS) suspension, and, like any 125cc two-stroke motocross bike, requires you to ride it aggressively to go relatively fast. For 2020, Yamaha took the small-bore motocrosser and gave it model-specific digital CDI ignition settings, a different power valve shape, new cylinder head combustion chamber shape, cross-country suspension settings, a sealed O-ring chain, kickstand, a reserve position on the fuel tank petcock, and Dunlop AT81 tires to make it an off-road bike.

2020 Husqvarna FE 350

2020 Husqvarna FE 350 on white background.
Formerly Husqvarna’s 350cc four-stroke dual sport model name, the FE 350 is now an off-road-only model and a new bike in Husqvarna’s enduro lineup. The dual sport motorcycle of the same displacement and engine type is now referred to as the FE 350s.Courtesy of Husqvarna

Don’t let the name mislead you; this isn’t the same bike as last year—not only because it received a significant amount of updates, but because this is Husqvarna’s new 350 four-stroke off-road- only model, while the dual sport bike of the same displacement is now called the FE 350s. With more aggressive mapping and a less restrictive power pack than its street-legal counterpart, we look forward to hitting the trails on this new enduro model from Husqvarna.