Even if it’s inspiring, nothing beats seeing a brand-new 150cc dirt bike tear down a trail or zip through town. They have the newest gadgets and brightest colors, but these features often come with a high price tag and a hard learning curve. A used beginner bike is a great way to get into dirt biking without spending much money.
I swear to you, it’s a thing.
People often win prizes on 10- to 20-year-old motorcycles in road racing, motocross, and other motorsports. Motorbike technology hasn’t changed much in the last ten years. Fuel injection and anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are becoming more common, and electronics and suspension have improved. Still, at their core, and especially to the untrained eye, modern cars are mostly the same as the ones that came before them.
Used dirt bikes are becoming less costly.
We just talked about how if you’ve been on a bike before, you’re probably ready to ride a dirt bike. Still, riding a dirt bike is a very different thing. Some dirt bikes are better on trails, while others, like those that can be driven on the street, are better in cities. Some are hard for even experienced riders to tame, but others are friendly and great for people just starting.
On top of that, a dirt bike with 100 horsepower is very different from a street bike with 100 horsepower. If this is your first dirt bike, you shouldn’t buy one that just came out of the store. It’s a bad plan in every way.
The best part is that you can get a good dirt bike for anywhere between $2,000 and $5,000. If you sell it for that price, you won’t lose much. All the bikes on this list can be bought for less than $1,000, so if you’re just starting in the world of two wheels, now is the time to start making deals and selling what you don’t need. We’ll get right to the point and list the best and worst dirt bikes for beginners that are available right now.
- Honda CRF500
If you need to ride something this size, get a CRF500. In the clip, a Honda CR500 from the early 1990s is just as fast as a brand-new KTM 450. Even though it is older than a lot of people, a professional racer would have a hard time finding its limits today. What is a good dirt bike for a first-time rider? Not! A perfect dream bike that is cheap? Yes, in a word.
- Husqvarna TE 150 and the KTM 150 XCW
“KTM means victory” is proudly written on the KTM website. Two-stroke saviors have been at the top of their game for decades, and this trail bike has an easy-to-learn wide-ratio gearbox and enough low-end torque for quick acceleration and turning.
You can choose between Husky White and KTM Orange. If you mess it up or drop it, it won’t be cheap to fix, so this dirt bike isn’t a good choice for beginners.
- YZ125 Yamaha
The KTM/Husky is a big American V-Twin, while the Yamaha YZ125 is a Japanese inline four. It’s a full-size two-stroke with suspension and gears made for racing. Its performance in open terrain makes it a great supermoto or street-legal dirt bike. Since it has been made in some form since 1974, it is easy to find and cheap to buy replacement parts.
The Yamaha YZ125 is a great choice if you want to buy a used dirt bike. People who post ads on Craigslist will sell them to you for almost nothing, and if you don’t mind a few dents and scratches, you’ll almost certainly make money.
The making hasn’t changed in twenty years. To make a cheap beginner dirt bike perform like a high-end bike, you must replace the worn-out fork internals and shocks, switch to lighter wheels, and give it a thorough tune-up. Modern plastics can make it look good and save time, money, and stress.