Best Dirt Bikes (Updated, 2020) | A Mega Guide (Everything Discussed)

Now that 2020 is starting and it’s time to start getting some new toys – you won’t find anything better than a dirt bike to get your adrenaline going.

But you’ll want to pick the best dirt bike in 2020, not something that will leave you stranded. That’s why we’re showing you a few things about the best models out there. And we’re also going over the many different factors to consider before making a final choice.

Want to know what we’re talking about and how you can get the most out of the right dirt bike in 2020? Let’s move forward into this article and learn!

These Are Our Picks for The Best Dirt Bikes

  1. KTM 450 SX-F 2020
  2. Yamaha YZ250F 2020
  3. Honda CRF230F 2020
  4. Kawasaki KLX 110 2020
  5. Honda CRF250X 2020
Best Dirt Bikes

Enduro vs. Trail Dirt Bikes

When picking dirt bikes, you’ll find two major types: the Enduro and the Trail.

The Enduro models refer to wide & flat tires that can tackle any terrain with ease. These bikes also rely more on acceleration & torque than in overall power.

In contrast, the trail bikes focus on speed & control. These are ideal for tackling dirt tracks like competitions and the like.

They are pretty similar, but enduros are often rougher than trail bikes.

Electric Start vs. Kick Start: What’s Better?

The difference is pretty clear: an electric start will only demand you to push a button. As soon as you push it, the battery will send an electrical signal to the ignition that sparks and turns the engine on.

In contrast, a kick-start dirt bike demands you to kick a pedal to create the same spark and properly turn the engine on.

We recommend electric starts for their convenience. However, kick-starts are often more reliable, especially in the long run.

So it is all up to you. We usually recommend bikes that offer both options, so you get the practicality & the reliability at the same time.

Dirt Bike Weight Limits: Are You Too Heavy?

To find out whether a dirt bike can support you, it is necessary to consider three major factors:

  • Type of engine. Is it 4-stroke or 2-stroke? A 4-stroke model tends to be heavier and sturdier, which results in better weight capacity.
  • Engine capacity in cubic centimeters (cc). A bike that offers 200cc won’t have the same power as one offering 400cc. If you can go for the most powerful engine possible, then that will ensure better riding, no matter how much you weigh.
  • Overall frame weight & frame design. The heavier the bike is, the more weight it can handle. For the best results, we recommend bikes that are at least 200 pounds heavy. They usually top at about 215/240 lbs.

Average Dirt Bike Weight

The weight of a dirt bike changes depending on its motor size, the overall set of components & parts, covers, protective equipment, and more.

But the average weight tends to be 215 pounds. Dirt bikes with 400cc engines can get up to 240 pounds with ease. The smallest 110cc models for children can be as light as 150 pounds.

Are 2 Stroke Dirt Bikes More Reliable Than 4-Stroke Models?

When it comes to comparing the reliability of 2-stroke and 4-stroke models, you need to be sure of what you mean.

For us, reliability is not needing much maintenance and providing a safer experience overall. In that case, a 4-stroke bike is the most reliable.

But for those who think of reliability as being cheaper and needing more straightforward maintenance, then a 2-stroke model will be the most reliable for them.

Overall, though, both are equally reliable and can last a similar amount of time. It all depends on what you’re looking for.

What is the Lightest Adult Dirt Bike on the Market?

The lightest bike on the market is the Mountain Moto FX5 – a 125cc dirt bike that only weighs 125 pounds in total.

It is one of the thinnest and easiest to handle bikes as well. For those who are not expecting top-notch power, the Mountain Moto FX5 will make an excellent choice for sure.

Average Dirt Bike Dimensions

A dirt bike tends to be somewhat thinner than other bikes, but it is often taller. They are not as long, though.

Here are the average measurements of a dirt bike:

  • Seat height: 37 inches
  • Length: 85.7 inches
  • Width: 32.4 inches

For kid’s models, the seat height can go up to 24.9 inches, the width is about 25.7 inches, and the length stays at about 50 inches.

Do Dirt Bikes Have Gears?

Yes, all dirt bikes have gears with a manual transmission. You will find between 4 or 6 gears in these bikes depending on their engine’s size.

To change between gears, it is necessary to use the left pedal that works as the shifting bar. Then, you’ll find the clutch on the left handlebar that lets you change gears when pressed.

So yes – using a dirt bike requires learning how to use its gears.

Do Dirt Bikes Have Batteries?

A dirt bike is an off-road machine above anything else. That means it doesn’t need any light, turn signals, or even a horn to work. So, it is common to find dirt bikes with no batteries that start directly from the kick of an engine.

But as people are starting to turn off-road bikes into street-legal machines, it is becoming more common to find some of them with batteries. This allows users to mount headlights, turn lights, brake lights, taillights, and horns if needed.

So, do dirt bikes have batteries? Yes, some of them.

Do Dirt Bikes Have Keys?

No. Most dirt bikes don’t use keys unless adapted.
You will find dirt bikes either using electric starts directly without any keys, or kick-start models that also need keys.

Why Use Gloves?

Gloves let you have a superior grip on the bike when riding. If you want to have maximum control, then you need grip-oriented gloves.

They keep you attached to the handlebar the right way, make it easy to handle the bike, while also keeping your hands clean, dry, and warm.

Why Use Knee Pads?

Using knee pads when riding dirt bikes keeps your knees safe.

That’s what knee pads are for – preventing any fracture or significant damage if you get to fall from the bike.

Elbow pads and shin pads are also excellent protection when riding. Pack them up for higher safety.

Why Use Protective Gear?

Riding a dirt bike is a lot of fun – but it is also pretty dangerous. That’s why not bringing protective gear along can be a matter of life & death.

Well, let’s not take it that far. Protective gear will mostly prevent you from causing damage to your body, such as fractures and wounds.

The main protective gear to wear when riding a bike include helmets, goggles, long-sleeve bike jackets, long bike pants, biking gloves, and biking boots that cover the ankle. That will be enough protective gear.

Why Use Goggles?

When you’re riding a dirt bike on muddy trails, it is common to create pretty disastrous scenarios with dirt, mud, sand, water, and other elements flying around.

That’s why using goggles can keep you from getting any of these elements on your face (or eyes) and making you blind.

For sure, using goggles is the best way to maintain maximum visibility while riding a dirt bike. And that makes sure you’re always safe in most scenarios.

Why Use Action Cameras?

If you love going to beautiful places to use your dirt bike, try awesome tricks, get yourself into adrenaline-inducing situations, or simply practice your riding skills – an action camera will help you make it all better.

You just need to mount one of these on your bike or helmet, and you’ll be ready to record anything you see.

They allow you to record the entire path you’re riding on and anything that happens in the meantime. If you want to record your riding and possibly get unusual situations or environments into the recordings, then you can use an action camera for that.

The best of all is that they are super responsive to movement and don’t get damaged by impacts and/or elements. So they’re pretty safe and easy to use.

Why Use a Neck Brace?

Neck braces help to keep riders safe from the chest up. They have the primary purpose of preventing people from breaking their necks while falling.

In motocross competitions, using a neck brace can be obligatory. In some cases, it is optional.

We think that using a neck brace is an excellent way to increase your safety in a dirt bike. Especially if you want to prevent a broken neck, then using one of these can be your best bet.

Why Use Training Wheels?

Training wheels are often looked at as a deficient way to learn how to ride a bike. But we think they’re not.

If you’re teaching a small child how to ride a bike correctly, then there’s nothing better than using training wheels. This way, they can learn how to maintain balance at first with confidence, then they can take them off once they get skilled.

Why Use Dirt Tires?

A dirt tire comes with a different kind of thread than a regular street tire. That’s why it is so essential to have, and that’s also why making a dirt bike street-legal often requires changing to this type of tire as well.

The thread comes with bumps that increase traction in dirt and sand. Without these bumps, a dirt bike wouldn’t achieve the necessary grip to move.

Why Use Boots?

Using boots (higher than the ankle) is an essential part of using a dirt bike because it helps to prevent any damage.

It also keeps feet dry & clean, which makes you more comfortable while riding.

And as the last thing, most of these boots come with special soles that increase grip on the feet rests of the bikes.

Without the right boots, riding dirt bikes would be more difficult, more dangerous, and more uncomfortable.

Why Use LED Light Bars?

Most dirt bikes lack the usual headlight that almost all other types of bikes come with. And adapting one can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly.

Instead, an LED light bar can do the job even better than any headlight and be way more accessible, faster, and cheaper.

We recommend installing LED light bars for the whole purpose of making the bike safer to ride in dark areas or whenever the sun is not up anymore.

Why Use Chest Protectors?

Riding a dirt bike can be pretty tough. You’re exposed to so many dangers, that it is always better to be protected.

That’s where a chest protector enters into action. It has the whole purpose of keeping the torso of the rider safe from any damage caused by falls, flying objects, debris, or any other possible damage when using a bike.

We recommend them strongly because they offer excellent protection that no other type of gear offers. And they’re often pretty comfy.

Why Use Trailers?

If you’re trying to get your dirt bike pretty far into other states and/or counties – you will probably need to make the bike street legal. And that can be costly, plus may end up decreasing the total ruggedness of the bike.

To prevent that, you can always use a trailer. It offers the chance to transport your bike securely without having to do any modification. And it can often take it far enough where no dirt bike would reach without going twice or even thrice as much to the gas station.

Overall, using trailers to transport bikes saves you legal issues, money, and time.

Why Use Choke?

The whole purpose of a choke is to make sure your bike has a proper air-fuel mixture to start.

When an engine doesn’t want to spark correctly, it often means it needs some “choking.” In this case, the choke helps you prepare the mixture so the spark can start.

Be sure to know that the choke affects performance as little, and it may cause the bike to choke (turn off). This means you need to turn the choke off so that the air-fuel mixture is ready.

Why Use Straps?

Straps on a bike help you secure it to pickup trucks when traveling around. They offer the proper elasticity and strength to keep the bike put on the bed truck when needed.

If you’re thinking about bringing extra gear on your bike, straps may help you as well.

Overall, they help to secure things to other things. And they’re often waterproof & pretty tough, so they work for many different things.

10 Dirt Bike Accessories Every Owner Should Have

Even though dirt bikes often come with only a few accessories, you may also find some of them pretty useful.

Here are some of them we think you should have:

  1. Hydration packs. It will help you stay hydrated no matter where you are.
  2. Handguards. In case you fall, your hands will be protected. This also keeps them clean & dry.
  3. Tie-downs. Need to bring some bags or equipment far away? Get some tie-downs to secure it.
  4. Skid plates. Skid plates always help to prevent damage from dirt, rocks, and more.
  5. Auxiliary gas cans. Bringing extra gas cans can be pretty useful if you get stranded.
  6. Hand-held air pump. Even when they can handle challenging terrains, dirt tires can deflate at any moment. Bring a pump around to inflate them if needed.
  7. Auxiliary spark plug. You may not know when, but spark plugs can stop working at any time. Bring a spare one to prevent getting stranded.
  8. Chain wax. Dirt bikes get dirty, and that affects the chain. A bottle of chain wax lets you lube it when needed.
  9. Toolkit. Your bike may fail or break at any time, so make sure you have a toolkit around.
  10. GPS. A GPS can save you from getting lost in forests, fields, mountains, and any other remote place.

10 Basic Dirt Bike Maintenance Tips

Keeping your bike working at full-throttle and without deficiencies won’t be easy. You must perform exhausting maintenance & other care if you want that.

Here are a few tips that will help you out:

  1. Wash after riding. Keeping your bike clean is essential to make it look neat, but also to prevent any damage to internal components. Build-up and sand are huge enemies of dirt bikes.
  2. Check for leaks. If your bike is leaking oil or gas, it will probably stop working sooner or later. Fix them as fast as you can.
  3. Give the chain a thorough look-over. The chain gives torque to the rear wheel from the engine, so it is essential to keep it clean, lubricated, and with the right tension. Otherwise, it may break or work deficiently.
  4. Tighten up bolts. You will find pins all around the bike, from the covers to the wheels, and even in the handlebar. Make sure they’re all tightened up before riding.
  5. Clean the air filter. You can do this every month to make sure nothing is blocking it. Use an air-filter spray to prevent any damage.
  6. Check cables & connections. Your bike functions with a clutch, brakes, gas pedal, and sometimes even lights. They are all connected via cables & wires – so check them up before using the bike.
  7. Replace oil when needed. The oil on a dirt bike tends to get dirty faster than a regular motorcycle. That’s why you should change it in every 10 hours of total riding.
  8. Keep brakes pristine. From the discs to the fluid and even the pedal itself, make sure your brakes work correctly to prevent any accident.
  9. Check the clutch before using. The clutch and gearbox of your bike should function pristinely. Otherwise, you may put yourself in danger.
  10. Grease it when needed. The shock, fork, steering heads, and even wheel bearings lose grease fast in a dirt bike. To keep it working well, make sure to grease consistently.

Is It Possible to Ride Dirt Bikes in Snow?

Yes, you can ride a dirt bike in snow as long as you make the proper modifications.

Here are some modifications you need to do:

  1. Use snow tires instead of regular dirt tires. These snow tires will have studs that increase traction on snowy & wet surfaces.
  2. Protect your carburetor sides with plastic covers. Don’t let snow get into it and block the insides.
  3. Make sure to have the proper air/fuel mixture. This keeps the fuel ready to work even in freezing temperatures.
  4. Last but not least, prevent any type of snow from getting into the airbox. If the filter freezes, the bike may struggle to achieve proper throttle.

Is It Possible to Ride Dirt Bikes in the Rain?

Yes, it is totally possible, and is in fact the most entertaining way to ride a bike. However, you must take some precautions to do it right.

Here are a few tips to prevent accidents when riding in the rain:

  1. Wear high-visibility goggles or helmets or both. Riding with blurred visibility caused by rainwater is pretty dangerous. Wear vented gear to prevent this.
  2. Don’t get into deep water or mud puddles. Your engine may drown.
  3. Use waterproof clothes. From shirts and pants to gloves, boots, and socks – everything should be water-resistant & comfy.
  4. These three tips are enough to tackle some trails even when it’s raining. Still, try to be as safe as possible!

Fitting a Dirt Bike in a Truck Bed with the Tailgate up

It depends heavily on the size of the truck bed.

For compact beds, it will be almost impossible to fit a bike completely. In this case, you will need to place the rear wheel over the tailgate.

If you have a standard short bed, you may have the chance to fit an entire dirt bike with no issue – but only on the largest pickup trucks and with the motorcycle positioned diagonally.

And if you have a standard long truck bed, then you can fit a dirt bike with no issues.

How to Get a Dirt Bike Loan Without Getting Ripped Off?

Nowadays, credit is king. You can get financed on a dirt bike without having to risk much, but you must be careful. Otherwise, you’re likely to get ripped off – or eventually end up paying much more than you should have in the first place.

So, we recommend to follow these tips:

  • Ask for a personal loan with an interest rate of less than 15%. These loans often ask you to place the bike or any other personal asset as collateral. They are dangerous if you don’t pay them, but they are safer than many others.
  • Using your personal credit card can be a wise choice. If it has less than 12% interest, then that’s even better. You may end up paying the bike for several months without increasing the cost too much.
  • Get financed from a dealership or manufacturer. Some dealerships and bike companies offer the chance to finance your bike over several months, and often with little interest. This is the safest way to get a loan for your dirt bike.
  • Find protection plans and/or repayment insurance if possible. In case something goes wrong and you can’t pay – an insurance or protection plan can save you from getting ripped off.

How to Buy a Used Dirt Bike on the Cheap?

Buying a used dirt bike is pretty hard – and if you want it cheap, then it gets even harder.

Luckily, you can always follow some tips to make this happen. Here are some of them:

  • Find the best deals online. The internet is the best place to find cheap bikes, especially old ones. You may need to travel a few miles to meet the buyer – but that’s worth it most of the time.
  • Always look for bikes that look decent and don’t have any modifications. Modified dirt bikes usually have extra components that you don’t need – that you must ignore. And if the bikes look too pristine, then they will probably be too expensive. Focus on a standard yet decent look.
  • Test ride the bike and look for small issues. Before buying, make sure to test the machine. Test everything from the brakes to the torque, the clutch, and how fast or effectively the gears change. If you notice any inconsistencies unrelated to the motor, ask for a price reduction.
  • Negotiate as much as you can. Once you’ve picked a bike with no engine problems that look decent and rides well, then you can start negotiating. Ask for price cuts following small inconsistencies and appearance issues. Try to cut the price as much as you can.

This will not only help you get a dirt bike for cheap but also ready to tackle the trail.

Dirt Bike Insurance Cost

A dirt-bike insurance costs way less than a regular motorcycle insurance (sport, chopper, commuter, etc.).

You can insure a small 100cc to 150cc dirt bike for no more than $99 a year.

For a larger dirt bike of about 400cc, you may be looking at about $150 a year.

Seems pretty cheap, huh?

How to Wash a Dirt Bike without Causing Damage?

Washing a dirt bike is essential. It will keep the machine working for years and make it look way better over time.

Here’s a small set of tips to follow if you want to wash your dirt bike the right way:

  • Remove all the sensitive parts from the bike
  • Rinse the bike with a hose using low pressure
  • Scrub everything with a soft non-brittle sponge
  • Clean the chain with lubricant & solvent
  • Apply bike wash and clean spots
  • Dry it up using a towel

This will help you wash your bike without causing any damage.

How to Make a Dirt Bike Street Legal for Under $100?

The best way to make a dirt bike street legal is to buy a lighting kit that contains a headlight, a brake light, a taillight, and turn lights. These can be between $50 and $90 if you know how to find one.

Lastly, get a horn. You can mount a DOT-approved gas tank & set of tires later.

How to Make a Dirt Bike Street Legal in Texas?

Making a dirt bike legal to tackle the street is not easy, especially if you’re in Texas. But it is still possible, and it doesn’t take that much work.

You’ll just have to do this:

  • Buy tail lights & brake lights
  • A headlight is also essential
  • Get a horn for the bike
  • Buy At least one rear-view mirror
  • Find DOT-approved tires
  • Look for a DOT-approved fuel tank
  • Get an OHV decal
  • Bring your bike to an inspection
  • Then register the bike to finish

This will get your bike ready to tackle any street without any legal problem.

Dirt Bike Security Tips

Everyone knows that riding bikes can be truly dangerous. When you’re riding dirt bikes, it gets even worse.

Here’s where you need to consider specific safety tips, such as:

  • Wear the most protective gear possible: goggles, long-sleeve shirts, ankle-covering boots, long pants, and grip-oriented gloves.
  • Don’t take a dirt bike with dirt tires to the street as it won’t have the same grip. Stay on dirt & grass only.
  • Keep yourself away from remote places. Only ride close to cities, and in areas that you’re familiar with – better if you have company.
  • Don’t ride bikes if you’re younger than 16 years old. Dirt bikes are not toys.
  • Don’t speed up in steep or bumpy trails. Try to be as safe as possible by slowing down when needed.
  • If you’re under the influence of alcohol, then don’t ride a dirt bike (or any vehicle).
  • Always ride a dirt bike only, and only if you know how to ride one. Otherwise, take a course first or learn with friends/family.

Best Dirt Bikes

KTM 450 SX-F 2020

If there’s a bike you need to consider for 2020 – then it is the 450 SX-F from KTM. It does not only boast excellent power to go through any track, but has also got proper handling so that you can move with ease and comfort.

On top of all that, it comes with the uniquely enticing orange design that KTM always offers.

Yamaha YZ250F 2020

The YZ250F comes like the most reliable option for this 2020. It has decent power & handling, plus an excellent build that lasts a lifetime. Pair this up with the electric start with the touch of a button on the bike or smartphone, and you’ll get an ultra-practical model.

Honda CRF230F 2020

A medium-sized bike for teenagers & adults is always worth considering. That’s where the CRF230F enters into action, offering proper engine strength and small design for incredible experiences.

Taking this bike to the off-road trail will be a super-fun activity for anyone.

Kawasaki KLX 110 2020

Perfect for kids & beginners – the KLX 110 comes with a smaller engine than others in the list, which makes it ideal for those who are learning.

Want to give your kid a bike to start 2020 at full-throttle? The Kawasaki KLX 110 will come like a gem.

Honda CRF250X 2020

If you’re looking for something sporty but still ready to tackle the streets with no problem – the CRF250X will be a perfect choice.

It comes with an ideal 250cc motor as well as a comfy design. Riding this bike will be a total pleasure wherever you are.

Bottom Line

So, did this guide help you find out the right bike and any other info you need about dirt bikes?

If so, then you must be ready to make a choice and pick your next dirt.

Don’t hesitate – you won’t regret it. Having a dirt bike will be a fantastic adventure, for sure. Get yours now!