5 best dirt bike brands

5 Best Dirt Bike Brands of 2021

Written by Carolyn Jackson


You’ve made the decision and you’re ready to start shopping for a dirt bike, now what?


One of the first things to look at, outside of considering how much a dirt bike costs is the brand. Although most dirt bike manufacturers are producing high-quality machines, some stand out above the rest. In this article, we’ll review the 5 best dirt bike brands of 2021, what makes them great, where to find them, and of course, where to take them for a ride. So strap in, this could get bumpy.


Key Takeaways:

  • Dirt bikes are different from other motorcycle categories and prioritize speed, lightweight frames, and maneuverability in their design
  • Find out the 5 best dirt bike brands that stand out among the pack
  • Dirt bikes usually range from 50cc-500cc in displacement
  • Dirt bikes usually cost about $4K-$7K

What to Look for in a Dirt Bike

Dirt bikes are a subset of the motorcycle family. They are similar in some ways but different in others. First and foremost, most dirt bikes are not street legal. They do not have headlights, brake lights, or mirrors, like most motorcycles in other categories. Dirt bikes have small engines, usually from 50cc-500cc, 2-stroke, or 4-stroke, and are built for adrenaline, speed, off-roading, and jumps. Additionally, dirt bikes often come with smaller gas tanks, engines, and stiff suspension to aid with the off-roading purpose. They have tires specifically made for dirt riding designed to navigate loose terrains like rocks or sand. Dirt bikes are built to be fast, lightweight, and maneuverable.


With all of that in mind, here are a few questions to ask yourself before purchasing a dirt bike:


  • How will you use your dirt bike?

    • Are you going to be off-roading on sand, gravel, rock, dirt? Some bikes are better suited to one terrain over others. 
    • How often will you use the bike, and in what weather?


  • How much are you able to spend on the dirt bike?

    • Dirt bikes can be affordable, especially if you buy used. Determine your budget and stick to it as you do your research. 
    • If used, ask questions about engine hours, engine oil, suspension, tires, wheels, etc.


  • What are the important specs to know when buying a dirt bike?

    • Displacement, usually referenced as a ‘cc’, is how we measure a motorcycle’s capacity for power. The higher the cc, the more power a motorcycle’s engine has. 
    • Similarly, a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine refers to how many steps occur within the engine to deliver that power
    • Weight, gas tank capacity, suspension, body/frame material, and seat height are other common specs to be aware of.


  • What size dirt bike do I need?

    • When we say size, we are referring to weight, displacement, and literal height. 
    • Make sure you feel comfortable with handling the bike’s weight and power, as well as being able to fit comfortably on the seat while driving and at a stop
    • If you are new to dirt bikes or smaller in frame, start with a 125 or 150cc engine


  • How do I maintain a dirt bike?

    • Dirt bikes require regular maintenance, the same as any motorcycle. The better you do with consistent care, the longer your bike will last and the less money you will need to spend at the mechanic

    The 5 Best Dirt Bike Brands

    Now for the big reveal! Here are our picks for the 5 best dirt bike brands, in no particular order. When deciding which brands to put on our list, we considered a few aspects: reliability, affordability, and adaptability.



    Why we like Husqvarna: 

    Husqvarna is known for making powerful yard tools and lawnmowers but has successfully adapted into the motorcycle market. Their dirt bikes are notable because of their lightweight design, traction, and powerful engines. Husqvarna also recently broke into the electric world, unveiling an all-new electric dirt bike. 


    Our favorite Husqvarna dirt bike: 


    2021 Husqvarna FC 250 - Top 5 Dirt Bike Brands

    2021 Husqvarna FC 250

    Weight: 219.4 lb

    Fuel Tank: 1.8 gal

    Displacement: 250cc

    Engine Type: Single cylinder 

    Price: $9,399



    Why we like KTM: 

    KTM is one of the most attractive, sleek, and cool-looking bikes on the market, in our opinion. They are an Austrian company that started in 1992 and has made waves in the motor industry. In the industry, KTM is known for pushing the boundaries of technology and style for their bikes. 


    Our favorite KTM dirt bike: 

    2021 KTM SMR 450 - Top 5 Dirt Bike Brands

    2021 KTM SMR 450

    Weight: 245.8 lb

    Fuel Tank: 1.8 gal

    Displacement: 450cc

    Engine Type: Single cylinder 

    Price: $11,299



    Why we like Honda: 

    I mean, it’s Honda. Everyone knows about the steadfast reliability of the Japanese-based motor company. But not everyone knows how boss Honda is at making dirt bikes. Honda continues their tradition of making reliable, affordable machines. I mean, they make it all; from sedans to forklifts to dirt bikes, everything coming out of the Honda factories is top-notch. They are known for their strong, durable engines with quite the kick. Honda is a steadfast contender in the dirt bike industry.


    Our favorite Honda dirt bike: 

    2020 Honda CRF 50 - Top 5 Dirt Bike Brands

    2020 Honda CRF 50

    Weight: 110 lb

    Fuel Tank: .7 gal

    Displacement: 50cc

    Engine Type: Single cylinder 

    Price: $1,549



    Why we like Kawasaki: 

    Kawasaki has made a name for themselves with some of their flagship products, including the Ninka, the MachIII, or the KZ — they have a cult following that swears they will only buy that specific bike for the rest of their life. Kawasaki’s impressive manufacturing holds true for its dirt bikes as well. They have a lineup of 3 exciting dirt bikes, including the KLR, KLX, and KX, ranging from 50cc up to 650cc. Kawasaki is known for making some pretty great youth dirt bikes as well. All around, Kawasaki offers a fantastic variety of choices in dirt bikes.  


    Our favorite Kawasaki dirt bike: 

    2020 Kawasaki KLX 110 - Top 5 Dirt Bike Brands

    2020 Kawasaki KLX 110

    Weight: 167.5 lb

    Fuel Tank: 1 gal

    Displacement: 112cc

    Engine Type: Single cylinder 

    Price: $2,349



    Why we like Yamaha:

    Yamaha, another Japanese manufacturer, is the best of the best in the dirt bike world. They are known for the big three: affordability, reliability, and adaptability. Most notably is adaptability, or we might be better off calling it innovation. Yamaha has paved the way to bigger and better things for the dirt bike world time and time again. Yamaha has always manufactured dirt bikes. They started making dirt bikes when they opened their doors in 1955. Yamaha dirt bikes are known for being small, lightweight, and powerful. They also boat some of the best suspension in the business.


    Our favorite Yamaha dirt bike: 

    2021 Yamaha YZ 65

    2021 Yamaha YZ 65

    Weight: 134 lb

    Fuel Tank: .9 gal

    Displacement: 65cc

    Engine Type: Single cylinder 

    Price: $4,599


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    Runner Up: Beta

    Why we like Beta: 

    Beta is an Italian motorcycle company that specializes in off-road bikes. Their bikes range from 50cc-480cc, and they have a great lineup of beginner dirt bikes for the little ones. Beta is a smaller manufacturer, producing 20,000 units per year, compared to over 19 million for the behemoth Honda. Beta started making motorcycles in 1948 and used KTM engines in their bikes during the ‘70s and ‘80s, but now manufacture their engines. Beta bikes are praised for their superior handling, power, and smooth ride. 


    Our favorite Beta dirt bike: 

    2021 BETA RR 125 2-Stroke

    2021 BETA RR 125 2-Stroke

    Weight: 207 lb

    Fuel Tank: 2.6 gal

    Displacement: 125cc

    Engine Type: Single cylinder 

    Price: $7,999


    How Much is a Dirt Bike?

    Dirt bikes can range widely in price. Price is directly related to engine power, the larger an engine, the more expensive a bike will be. In general, a new dirt bike will cost between $6K-$10K, but most people spend an average of $6,023 on a new dirt bike. Used dirt bikes are usually in the $3K-$7K range, but most people spend about $4,848 on a used bike in this category. 


    For a bonus, take a look at our monthly round-up of manufacturer deals and incentives to see if the dirt bike you are interested in happens to have any deals on it this month! 


    Where to Ride a Dirt Bike

    Once you have a dirt bike, the next question is where you can go to ride it–especially since most dirt bikes aren’t street legal, and riding it to the grocery store probably won’t give you the thrill you’re looking for. 


    There are four main types of places you can ride your dirt bike:

    • Private property (yours or others by permission)
    • Off-road riding park
    • State trails
    • Motocross track


    Pro Tip: Make sure you feel comfortable and confident about your skill level before you commit to riding at a certain place. If you are a beginner, you will not want to go to the place with huge jumps and muddy trails on your first try!


    Luckily, hundreds of amazing off-road parks around the US are made and maintained specifically for off-road dirt biking. We compiled a list of our top ten off-road dirt bike trails in the US that will give you a great jumping-off place for finding where to take your next ride. 


    Check out our list of the best off-road trails in the US here. 


    How to Buy a Dirt Bike

    There are a few ways you can go about purchasing a dirt bike: 


    One of the first considerations you will need to make is if you prefer to buy used or new, this will help inform where to look and your budget. For more information on the difference between buying a used motorcycle and a new motorcycle, check out our new vs. used motorcycle guide here. 


    When you buy a motorcycle, there are some necessary steps to take, such as investing in some safety gear and learning how to operate the machine. For helpful tips and insight into the process of buying a motorcycle, take a look at our guide to buying a motorcycle as well. We hope this list of the 5 best dirt bike brands help you find your perfect ride!



    GoRollick Marketplace

    When you’re ready to find your next dirt bike, be sure to check us out at GoRollick.com


    You can:

    • See nationwide inventory, specs, and incentive information
    • Get an upfront, transparent price on your desired dirt bike 
    • Receive special offers on both the motorcycle as well as additional accessories
    • Take advantage of Bonus Savings plus the option to Buy From Home from select Certified Dealers
    • Shop at one of our Certified Dealers who are committed to providing an exceptional buying experience


    Check out and Subscribe to the GoRollick YouTube Channel to watch reviews, test rides, and more!

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