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What’s The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?

Trying to choose the best 125 4 stroke dirt bike? Whether it’s for your kid, teen, or you’re a short adult, these are great beginner bikes. But which one is right for you?

In this article I’ll show you:

  • The difference between 125cc dirt bikes
  • Why different 125 4 stroke dirt bike models are best based on their options
  • How to choose the right bike based on your specific needs

Is a 125cc dirt bike good for beginners?

It depends on what kind of 125cc dirt bike you’re considering. A 125 two-stroke is not good for beginners, but a 125 four-stroke is a great trail bike if you’re new to riding.

2008 Yamaha TTR125 What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?
Clean ’08 TTR125

125cc 4 stroke vs 125cc 2 stroke dirt bike

All name brand 125cc 4 stroke dirt bikes are trail bikes. They are for teens and short adults that are new to riding off-road. The engine and suspension are low-performance, but that makes it easy to ride and reliable.

Comparing a 4 stroke to a 2 stroke is like comparing apples to oranges… A 125 2 stroke is a full size, high-performance race bike. It has about 4 times the horsepower, and the suspension travel is about twice as much. 

2002 Honda CR125R 22 What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?
The CR125 2-stroke is a full-size MX bike and is not good if you’re a beginner

How fast does a 125cc 4 stroke go?

A stock 125 dirt bike will go about 45mph. Does this really mean much? Only if you are racing your buddy down a flat road.

A 125 four-stroke has enough power if you’re a beginner and weigh under 200lbs.

What’s the difference between 125cc & 250cc?

Comparing a 125 to a 250 four-stroke trail bike, the 250 will have about twice the amount of torque and horsepower.

Obviously, the engine is twice as big, but the size of the bike will be considerably larger. A taller dirt bike is harder to ride if you have short legs like me because it’s hard to touch the ground when you come to a stop.

An average 125cc 4 stroke has a seat height of 31”, while a 250cc trail bike is about 36” tall. Th

Who makes a 125 4-stroke?

There are a lot of cheap Chinese dirt bikes, but I usually don’t recommend those if you want a reliable bike that will last a long time. 

These are the dirt bike brands that have made a 125cc four-stroke:

How to pick the right 125cc 4 stroke dirt bike based on your needs

Even those most of the brands have a very similar 125 cc four-stroke, there are several options that will affect your decision. Some may be more important in others, but it will help you figure out which is the best choice for you.

Big wheel vs small wheel 125 – which is best for you?

Most of the models have two different size 125 trail bikes. The small wheel has 17/14 inch wheels and tires, and the big wheel model has 19/16 inch wheels – it’s also called a Large wheel model with an “L” in the dirt bike name.

The bigger wheels handle a little better off-road because the larger diameter rolls over obstacles more easily. It also raises the seat height about 1.5 inches.

This makes the small wheel 125 dirt bikes better if you have short legs and the big wheel 125’s better if you have longer legs.

Yamaha TTR125s What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?
TTR125L’s are great for pit bikes and teaching new riders

Electric start vs kick-start

Most dirt bikes have electric start these days, but some 125cc dirt bikes on this list only have kick-start. If you don’t mind kick-starting, then you can usually find these used models slightly cheaper.

Kick-starting on a 125 four-stroke isn’t super hard, but if the jetting is off or your bike has been sitting for a while, it may be difficult.
Electric start is obviously easier, but you have to make sure the battery isn’t getting drained or sits for too long or else it won’t start either.

Fuel injection vs carburetor

Most 125cc trail bikes have a carburetor because it’s cheaper to sell, but there’s one dirt bike on this list that has fuel injection.
The advantages of EFI are:

  • Starts easier hot or cold
  • No jetting changes needed for weather or elevation change
  • Less likely to get clogged and not start compared to a carb

4-speed vs 5-speed transmission

If you’re a beginner, the number of gears your 125cc 4 stroke dirt bike has doesn’t matter. You’re not going to feel much difference when learning how to ride, but it may affect your decision if you want to use it as a pit bike.

With that said, the 5-speed transmissions generally have a lower first gear, making it easier to use the clutch and ride at lower speeds. You’ll also get closer ratio gears, so the power won’t drop off as much when you’re accelerating and shift up.

Yamaha TTR125

The TTR 125 has been around since 2000 and continues to be the standard midsize beginner dirt bike for a Yamaha 125 4 stroke. 

ttr125l medium sized dirt bike
TTR125L is a great medium sized dirt bike for kids and small adults.

There are 4 different model options that differ in wheel size and with or without electric start, although there’s only 1 option if you’re buying a brand new dirt bike from the dealer.

You can find plenty of used  TTR125’s for sale and there’s good options for aftermarket parts if you want to upgrade the suspension or power. 

Why should you choose the TTR 125?

These are the main factors to consider when deciding if the Yamaha TTR125 is right for you:

  • Big wheel & small wheel size options (small wheel is only available used)
  • Electric start or kick-start model options
  • Easier and usually cheaper to find in the used dirt bike market

Honda CRF125

Honda is the first to make an impact in the 125cc 4 stroke class in a while with its relatively new CRF125F. It now has fuel injection, which is a huge bonus if you can’t stand dealing with old carburetors.

It only has a 4-speed transmission, but that shouldn’t be an issue unless you’re doing a lot of high-speed riding. Even then, with slightly more power you can change the gearing for a little more top speed.

Honda CRF125F What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?

Why should you choose the CRF 125?

These are the main factors to consider when deciding if the Honda CRF125F is right for you:

  • Big wheel & small wheel size options
  • Comes with electric start and kick-start for back-up
  • Has the smoothest engine that’s easiest to ride for your first dirt bike
  • The only current 125 4 stroke dirt bike with fuel injection

Kawasaki KLX125

Kawasaki stopped making the KLX125, but it’s still a good option if you can find a used one in good shape. It’s virtually the same bike as the Suzuki DRZ125. 

Easy to ride, plush suspension and reliability are the common traits of these trail bikes. The KLX125 only has kickstart, but if the carb is properly jetted and clean then it’s pretty easy for even a kid to start. 

2006 Kawasaki KLX 125 What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?

Why should you choose the KLX 125?

These are the main factors to consider when deciding if the Kawasaki KLX125 is right for you:

  • Big wheel & small wheel size options
  • Only comes with kick-start
  • Only made for a few years, so harder to find

Suzuki DRZ125

Suzuki started making the DRZ125 in 2003 and still make the DRZ 125L (large wheel). It really hasn’t changed much over the years and is still being made today. It’s right with the rest of the bikes in its class.

Do you like yellow?

2003 DRZ125 What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?

Why should you choose the DRZ 125?

These are the main factors to consider when deciding if the Suzuki DRZ125 is right for you:

  • Big wheel & small wheel size options
  • Only comes with kick-start
  • Suzuki only sells the DRZ125L big wheel model today

125cc 4 stroke Dirt Bike Specs (Large wheel models)

Yamaha TTR125LKawasaki KLX125Suzuki DRZ125LHonda CRF125FB
Seat Height31.7”31.7”31.7”30.9”
Top Speed45mph45mph45mph45mph
Fuel SystemCarbCarbCarbFuel injection

What’s the best 125cc 4 stroke dirt bike?

In the end, the top 4 dirt bike companies all have good 125 4 stroke dirt bikes, but there are just a few key differences that may affect your buying decision.

The best 125 4 stroke dirt bikes are:

Best 125 for cheap or for beginners

Just need a quick answer on which is best for you? Here are my top two picks based on my years of experience and research on these 125cc dirt bikes:

Best 125 4 stroke dirt bike on a budget – Yamaha TTR125 – cheapest used

Best 125 4 stroke dirt bike for beginners- Honda CRF125F – lowest seat height & smoothest power

Best 125 enduro bike

I wouldn’t recommend any of these 125 4 stroke dirt bikes for enduro riding for a number of reasons. If you’re truly an experienced rider and need better suspension and more power, then you should look at all of the best enduro motorcycles for off-road.

What about cheap 125cc dirt bikes on Amazon?

Most of the cheap dirt bikes aren’t reliable that you find online, which is why I usually don’t recommend them.
With that said, if you’re just looking for the cheapest dirt bike to get started and don’t want to buy used, they’re a good way to get started and ride around the yard – just don’t expect the quality and durability to be great.

These are the best 125 4 stroke dirt bikes that you can buy on Amazon for cheap:

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B08FSJYS97&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=mxhideout 20&language=en US What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?ir?t=mxhideout 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B08FSJYS97 What's The Best 125 4 Stroke Dirt Bike For You?

How to become a safe & confident rider off-road

Are you new to dirt biking? Then you need to learn the basics if you want to prevent more crashes. I want to give you some basic riding techniques to give you more control riding off-road.
Click here to get started.