What Dirt Bike Is the Best for Trail Riding?


dirt bikes for trail riding

While out on your dirt bike riding with friends, there is little doubt you won’t get the question, “What dirt bike is best for trail riding?” Trust me! I came across that question, and I was scratching my head on what dirt bike is best for trail riding. Rather than overlook it, I took the initiative to research on different dirt bike models and why each makes sense for trail riding. It took plenty of effort, riders, and the results are a compilation of dirt bikes that fit the description of trail riding.

But, before we talk about the dirt bikes, it’s wise to understand the differences that determine what trail dirt bikes entail.

From the start, trail riding exposes riders and their dirt bikes to challenging terrain. Thus, any rider should seek out dirt bikes that can adapt to the challenging terrain while still maintaining the crucial elements of modern riding.  The following dirt bikes are borderline a new breed of trail bikes that achieve the demanding necessities of downhills, parks, dirt roads, and other kinds of terrains. Some of them are thick; others are fast. You will get some with large wheels and an aggressive outlook. All this is to fit the description and answer anyone who cares to ask, ” What dirt bike is best for trail riding?”

  1. Kawasaki KLX110
  2. Honda 125F Big Wheel
  3. Suzuki DR-Z125L
  4. Kawasaki KLX140G
  5. Honda CRF150F
  6. Kawasaki KDX200
  7. KTM 200 EXC
  8. Kawasaki KLX230R
  9. Yamaha TT-R230
  10. Honda CRF230
  11.  Honda CRF250X
  12. KLX300R
  13. HUSQVARNA TE310

You can read on related post here: Best 4 Stroke Dirt Bikes for Trail Riding

Kawasaki KLX110

Budding dirt bike enthusiasts always consider the Kawasaki KLX110.

It is a good dirt bike not only for beginners but also for experienced trail riders. The attributes of the KLX110 remain its utmost advantage over other dirt bikes.

For instance, the 8.5-inch ground clearance and 26.8-inch seat height are among the lowest of the dirt bike model I have come across.

You will also love that it’s sporty enough for racing. Kawasaki features a Lime Green chassis and fender to give the race-inspired looks.

Owning the Kawasaki KLX110 gets you a 112cc four-stroke engine that will carry your weight around.

Also, the engine power does not seem much on paper, but as a four-stroke, it packs enough ability to deliver on the dirt roads.

Another aspect you will love with the KLX110 is its lightweight design. At 76kg wet weight, Kawasaki has retained its feathery character to the off-road dirt bike models.

Honda 125F Big Wheel

As the name suggests, the Honda 125F is a big wheel bike made with a simple concept but carries the ingenious of the Honda brand.

Everything else the Honda 125F Big Wheel has it borrows from its predecessor, the CRF125.

As such, this means the Honda 125F Big Wheel is also an electric starter with a 125cc single-engine.

The transmission also fits a four-speed system which is suitable for different category of riders, even beginners.

The seat height is a bit different from the Honda 125F Big Wheel’s 30.9-inch displacement.

That is considerably larger by an inch to the seat height of the 125F Big Wheel.

The most standout feature, yet, is the dirt bike’s front wheel. Honda put a giant front wheel to offer superior design with its suspension.

For trail riding, I find the 19-inch wheel enough to handle bumpy, rugged, or dirt terrains.

To add the convenience, the model also has a front-suspension action, and brake lever to achieve those race-performance capabilities.

Suzuki DR-Z125L

On the low-end of dirt bike engine, you will find the Suzuki DR-Z125L.

The model is particularly small and would best fit teenagers, young and short adults.

A good reason for this would be the seat height of 32 inches and a displacement length of 74.2 inches.

You can expect this to go even lower once you mount.

The size should not have you write off this model as an option when it comes to asking what dirt bike is best for trail riding.

Despite being a 124cc engine, Suzuki put a four-stroke system with a 5-speed transmission to give it the much need muscle for trail riding.

On the aesthetic side of things, this DR-Z125L has a lightweight design thanks to its agile aluminum rims and steel frame.

In addition to making the bike nimble, the structure remains compact enough to improve suspension performance and maneuverability.

Kawasaki KLX140G

My quest to answering what dirt bike is best for trail riding also took me to the Kawasaki KLX140G.

Now, this is a great model from the Kawasaki brand since it offers the best of both worlds.

And who would love to combine this 140cc engine dirt bike for street use and trail riding?

Its four-stroke single engine is compact enough to fit in its slim chassis, leaving plenty of room.

You will also find that the seat height is 33.9inch which is perfect for riders looking for ideal feet displacement.

Also, the keyless electric start is an admirable feature in the KLX140G. You won’t have to kickstart the engine each time you stall.

On the flip side, the clutch runs on manual operation plus the five-speed transmission.

This is a good case for beginners also to learn the basics to dirt bikes.

It’s also an air-cooled clutch system so that coolant will not be necessary to keep the engine temperature standard.

Honda CRF150F

The Honda CRF150F deservedly lands in this list due to its significant recommendation for best dirt bikes for beginners.

Now it may be a beginner dirt bike alright, but the dimensions and features of the make it a prime consideration when finding out what dirt bike is best for trail riding.

The ergonomics you will find in the Honda CRF150F are wheel sizes of 16 inches for the rear and 19 inches for the front.

You will also find the seat height less intimidating at less than 33 inches.

Honda makes the Honda CRF150F with a decent power reputation that includes a 149cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine.

Experienced dirt bike riders would consider the four-stroke a major win despite the low engine capacity.

Kawasaki KDX200

The Kawasaki KDX200 experiences a strong following as another model that features whenever a asked what dirt bike is best for trail riding.

Rightly so, the brand itself touts the Kawasaki KDX200 as one of the best trail bikes ever made.

The exceptional refinement to this model from the previous version is the modern look and change in the power system.

In the case of the Kawasaki KDX200 ‘H’ model, Kawasaki brought in higher compression, stronger clutch, and larger radiators.

Each Kawasaki KDX200 further features a single-cylinder two-stroke engine, which is perfect for recreational off-road enthusiasts.

It doesn’t need a massive operation but is powerful enough to handle different trails.

Lastly, all models of the Kawasaki KDX200 runs on a 198cc liquid-cooled engine.

Here, riders might find it mild enough to hit the trails and not consider it too much power for the occasion.

KTM 200 EXC

KTM sought to achieve a new level of handling and performance for dirt bikes under 250cc in the KTM 200 EXC.

From the onset, you can tell that the KTM 200 EXC is reliable and user-friendly.

The dirt bike has an electric starter that offers convenience and reliable engine starting.

KTM further compiles a compact and lightweight 193cc engine that packs a six-speed transmission system.

The combination makes it a specific choice for rough enduro conditions such as rocky, desert, or mountain trails.

The high-level mechanics don’t end there as KTM also puts high-tech Brembo brakes as a standard for the bike’s braking technology.

As a class-leading act, the KTM 200 EXC further features a front fork with fork shoes for the design’s durability and maintenance.

KTM recognizes that trails can damage a dirt bike’s suspension system and put in the front fork guards.

Kawasaki KLX230R

Another Kawasaki fronting as an option is the KLX230R.

Its an excellent choice for most of the intermediate dirt bike riders with the remarkable approach of multi-use.

Delivery and maintenance are also areas that you will find the KLX230R is good at.

That could be the possible reason for it being an excellent option for trail riding. And why not?

The KLX230R runs on a 233cc single-cylinder engine that has an excellent fuel injector.

An electric start button is available for the riders not accustomed to kickstarts.

At the engine is a six-speed transmission with an air-cooled system. Now, recognize this gives it a more productive engine run that less polluting.

Besides, the KLX230R also runs on a wet clutch as most modern road bikes you would find.

An advantage with this is that the KLX230R is smoother with a fierce clutch engagement thanks to the lubricant.

Its spec sheet also includes a seat height of 36.2-inch, which you would see as too high.

But, this leaves room for the shocks to settle once you mount. Kawasaki also says that the KLX230R comes with proper dirt tires.

That is quite significant, considering I was searching for the best dirt bike for trail riding.

Yamaha TT-R230

Yamaha’s reputation for producing good dirt bikes is also evident in the TT-R230.

In previous articles, it wins on being an awesome beginner dirt bike. Despite this, it still gains points in conquering trails for most dirt bike riders.

You would want to consider that the TT-R230 packs a 223cc four-stroke engine.

Plus, the broad powerband the engine is efficient enough to achieve a wide range of speeds and torque.

For convenience, this Yamaha model also features an electric start that functions together with the six-speed manual transmissions.

Both ensure the starting and shifting utilizes the best of both worlds of speed and acceleration.

As you will also see, the TT-R230 is not that big of a dirt bike.

The seat height is manageable, and at 34.3 inches, I would find it compatible with young and average adults.

Trail riding can also be unforgiving to your dirt bike. Picking the TT-R230 gives you a stronger and rugged chassis, which will handle any terrain’s character.

The model borrows its design from the YZ series of off-road dirt bikes in mind.

Honda CRF230F

The Honda CRF230F is another pick in my list top dirt bikes for trail riding.

For beginners, its a decent sized Honda that sports a 223cc four-stroke single-engine.

Novice dirt bike riders will find out that it has plenty of torque, but it remains easy to ride.

The Honda CRF230F also runs on a six-speed transmission and manual clutch to add to its off-road capabilities.

If you wish to have a modern dirt bike for trail riding, also know that the Honda CRF230F comes with an electric starter for convenience.

I also find the Honda CRF230F to be more large from the outlook.

It is a full-sized dirt bike with a seat height 34.6 inches while the suspension travel sits in at 9.4 inches.

You can count on such aspects to help conquer different terrains while still ensuring you are comfortable.

Honda CRF250X

Whether riding a dirt road or on a trail expedition, you would want to explore dealing with the Honda CRF250X.

But the first option would be to explore what you intend to deal with before the buy.

The CRF250X gives a liquid-cooled, 249cc four-stroke engine to keep its combustion efficient enough no matter the terrain.

You will also find that this Honda’s engine is a four-valve design that adopts the mechanism found on MX Bikes.

For the frame, Honda is proud to put the aluminum perimeter frames as a staple of the dirt bike.

Already Honda is famous for this and wrapping up compact engines under detachable aluminum frame mounts.

As you can also expect the seat height and ground clearance are also at reasonable levels.

The seat height stands at 958mmm and 348m for the ground clearance. You would also want to consider that the wheelbase is 1481 mm in size.

This is enough to help the dirt bike sustain the hustle of rough trails.

KLX300R

If you happen to outgrow the performance of 250cc dirt bikes and lesser models, be sure also to check out the KLX300R.

In this make, Kawasaki sought to improvise a single-cylinder 4-stroke engine road dirt bike to offer the same capabilities to trails.

In my review, I found it to be in its category of an off-road dirt bike.

From my outlook, the displacement of the 292cc engine and 292 pounds for weight makes it intensive to sustain the robust capabilities for off-road mounting.

The 6-speed transmission further seals the skills that come with KLX300R final chain drive.

The KLX300R’s chassis also does give the rider a lot of advantages. The seat height is 36.4 inches, enough to resists technical trails full of rocks or logs.

A ground clearance of 12 inches also comes into play to suit the KLX300R capability to tackle rough trails.

Lastly, the ergonomics also receive fine-tuning to ensure the hard-hitting power delivery does not damage any components.

For instance, the chassis is narrow enough to accommodate the dirt bike rider and still leave room for moving around when mounting.

HUSQVARNA TE310

If soaring speeds and power is what you seek for your trail riding, then HUSQVARNA got an excellent fit for your scenario.

The HUSQVARNA TE310 is for enduro competition and packs the perfect balance for trail riding.

The first element in my consideration would be the weight of the HUSQVARNA TE310.

As an enduro dirt bike, I find it lightweight with a total weight of less than 30kgs.

The engine is also pretty small for its size but still enables to produce 302.4cc from its capacity.

Another reason for the HUSQVARNA TE310 would be the responsive nature of the dirt bike.

For beginners, it still has an electric start which suitable for novices and intermediate riders.

The basic design of the transmission system is also standard to other KTM off-road dirt bikes.

You will find the same single-cylinder, twin-cam engine with an electronic fuel injection system.

On the frame, the HUSQVARNA TE310 improves stability by making KYB shock absorbers part of the bike.

On paper, this gives room for compression when riding in different trails. The rigid setting can easily adjust to the changing terrain.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that riding trails requires suitable dirt bikes that will meet your expectations and suit your trail.

Since not all dirt bikes are made for the trail, be sure not to purchase something you will end up regretting.

But you should not come to such a scenario.

If you wish to purchase one, I hope this post will be the guideline to pick a suitable trail dirt bike.

Picking on an ideal dirt bike could be the difference is your trail riding. So, get out there and try out these dirt bikes to find which fits you best.

Daniel Mose

Daniel is a big fan of dirt biking. I own KTM 250 SX-F. I love learning how to maintain this dirt bike and ensure it lasts long while serving me without any issues. Join me in this journey as I document stuff that we, as dirt bike lovers, ought to know.

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