Best Off-Road Motorcycles for Beginners
Jumping into the world of dirt biking can be equal parts daunting and exhilarating. You’re itching to get out there and execute the kind of gnarly jumps you’ve seen the pros perform on the track. But where exactly do you start? How do you know which bike is best suited to your needs? Do you want a two-stroke or a four-stroke? Will you be able to touch both feet flat on the ground while maintaining a firm grip on the handlebars?
In this guide we break down what we consider to be five of the best dirt bikes for newcomers and beginners.
- Engine: 112cc four-stroke
- Weight: 76 kg (168 lbs)
- Transmission: 4-speed
- Clutch: Automatic (KLX110R version), Manual (KLX110R L version)
- Seat height: 681 millimetres/729 millimetres (26.8 inches/28.7 inches)
The Kawasaki KLX110 is a favourite of beginner motocross riders for its quick throttle and low centre of gravity. Its compact size and light weight make it a perfect bike for younger riders, although it remains a solid choice for riders of any skill level.
The KLX110R has a seat height of 26.8 inches and the KLX110R L is slightly bigger at 28.7 inches. Which model you go for all depends on your own level of comfort and experience.
The KLX110R has an automatic clutch, making it the better choice for those looking to concentrate on riding fundamentals, whereas the KLX110R L has a manual for those keen to practice shifting through gears. Either way, the Kawasaki KLX110 offers a reliable and accessible option to riders of all skill levels.
- Engine: 85cc two-stroke
- Weight: 73 kg (161 lbs)
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate
- Seat height: 850.9 millimetres (33.5 inches)
The Suzuki RM85 makes for a fantastic bike for teenagers to practice with due to its exemplary handling and control. Featuring a long clutch lever, an aluminium frame, and a progressive suspension, this bike gives its rider a high-performance experience but on a smaller model that’s easy to use. The superior manoeuvrability of the slick, compact Suzuki RM85 will make it easy for young riders to navigate corners on any track.
Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned racer, you can be sure that this bike will give you a smooth riding experience.
KTM 250 SX-F
- Engine: 250cc four-stroke
- Weight: 105 kg (232 lbs)
- Transmission: 5-speed
- Clutch: Wet multi-disc DS clutch, Brembo hydraulics
- Seat height: 950 millimetres (37.4 inches)
Boasting the strongest 250 four-stroke engine in the business, the high-revving KTM 250 SX-F is the dirt bike of choice for those looking for raw power.
Widely heralded as the best beginner dirt bike that focuses on power, the KTM 250 SX-F is one of the lightest 250cc dirt bikes you’ll find on the market. Post-2012 models are very much designed with modern users in mind, featuring electric starters and electronic fuel-injection systems.
A pure racing bike at heart, the KTM 250 SX-F has won multiple MX2 World Championships.
- Engine: 124cc two-stroke
- Weight: 94 kg (207 lbs)
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: Wet multiplate
- Seat height: 1000 millimetres (39.3 inches)
With its light weight and slim chassis, the Yamaha YZ125 offers newbie riders superlative rideability.
Nimble, responsive, and easy to control, this model is a longstanding favourite for riders of all levels, having produced multiple Supercross champions. This popularity also makes it one of the most recognisable bikes on the market, meaning that you won’t have to look far for quality advice from riders, mechanics, or influencers.
Complete with first-rate braking power and exceptional stability, the Yamaha YZ125 is an ideal model with which to build core riding skills.
- Engine: 49cc four-stroke
- Weight: 58 kg (128 lbs)
- Transmission: 3-speed
- Clutch: Automatic clutch
- Seat height: 556 millimetres (21.9 inches)
This model is specifically built for children. Designed for maximum accessibility and rider safety, the Yamaha TTR-50 is the perfect entry bike for motocross beginners.
This robust, low-maintenance bike sits the rider just 21.9 inches from the ground and features an electric push button to conveniently start the engine. It has even been outfitted with the capability for training wheels to be bolted onto the front - making it ideal for the building of a rider’s confidence.
Off-Road Motorcycle Parts & Accessories with Venhill
Of course, once you become a bike owner, one of the things you will have to start thinking about is the quality of your cables. At Venhill, we specialise in the production of high calibre cable kits that ensure you have the most efficient - and safest - riding experience possible.
Our diverse range of products include off-road throttles for many of the brands on the above list as well as universal roadside repair kits to swiftly fix a snapped inner wire. Whether you’re a newcomer or a veteran rider, the health of your control cables and hydraulic lines is essential.
For more information on the motorcycle products we offer, or for advice on finding the right parts for your particular bike, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today. Our team are on hand to help in any way that we can.