Best Dirt Bike Brands on the Market Right Now

When you find a sport that just suits you perfectly, you should never just settle for mediocre gear or anything that’s sub-par. Dirt biking is arguably one of the most American sports out there today, and like in all sports where you have to have the top-notch equipment be at the top of your game. For those of you searching the best of the best when it comes to dirt bikes, allow me to guide you along on your journey to the perfect ride.

So, what are the best dirt bike brands on the market? The top known brands of dirt bikes are as follows:

  1. KTM
  2. Yamaha
  3. Beta
  4. Kawasaki
  5. Honda

Dirt bike brands are about as numerous as doughnuts; providing a myriad of flavors and fillings, but only one is right for you. In the case of dirt bikes, these brands come with various customization features that provide the optimum ride for a die-hard rider. Dirt bikes today have evolved to be lighter, faster, and more durable with the technological advancements.

1.The King Of Motocross (KTM)

At the top of the food chain, we have the number one manufacturer; KTM motors. Close your eyes and think for a moment and think to yourself what would be the best motor company on the market for any vehicle and I mean any vehicle. Your answer would most likely be a Western European company in all regards. Well, in the market for stellar dirt bikes, that standard remains true.

Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM motors) is an Austrian motor company that originated as a metalworking shop. Since 1934, this small-time metal working shop has since risen to the throne of dirt biking technology.

This brand is the muscle car equivalent in the motocross world. Kronreif & Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (KTM motors) has been crowned the great top 450F consistently for the past 5 years, as well as the top 125/150 two-stroke champion for nearly every year since 2011.

These machines are built for high-speed performance, sporting the lightest frames on the market, and an engine that packs a punch. Along with easy-access filters and removable seats, this brand has more than enough owner friendly tricks up its sleeve.

2018 KTM 450SXF Factory Edition

I promised you the king of dirt bikes, didn’t I? This bike considered by many to be the best bike for the pro bikers out there. This bike was built for perfection and revised for performance and convenience.

This bike sports an all-new motor, built to bring the fire to the competition, along with a slimmer and more stable chassis for convenience and comfort. Considered to be the lightest in its class, the 2018 KTM 450SXF Factory edition will bring you the speed and control you need to the track.

Along with all that, this factory model comes with a specialized factory installed shock system to bring you the smoothest ride out there on the market today. Aesthetically, this bike is a gorgeous masterpiece of a machine… Though this is last year’s model,  this bike will never let you down. I give this bike a solid rating of 10/10.

Starting Price (MSRP) $10,599

2019 KTM 250 SX

Like its predecessor, this bike packs a punch but has been altered to provide a more comfortable ride. Providing excellent handling, due to the nimble nature of the bodywork and shocks. Some of the most notable updates to this 250 two-stroke is the stiffer framework and smaller chassis to make turning a breeze. Let me tell you, one can really corner up with to the bike and rev out those tight turns with this bike.

Major pro bikers would find this bike to be a step down in terms of power in the name of commodity. This is true, due to the restricted airbox in the engine. This bike trades out the loud, air pumping engine for a more muted feel while still retaining the same speed capabilities. However, due to the enclosed nature of the motor, it takes slightly more time to build up in power.

Vibration has drastically been reduced, making this bike a wonderful choice for more casual riders. To compensate for this change, many riders have drilled holes into the air box providing their engine with more power, but at the cost of the muted feel of the engine.

Overall, this bike is a true KTM standard bike that will not let you down, and with a few slight modifications, it will become the bike of your dreams. All around, this bike is an extraordinary addition to the KTM empire. I rate this bike an 8/10.

Starting Price (MSRP): $8,999


Coming up close in second, is the bike that has withstood the test of time. Throughout decades of competitions, this bike has run neck and neck with KTM for first place on many levels. In many classes, these bikes have come off conqueror for so much as 4 years in a row as the number one bike in their classes.

Though not nearly as innovative, this brand of bike is a masterpiece of engineering, perfected and reworked throughout the decades to be a solid bike for any rider. These bikes are tough and built to last. Perhaps they are not the lightest bike on the market, but they sure do provide one of the smoothest rides out there; making an optimal choice for bikers with a budget.


If you are in the market for a bike that is versatile and adaptable for your riding style and terrain, the YAMAHA YZ450FX is for you. Though it is a 450 four-stroke bike, this bike can both turn up the heat and tone down the power depending on the circumstance.

One of the most notable features is the map modification settings you can alter through a mobile app on your smartphone that can then be utilized at the click of a button on the left handle. This setting selection allows you to toggle between three settings.

The first setting or map is a motocross setting that allows you to get the most power output from your bike and achieve optimal performance. The second is provided to dial back the power output of your bike to allow the rider more control when dealing with slippery or unstable terrain, such as mud and gravel.

The third setting is for the rider to tinker around with to suit the rider’s personal riding style. Other brands have been known to use this feature, but YAMAHA perfected it with this bike.

The softer suspension is quite noticeable upon first ride, as well as the bigger tank of gas. If you are looking for a high ranking 450 four-stroke bike, this bike is more than enough for the job. It is a stellar bike all around and a favorite in the year 2019. Overall rating 9/10.

Starting Price (MSRP): $9,499.

3. Beta

Italian motors have always been big on any market having to do with motors, and have a reputation of gold. As you can imagine, with top car brands being Italian, you could never doubt that in the small motor department they will deliver nothing less.

Though not as popular as most brands of dirt bikes, Beta is a dirt bike company that can hold its own in competition while seeming almost effortless.

Italian brands have always been known to be more flamboyant than most; sporting brighter paint jobs and unique sounds. Though beautiful, can they deliver in the big leagues? Absolutely. In the past, Beta has teamed up with KTM in some manufacturing, utilizing KTM motors among other things. However, over the decades, Beta has become its own beast entirely.

So, if any brand knows what it takes to make a good bike, this KTM counterpart is an expert. This brand comes in third place due only to the lack of a bigger following. These bikes are practically the Lamborghinis of the motocross world, and are built to tear into the competition and provide the owner a solid piece of machinery to get them across the finish line, all the while saving money on maintenance.

2019 Beta 430 RR-S

Buckle up! This bike is by far one of the most outstanding bikes for its generation. Dirt Bike Magazine has stated that this bike “feels like a dirt bike, through and through”. When it comes to performance, this monster of a machine is built for the ultimate off-road experience.

This bike is considered a dual-sport bike but is primarily built to give the rider the ride of their life outside of civilization, and away from roads. This model sports a fantastically quiet muffler that still gives out a real weighty sound while retaining a moderate sound output. The shocks are harder than the other models shown previously, giving this bike a real off-road dirt bike feel.

Though not as light as a KTM, that added weight provides a phenomenal level of stability for any task that you can’t find anywhere else.  I personally believe that the most noticeable fact about this bike is that it is built to be a 430 four stroke bike rather than a 450 and yet it is faster, lighter and more serious than most 450s.

On top of all that, this bike comes with a few notable features that really set it apart from the rest in terms of utility. Beta has made it their standard to incorporate a trail tech GPS into their bikes. It’s not often that you’d see a bike with built in gps system for the owner’s safety. If you are looking for a genuine four stroke bike that can excel in any competition, go for the little guy. This bike will not let you down. Overall rating: 10/10.

Starting Price (MSRP): $10,499

4. Kawasaki

Looking for a bike that performs well and won’t break the bank? Kawasaki is the brand for you. Like many great and powerful Motor companies, Kawasaki sprouted up in Japan and has since grown to become the legend that it is. It began its conquest in 1878 when Shozo Kawasaki, entrepreneur and father of Kawasaki motors went into business with the intent of building cargo ships.

Obviously, this wasn’t the only industry in which Kawasaki excelled. Beneath their title, these intuitive companies have made a name for themselves in shipping, railroad, small engines, farming equipment, aeronautical equipment etc. These men and women are experts and have no small reputation in the automotive and motorcycle industry.

2015 Kawasaki KX250F

One particular favourite that I would like to mention from this brand is the Kawasaki 2015 250. I know, it is an older bike, but I can assure you that this bike is truly a timeless masterpiece. Built to be lighter, faster, and sleeker than ever before, this particular Kawasaki four stroke model topped the competition in the year 2015, and its reputation still holds true as a bike that is nowhere near to being behind the times.

The engine provided is phenomenal; providing the right amount of kick that never seems to tire out. With a sleeker body and significantly improved chassis, this bike provides one of the most comfortable rides out there. The suspension has been improved as well as the subframe; giving more control to the rider. In terms of aerodynamics, this baby is a fully operational, streamlined bullet.

Above all else, this bike is quite versatile and can be customized to fit the owner’s personal preferences like a glove. Due to the fact that it is an older bike, they are much more affordable and will still provide all the power you need in competition. If you are a budget-minded rider but are afraid of sacrificing for payment, you simply must check out this bike. You will not be disappointed. Though it may be older, it’s still extremely reliable. I rate this bike a solid 8/10.

Price range: $5,000-$7,599

2018 Kawasaki KX250F

In a world of choice, a wise man would pick a 2015 KX250F in a heartbeat, but a wise man with money should absolutely consider the 2018 Kawasaki KX250F. Like it’s 2015 counterpart, is a stellar bike but with added improvements that will get you to the finish line as fast as you can get it on the track. From the get-go, you will find yourself becoming one hundred percent converted to the Kawasaki brand by riding this bike.

This baby has been significantly refined to bring that added edge that you need. Let me tell you, this bike is reliable. The most noticeable refinements made to the bike itself are a new intake cam and a larger exhaust to provide more breathing room for the engine. The suspension has been greatly altered as well to dampen the shock, making your landings as smooth as butter.

Fortunately for veteran riders, this bike kept quite a few favorite features of the KX250F style, like the adjustable triple clamps and adjustable foot pegs, giving that old familiar feel while still bringing you above the constantly improving competition. Overall rating: 9/10

Starting Price (MSRP):$7,749

5. Honda

Honda has always been a secure route for pretty much all of your motor needs. Since the year 1959, this Japanese motor company has been the largest motorcycle manufacturer, so you can bet that they know their stuff. Simply put, if you are looking for a bike that is reliable, more compact, and less oppressive on your wallet, check out the Honda dirt bike selection.

Honda has always had a fantastic reputation in competitions; pristinely built for speed and performance, these motocross masters are made to please. Honda is well known for its reliable motors, soft suspension and special features to make tricks easier. If you want a bike that will never go out of style and will hold its own in competition, Honda is the way to go.

2019 Honda CRF450R

If you are looking for a fast, reliable, all-powerful bike that really packs a punch, the 2019 Honda CRF450R is your kind of bike. Allow me to play matchmaker for a second and introduce you to the highly prized bike of Trey Canard, a professional competitor for the Team Red Bull KTM & Honda division.

This bike has quite a myriad of notable features. This is a 450 four-stroke bike through and through, meaning it will give you everything you need in a competition and then some. If you want proof of just how great this bike is, take a look at the reviews on YouTube done by Motocross Action Magazine.

The most notable features are a 449cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, 46mm throttle body, and beautiful suspension, to allow you to perform your best when it matters the most. This bike holds 1.7 gallons of gasoline (6.43 liters), providing just enough to last you throughout your competitions, while still retaining its lightweight, nimble nature.

Aesthetically, this bike is flawless. Its sleek bodywork makes for great turns and control and just looks gorgeous. For all those tricksters out there, the dampened suspension, coupled with a studier innerspring, plus a less rigid and wider swingarm will make your ride an absolute joy. If you are looking for a solid, beautiful bike catered to your riding style, this bike is for you. Overall rating 9/10.

Starting Price (MSRP): $11,499 Conclusion

It may seem overwhelming at first to find that right dirt bike catered toward your personalized riding style and performance preference. Like fish in the sea, they are numerous and unique. No two bikes are genuinely the same. Use the tools you have at hand and find what you like. If you are in the market for the best bike out there these five dirt bike brands are the top of the line. Happy trails.

Most Popular Models From Each Brand

BrandModelClassMSRPUser Rating
KTM 450 SX-F Factory EditionFour-Stroke $10,59910/10
KTM 250 SX
KTM 450 EXC-F Six Days  Four-Stroke$11,6999/10
KTM Freeride E-XC Two-stroke$8,299 8/10
KTM 690 Enduro R  Four-Stroke$10,8998/10
Beta2019 430 RR-S
Beta RR Enduro 4T 125ccTwo-stroke$79999/10
Beta Evo 300 4 strokeTwo-stroke$79999/10
Beta350 RR-STwo-stroke $10,299 9/10
Kawasaki2015 KX250F
Kawasaki2018 KX250FTwo-stroke$7,74910/10
KawasakiKX350 Two-StrokeTwo-stroke$7,7499/10
Honda 2019 CRF450R Four-Stroke$9,29910/10
Honda CR250R, 2000, 2001 Two-stroke$58998/10
Honda CR250R, 2002-2007Two-stroke$9,8908/10

Geoff Southworth

I am a California native and I enjoy all the outdoors has to offer. My latest adventures have been taking the family camping, hiking and surfing.

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