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Category
Describes the type of dirt bike.
Displacement
Displacement
Describes the size of the engine (combined volume of all cylinders).
Seat Height
Rider size and height dictate proper seat height. A good way to find the right seat height is to see whether or not a rider's feet can comfortably touch the ground.
Price
Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price
Year
Model Year
Engine Type
Indicates whether the dirt bike has a two-stroke or four-stroke engine (or in rare cases, an electric motor).
Transmission Type
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How to Buy a Dirt Bike
Before buying a new dirt bike, you need to consider which type of dirt bike best fits your riding style. If you'll be competing, look at the lightweight and agile Motocross class for closed course dirt racing/trick riding, the Enduro class for extreme off-road riding (woods, desert, technical trails, etc), or the Supermoto/Trials classes for use in races of the same name. If you're more of a recreational rider, check out the versatile and affordable Trail class or the on/off-road Dual Sport class.

Smart Rating

A normalized score that consists of several critic reviews from the following dirt bike rating websites: CycleWorld, Motorcycle.com, MotorcyclistOnline, Motocross Action Magazine, Motorcycle USA, TransWorld Motocross, and Dirt Rider Magazine.
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Category

Describes the type of dirt bike.
  • Dual Sport: Designed to accomodate both on and off-road riding, these bikes are ideal for a rider looking for versatility and durability. Dealers typically equip these bikes with the necessary outfit to qualify as street legal, enabling users to ride on the road without making any major adjustments.

  • Enduro: Designed for competition in endurance races, these bikes are best for riders who are willing to compromise weight for greater fuel capacity.

  • Motocross: Designed for competitive stunt riding, these bikes boast light weight, good acceleration, and agility.

  • Mini: Designed as lightweight introductory children's bikes, these bikes are easy to maneuver. They are also known as Pit or Kids bikes, and cost less than regular size bikes.

  • Supermoto: Designed as a on and off-road option geared more towards racing than the dual sport option, supermoto bikes can accomodate paved and dirt segments of races. They boast versatility and speed, but must be modified to be made legal for street riding.

  • Trail: Designed as a lower price alternative to Enduro bikes, trail bikes are best suited for recreational outdoor riding. They compromise speed for long-distance riding capability.
  • Trial: Designed for increased maneuverability and precision balance, trial bikes are intended for competitions in which riders encounter many obstacles.
Motocross
The most common style for competitive dirt track racing and stunt riding, motocross (MX) bikes boast light weight (aiding in acceleration and agility), and the most current technology available in dirt bikes, seeing as how they are by far the most popular.
Enduro
Enduro bikes are built for competitive endurance races. Because weight is not as much of a concern for endurance racers, these bikes offer more features and are consequently slightly heavier than MX bikes (typically due to a higher fuel capacity, electric start, lights, a heavier flywheel, etc).
Trail
Trail bikes are affordable, lower-tech alternatives to enduro bikes. Designed for recreational outdoor riding, these bikes are perfect for riders interested in exploring the countryside and less interested in attaining competition-level speeds.
Dual Sport
Designed for both on- and off-road riding, these bikes are best for the rider looking to do a variety of casual biking styles. Dealerships outfit these bikes to be street legal, so you won't have to worry about modifying it after purchase to ride on the road.
Supermoto
These bikes are the more serious racing cousins of dual sport bikes. Supermoto races combine paved and dirt segments, so these bikes are built for versatility and speed. Note that supermoto bikes are not street legal without modifications.
Trials
Precision balance and minimal weight are the main factors in the design of trials bikes. Trials competitions pit riders against an obstacle course of stacked objects such as tires, wood structures, and metal frames (lots of vertical change/climbing). Precision balance and minimal weight are the main factors in the design of trials bikes. Trials competitions pit riders against an obstacle course of stacked objects such as tires, wood structures, and metal frames (lots of vertical change/climbing). For increased mobility and a lower center of gravity, trials bikes do not have seats.More
Mini
There are various terms for youth bikes—including pit, mini, and kids—but all serve the same purpose: a lightweight, easy-to-ride introductory dirt bike for children. Although a mini bike costs less than a regular size bike, your child will outgrow the bike within a few years.

Motor

Indicates whether the dirt bike has a two-stroke or four-stroke engine (or in rare cases, an electric motor). While 2-stroke engines are more powerful than 4-stroke, they compromise fuel efficiency, reliability, and emissions to do so. Therefore, 2-stroke is the better option for maximizing performance and speed, while 4 is a better option for recreational riders. Bear in mind that some states--such as California--have banned 2-stroke engines for their inability to meet emissions regulations.
4-Stroke
4-strokes are much cleaner and more fuel efficient, but also heavier, more complex, and more expensive. Large displacements and/or the addition of a turbocharger can help 4-strokes match the power output of 2-strokes, albeit with a weight penalty.
2-Stroke
2-strokes are lighter and cheaper, and they produce a lot more power per unit of displacement than 4-strokes, but they are less efficient/pollute more (causing them to be restricted in certain riding areas), and require the constant addition of oil as well as gas to run.
Electric
Electric motors are rare in dirt bikes, and usually result in a significantly higher price. However, their silent and efficient low-maintenance operation, combined with instantaneous torque, make them an attractive alternative to their fossil-fuel burning counterparts.

Displacement

Describes the size of the engine (combined volume of all cylinders). Although larger displacement translates to increased size and power of a bike's engine, it does not necessarily guarantee a faster bike. Heavier bikes will require larger displacements than their smaller counterparts.
Distribution of Displacement

Ground Clearance

Ground clearance is an especially important aspect to consider when buying motocross bikes. For riding off-road, roots and rocks can ruin the underside of a bike and end your outing.
Distribution of Ground Clearance
Show the top Dirt Bikes with the highest Ground Clearance

Weight

The lighter a dirt bike, the better its handling. For motocross especially, lighter weight bikes are popular because of the number of turns riders must take. For recreational riders, handling can be equally important; there's not much fun in a sluggish and cumbersome ride.
Distribution of Weight
Show the top Dirt Bikes with the lowest Weight

Seat Height

Rider size and height dictate proper seat height. A good way to find the right seat height is to see whether or not a rider's feet can comfortably touch the ground.
Distribution of Seat Height
Show the top Dirt Bikes with the lowest Seat Height

What to Watch for in Dirt Bikes


Keep in mind that the vast majority of dirt bikes are not "street legal" upon purchase. If you do intend on riding in the street, make sure to buy a dual-sport: adding mirrors, turn signals, and plating is a pain, and many states won't even let you do it at all.
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