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Best 125cc Dirt Bike – How To Pick the Right One For You

Looking for the best 125cc dirt bike but not sure where to start? Whether you’re a new rider or want a lightweight enduro bike, you’ve found the right article!

In this post, I’ll show you who a 125 dirt bike is for, how to choose which type of bike is best for you, and why you can become a better rider faster by learning the right way to ride.

What age is a 125cc dirt bike for?

There are two different kinds of 125cc dirt bikes, so it depends on what kind of riding you’ll be doing. A 125cc trail bike is great for kids that are at least 9 years old, so that includes teens, young adults, females, or if you’re an adult with short legs.

On the flip side, a 125cc motocross bike is for teens, young adults, and any adult that wants a fun and aggressive bike. They’re just as tall as a 450, so you’ll want to be a certain height to ride one, which I’ll cover shortly.

Best 125cc dirt bike for beginners

If you’re new to dirt biking or just getting back into riding off-road, then you want to start on a smaller and less powerful bike for a couple of reasons. Starting on a bike with a lower seat height builds your confidence because you can touch the ground with at least one foot – this is helpful for when you’re learning to ride and need to catch yourself from falling.

Honda CRF125F Best 125cc Dirt Bike - How To Pick the Right One For You
The CRF125F

Having less power is better for learning to ride because you can focus on practicing the proper techniques, rather than trying to control the power. 

The best 125cc dirt bikes for beginners are:

I would also include the KLX 140 in this discussion because it’s the same size dirt bike as these other 125’s, even though the engine is slightly larger. 

125cc 4 stroke dirt bike sizing

These trail bikes have a seat height of about 30 inches to 33 inches, depending on the model. There are small wheel and large wheel versions of each bike – the larger wheels handle better on the trails because they roll over obstacles better, but they also raise the seat height by about 2 inches. 

The small wheel 125’s are a good size if you’re 4’8″-5’0″ tall, and the large wheel 125’s are good if you’re 5’0″-5’4″. Your inseam also makes a difference, so it’s best to sit on each bike to feel if it’s the right fit. You just need to be able to put one foot down on the ground while sitting on the seat. 

Best 125cc dirt bike for motocross

Maybe you’re ready to ride or race motocross and want a 125. If that’s the case, then there are a few options for new models. You’ll be looking at a 2 stroke dirt bike, which is quite a bit different than the 4 stroke trail bikes we just looked at.

These are the best 125cc dirt bikes for motocross:

  • Yamaha YZ125 – overall solid bike that is the easiest to ride in the group
  • KTM 125 SX – best overall performance in its class, along with fuel injection and electric start
  • Husqvarna TC 125 – Similar to KTM 125 with minor differences
  • TM Racing MX 125 2T – Custom made in Italy, ready to race, made in small numbers
KTM 125 SX is a 2 stroke motocross bike
2022 KTM 125 SX

Who shouldn’t get a 125 for motocross?

I don’t recommend a 125cc 2 stroke motocross bike if you’re new to riding, and you definitely should go to a motocross track if you’re still a beginner. Not only are MX bikes harder to handle, but a track is dangerous for you and others if you aren’t confident in your riding skills to ride on an MX track with jumps & obstacles.

125cc 2 stroke dirt bike sizing

With a seat height ranging from 37.4 (125SX) to 38.4 inches (YZ125), they are as tall as it gets for dirt bikes. If you’re under 5’8”, it’s going to be hard to reach the ground. It’s best if you’re 5’8”-6’2” for riding a 125cc 2 stroke dirt bike.

With that said, you only need to touch the ground with one foot, especially if you’re racing motocross (you shouldn’t need to put a foot down). So if you’re 5’6” with short legs like me, you can learn proper balance and not have to worry as much about falling over.

Best 125 for trail riding or enduro

Whether you’re a beginner or expert rider, there are several 125 dirt bikes that are good for trail riding. You can either buy a beginner trail bike or an enduro bike that is high performance in comparison – they also cost quite a bit more.

These are the best 125cc dirt bikes for trail riding or enduro:

  • Yamaha TTR125LE – Trail bike for beginners and short adults
  • Honda CRF125FB – Trail bike for beginners and short adults
  • KTM 125 XC – Enduro bike for intermediate to expert riders
  • Yamaha YZ125X – Enduro bike for intermediate to expert riders

Which 125 dirt bike will make you a better rider?

What is your experience level and how tall are you? If you’re a beginner or novice rider, then the 125 4 stroke trail bike is the best choice to make you a better rider, but choosing the right bike is only the first step.

The next step is learning how to properly ride so that you stay in control – this is where the real fun begins, and I want to show you how to get there faster while reducing the risk of injury. Click here to watch my free workshop to become a safe & confident rider.