The continuous fascination of people with extreme sports has made dirt bike racing popular for young and old; biking at high speed in challenging terrains has adrenaline pumping and brings thrill and excitement. As a beginner, you might be overwhelmed with choosing the brand of dirt bike that’s right for you. Just like with other types of vehicles, dirt bike brands are chosen for their quality, features and durability. So the stirring question of a newbie is, what is the best dirt bike brand?
What Is The Best Dirt Bike Brand?
To answer that question, we’ve tabulated the best of the best out in the market, based on our own personal experience as well as of other dirt bike racers. The number one and best dirt bike brand is Yamaha and Honda.
Yamaha started making dirt bikes in 1955. Since then it has gained the reputation of being the best in the world, a leader in innovation in dirt bike technology. They have a range of diverse products such as fishing boats, water pumps, multipurpose engines and car engines. But their excellence and craftsmanship is truly expressed in their dirt bikes. What makes Yamaha the best dirt bike brand? The suspension and superb handling put it in the number one spot. Racers and dirt bike aficionados really look forward to new Yamaha dirt bike models coming out. Yamaha’s popular models are the YZ-250, the WR-250-F and the YZ-125. They are light, small and dynamic. They’ve won race after race that make them stand out from other bikes, and racers truly value their quality features and durability.
Honda – The car manufacturer also makes quality motorcycles for different utilities including dirt bike racing. The quality that they put into their cars and heavy equipment for construction is also the standard of quality used in making dirt bikes. Their bikes are known for strength, power and long-lasting engines. Bikers who own Honda motorcycles commend them for the steadiness of their ride in relation to the power they can exert and pick up. The popular Honda dirt bikes are CRF-450R for expert riders and CRF-50F for kids and beginners. Each dirt bike model produced by Honda is known for its excellent engineering, stability even on hard to maneuver terrain, and no breakdowns while on the track. Stability, durable engines as well as good engineering and design make Honda dirt bikes a class of their own with value that’s good as gold to bikers.
Other Best Dirt Bike Brands
Now that we’ve covered the number one best dirt bike brand, whether for a beginner or an expert, let’s move on to the other brands that’ve proven their own place in the racing world and hearts of riders world wide.
- Suzuki – Suzuki is one of the largest manufacturing companies in the world focused on vehicles and heavy equipment. They consistently supply the world with motorcycles of various utilities including dirt bikes – two and four wheelers. They also produce and distribute separate bike engines. In other words, the brand has established global authority in manufacturing motorcycles. Some bikers are so loyal to the brand that they will not ride other bike brands. Their noteworthy dirt bike models are DR-Z400 and DR-650. Suzuki brand motorcycles are also perfect for beginners. And a lot of experienced and professional bikers learned riding and maneuvering the different terrains and conditions using a Suzuki bike. Their most noted quality features are economy, both in gas and low maintenance. Suzuki is a stable brand that’s well respected by enthusiasts.
- KTM – KTM is still a young brand compared to it’s Asian counterparts; established in 1992 in Austria. KTM also manufactures sports cars. It’s style and design puts it as one of best dirt bike brands. It is a well-accepted brand around the world. Their innovative design and technologies have created a fan base among biker communities. KTM became one of the best dirt bike brands in 2004 when they released their first model – KTM Sport Motorcycle. It is as popular as their road motorcycle series – Duke. The four-stroke engine and rear swing make it a formidable bike on the track even in forested areas. An added plus to the great engine and features are the look and style of the bike. It is considered eye-candy for bikers.
- Beta – Beta dirt bike brand hails from Italy. Beta is a specialty bike manufacturer that’s been making motorcycles since 1948. They aren’t as big as the Japanese, German or Austrian brands. But they’ve made a niche as a top producer of high-end motorcycles. Specialty means they really pay attention to the design and craftsmanship of their product. They are set apart from other brands by producing dirt bikes with distinctive design and style as well as features. Demands for their product increased as their Beta Alp 200 and Enduro became known to bikers and the circuit. Their high performance level in motor cross races gained them a high quality brand reputation. Their bikes are praised for their first-rate suspension and balance; making them formidable on dirt tracks.
- Kawasaki – Kawasaki dirt bikes are legends of their own as they are designed and made with aspiration for great performance on dirt tracks. They are recommended dirt bikes for beginners and experienced riders alike. All bikes carrying the Kawasaki brand are known for power, durability and being rough-terrain oriented through and through. They also have excellent handling, suspension and torque. Their most popular dirt bike models are the Ninja, 500SS, Mach III and the KZ 900. The brand and their product never go out of style design and performance wise on any dirt track.
These brands are the top of the dirt bike class for their performance and features that won races with handling of the best riders. They have also proven their durability, easy maintenance and long lifespan. Owners of these brands can attest to their long-lasting performance race after race. As a newbie, you just have to look and access what features and qualities that stand out to you.
Basic Points To Keep In Mind When Choosing a Dirt Bike Brand
As a beginner, choosing the right dirt bike brand for you can be overwhelming and confusing. Beginners are prone to making mistakes – but that’s how we learn. But to help you out in making the best decision when choosing the best dirt bike for you, here are some key points to keep in mind:
- Be honest about your skill level. For sure what hooked you to motorbiking is test driving a great bike of a friend or family. But keep in mind your skill level and its equivalent in terms of bike performance. Stick to the average rather than going for high octane 450cc or larger motorcycles. The average range for beginners is 200cc to 250cc. Your mindset should be to learn more; hone skills and make as many mistakes with an average bike first and maximize your experience on the dirt road with it. 450cc is powerful and can take you to new heights for sure but will you be able to handle it properly without injuring yourself? Remember that it’s you riding the bike. Don’t let it ride you.
- Size does matter. For sure you’ll spend a lot of time picking up your bike and getting back on it after getting dropped and toppled over again and again. This is the life of a dirt bike rider, even for experienced and professional racers. Choose the size and weight that you can handle and pick up without exerting too much effort and resistance; because this can be exhausting, affecting your practice and performance level. Pick a lighter dirt bike that’s just right for your build and height. On the other side of the spectrum, if you are a more than 6 ft. tall, you don’t want to ride a bike that’s within your skill level but the size does not fit you. You can’t compromise on size because you must have a level of “comfort” that will enable you to practice and learn. So, the lesson is, choose a size that will fit you based on your physical skill level.
- Another point to consider is the mechanics of riding but also maintaining as well as repairing and troubleshooting. How mechanically proficient are you? A fact you have to face is the expenses necessary to ride and maintain a dirt bike. You must have the proficiency or know how to repair and do quick troubleshooting to thrive in this sport. If you aren’t skillful in repairs, look for a newer dirt bike brand that’s known for durability and low maintenance. Go for major brands that pack the power you want and are known for their long lifespan and low maintenance as well as availability of parts.
There are many aspects to choosing the best dirt bike brand that will fit you in any level you are in. Before choosing and investing in a sports motorcycle, you have to ask yourself what is your level of commitment to the sport and really plunging into it as a leisure activity for you and maybe even for your family. From this article, and previous posts you might have gathered that there is a level of commitment needed to sustain this leisure activity, from the dirt bike to the trailer to haul it to the race tracks. Time is also a factor. Learning the skills as well as maintaining your bikes will consume time.
Be patient and discerning in choosing the best dirt bike brand that’s right for you. Aside from learning about the different brands you can choose; consider your skill set in terms of riding, repairing and maintenance, your size and build and enjoy the process of learning in picking the best for you.