How To Decide What Dirt Bike To Buy

How To Decide What Dirt Bike To Buy main image

When it comes to choosing the right dirt bike, there are so many options and styles available that it's easy to get overwhelmed. In this article, we offer advice on how to make that decision just that bit easier!

How to choose the right size bike: 
Choosing the right size dirt bike comes down to your size, age, and ultimately your riding ability. As a general guide, and as per Motorcycling Australia's regulations, the following ages are suited to the respective ages: 
4-7 years of ages - 50cc
7-11 years of ages - 65cc
9-12 years of age - 85cc small wheel
12-15 years of age - 85cc big wheel
12 years plus - 125cc/250cc four-stroke
16 years plus - 125cc/250cc two-stroke, 250cc/450cc four-stroke 

Many young riders will jump between bikes depending on their size - some grow quicker than others, or have greater ability, and will move up between larger capacities more quickly while still sitting within the age brackets above. 

When it comes to adults, all full-size dirt bikes are essentially the same size in terms of height, so choosing the right engine capacity comes down to ability as a rider and your personal preference. 

If too much power is too much for you to handle, then a 125cc two-stroke or 250cc four-stroke is a suitable option, while if your strong and confident on the bike, then you can also look at 250cc two-stroke or 450cc four-stroke options as well.

Should I buy a two-stroke or four-stroke?
Deciding between a two-stroke or four-stroke motocross or enduro bike really comes down to your personal preference and the type of riding your doing. 

Two-strokes are a favourite for dirt bike enthusiasts, especially as they're really affordable to maintain and offer an exciting power delivery. They can be a handful to ride, though, which is why you'll find most racers equipped with four-strokes. It's also worth noting that only a limited number of manufacturers still produce modern two-stroke motorbikes.

Four-strokes are the pinnacle of dirt bike technology and are the choice for majority of riders and racers in both motocross and off-road riding. They have a very rideable power delivery, can be tuned incredibly easily, and the chassis and suspension packages are the best we've ever seen in the industry.

Should I buy new or used?
Choosing between buying a new or used dirt bike really comes down to your budget. If you're going racing and can afford it, we always recommend investing in a new dirt bike, as that way you know you're going to the track with a reliable bike and you know its complete history. 

A used bike isn't bad, especially if it's your only option in being able to afford a dirt bike. While some think it's wise to stay away from ex-race bikes, that couldn't be further from the truth - ex-race bikes are maintained week in, week out, meaning they've had the best life possible. So if a former race bike winds up in your budget, we'd definitely recommend taking a look at it over a bike that's 'just been ridden in the bush'.

How to choose a dirt bike manufacturer: Personal preference is what will ultimately determine what dirt bike manufacturer you go with. We all form some sort of allegiance with a brand that we tend to stick to for years and years, so it's really about what bike you connect well with, from the brand itself all the way through to how the bike feels for you. 

All modern motocross and enduro bikes are incredible machines, and they're all essentially equal when it comes to quality and features. Dirt bike shootouts are a good way to get to know the features and benefits of each bike, plus their own little characteristics, which may help you make a decision.

Best dirt bike brands:

  • KTM
  • Honda
  • Kawasaki
  • Yamaha
  • Husqvarna
  • Suzuki
  • GASGAS
  • Beta
  • TM 
  • Sherco

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