Your first dirt bike is the most important dirt bike decision that you will ever make. Why? Your first singletrack machine can either make or break you. If you’ve made the mistake of jumping straight onto a 450 as a beginner, you know what I’m talking about.
One of the most common questions we get at Dirt Bike Channel is “what is a good bike for a beginner?” You’re in the right place because we are going to offer some options here and why they might be good for you.
A few different perspectives on being a “beginner”:
1. This is your first dirt bike ever. No matter what age or life stage, you have never ridden a two-wheel trail weapon before. We’ve got some options for you.
2. You have ridden a dirt bike before but have taken a significant break. Now, you’re looking to get back into riding and you might be a little out of touch with current bikes.
3. You ride often but your skill level is still beginner/novice level and you’re looking to upgrade. Maybe you’re coming from a youth bike or an older bike and you want to progress and grow your skills.
Let’s log-jump right into this thing:
Beta 200 RR
Best 2 stroke option MSRP: $8999
The good stuff:- Very rideable
- Electric Start
- Shorter seat height
This bike has the perfect balance of power, tractability, and playfulness. It can do all the things the 250/300s can do and will inspire confidence from the beginner to the expert.
Straight out of the box, the forks offer one of the big advantages of the Beta 200 RR. It’s some of the best stock suspension that we’ve ridden. The best thing about this 2 screamer? It’s for everybody! Whether it’s your first bike ever or you’re competing in enduros, this dirt bike can handle it.
Check out the full review on DBC’s YouTube Channel here: Beta 200 RR Review
KTM 125 XC
An awesome 2 stroke option MSRP: $7799
The good stuff:- Lightweight (220 lbs)
- Electric Start
- XC Standard Options (Our favorite overall gearing spacing)
- 6-speed transmission
A beginner will love this bike because it won’t beat you up. The chassis is lightweight AND the small bore 2 stroke engine makes it feel light on the trail too. This setup makes it a popular bike for teenagers, but it also makes it an awesome choice for an adult getting their first bike.
You will love the easy rideability of this offroad machine. If you’re looking for a versatile bike that you can ride on the track, the trail, in the mountains, and in the desert then you will love this KTM.
Check out the full review on DBC’s YouTube Channel here: KTM 125 XC Review
A fast off road 4 stroke MSRP: $8799
The good stuff:- Stable handling
- Electric Start
- Mid-range power
This is one of the best 4 stroke bikes for riding offroad, specifically desert or fast, flowy singletrack. The engine pulls hard in the mid-range, which is perfect for a newer rider who hasn’t mastered shifting yet. It also makes this perfect for wide-open desert terrain.
The consistency of the suspension creates a feeling of stability and plantedness on this dirt bike. You will love it! It does not come stock with handguards, so you might want to add some aftermarket finger savers.
Check out the full review on DBC’s YouTube Channel here: YZ250FX Review
Sherco 300 SEF Factory
A 4 stroke built for the mountains MSRP: $11,499
The good stuff:- Hard to stall
- Smooth power
- Excellent suspension
- Agile handling
This is an awesome bike for mountain singletrack. Considering that it doesn’t stall as easily as other 4 strokes and it’s nimble, it’s the perfect thumper for the mountains.
With the rare 300 CC displacement on a 4 stroke, it’s a great long-term solution for a beginner bike. As your skills and speed improve, you will love this bike more and more. The only downside to the Sherco is the price of a new one. The foot pegs are flat, so we added these Fastway foot pegs that have an upward angle to lock you into the bike.
Check out the full review on DBC’s YouTube Channel here: Sherco 300 SEF Factory Review
A solid, reliable workhorse MSRP: N/A
The good stuff:- Bulletproof
- Linear power delivery
- Stable and planted
Honda does not make this bike anymore, but if you can find a used one somewhere, it’s a great option for an all-around solid trail bike. It’s a Honda, so you know it’s reliable, is a high quality build, and will run forever.
The power comes on smooth and stays linear throughout the delivery into the higher gears. It lugs well, and is great in the lower RPMs. It’s heavier than the other bikes listed, but when it comes to handling it’s hard to find something more planted than this bike. You won’t ever feel out of control. Probably not a great race bike, but for those who are looking for a fun, versatile trail bike, this is the one.